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Open Eyes, Open Hearts

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2021 5:00 am

Open Eyes, Open Hearts

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 7, 2021 5:00 am

As we continue our “In Step” series through the Gospel of Luke, guest pastor Clayton King walks us down the Emmaus road of Luke 24, showing us a picture of God’s grace that pursues us, often in unseen ways. God’s grace opens our eyes to see the resurrected Jesus and opens our hearts to the astounding love of God.

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Summit family, you know, one thing I will never grow tired of and I never, ever want us to become numb to is seeing God's miraculous power to save at work in and through our community here.

Listen to this. Just last weekend, we know of at least 20 people who made professions of faith and committed their lives to Jesus Christ. At least 20 people who repented of their sins and were saved.

Could we just celebrate that for a moment? That God has given us a clear vision of who we are as a church and who we are as disciple-making disciples. Our mission, our mission is following the Holy Spirit. We exist to create a movement of disciple-making disciples in the triangle and around the world. Every disciple of Jesus is a worshipper, a member of God's family, a servant to others, a steward of God's resources, and a witness to the world.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are the five identities simultaneously. This is important, essential in our pursuit of the Christian life. In light of this clear vision and direction, I am greatly expectant of what God wants to do in and through us as disciple-making disciples this year.

Now, very specifically, here's what you need to know. This February, I am asking everyone, I am calling everyone who calls the Summit Church home to make a commitment to being a disciple-making disciple. We're calling this My Discipleship Commitment. We believe this is a unique time for each of us to make a personal commitment to growing as a disciple-making disciple.

We've always been committed to this, and I know many of you have been living this out for years. So whether you're brand new to it or whether this is just a renewal, let's commit together to being disciple-making disciples. And so, towards the end of this month, February, I'm going to be calling our entire church during a weekend service to join me in making this commitment, this renewal.

However, before you commit, I want to encourage you to take some time to prayerfully consider what this commitment means. We're going to be talking about it in our weekend services in the weeks to come and our small groups. But I want to give the Holy Spirit a chance to make this real to you today. So I want you to join me over the next week or so in asking the Holy Spirit to show us how He wants to use us as a disciple-making disciple. Now, while my discipleship commitment is going to be for everyone, there is something coming up that is special for only the ladies of the Summit Church, and that is our Summit Women's Conference on March 5th and 6th. For the women at all of our Summit Campuses of whatever age to grow together as worshippers of God and family members with one another. There are both in-person and online options as we hear our teacher and speaker, Jada Edwards, teach through the realities of our new life in Christ and the joys, the joys of abundant life that come through a body in Him.

You can get more info and you can register today at Now, this weekend, we are honored to welcome back one of our favorite all-time preachers here at the Summit Church, who we actually haven't seen in quite a few years. He is truly one of my best friends of going on over two decades.

You know, real friends show their faithfulness over time. And Clayton King has certainly done that for me. Clayton has been with me through thick and thin. In fact, when I first started preaching, I wanted to be him. He's one of the most unique individuals on the planet. He is super funny. He is wicked smart.

He is incredibly godly and really country. I always say, if Jeff Foxworthy, Billy Graham, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson somehow had a kid together, it would be Clayton King. Now, when you see him, you might mistake him for another one of our favorite preachers, and that is Joby Martin.

Here, let me show you. So as you can see, they're both bald. And when you hear them, you realize they are both extremely country. And let's face it, either of them could easily be mistaken in an airport for pro wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, or maybe a bald Garth Brooks.

Well, listen, there actually might be good reason for their similarities. Clayton was adopted as a baby, and over the past couple of years, he has begun finding members of his biological family. Through the course of discovering sisters, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, Clayton discovered that he had a cousin who was a preacher named, you guessed it, Joby Martin. Like the Bible says, the force must be extremely strong with his family, or maybe that's not in the Bible, but enough about Joby. Clayton is the president and founder of Clayton King Ministries, a parachurch organization that serves churches and the next generation all over the country, while also serving as one of the teaching pastors at New Spring Church in South Carolina. He and his wife, Shari, have two boys, Jacob and Joseph, the oldest of which seems to be following in his father's footsteps.

