A Case of Heartburn
"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?’ " (Luke 24:32)
One of Martin’s favorite Bible stories is from that first Easter Sunday evening, when the two disciples accompanied the risen Jesus to Emmaus, not knowing Who it was until He broke bread with them. They had spent the day listening to Him as He opened up Old Testament passages about the Messiah; but it was only when their eyes were opened to see who this Stranger really was that they suddenly realized why they had felt so different when He had been speaking. "Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scripture for us?" (Luke 24:32, The Message).
God doesn’t want this to stay a "nice story," however; He wants it to be the experience of each of us. So here’s a little question: When did your heart last burn as the Scriptures were opened up, either in a sermon or in something you saw in our own Bible reading? Like the psalmist, can we say, "As I meditated, the fire burned"? (Psalm 39:3). The 17th-century Puritan minister, Thomas Watson, wrote: "Meditate for as long as it takes for you to find your heart warm. Don’t leave off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed. Let the Bible not only inform you, but let it also inflame you … Christian, if your heart is cold, stand at the fire of meditation until you find your affections warmed, and you are made fit for spiritual service… I will never come away from your presence without you."
So, how are the fires of our own devotional life? Roaring and aglow with the Spirit? Steady but unexciting? Barely lit? Wherever we are at, our heavenly Father invites us to delight ourselves in Him again as we reflect on Him and on what He has promised and done. For as we do so, our hearts will burn and our confidence will grow.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont