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.

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.

If the Holy Spirit Raised Jesus, You’re No Challenge for Him!

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:9-11 ESV)

Your body is dead—that old thing that caused you the sin problem is dead! Why are you serving a dead body? Why are you enslaved to a lifeless existence? Romans 8:5-8 is a description of your life before Christ. Look at it!

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8 ESV)

Did you know that Jesus did not even raise Himself from the grave! The Holy Spirit raised Christ from the grave! If Jesus depended on the Holy Spirit to raise Him from the grave, then you and I must depend on the Holy Spirit to raise us up to live an entirely new life!

Chuck Swindoll states,

We have been sold a bill of goods. The enemy has made us as a body, so conscious of sin that we are inoperative as a body of believers righteous before God, ready and equipped to move on.

We focus way too much on our lives before Christ–rather than focusing on the fact that we have been raised with Him. We need to live under the awesome power of God! The  result of that kind of living: So then brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh. We have an obligation, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. We choose moment by moment whether or not we will respond to the Spirit or to the flesh.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 ESV)

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5 ESV)

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 ESV)

Your response to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is to put to death the sinful deeds of the body. It is a relationship of incredible balance—where the Holy Spirit constantly works to rid us of sin in our lives. Through His work, we are empowered to say “No” when sin presents itself. Notice also the outcome. You will either live or die. You cannot ride the fence, here. You will either live according to your old desires before you came to Christ–and die. Or you will live by the power of the Spirit who indwells you–and live.

I Did Not Know

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-4 ESV)

For the first 17 years of my Christian life I did not know.

Here’s what I did not know:

  • I did not know that I was baptized into Jesus’s death.
  • I did not know that I was buried with Jesus in his burial.
  • I did not know that I was resurrected with Jesus in his resurrection.

I did not know. I’ve told this before (and it’s really embarrassing, but true). For several years I drove a Chevy S-10 that had a 3rd door. chevyred-754828Behind the driver’s door was a 3rd door! For years, when Trent wanted to ride with me, he would climb behind my seat into the back and sit on the fold-down chair. I never saw the door handle to the 3rd door. It was hidden in plain sight. That’s embarrassing.

But it’s more embarrassing to admit that for 17 years of my Christian life, I battled sin in my own power because I was ignorant. I was ignorant of this reality: when I trusted Jesus as my Savior (baptized into Christ Jesus) I was immersed in his death. My old sinful nature died that day. Death isn’t fun. My sinful nature hasn’t been happy ever since. As a matter of fact, every day my sinful nature (flesh) tries to rear its ugly head, tries to convince me to satisfy its desires, tries to deceive me into thinking I can be satisfied by its desires.

Death is devastating unless there’s a resurrection in the future! I did not know that I was baptized into Jesus’s death. And I did not know that I was buried with Jesus in his burial. And of course I did not know that I was resurrected with Jesus. That’s right!

How was Jesus raised from the dead? “By the glory of the Father.” That’s a loaded statement…one that this blog won’t allow today–tomorrow we will delve into it. Here’s what I didn’t know. I didn’t know that the death of my sinful nature had lead to the resurrection of a new man in Christ…one not bound by sin, one not under the sway of the world, one not gripped by the power of temptation.

Lamar Silver showed me the 3rd door on my truck. Chuck Swindoll, in his sermon series on Romans 1-8, opened a whole new vista into what it means to walk by grace, to be raised to life by the Spirit, to live an entirely new life.

Now I know. And I have choice. Climb over the seat to get to the back of the Chevy S-10…or open the 3rd door.