Hearts Ablaze

“So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24:32

Greetings fellow sojourners!

What an emotional roller coaster ride it had been for the disciples of Jesus!   In the span of three days, they lost their teacher, dearest companion, and hope.  Their chief priest betrayed them, and Jesus was crucified.  To confuse things further it was reported that His body was missing and some angels told the women that He was actually alive!

We are not told why two disciples left the group on the morning of the Resurrection and set off to Emmaus.  As they were walking along the road, Jesus appeared to them. They were prevented from recognizing Him even as He walked along the path with them and spoke to them.  Jesus said to the two disciples, “How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken!  Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?”  Jesus then proceeded, by beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, to interpret for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.  (Luke 24:25-27)

It would seem to me that if someone had been a disciple of Jesus, as soon as He spoke the words about how slow they were to believe in their hearts all that the prophets had spoken and that the Messiah had to suffer these things to enter into His glory that their heads would have turned and their eyes popped because of the familiarity of the testimony.   After all, hadn’t they been under His teaching for some significant amount of time?  But that did not happen.  The unbelief in the disciple’s heart did not allow them to see the one thing that was the answer to all their questions.

If the disciples, who had known Jesus intimately, were unable to recognize His familiar pattern of speech or even His presence because they were undergoing one of their worst trials imaginable, could it be that when we suffer difficult trials, we also are at risk for unbelief?   Jesus could easily have laid out the entire resurrection story beforehand to the disciples so they could escape their feelings of fear and unbelief, but He didn’t.

It is probably safe to surmise that the disciple’s unawareness of the resurrection events was meant to prove their faith.  Can it then be right to conclude that as we face our trials, which seem to flow out of our favor, that our faith might be just the thing that needs the strengthening, or proving?  The disciples spent three years in-depth with The Word (John 1:14). How much focused time do you spend with the Word?  If we do not devote our energies with the Word so that it builds our faith (Romans 10:17), why would we think our confidence in trials would be more resolute than the discouraged disciples walking on the road with the ‘stranger?’

Unbelief is a thief disguised as a human strength and robs you of your belief.

When the Lord revived their eyes, they were able to see His presence clearly (v31).  They confirmed their faith to each other by saying, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”  Filled with faith, “at that very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem” (v33) and to fellowship with the rest of the disciples.

Fellow sojourners, let’s ask the Lord to set our heart ablaze as we read His Word.  When the fiercest of trials come our way let’s not rely strictly on the witness of our senses but on the testimony of the Word.

In His grace,

Amanda

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The Wisdom Psalm

The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one’s life;

The testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.

The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad,

The command of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever,

The ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous.

They are more desirable than gold ~ than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey, which comes from the honeycomb.  In addition, Your servant is warned by them; there is great reward in keeping them.  Psalm 19:7-11

Greetings fellow sojourners!  A psalm is a sacred song or hymn used in worship so let’s worship the LORD in spirit and in truth as we look at what the LORD’s word does for our entire being.

C.S. Lewis wrote about this psalm, “I take this to be the greatest poem in the Psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.” (Reflections on the Psalms, pg. 63).  Let’s gaze at the beauty of the truths found in Psalm 19 as we see God’s disclosure of Himself and His purposes to mankind.

The revelation of God in these verses (v7-11) is given by the covenant God, whose name is LORD. The synonyms for God’s revelation as observed in the words, “instruction”, “testimony”, “precepts”, “commands”, “fear”, and “ordinances”  all indicate that God’s words bring enormous benefits to us in all-encompassing ways as it ‘renews our life’.  Lord, I desire to be in line with Your instruction.  Bring renewal to my life!

There are four benefits we receive when we embrace God’s revelation.  First, the renewal of life.  Renewal brings healing to the whole body by assuring forgiveness, receiving cleansing, and by giving life to the godly.  If you take a look at Psalm 80 you will discover the Psalmist says three times (v3, 7, 19) that when God unleashes his promises by his gracious redemptive acts, renewal comes. Second, God’s word is the source of wisdom to all who welcome it in every area of their life.  Third, the heart is glad (possesses joy).  We experience inner peace and tranquility when God is loved with our whole heart.  Fourth, the word of God makes our eyes light up.  Just like God has given the sun for light in creation (v4b-6) He has given His word for light in redemption.  Lord, I love that Your commands are so radiant they make my eyes light up!

