This is a wonderful sermon preached by Pastor Richmond Leigh (my husband):
This Sunday service, Pastor Richmond Leigh preached a sermon called ‘The Burning hearts’. The scripture was taken from the Book of Luke. “And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32). Pastor Richmond Leigh said that this is a post resurrection story. Two sad disciples of Jesus were walking from Jerusalem to a village called Emmaus. One was called Cleopas. The other one was un-named. He stands for all disciples to the end of time, including me and you. They were sad because their Lord died on the Cross. As they were walking and talking, the resurrected Christ came alongside them. But they did not recognize Him. This ‘Stranger’ joined in their discussion. He was the same Jesus they knew in the past. But He was different. The resurrected Christ is different than Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus started preaching to them the Word of God. Then their hearts started burning with fire.
Looking at them, we see that the Cross has changed them. They retained some feelings and they lost some. The disciples were sad because Jesus died. But even in their sadness they kept their love for Him. They also kept their faith in Him. Previously, Jesus prayed that, even during trials, they will not lose their faith (Lk 22: 32). God answered that prayer. In this journey of sadness, disappointment and spiritual darkness, they still remained the disciples of Jesus. They continue to love Him. They did not speak unkind words about Him. But you can see that they lost their joy and hope. They lost their confidence that Jesus will fulfill His promises concerning their future. They still believed that Jesus was ‘a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people’. But hope was gone! They thought of Him as a good Man who tried His best but failed. They thought that Jesus failed to achieve His grand plans for the future. That is why they were sad. They lost their hope and their zeal for the Kingdom of God. The fire was burning low in their hearts.
These disciples were going down from Jerusalem to Emmaus. When you see people leaving the city to go and ‘settle’ in the village, it is a sign that they lost their fire, passion, zeal, their vision and desire to fight for victory. It is an interesting observation that Emmaus is still a village and Jerusalem is still a big city, even today. This is the situation with many Christians and churches. They used to pray for revival but not anymore. They have lowered their Christianity to a place of low fire and low passion. Many Pastors preach for and about money. They invite comedians and false prophets to tell them what their itching ears want to hear. They have grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit. Many Christians are sad and some have backslid. Many go to church looking for miracles or money. They do not go to church to seek God’s face or to worship Him. They have become bitter about Christianity. They have forsaken their ‘first Love’.
How does Christ deal with these sad disciples? By joining in their conversation! Child of God, Jesus will always join into your conversation! The Lord is never far from you! The Lord will always appear! He has never left you! The Lord speaks the Word of God to them until their foolishness and doubts are gone and their hearts fall in love with Him again. Immediately the fire starts to burn in their hearts, they turn around and go from the village back to Jerusalem! That is the sign of revival! The fire in a Christian’s heart can never go out completely. Even during seasons of backsliding, there is always a little flame under the ashes of disappointment and complains. What made the fire in their hearts burn brightly again? The voice of the Shepherd speaking the Word of God to them! Observe that Jesus did not tell them something new, a new prophecy about Himself or a new revelation. No! He spoke to them the Word they knew already! The Word of God! What is the source of revival? The preaching and the hearing of the Word of God combined with prayer done in the power of the Holy Spirit!
May your hope of glory be restored! May the joy of the Lord become strength to you! May your hearts be revived again! May your hearts burn again with love, passion and zeal for Jesus! Again! ‘Oh, Lord… set our hearts on fire again! For You!’ Worship the Lord!