Burning Heart

Journal Entry // April 7, 2022

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?”

Luke 24:32 ESV

In this chapter, the risen Christ comes and spends time with his followers and disciples. The writer gives an honest heartfelt assessment of their inability to comprehend that Jesus died and was now alive, just as he said it would happen. These very ones who had heard the message of the resurrection did not understand this message, even when it was standing in front of them talking! The portion that stood out to me in this section was that Jesus had to open their minds to understand the Scriptures. Both here in this verse and later on with the eleven, Jesus explained the writings of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms to those he encountered. Although they did not recognize or truly believe it was him standing among them, he used the Word of God to reveal himself to them.

I really like the assessment that that these hearers give when Jesus departs from them. It’s this understanding that their hearts were burning within as Jesus walked with them and explained the Scriptures. I have this same feeling overcome me when Jesus brings understanding through his Spirit that dwells within me. Every time I sit down to read and meditate and reflect on God’s Holy Word, the Spirit of Christ fills my heart with understanding as we walk along this road. My heart burns within me as the Word comes alive in my heart and warms me. It warms me by not just bringing understanding to my mind, but by changing my heart. This opening of the Scriptures is not merely a philosophical or academic endeavor, but includes a deep conviction of sin and an expansive vision of the goodness of God.

When I come to my Bible reading time, I must come with the intention of walking the road to Emmaus. Meaning that I cannot treat my time in God’s Word as just an academic exercise where I am just reading through a book to gain knowledge. The Bible is so deep and comprehensive, that I could come to my reading each day with only the intention of learning about the Bible itself and never reach the end of study. This is all well and good and I should be learning the truths of the Bible, but if this is my only objective then I am missing a key element.

I will miss this burning of my heart as the Spirit opens the Scriptures to reveal the heart of God to me. When Jesus opened the Scriptures and their minds as he talked to them, it was for them to engage with him and be changed. It was to deepen the relationship with himself. This burning of the heart stirred up the passions within the listeners to rouse them from their unbelief and engage them in true repentant steadfast faith. This is the Word of God. It is not just an academic book filled with knowledge, but a story and a narrative about the Creator and Father who loves me. Who loves me and wants to be in relationship with me.

So each morning as I come to this time of reading and reflection, I want to engage with the Spirit that dwells in my heart and I want to interact with Christ. I do this by letting the Word of God intertwine with my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I bring all of me to this reading. I bring my emotions, my hurts, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my anxieties, my burdens, my joys, my successes, my failures, my loves. I bring it all into the reading and let the Spirit stir up within me all of these things and let the Word of God speak into each. I want to engage with Christ as I read his word. I want it to affect me each and every time. I want my heart to burn with a passion to walk this road of Emmaus side by side with Jesus as he opens the Scriptures to me.

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