Back at the end of February Bonita and I had the opportunity to go to L.A. to Shepherd’s Conference at Grace Community Church. We had a few days before to take in some of the sights and had the opportunity to walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
As we strolled we tried to spot some stars that we knew underneath our feet. I could pretend to remember many of the stars but let me tell you my memory ain’t what it was. The only star that I remember seeing was for the 80’s all gal pop band, the Go-Go’s. The band formed in the late seventies and made a name for themselves by being all girl, writing all their own songs, and playing their own instruments and they made a serious dent in the music world. ‘We Got The Beat’ was their first biggie and ‘Head Over Heels’ was one of their later ones in ’84. Belinda Carlisle, their lead singer, went on to have some solo success.
I don’t claim to know all their history but I do know that to make it as a band, it’s a lot of hard work. Writing, rehearsing, promoting, interviews, and touring. So they worked pretty hard and at some point got a star. They worked so they achieved and they got their name on the sidewalk.
I doubt I’ll ever have my name on a sidewalk somewhere. I don’t have aspirations to. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you won’t either but there’s a better place to find our names. Revelation 21:27 calls it the Lamb’s Book of Life.
I remember some of those people who’s names are in that book. I think of the Apostle Paul, a persecutor of the church. He was on the road to Damascus and God knocked him on his can and blinded him. God wrote his name there. I think of the religious gal in Acts 16 named Lydia and the text says ‘the Lord opened her heart….’ God wrote her name there. Then a few verses later a Philippian jailer is ready to slit his throat because he thinks Paul and Silas had escaped from prison but then God rescues him and his family from the kingdom of darkness and brings them into a new kingdom of light. God wrote their names there. My favourite conversion story is the thief on the cross. Hurling insults one moment and then he’s instantly humbled. His name is there…in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Have you acknowledged that God was the Mover and Shaker in your life who prompted you to repent and believe? Ephesians 2:1 shows that all of us were born spiritual dead as doornails. And dead men don’t dance…dead men don’t do nothing, spiritually speaking. John 3 reminds us that the Spirit blows where He wants to. If you’re a born again believer you may wonder if your repentance and belief was genuine, it was absolutely, but it was initiated by God. He was the One Who tapped your spiritually dead sorry self on the shoulder to believe. Let me tell you, before I came to faith I was running as fast as I could in the opposite direction…we all were. Only the power of God could have turned Paul around and it’s the same for all of us.
Getting your name on the Walk of Fame is one thing that takes a lot of work. Striving, working, being noticed, being liked, having talent, but then there’s the Lamb’s Book of Life. We get our names there through the work of Another. We have no reason to brag…and all we can humbly say is ‘thank You Jesus.” Will there be working and striving and praying and doing in our faith? Absolutely. That flows out of our faith but it doesn’t earn us anything. Our salvation was bought by the God-man, Jesus.
I’m sure if Belinda Carlisle and the gals were walking down Hollywood Boulevard and came across their name on the street, they might reminisce about the hard work that got them there but if we ever get to see our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life, we shouldn’t think back to the glory days of hard work…but may we revel in the beautiful scandalous night where the God-man allowed His sinless self to be nailed to the old rugged timbers. May we ponder the fact that He experienced God’s wrath and then came back from the grave three days later…for His sheep. May we not be tempted to pat ourselves on the back for what we did but raise our arms outstretched in praise because of the work of Another.