Again, the force is strong here. He is an anointed man of God. He's one of the greatest evangelists of our generation. In fact, I know of multiple members of our church who came to know Christ through Clayton's preaching, either here at the summit or somewhere that he engaged them in the community. Summit family, would you put your hands together and help me welcome our friend, Pastor Clayton King.

It's good to be back at the summit. I have so much history here. Pastor JD and I met in the 1900s. He was a student at Campbell, and I just graduated from Gardner Webb.

Campbell is where you go when you don't have the grades to get into Gardner Webb. And JD and I became immediate friends, and now for 25 years, I can honestly say that Pastor JD is one of the godliest and most consistent, steadfast, faithful, and humble men of integrity I've ever met in my life. And I knew this church when it was still called Homestead Heights back in the day, so it is really, really good to be back. Thank you, JD, for your friendship and for the way that you inspire me. There's no better gospel preacher. There's no better pastor. The Bible says that we should give honor to those who teach and preach, and there is no better teacher and preacher of this book, the Bible, than Pastor JD. And I am honored to be able to preach here at the summit today for the next two and a half to three hours.

So I hope that you are ready to hear a word from the Lord. I do greet you from New Spring Church, also from the great state of South Carolina. My wife, Shari, my two boys, Jacob and Jojo, said hello, and this is just a real treat for me to get to get a phone call from JD to say, hey, give me some time and come and preach to our folks here at the summit. I'm so proud of what God is doing here at this church. I'm so proud of how God is using this church to be disciples who are making disciples, and you are literally impacting the world. You've already seen that Joby Martin and I are cousins.

I also found this out. If you take notes, which I hope you take notes, and if you're taking notes, the title of my message is very simple. Open eyes, open hearts. That's what I want to talk about from the Gospel of Luke. We're in this series called In Step, where we're looking at Jesus through the eyes of Luke. Luke, who, by the way, wrote almost as much, if not more, by word count than the apostle Paul in the New Testament. Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and then finished it up with part two, which is called the Book of Acts, or Acts of the Apostles. I like to call it Acts of the Holy Spirit myself. Luke shows us some things about Jesus from the perspective of a medical doctor with a keen eye for detail, also from the perspective of potentially a Gentile, someone that was outside of the Jewish faith.

I am excited to be able to preach tonight this message from the Gospel of Luke as we continue in this series. One of the things I found out, I had my eyes and my heart opened recently when, as Pastor JD has already announced, I was able to find and locate my biological family. I always knew that I was adopted growing up.

I thought it was cool and special because my parents told me it was cool and special. There was a bully in elementary school in the first grade, and he was making fun of me one day. I brought a Polaroid picture to show and tell, and I showed them the picture of my mom and dad. I told them that I was adopted.

I told them the whole story. This bully in the first grade, he was an eighth grader that had been held back a few years. He was picking on me, and he said, I'll never forget this, this is exactly what he said, right in the middle of class, he said, you must have been the ugliest baby ever born because your mom took one look at you and said, I don't want him, and she gave you away. Now, even as a first grader, that hurt.

I had a pretty good self-esteem, great mom and dad, but that hurt. My mom, who adopted me, my real mom, she picked me up at school that day. Now, this was, I don't know, 1980, 1981, and she drove a long, yellow Ford LTD.

It was registered in three counties. It was so big, and I got in the front seat with her, no seat belt, and she could tell I was upset. She said, what's wrong with you? And I lied. I said, nothing. And she said, was it that big bully, Michael?

Was he picking on you again because he had a habit of doing this? I said, yes, ma'am. She said, what did he say to you? I said, well, I took my picture for show and tell, and I told the whole school, my whole class at least, about being adopted and how wonderful that was, and Michael said I was an ugly baby and that my mom didn't want to keep me because I was so ugly. And my mom was five foot four from Fountain Inn, South Carolina, as country as cornbread, married to a Baptist deacon, sang in the choir on Sunday morning, even used to wear a robe in the choir.

