From Broken Hearts to Burning Hearts

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:28-35 ESV)

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” When Jesus taught them the Scriptures they had no idea it was Jesus. He preached Himself from the Scriptures–and their hearts burned within them. Preaching the Gospel of Jesus enlivens the believer’s heart. Preaching Jesus from the Old Testament turns weary forlorn travelers into winsome evangelists.

Allow me to wonder a minute. Did Jesus tell them he was the serpent of Numbers 21 lifted up on the pole? Did Jesus explain that David’s words in Psalm 22:1 were written for him: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Did he tell them Jonah’s stint in the belly of the fish was foreshadowing his own journey into the heart of the earth?”

What a sermon!

The good news of Jesus turns broken hearts into burning hearts.

But We Had Hoped

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. (Luke 24:21 ESV)

There are two kinds of hope and they are quickly discerned and easily defined. If I plan to work outside today I’ll say, “I hope it doesn’t rain.” That statement could easily be translated, “I wish it wouldn’t rain.” In this case hope is defined as wishful thinking. This kind of hope is part of our everyday existence. We live in the land of wishful thinking.

uncommon_sense_hopeCleopas and his friend banked on such hope. But we had hoped.They had their own hopes for Jesus, their own aspirations for his life. When he fell short of their dreams, they assumed he had fallen short of His purpose. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Christian hope is not wishful thinking. Christian hope is confident expectation. Paul talked about this hope in Romans:

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)

Confident expectation in God’s character and God’s promises will never put us to shame. God comes through every time. When we mold God’s plan into our own design and He “comes up empty” we’re embarrassed. Our faith falters. We wonder what went wrong. Sometimes we even blame God. Somehow Cleopas and his friend missed this conversation Jesus had with his disciples:

For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40 ESV)

By the third day their hopes were dashed. But it was on the third day, the day on which they lost hope, that Hope was resurrected and joined them on the Emmaus Road. It was on the third day, the day they gave up, that Hope rose up victorious over every doubt they had. It was on the third day, they day they decided to desert and return to Emmaus, that Hope joined them on their devastating journey home.

They had no idea that everything they ever hoped for was walking on the Emmaus Road with them.

The Power of an Invitation

He walked on water.invitation

He was on the Mount of Transfiguration.

He was the first apostle to see Jesus after he was resurrected.

He preached the first sermon in the early church after Pentecost.

His name was Peter.

How did he come to Jesus? Check this out:

One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). (John 1:40-42 ESV)

Peter’s brother Andrew invited him. We hear little of Andrew. We know much of Peter.

Andrew brought Peter to Jesus.

Don’t underestimate the power of an invitation!

Bring someone to church tomorrow. Services are at 8 am, 9:30 am and 11 am.

Who knows what God has planned for the person you’ll “bring to Jesus!”

It’s Friday But Sunday’s Comin’

S.M. Lockridge, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego for 40 years, shared these memorable words:

It’s Friday
Jesus is praying
Peter’s a sleeping
Judas is betraying
But Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
Pilate’s struggling
The council is conspiring
The crowd is vilifying
They don’t even know
That Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The disciples are running
Like sheep without a shepherd
Mary’s crying
Peter is denying
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s a comin’

It’s Friday
The Romans beat my Jesus
They robe him in scarlet
They crown him with thorns
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
See Jesus walking to Calvary
His blood dripping
His body stumbling
And his spirit’s burdened
But you see, it’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The world’s winning
People are sinning
And evil’s grinning

It’s Friday
The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands
To the cross
They nail my Savior’s feet
To the cross
And then they raise him up
Next to criminals

It’s Friday
But let me tell you something
Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The disciples are questioning
What has happened to their King
And the Pharisees are celebrating
That their scheming
Has been achieved
But they don’t know
It’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
He’s hanging on the cross
Feeling forsaken by his Father
Left alone and dying
Can nobody save him?
It’s Friday
But Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The earth trembles
The sky grows dark
My King yields his spirit

It’s Friday
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan’s just a laughin’

It’s Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place

But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!

Sunday’s Coming! from CTR Memphis on Vimeo.

The Beginning

Skeptical worshipers. A commanding soldier. A demon-possessed woman. A religious seeker. A weeping disciple.

Fear. Control. Hopelessness. Confusion. Despair.

The cross appeared to be the end, but it was the beginning.

What if you find that your new beginning is at the lowest point in your life?

What if you find that your new beginning was the lowest point in Jesus’ life?

Afraid? Out of control? Hopeless? Confused? Defeated?

Sunday at Grace is for you. Join us at 9:30 or 11.