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BURNING HEARTS



Here's the notes from my teaching at the Cornerstone Church on Sunday, March 25, 2018.

BURNING HEARTS

Part 3 of Our Great Savior. Luke 24:13-35

Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. March 25, 2018.

INTRODUCTION

Last week, we focused on Christ on the cross. It was a powerful moment, but it is not be a good idea to leave Jesus there. We need to shift our focus from the dying Christ to the rising Christ. Jesus in the grave is now Jesus in glory. We have to move on from Good Friday or we'll be like these two disciples in Luke 24:17 - "They stood still, their faces downcast."

These two unnamed men thought Jesus was dead and gone. They were moping along in total defeat. And their faces showed it. They were hurt, disappointed, and confused. Then they met the risen Jesus and everything changed. Their hearts began to burn inside them - verse 32.

Last week, after church, I spoke to a young woman with a burning heart. She has spent the last six months training with YWAM. She had experienced the risen Jesus. Her faith and confidence in God were infectious.

We can all have a burning heart. Let me show you how ...

HOW TO SET YOUR HEART ON FIRE

A. RESURRECTION WISDOM SETS OUR HEARTS ON FIRE

In verse 25, Jesus calls the disciples "foolish." He's not being mean, he's simply pointing out that they're leaving God out of the picture - that's the Bible idea of foolish. With God out of the picture, of course everything is doom and gloom. Jesus is dead, period. It's all over. There's nothing left to hope in - see verse 21.

BUT ... Resurrection wisdom puts God in the picture - in the center. Resurrection wisdom embraces three God-centered realities:

In Jesus, there is victory. He defeated sin, death, and hell: "God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was IMPOSSIBLE for death to keep its hold on him." Acts 2:24

In Jesus, there is authority. The risen Jesus is seated in the place of highest power: Ephesians 1:21 far above (superior) all (singular, exclusive) rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

In Jesus, there is ability. The same power that raised Jesus is working in us: Ephesians 1:19-20 "... his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand."

When we have resurrection wisdom, we stand in the victory and authority and ability of the risen, reigning Christ and our hearts blaze with confidence and courage. Resurrection wisdom says, "BUT GOD." "I can't BUT THE GOD WHO RAISED JESUS CAN. Everything God calls me to do, I can do in the power of the resurrection."

If that doesn't light a fire in your heart, nothing ever will.

B. RESURRECTION FAITH SETS OUR HEARTS ON FIRE

Jesus said to the downcast disciples, "How slow you are to BELIEVE all the prophets have written." - verse 25 Their unbelief had quenched the fire of God in their hearts. It will do the same to us if we don't guard our hearts:

Hebrews 3:12 "See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God."

There are two sources of unbelief:

Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers so they cannot believe, see 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Situations blind the minds of believers so they choose not to believe.

This was the situation in Luke 24. All these men could see was the dead and buried Jesus. The knew what God's Word promised, but unbelief blinded them to the promises of his resurrection.

(For a discussion of the Old Testament passages on the death and resurrection of Christ, see the appendix below)

It happens to all of us. We get so discouraged when situations don't work out. Then, we "forget" what the Bible says. We know the Bible, but we're blind to its promise of resurrection power. We're stuck in defeat instead of standing in the victory of the risen Jesus.

Let me show you how to restore your resurrection faith:

Pray for the Holy Spirit to CAPTIVATE your heart with the "resurrection message" of the Bible. So that it is always the final word no matter what the situation is telling us.

We've already looked at this passage in Ephesians 1, but now I want us to see that it is part of a prayer. It's a prayer for the Spirit to "enlighten" our hearts so that we can read, receive, believe and be captivated by the resurrection promises in the Bible. That's what I call resurrection faith. The apostle Paul wrote:

Ephesians 1:18-20 "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened (by the Spirit through the Word) in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms ..."

Right now, let's pray for the Spirit to enlighten our hearts so our faith is in the living Jesus and his resurrection power.

Resurrection faith looks at every situation through the lens of God's resurrection power. It believes God for the impossible. It declares:

"I believe in the resurrection power of God. It is at work in me. I'm not relying on myself, I am relying on God, who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9). I am more than a conqueror, I am filled with courage, I am confident. I cannot be defeated. Therefore, I choose to stand in faith, to walk in new life, to beat old habits, to endure hardship, to prevail over demons, to crush my fears, and to speak up for Jesus. Because God's resurrection power is working in me, I choose to never be lacking in zeal. Instead, I choose to give myself fully to the work of the Lord because I know that my labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)."

What happens when the Spirit enlightens our hearts to resurrection faith? Fire! Blazing fire! Burning hearts full of faith in God's power. John Calvin wrote in his commentary on Luke 24, "The Word of the Lord is always fire!"

CONCLUSION

One thing we all know about fire is this: it spreads. Hearts on fire are contagious. There is something so compelling about a man or woman with a heart full of conviction and courage and confidence because he or she is filled with resurrection wisdom and faith.

So, with Easter just one week away, let's think of ways to share our burning hearts with family and friends. Let's believe in God's power to do the seemingly impossible. Let's invite people to our Easter service. Offer to meet your friend at the door. Invite them for lunch after.

They will experience inspiring music. The teaching will draw them to the risen, reigning Jesus. They'll be in a room filled with burning hearts. They'll sense the presence of the living Lord and they may even turn to the Savior in faith.

APPENDIX

For a survey of the Old Testament passages Jesus might have shown his disciples, go to here and here.


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