I want to paint a picture for this petite, little, gentle, southern belle named Jane King who looked at me, and with all of the love and compassion and grace of a true southern mama, she looked at me and she said, I'll kill him tomorrow. And once my mom calmed down and decided not to murder a first grader, she said, you go to school tomorrow and you tell that big bully that his parents got stuck with him and they couldn't give him back. But we got to pick you out like going to the pet store and picking out the cutest puppy.

We took one look at you and we said, we want that one right there. Now I was in the first grade and I want to draw your attention to the scripture that I'm about to read with that true story. My mom then spoke prophetically to me.

She did not know she was prophesying, but she was. And my mom said to me, son, you're ours. We adopted you. And there's going to come a moment in your life, son, where you're going to be adopted again. You're going to be adopted into the family of God.

My mom said, there's going to come a time in your life. And we're praying that it's soon where the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to the love of Jesus and opens your heart to the gospel. When that happens, you're going to get saved. And she said, me and your dad can already see a call on your life.

We know that God's hand is on you. And when he opens your eyes and he opens your heart, you'll understand what it really means to follow Jesus. That was one of the first memories I have in my entire life of feeling the Holy Spirit begin to open up my understanding.

Like, you know, in the old cartoons when the little light bulb would pop up over somebody's head and they just began to understand it. That was a moment for me where I began to listen for, to look for, to try to somehow, as much as I could as a little kid, discern what it was going to be like for me to one day be adopted into the family of God. I knew how special it was to have the love of my mom and the love of my dad. I knew how special it was that they chose me. I didn't choose them.

That they picked me, I didn't pick them. And I began to dream about what it might feel like one day to know that kind of love from God. And so that's what I want to do in this series today at Summit Church is I want to, for every single campus, and for those of you watching at home right now, if you need to put your coffee down and go get a copy of your Bible, if you need to get out your phone, if you're watching on your iPad or whatever, if you have a copy of God's Word, I want you to read this along with me because this is literally my favorite story in the Bible.

And I'm not saying that because I'm just preaching it tonight. This is literally my go-to passage. I love this scripture. I'm going to read it straight through from Luke chapter 24 verses 13 and following. And we're going to see how Jesus opens hearts and how Jesus opens eyes.

And it's so fun for me because this series is called In Step. And we're literally going to see Jesus take thousands of steps with two men who need to have their eyes and their hearts opened in this passage of scripture. Thousands of literal physical steps as they walk seven miles side by side on Resurrection Sunday. Okay, Luke chapter 24 verse 13. Now, that same day, two of them were going to a village called Emmaus about seven miles from Jerusalem. Side note, this is a real place.

I've been there. I've been to Israel nine or ten times now and this is a real place and that road is still there, at least in parts today. Verse 14. These two men were talking with each other about everything that had happened. And as they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them but they were kept from recognizing him. In last week's message, we heard the story of Zacchaeus and how Zacchaeus climbed up in a tree to try to see Jesus. And in Luke's gospel, when he tells stories about people who meet Jesus, there always seems to be something between that person and Jesus.

There always seems to be a distraction or a roadblock or something, a barricade of sorts. These two men are walking home from Jerusalem to their city, their village of Emmaus. It's a seven mile walk and this is, let me set the tone for you before I continue. This is Resurrection Sunday. Jesus has literally just raised from the dead. This is not like the second Easter, the tenth Easter, the two thousandth Easter.

This is the original. This is the Easter morning. Now, before I go a little bit further, I want to draw your attention to this. If I were trying to save the world, build a platform, if I was trying to preach a good news message, the gospel, I would, just in my own flesh, I would think if I am raised from the dead, I do not spend my victory lap walking with two random guys to a no-name village seven miles from Jerusalem. If I wake up alive on Easter Sunday morning after I was just crucified and murdered by sinners three days earlier, I'm going to the temple. I'm going to appear on the steps. I'm going to show the whole world here's who I am. I'm going to announce to the whole world right here, right now, that I am the son of God, that I am resurrected from the dead. But you know, that's the difference between you and Jesus and me and Jesus. He's God, we're not.

