TRUST HIS HEART!

WEEK SEVEN, DAY TWO, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION

WEEK SEVEN THEME: HOSPITALITY

DAY TWO THEME: EXTENDING INVITATIONS

SCRIPTURE: Luke 24:13-36 (CEB)

“On that same day, two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking to each other about everything that had happened.  While they were discussing these things, Jesus himself arrived and joined them on their journey.  They were prevented from recognizing him.  He said to them ‘What are you talking about as you walk along?’ 

They stopped, their faces downcast.  The one named Cleopas replied, ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?’  He said to them, ‘What things?’  They said to him, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth.  Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet.  But our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him.  We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel.  All these things happened three days ago. 

But there’s more:  Some women from our group have left us stunned.  They went to the tomb early this morning and didn’t find his body.  They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive.  Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said.  They didn’t see him.’ 

Then Jesus said to them, ‘You foolish people! Your dull minds keep you from believing all that the prophets talked about.  Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’  Then he interpreted for them the things written about himself in all the scriptures, starting with Moses and going through all the Prophets.  When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead.  But they urged him, saying, ‘Stay with us.  It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.’  So, he went in to stay with them. 

After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.  They said to each other, ‘Weren’t our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road and when he explained the scriptures for us?’ 

They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem.  They found the eleven and their companions gathered together.  They were saying to each other, ‘The Lord really has risen!  He appeared to Simon!’ Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread. 

While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!'”  

THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!

SOAKING IT IN: I was brought up from my birth in a Christian home, baptized as a baby, practicing all the seasons of the Christian year, hearing all the Bible stories and believing in God and Christ and the Holy Spirit and eternity. 

But it never fails that when faced with some type of crisis, I have to remind myself and think through what I really do believe.  When my Daddy began his eternity in November of 2019, I had a new season of wrestling with my faith and what I believed about my Daddy’s current situation in eternity with his Heavenly Father and all those who had gone before him.  I could say it, but my heart clung to his physical self and didn’t want God to have him though he had gotten to the point where breathing was no longer automatic and his body at the age of 87 simply let go.  Though I feel there are times of spiritual maturity, in times like these I find I still have skin on and feet of clay. 

These disciples on the road to Emmaus are going through their own grief and “non-understanding” of who Jesus really was and what Jesus really did during his Earthly walk.  Once Jesus joins their journey, he listens for quite a while to their bemoaning the emptiness and grief that Jesus’ crucifixion seems to have left with them.  They even include the story of the women’s visit to Jesus’ tomb to find Him missing and what the angels had told them.  For them it was too much to try to believe.  It was easier and much more practical to feel that all was now lost rather than to try to remember what they had believed when Jesus was physically among them.  We just do better when things don’t change and challenge us!

Jesus listens as long as he can, but then he has to speak and he does so a bit angrily and with sarcasm….“You foolish people!  Your dull minds keep you from believing all that the prophets talked about…”  Jesus then proceeds to tell the whole story of faith from Moses to the Prophets….all preparing the way for Jesus’ mission.  Apparently the disciples took it all in, they didn’t dispute anything that Jesus said to them, but they were unchanged, still grieving and trying to understand….UNTIL that evening with the breaking of the bread!  Jesus was revealed to them in a split second in the breaking of the bread!  Instantly, they breathe in the Spirit of God are renewed and their faith is filled. Communion brought them back to that special relationship that now could take on the possibility of resurrection and life after death.  Though they had traveled all day, they instantly went back and told the others of their experience and heard of other Jesus visits.  And then, while they were all there, suddenly Jesus was too!  There would be no stopping them now! 

Our lives definitely take all kinds of twists and turns and bring us to all kinds of brick walls that we think are impossible to get beyond.  But with Jesus, as we take Him in and listen within to His voice and leading through the Holy Spirit, obstacles are diffused and opportunity is abounding.  These disciples were basically new “Christians” – at the most traveling with Jesus for three years …. it is understandable that it would be a lot to take in.  But even when you’ve traveled the path with Jesus for years and years, we all still have Emmaus moments when we need a time to remember and focus on what we do believe and experience Jesus anew in our midst – a moment of “commuinion” with Him. 

Thanks be to God who never leaves us nor forsakes us and even if He is frustrated with our questions – which I doubt He is because He’s gotten used to it – He keeps close to us – travels with us, until we have THAT MOMENT of clarity and return to our faith, letting go and trusting our Heavenly Father!

I miss my Daddy every day, and my Mom joined him less that a year later. We had lost my sister who had Downes in 2017 – it has all been a difficult pill to swallow each time for many of the same reasons – but looking back, we see more clearly God’s hand and know that we can always trust His heart!

This song got me through a tough time that had nothing to do with the death of my parents or sister, or others I love and adore – but it taught me to hang in there when I don’t understand the things of life – I hope it is helpful today:

TRUST HIS HEART

All things work for our good though sometimes we don’t see how they could. Struggles that break our hearts in two sometimes blind us to the truth. Our Father knows what’s best for us – His ways are not our own. So when your pathway grows dim and you just don’t see Him, remember you’re never alone.

God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, Trust His Heart!

He sees the master plan and he holds our future in His hand, so don’t live as those who have no hope, all our hope is found in Him. We see the present clearly but He sees the first and the last – and like a tapestry He’s weaving you and me, to someday be just like HIm.

God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, Trust His Heart!

He alone is faithful and true, He alone knows what is best for you…

God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, Trust His Heart!

GOD IS GOOD – ALL THE TIME!

ALL THE TIME – GOD IS GOOD!

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