Summary: When we are in the presence of Jesus, we will know by the fire in our heart.
A Burning Heart
Spiritual Heart Surgery
I want to get a conversation started as we begin this morning by asking a question. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you take with you? Now, I don’t want any people on your list. I just want you to think of some things to take with you. Take a moment to think about it, but I am curious about what your answers would be. Does anybody have their items yet? I think that if I had to take three things, I would take a knife, my Bible, and a big box of matches.
Why would I take these things? First of all, I would take the knife for a number of reasons. You could use it as a weapon against attacking animals or to hunt them. You could also use it to carve spears and other objects that you need. I would take my Bible for reading pleasure and because of its message of hope and ability to get you to know more about God. And lastly, I would take a box of matches because matches mean fire.
If you have ever seen the show survivor, one of the first rewards they are given is the reward of fire. Why is this? It is because fire means so much. Fire gives you light to see in the darkness. Fire gives you warmth during those cold nights. Fire gives you the ability to purify water to make it drinkable and the ability to cook your food. And, if you were truly stranded, fire could be your salvation – you could use it to signal. Basically, if you were stranded, fire means life. If you don’t have fire, you are not going to make it very long.
Fire is important in our spiritual life as well. In fact, I would go as far as to say that without a burning heart, we are missing out on Jesus and the life He has for us. What am I talking about? Let’s take a look at our Scripture for today in Luke 24:13-35. Turn with me there and follow along.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with him; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going. Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. “There, they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.