“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” LK 10.20
Jesus tells believers that as exciting as gifts or power may be, we should rejoice in our salvation. That our names are written in heaven. That God inscribed our names in heaven in eternity past, long before the dawn of creation, before the cherubim uttered their first cry of “Holy”.
Jesus told the disciples rejoice that their names, their individual names, were written in heaven. God didn’t choose a nameless mass of people, but chose individuals, by name.
Is this too hard for God? Jesus said that not a single sparrow falls to the ground apart from our Father. Our Father has numbered every single hair on each one of our heads.
In Isaiah 40, God says he brings out each individual star in heaven and calls each one by name and doesn’t lose track of a single one:
To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Isaiah 40:25-26
Scientists have estimated that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies, each one composed of hundreds of billions of stars. And there is not a single star God has not named and does not remember. And God is intimately aware of each and every one of his children:
O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4
God knows you individually, intimately. He discerns your thoughts from afar and knows every word you’ll ever say before it ever reaches your tongue. He knows every individual star. Every individual hair on our heads. Every sparrow. Every thought.
And God wrote every individual believer’s name in heaven before he created the angels. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, thank God today for choosing you and writing your name – yes your name – in heaven.