Week of March 19-23, 2018



And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Luke 24:13-15   


What causes Jesus to draw near to us? Relationship? Yes. Seeking? Yes, again. Need? Of course. We all need Him all the time. He is our Creator, after all. What caused Jesus to draw near to these two? It certainly was not the level of faith on their conversation, for they were complaining that their Savior was dead. Just dead. Not risen as He said, but just dead. There was no resurrection faith in their conversation. No worship, nothing to cause Him to draw near to them, but He drew near, anyway. Perhaps it was because they desperately needed a revelation of Him in His resurrected form. We all need that for salvation or the born-again experience to take place. We need to see Him in the power of His resurrection. When you see Him as He is now, there is a good possibility that you will be saved. No longer see Him on the cross, or suffering, but see Him as having overcome the cross, and death, and hell, and the grave. This is why He drew near. He did it to reveal Himself in His true form to those who had their hope in Him. Faith will follow if you have a revelation of Him, but hope draws Him near. There must have been an element of hope in their hearts that their Savior was risen from the dead.          



            If you are in need of healing, there is good news!

                                 Proverbs 4:20-22 says:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.


So there is life and health in God's word. Since God's word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children's bread. Consider this your "dose" for today.
Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:

Malachi 4:2-3 ~  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.    

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15

If you've never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters today:

**March 19 --- Exodus 30, John 9, Proverbs 6, Galatians 5
**March 20 --- Exodus 31, John 10, Proverbs 7, Galatians 6
**March 21 --- Exodus 32, John 11, Proverbs 8, Ephesians 1
**March 22 --- Exodus 33, John 12, Proverbs 9, Ephesians 2
**March 23 --- Exodus 34, John 13, Proverbs 10, Ephesians 3
**March 24 --- Exodus 35, John 14, Proverbs 11, Ephesians 4
**March 25 --- Exodus 36, John 15, Proverbs 12, Ephesians 5


But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said:

but him they saw not.
Luke 24:16-24  


Jesus asks what the matter is, and boy do they tell all. It's good to pour your heart out to God. Sometimes we try to be so careful to speak the word and keep our confession full of faith, but God understands our confusion, distress, and disappointment when we come into times where we don't have answers or experience with Him. Sometimes you know that God will provide $200, but do you believe He can supply $2000? At times like this, you need a new revelation of Him. So you begin by rehearsing what you know, what you have heard, what your bible says.

This is exactly what these two did. They began to tell Jesus all that was said about Him, and to recall the events of the past three days. They obviously are trying to make sense out of the events of the past three days. Somehow, they are unable to believe that the Lord has risen. Hasn't He told the truth about everything else that He ever said? Why is the news of His resurrection so hard to believe? It is because nobody that they have talked to has actually seen the Lord. They want to see first, and then believe. Jesus demands that we believe first in our hearts, and then we will see. If you believe God long enough for something you will see it, possess it, live in it, marry it, give birth to it. Whatever purpose for which the blessing comes, if you believe first, you shall have it.


Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
Luke 24:25-29   


So you have doubt. You must hasten to the Master when doubt arises. Why do we always try to hide our flaws from God? Jesus comes to these men in another form for the purpose of getting them to be honest with Him. He disarms them with His lowly presence. Perhaps He has done this to you. Has He ever disarmed you and revealed Himself to you through the most unlikely person? Maybe one of your children has reminded you to hold on to the promises when you've expressed doubt or unbelief. Perhaps an unsaved boss has spoken comfort or reassurance to you when you've felt low or inadequate. Perhaps an underling has encouraged you to keep on the right road, as Naaman's servants encouraged Him. These are all examples of Jesus appearing to us in another, unlikely form. These two never expected this stranger to be the Lord. Sometimes we never expect much when we judge people by appearances. We may consider the person who is newly born again to not be very knowledgeable, or the person who struggles financially to not have much to contribute. A homeless person may not strike us as having much to contribute, but Jesus can and does come to us in the form of the unlovely.

So Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief. Unbelief must be rebuked. It is the enemy of faith and receiving from God. So what does He do next? He lovingly explains to them what they need to know in order to believe. Jesus always increases your faith; He will never diminish it. So Jesus goes farther on the road with them. He goes far enough to give them what they need in order to believe and please the Father. The question is, will you believe, so that He will go farther with you, or will you continue in doubt and unbelief?


And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luke 24:30-31


Don't let Him leave before you get all your doubts removed and your questions answered. These two constrained Him to go further. Faith always opens the door to more of God. By accepting rebuke and believing what Jesus had told them, these two were able to keep Him around long enough to get the rest of the revelation. When Jesus told them all that Moses and the prophets had said about Him, He was preaching the gospel in capsule form. You will see this pattern repeated by His apostles and believers in the book of Acts. This is how Christ reveals Himself to mankind in this present age. The disciples, until that time, had been accustomed to Jesus preaching the Kingdom and demonstrating the power of the Kingdom in mighty deeds. Now He is revealing Himself to people in their hearts. It is from this knowledge of Jesus in our hearts that we declare who He is and He works with us confirming His word with signs following. The resurrected Jesus is the head of the New Testament church. This is why His identity was hidden from them initially. They were expecting the old form, not the resurrected form.

While He broke bread with them, their eyes were opened. Did He not instruct them to do this in remembrance of me? Eating the bread and drinking the cup was a sign of the covenant and the remembrance of all that He was to them suddenly came flooding back to these two. Jesus would go on to reveal Himself to His disciples again in the breaking of bread. These "points of contact" allow us to be put in remembrance of Him. They draw our attention to the fact that we serve an ever-present God; One who sticks closer than a brother and who helps our unbelief.   


And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Luke 24:32-35


The new day dawns. They have made contact with the Daystar from on High. He has visited them. They recall how their hearts burned within them while he walked with them. Ever reflect on your life and see where God "had His hand on your life" long before you gave your heart to Him? He touches us many times before He reveals Himself as our Savior and Lord. Long before He offers us the gift of eternal life, He has approached us on the road of life and answered our questions about Him. Many times, however, we have refused to believe. We were not always as fortunate as these two. Many times we prefer to hold onto our "own ideas." We are content with our lives as they are. But what happens when disaster hits? What happens when sudden illness strikes? I'll tell you what happens: Jesus appears. He always appears to us. He finds us wherever we are, and He patiently constrains us until we hear. Yes these two should have known when their hearts began to burn, just as it had during the many sermons that they had heard Him preach, for His sheep know His voice. Why did they deny that knowledge? Perhaps because it was too good to be true. Could He really have risen from the dead as He said? Sometimes we know God is speaking to us, but unbelief keeps us locked out of His revelation. What He is proposing is too good to be true. But it is God nonetheless. It is the undeniable risen Lord.

So now the unbelieving believers are convinced. They have a personal revelation of Christ. They now join the few who have seen Him alive. They go back and testify to the rest that they have seen Him. And so the church begins. God only needs one to start the Kingdom. He began with the first Adam, then Noah, then Abram, then Isaac, then Jacob, then Joseph, then David... until the Last Adam who birthed the church. We serve a wonderful Lord. Constrain Him to give you further revelation of Him. He will meet you on the road of life.             


"Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee." 
Psalm 143:8

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April 28, 2018
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