Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Oh foolish heart…

A fool is he who through this life,

pursues the clouds he cannot own.

And leaves a wealth of things undone,

his tomb a final stepping stone.

What are we pursuing? Who are we following after?

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

(When I was a child, my Grandmother made it very clear…..both in word, and in her life….that God was real,….and that He personally knew me.

Yes, I went to Sunday School,…..I had aunts that were missionaries….who traveled through jungles, and taught the children there. It was exciting to hear their “adventures” with God….

….but no one taught we so well as Grandma. She prayed….and worked for others (including me)….loved her family….but it was always clear, God was first for her.

Though I have met many Christians in my life, it is true….I never felt the same reality of God in everyday circumstances, till I met my husband. He has the same personal presence of God with him, as my Grandmother did.

God is real, He is here, and by instruction, correction, and care….God will see His Will done.)

“But fools despise wisdom and instruction”

We mostly think of foolishness in the lost…..and they certainly are.

So foolish as to ignore or reject Christ, as Lord and Savior….”The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…”(Psalm 14:1),…..when He is the only Way of Salvation from sin and the Lake of Fire.

(I believe we are not to call men fools…Matthew 5:22 esp. in anger…..but we can call their actions foolish.)

Foolishness is acting without regard to God,….and His Will.

(We can be foolish when we follow some man and not God’s Word, we can be foolish when we think we can get along with out the Holy Spirit’s guidance….for these things and others, are actions are without regard to God, and His Will.)

Proverbs 1:5 “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

Are we hearing and learning….and attaining in Christ?

After Christ’s resurrection, Jesus appeared to many of His disciples (as Paul would say later in 1 Corinthians 15:6….up to 500 brethren saw Him)….

…but at first many refused to believe what the scriptures had said….(death, yes, but also resurrection and glory Psalm 22:22-31)….. and what He had told them (Luke 24:6-7)…..

Two of such disciples were going from Jerusalem to Emmaus, when Jesus (though they did not recognize Him at the first) walked with them and talked to them.

Luke 24:25-26 “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?”

Remember foolish behavior regards not God….

…..and here on the road to Emmaus….these two disciples, who had heard of Christ’s resurrection….from witnesses who went to the empty tomb….were foolish…

….because they were “slow of heart to believe”.

They were leaving Jerusalem….without waiting to see if what they had heard about Jesus resurrection was true! They would miss out on the Lord’s appearing to them, and the Holy Spirit’s coming!

But the Lord did not just “let them go”….but as a good Shepherd, He went after them…and instructed them.

(How often our attitude is: No use waiting for the Lord any longer….what I expected did not happen.

We may not leave the place of duty…but become defeated in our minds. Proverbs 8:33 “Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.”)

They obviously knew the Scriptures…..but had been hesitant to believe…for it was not what they had expected to happen.

Luke 24:21 “But we trusted that it had been He which should have redeemed Israel:…”

Though the Lord withheld their eyes from seeing Him at first….

….yet these two disciples became wise, as they listened to the Lord,…first on the road in discussion of Scripture….then when He gave thanks for the bread that resurrection evening….

Luke 24:30-32 “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.

And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?”

Then they hurried back to Jerusalem and met with the other disciples and saw Jesus again…

Luke 24:36 “And as they thus spake, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”

How often our hearts are foolish……slow to believe the Lord, and what He has said to us.

But we can become wise….hearing the Lord’s instruction…believing in our hearts…

Luke 24:45-49 “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

(Praise God, He does this for us as well!)

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.

And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

Here was proof…..here was the gospel message…here was promise for their future….

….yet they would have foolishly missed all of these blessings….by being slow to believe.

We, too, can let the circumstances of the times discourage us….

…we, too, can walk away from what God is working…..because we are “slow of heart to believe”.

Or we can wait on the Lord to show us what is next….for He will lead us on, and give us grace, by the Holy Spirit, to take that next step.

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