He decided to go pursue two guys and spend the whole day with them. And the irony is they're talking about Jesus when Jesus just happens to appear and walk with them. And as they walked and talked together about these things, Jesus appeared in verse 16 since they were kept from recognizing him. Now we understand the awkwardness of the moment. We also understand that Jesus is about to actually do the original Jesus juke.

He is about to go in for their sake and for ours. Verse 17, Jesus asked them, what are you discussing together as you walk along? I just want to point this out, Jesus knew exactly what they were talking about. Jesus never asks you a question because he needs you to tell him something he doesn't know. He's God, he knows it all. He knows everything. He is sovereign. He is omnipotent and omnipresent and omniscient. There is nothing that Jesus doesn't know. He even understands math, which blows my mind because I think math is like a tool of Satan to destroy the universe because it's so confusing and I think all the answers are 666.

I'm just not a math guy. Jesus is not asking them this question for his sake. He's asking it for their sake and they answer. The Bible says they stood still, their faces downcast, and one of them answered, his name was Cleopas.

He's the only one that's named. And he asked Jesus a question. Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and you do not know the things that have happened therein these days? What things Jesus asked. And the story begins to progress and they respond to Jesus' question. About Jesus of Nazareth, they replied. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed, before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death and they crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.

And what is more, it's the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Then some of our companions, we know that was Peter and John and some of the disciples. So these men were well acquainted with the 12 disciples. They were probably among the 70 plus disciples. They had already heard the story.

Some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said. But they didn't see Jesus. And then Jesus said to them, verse 25, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.

Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? Verse 27, and beginning with Moses. Now, Moses, when they begin with Moses, that means Genesis. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, the first five books, the Torah, the Pentateuch.

I just read, I'm not boasting because I don't think I retained any of it. But one of our pastors at our church, Brad, challenged some of our pastors to do this thing at the beginning of the year. Because at New Spring, where I'm a pastor, we're calling this the year of the Bible. And we have almost 20,000 people in our church who are reading the Bible this year.

And we expect to see a revival like we've never experienced at New Spring Church because of it. And Brad challenged us to do this thing called the 30 day shred. We read the whole Bible, a group of us, in 30 days.

30 days. Now, I didn't read all of it. I also got a guy on the YouVersion app to read it to me in a Scottish accent. It's a lot easier to do it that way. If you get tired of Scottish, go to British. If you get tired of British, go to Irish.

And if you get tired of that, there's all kinds of other accents to pick. And one of the things that I realized reading through the books of Moses is there's already a foreshadowing about Jesus starting in Genesis chapter 3. When the prophecy is spoken that the serpent will bruise his heel, but he will crush his head. Jesus starts in Genesis and starts right there in the books of Moses and he gives them a Bible study. Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself. They got a personal Bible study from the guy that wrote the Bible.

This is really ironic to me. Jesus, who is the gospel, is preaching the gospel to Cleopas and his friend. The gospel declares the gospel to these men. They get a Bible study from Jesus, but then the seven miles is up.

They're at their house. Their destination is there. Supper's on the table. They're hungry. Verse 28 says as they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going to go farther. But they urged him strongly, stay with us. For it is nearly evening.

The day is almost over. So Jesus went in to stay with them. They invited Jesus in and Jesus said yes. Jesus will always come where he's invited. Jesus will always say yes when he's asked.

Romans 10 13 says anyone that calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. So Jesus comes into their home and this is where the story gets extremely powerful. When he was at the table with them, verse 30, Jesus took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.

And he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us? Then they got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.

Then they found the 11 and those with them assembled together and saying it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon. And then these two told what happened to them on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

There's so much I could say and so little time to say it all. So I hope the Spirit of God will guide me to say the most important things for you watching at home, for you at a summit campus today. Because in this passage of scripture we see eyes and we see hearts. We see their eyes open. We see their hearts burning.