Of all the striving man does to obtain “gold” in this life, this psalm is directing us towards God, the far better thing.  When we are committed to doing God’s will, we will call ourself the lofty title of His servant.

Prayer

Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. Moreover, keep Your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule over me. Then I will be innocent and cleansed from blatant rebellion. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, Lord, my rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:12-14)  Amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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A Continual Psalm Of Praise

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth.  Serve the Lord with gladness; come before his presence with singing.  Know that the Lord is God; it is he that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endures through all generations.
 Psalm 100

Greetings fellow sojourners!

If you have the desire to memorize Scripture, please consider adding this one to your list!  I consider this psalm of praise one that should continually pound in our heart when we approach the Lord in prayer as well as reverberate as truth, powerfully edifying our mind throughout the entire day.

Let’s take a look.  Do the utterances which flow from your mouth indicate your joy in the Lord?  Approach the Lord with joy and forget about grumbling.  Enter His presence with a song in your heart!  Approach him KNOWING he is God.

When you work do you work as one who works for the Lord?  Consider approaching your commitments and duties as things you get to do as opposed to things you are obligated to do.

We understand He created us but do we comprehend that He is the one who has made us what we are today?   Let’s stop short when we desire to claim responsibility for our accomplishments knowing full well we would not have even had the opportunities if He had not ordained them. Praise God.

We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  The Lord is the Shepherd and owns the pasture where His sheep were meant to graze/feed.  It is not intended that we graze/feed in any other pasture of this world.  We are HIS and are meant to feed off HIS pasture!  If you are noshing from the world’s pasture expect to produce worldly fruit.  Spiritual fruit grows from trees nourished only from the Shepherd’s pasture.

Thank you, Lord, that I am yours!  Thank you that I can come into your presence with a grateful heart and approach your throne of grace with praise!  You are good and your mercy is everlasting. Your truth endures through all generations.  Amen!

In His grace,

Amanda

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What Thou Lovest, That Thou Dost Become

Jesus answered, “The light will be with you only a little longer. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going.”  John 12:35

Greetings fellow sojourners!

This verse advises us that the one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he is going.   Walking in darkness can lead you to feel as if you have no purpose and will cause you to walk around not knowing where you are going because you feel lost.  However, if you walk in the light you have a purpose because you are doing the will of the Father and the illumination indicates you are not lost.

There is an interesting account of two disciples who left Jerusalem and began walking on the road to Emmaus after women had reported to them what they had seen and heard at Jesus’ tomb.  The “words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women.” (Luke 24:11)  The two disciples walked away from Jerusalem feeling discouraged as they discussed and argued about all that had taken place.  Jesus Himself appeared to them while they were walking and began talking with them but they were prevented from recognizing Him.  It was only after Jesus broke bread with them that their eyes were opened and they were able to recognize Him.

Immediately upon their revelation, “they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the  Eleven and those with them gathered together who said, “The Lord has certainly been raised, and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:33-34)

It was when the disciple’s faith had returned to them that they then turned from where they had previously been walking and in full faith returned to Jerusalem and back to the eleven disciples to fellowship together with them in truth.  Anytime our faith is strengthened we should also strengthen the faith of those around us by the truth that we know.

Be exhorted to believe in the Light because it is in the believing that we actually see.  Unless you and I put our confidence in Christ and know Him by reading His Word as He IS the Word (John 1:14), we will have no adequate knowledge of Him and therefore no clear vision of Him in order that we might walk in the Light.  Please, exhort yourself daily to read your Bible.

When the Light is rejected, expect the densest darkness to be close behind.   The one who has the light but does not trust in it will put around himself a thick cloud of obscurity and gloom which seems impenetrable.   But even in the obscurity and gloom, we must have some kind of light!  2 Corinthians 11:14 tell us that the enemy masquerades as light.   If we have rejected the true light then we will grab hold of any light to provide our answers ~ even if it is demonic!  Since Satan poses as an angel of light – the things presented to us will appeal to us and appear as if it is good and makes sense.  Satan is the father of lies.  There is NO truth in him, only a masquerade.

Prayer:  I trust you Jesus and I open my heart to You knowing you will come in and illuminate my path.  I repent (change my mind) of trusting in worldly devices and schemes.  I know sin is an enemy and removes me from fellowship with You and other believers.  I choose you, Lord.  Help me to change as it is what I truly desire.  In the name, power, and authority of Jesus Christ, amen.

In His grace,

Amanda

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