Does Your Bible Reading Kindle a Fire in Your Heart?
What would it be like if Jesus led your personal Bible reading/study time?
In a word—awesome!
When it happened to a couple of bummed out disciples walking along a dusty road to Emmaus, they said “. . .our hearts burned within us while he talked to us on the road, while He opened the to us the Scriptures.”
That’s the experience we all want.
We want a burning heart that’s fully alive, fully engaged because of an encounter with Jesus.
Instead we feel a little disappointed or ashamed that sometimes the Scriptures seem closed to us when we read them ourselves.
It happens to us all.
For some people it’s just too discouraging. It’s enough to make them give up on the whole process entirely.
God says we are to search for Him, to seek Him out.
The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
But the Bible is a long book, a big book with lots of characters with confusing names. It’s full of old stories that take place in ancient cities and countries. A lot of it seems so far removed from our lives, our experiences. We get lost in the tall grass 😉
Secretly we ask, “Is any of this even relevant to my life?”
“How can I wade through all of it to find the parts that apply to me, to my life, my family, my journey?”
What does God want from me? For me? Through me?
What is He trying to tell me?
Jesus said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” Luke 4:4
Everything God says is pure; He’s a shield for those who take refuge in Him. Proverbs 30:5
It’s all good!!!
All of it.
But I don’t think it was random that Jesus focused on the truth about Himself when He met those two guys on that road to Emmaus.
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Jesus is without doubt the center of God’s message to us.
In Jesus we see the fulness of God. We see the incarnation of God’s love, His mercy, and His grace in Jesus the man.
Every story that is told reveals something about God’s own nature, His working in the world, His heart toward us, His plans, and His eternal purposes, and our part in those plans and purposes.
What’s the meaning of the burning heart response?
It says Jesus began with Moses, those first five books of our Bible, and expounded, or unfolded the meaning by explanation and interpretation.
Then He moved on to the prophets and did the same.
Jesus opened their eyes to see Him in the Scriptures.
That’s what caused their hearts to burn.
Our hearts are looking for Jesus!
I found an old post-it-note with this phrase on it: There’s a message in every miracle.
I’ve been thinking about that as I read the gospels.
I’m not sure what messages I was looking for, but I thought they might be about the others in the stories, like the little boy who offered his 5 loaves and two fish to Jesus, or a lesson in faith for Martha and Mary grieving their dead brother Lazarus.
But, it was right there all along: the message is about Jesus.
It’s always about Him.
What He can do if we just offer Him what we have.
How the trials in our lives bring Him glory.
Our tendency is to start with ourselves.
We read our Bibles for ourselves.
We want to figure out how to end our trials, conquer our weaknesses, relieve our stresses.
We want happy marriages, successful children, and fruitful spiritual lives.
Nothing wrong with those things.
God wants those too, but Jesus began by expounding, unfolding truth about Himself, to His followers.
If we start with Jesus the rest will follow.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18
Our hearts burn when we see Jesus.
Start looking for Him when you read your Bible.
Can I share with you my prayer, the one I pray before I read from my Bible?
Holy Spirit show me Jesus, lead me into the truth—His truth, as I read today. Kindle a fire in my heart with the knowledge of Jesus and with a clear vision of Him. Then change me, transform me into that same image for His glory.