Their eyes are open. Their hearts are burning. This is how God works. God has to open our blind eyes to his love. God has to stir up our hearts. People ask me all the time, why are you a Christian?

And I could go into a long apologetic discourse, but the quick answer I give people, I'm a Christian for two reasons. I learned this in seminary from one of my professors. Because it makes sense and it feels right. It just makes sense and it just feels right. And no one can be a Christian unless God through his Spirit opens eyes and touches hearts.

We know that to be true. But the point of this story is how Jesus was willing in his, please don't miss this. Jesus was willing in his mercy and his grace to go after two guys who wanted to know the truth. He could have walked right into the middle of the Pharisees and the Sadducees big quorum meeting. He could have walked into the temple and he could have called down angels. He could have stirred up a storm.

He could have called down fire. Jesus had all authority, all power, but instead of showing off his glory, which was rightly his that day by a show of force and power. He showed off his glory that day by going after two men whose hearts were burdened and whose eyes were blinded. And I'm telling you, I've seen it for 35 years in my life. I've seen Jesus still do this.

Still to this day he does this. So I want to point out a few things to you from this scripture. Number one, talking about Jesus doesn't mean you know Jesus. Talking about Jesus doesn't mean you know Jesus. These two guys are talking about Jesus.

They do not know Jesus. In 1995, the year I graduated from college, I went to Louisiana. I was preaching a revival at Walker Baptist Church and I'm in a car with my friend named Jared.

Jared was a rugby player for a little while. Jared's my Bill, big guy, and Jared and I are in the car and we saw a hitchhiker in Louisiana and I said, Jared, let's pull over and pick up the hitchhiker. He's like, uh-uh, you don't pick up hitchhikers in Louisiana.

They'll kill you. And I'm like, what would Jesus do? So I Jesus juked him. We pick up the hitchhiker. Hitchhiker gets in the front seat. I get in the back seat because I convinced Jared that if the hitchhiker tried anything because I watched pro wrestling growing up, I would know exactly how to put him out of his misery. I do the Ric Flair figure four from the back seat.

I put him in the sleeper hold like Hulk Hogan. I know how to protect myself. In Louisiana, they're scared of hitchhikers. In South Carolina, we ain't scared. Long story short, the guy's name was Joe. We start talking. I asked Joe where he's from. He said, Angola. Now, you don't know this if you're not from Louisiana, but there's only one thing called Angola in Louisiana.

It's the state penitentiary where the death row inmates are held. I said, how long have you been gone from Angola? He said, well, what time is it?

And we didn't know if this guy had been let out of Angola or if he had escaped from Angola. And then he starts asking us for drugs. He's like, you guys got any weed? You guys got any shrooms? You got any acid? How about cocaine? And, you know, I'm a preacher.

I'm always looking for a good story. I'm also an evangelist. And so from the back seat, I'm like, Joe, we don't have any weed, but we got something way better than weed. And Jared, who's a pastor's son, is looking at me in the rear view mirror like, what have you been hiding from me, Clayton? And Joe goes, what do you have? I said, better than weed. He goes, oh, man, you guys got cocaine.

I'll ride the white horse. I'm like, this is better than cocaine. And at this point, Jared's just shaking his head like, oh, all of my faith in God has just been rattled. Clayton King is a drug dealer.

I wasn't a drug dealer. I was just trying to get Joe to listen to me because I want to share the gospel with him. And so one thing leads to another, and he's like, well, come on, man. I haven't had anything in so long, and I'm ready to get high and party with you young guys.

What do you guys have? And I said, Joe, what we have is free of charge, and you never come down, and it just keeps getting better and better and better, and it's actually called Jesus. And I thought I was going to have this epic moment where I get to lead this guy to Jesus right there in the car, and Joe looks at me from, he turns around in the seat, looks at me and goes, Jesus? I've been in the pen a long time.

I've never heard of it. Roll it up, and I'll smoke it with you boys. He literally, he literally thought Jesus was a drug. That's my hitchhiker story, but for a lot of people, maybe you, that's your Jesus story. We talk a lot about Jesus. Democrats talk about Jesus. Republicans talk about Jesus. Former President Trump talked about Jesus. Current President Biden talks about Jesus. Ronald Reagan talked about Jesus. George Washington talked about Jesus. Everybody talks about Jesus, but if this story proves anything, it should prove to you that talking about Jesus doesn't mean that you know him. It doesn't mean you know him.

I can talk about calculus. I don't know it, don't understand it, don't want to. And the same is true when it comes to the Son of the Living God. These men are talking about Jesus, but they didn't have a full understanding of the good news of the gospel. And so Jesus pursues them, which brings me to my second point, and I don't want you to miss this. If you're looking for Jesus, he will show himself to you.

If you're looking. If you want to see Jesus, if you want to hear Jesus, if you want to experience Jesus, maybe at one of our campuses today, or maybe you're like in the passenger seat of a car watching this on a phone, or maybe you're in your bedroom, or you're sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of hot chocolate or tea or coffee or whatever. If you really want Jesus to reveal himself to you, I give you my word based on the scripture. He will find a way to reveal himself to you.

I can tell you story after story. I've been to 50 countries, not 15, 50, 5-0. I've been to 50 countries, and I have seen holy men that have studied their whole lives in Tibetan Buddhism, in the mountains of the Himalayas in North India. I've walked into their villages, and they have asked us, are you the people who have come to tell us about Jesus, and did you bring his book?

And we knew missionaries had never been there. Why did Jesus appear to that Tibetan Buddhist monk in a dream? Because that Tibetan Buddhist monk really wanted to know God.

He was open. These men want to know Jesus, they're open to it, and Jesus appears. Jesus comes to them, Jesus reveals himself, he shows himself to them.

If you really want to know Jesus, he'll reveal himself. If you really want to find life, Jesus is the source. Peace, Jesus is the source. Forgiveness, Jesus is the source.

Hope, Jesus is the source, and he'll reveal himself to you. So my full name is Clayton Ryan King. It's a name that my parents gave me when I was adopted. When I was 14, I gave my life to Jesus, and I was on my knees at an altar in a small little Pentecostal church in Greer, South Carolina. And I'm praying to receive Christ, and while I am literally asking Jesus to save me from my sins, I sensed, actually, I was going to say it, I heard a voice tell me to preach the gospel.

And I didn't know any better, so I said yes, I'll do it. So I'm 14, I'm in the 8th grade, and my great aunt had a prison ministry. Because I went to church, I was just lost, I didn't know Jesus, I knew about Jesus. So my great aunt invites me to go to the prisons with her.

Maximum and minimum security prisons. So I'm 14 years old, and I'm walking in to prison to teach Bible studies to inmates. And one night at a small prison near my hometown, my aunt says, get up and give your testimony tonight, get up and preach. So I get up and share my testimony and preach, and I just gave an invitation. I'd seen my pastor do it before, so I gave an invitation.

And some men came down. This is how God will reveal himself to you. I just want to show it to you in my own life. I was really struggling with whether or not God had called me to preach or be an evangelist. And I just needed something, I needed God to affirm it to me in some way.

Because I had other dreams, I was pursuing sports and specifically football, and I had my life planned out. And then here comes the gospel, and here comes the grace of God, and now I'm like, there's no preachers in my family, but I'm up there preaching, and I give an invitation, and these prisoners come forward to the altar, and so I ended up praying with one of them. So there were men that started praying with the prisoners from our team, and I prayed with a guy, had long, long curly hair, and we sat down on the ground, and I led him in the sinner's prayer, and when we get done praying, I said, hey, man, congratulations, you need to get baptized now. By the way, what's your name? I never asked him his name. I said, what's your name? He said, well, my name's Ryan. I said, that's cool, my middle name is Ryan.

And he goes, really? Well, wow, because your name's Clayton, right? I said, yeah, he goes, my middle name is Clayton.

I was like, what are the chances? And then, just for kicks and giggles, I said, what's your last name? He said, King. And you can just say that that's a circumstance, or that that's just, you know, kind of random, but I know in my heart that my good Heavenly Father was pursuing me in step with me my whole entire life from the moment I was spared from abortion, when my mom got pregnant with me and knew that she couldn't keep me and decided to give me a life and not take my life. God had been walking with me, Jesus had been in step with me the whole entire time, and my name is Clayton Ryan King, and the first person I got to lead to Jesus was Ryan Clayton King.

You know what? I could stay here all night and tell you more stories just like that, bigger, crazier, weirder that would blow your mind, but nothing tops the one in Luke 24 where Jesus himself spends the whole day with these guys, because he wants to explain to them so that their eyes can be opened, and that is the final point I want to make from this scripture. No matter how close Jesus is, you're blind until your eyes are opened, and that's not a bad thing.

It's just true. No matter how close Jesus is, I grew up close to Jesus my whole life, but I did not see him. My eyes were blind. I went to church my whole life. My dad was a deacon, and I went to a Baptist church as a kid. My parents were Southern Baptists. I went to a Presbyterian Christian school for 11 years. My grandfather was Pentecostal. Can we just pause for a second?

Can you all just let that sink in? I was raised Baptist, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal. I need serious counseling and therapy. Being Baptist, Presbyterian, and Pentecostal, you know what it means, right? I was predestined to speak in tongues while eating fried chicken and drinking wine at an elders meeting. Oh, come on, people. That's funny.

I don't care what campus you're at. But my eyes were blind. Literally, like these guys. My eyes were blind until I heard the gospel, until I heard the good news, until God did something in me.

My eyes were open, my heart was open, and I responded. And that's what happens to these guys. But I want to show you how this is what I believe happened. I believe this with all my heart. Jesus comes inside their home when they open the door. Revelation 3.20. Jesus himself says, I stand at the door, and I knock. And if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and have fellowship with them. They invite Jesus in, and he comes. He always says yes. He sits at the table with them.

A sign of trust, a sign of intimacy, a sign of friendship. And here's where it really gets interesting. The Bible says Jesus took the bread. He prayed and gave thanks.

He broke the bread, and he gave it to them. When were their eyes open? When was their heart open? I don't know when this moment was for you.

For me, I was 14 at an altar in Greer. I don't know if it's for you tonight, like today, like right here in your life. You might be watching this three weeks after I preach it at midnight because you're an insomniac. You might be watching this two years after I preach it, or you might be at one of our campuses right now sitting in that seat right there, and something is beginning to stir in your heart.

You know what these men said? Did our hearts not burn within us when he opened the scriptures to us as we walked along the road? But the moment that their hearts were open, their hearts had been burning inside of them, but their eyes were open and the scales fell off.

Their heart was completely open to the gospel. When Jesus breaks the bread and gives it to them, and I can't prove it, but I just have a hunch that here's what happened. The bread of life, Jesus Christ, takes the bread and breaks it.

How crazy is that? Jesus, the bread of life, breaks the bread and gives it to them. But I just want you to watch my hands. Just watch me. This is not rocket science. This occurred to me one morning in a deer stand.

Seriously. I'm reading this, and I have a mental image of what it looked like in the moment that Jesus did this. He breaks the bread, and he hands it to them. And what do they see? They see the scars of a Roman crucifixion on his wrists. They see the only human being to ever walk around breathing after nine inch long, rusted, bloody, recycled railroad spikes were driven through his wrists. They see the scars, the same ones that Thomas will be invited by Jesus to touch with his own hands. They see the scars, the same ones that John will say in 1 John 1, that which we have seen with our eyes, heard with our ears, touched with our hands, we proclaim to you. When they saw the scars of a crucifixion, boom, like a lightning bolt. Their eyes are open.

Their hearts are open. And they realize this is him. And everything he said is true. And he is alive. And he kept his promise.

And these men get up at dark and walk seven miles right back to where they just came from to testify as witnesses. We've seen the risen Christ. The women were right.

Peter and John were right. We've seen him. He's the King of Kings, and he's the Lord of Lords. And I believe that while I've been preaching this message tonight, that by the grace of God, not my delivery of it, somebody's heart has been opened. Somebody's eyes have been opened, and it might be you. And what I'm telling you is do not ignore what you've been feeling in your heart. Do not step over or dismiss the King of Kings and Lord of Lords because he will go to great lengths to get you, to find you, to track you down. He's been tracking you in step with you from the moment you were conceived in your mother's womb. And the moment that you find yourself in right now could be the defining moment of your life because you can have your sins washed away.

You can have a brand-new start. You can be reconciled with God and then reconciled with people. I'm telling you, I bet my life that this is true because it's true for me. It's true for thousands of people right here in this church and billions of people around the earth. The question is, is it true for you? Is it true for you?

Is it true for you? So what I want to invite you to do right now at every location today, every one of our Summit campuses, watching online, watching at home, watching in a coffee shop, watching in an automobile, I'm going to ask you, if you would, to close your eyes and open your heart to Jesus. Right now, everybody, just do this. We're going to pray together. I want to invite you to close your eyes, your physical eyes, and open your spiritual heart. And I want to invite you to invite Jesus inside.

When Cleopas and his friend invited Jesus in, he came because Jesus always comes when he's invited. He's already said yes. So just like they asked Jesus to walk through the door of their home, I want to invite you to ask Jesus to walk through the door of your heart. Open it up to him. And the minute you invite him to come into your heart, your eyes will be fully open.

You'll see him for who he is. So if that's you and you're ready, you are ready right now to repent of your sin, to bring your brokenness, your shame, your past, your regrets, to bring all of that to Jesus and trust his grace given to you through Christ to believe he was crucified in your place to take God's wrath away, to believe he was raised from the dead to give you a new life. If you are willing to believe that, and I know some of you are, because Jesus is drawing you, pray this to him right where you are.

Eyes closed, hearts open. And you don't have to pray it out loud. You can pray it in your heart. He can hear you. He's waiting on you.

He's waiting on you to ask him in right now. Pray this to him in your heart, whoever you are. Jesus, I need you. I can't be saved without you.

So I invite you in. I open my heart to you, Jesus. Please save me right now.

I repent of my sin. I give you control. You are Lord, and I'm yours. Rescue me, Jesus. I give you my past, my shame, my future, my eternity. I give you everything, Jesus. My eyes are opened. My heart is yours.

I'm all in. In Jesus' name. I ask you to keep your eyes closed and your hearts open.

Every campus, every location, watching online. You might be the only person in the room you're in, or you might be on a row sitting with your family and your friends. I'm going to ask you to do something right now. Eyes closed, hearts open. If you just prayed that prayer to Jesus of Nazareth and you trusted him, you just prayed that prayer to him, not to me, to Jesus, I want you to do something right now. Do not hesitate. Don't delay.

Don't make an excuse. I want you to indicate that you just gave your life to Jesus by raising your hand straight up above your head right now. Would you do that at every campus and every location? And would you keep them up for just a moment? Just keep them up. Keep your hands up. Just keep your hands up.

Every location, in a coffee shop, in a car, in your house, in your bedroom. I want you to raise your hands right now. Now with your hand up, you have just indicated to Jesus that you're his. We've got some next steps that someone's going to tell you about in a few moments because at the summit, we want to help you become a disciple that makes disciples.

You can put your hands down. Lord, I want to pray and I want to thank you for every person in this room and the rooms all around our campuses, in bedrooms, in living rooms, in kitchens, coffee shops, wherever the people who just prayed to receive you just met you. Thank you that you pursued them all the way to that spot and revealed to them your love and your grace and your mercy. So right now, I want to say to you, Jesus, you are worthy to receive the reward of your suffering. Thank you for everyone that you just saved. Satan, in the name of Jesus, you've lost another great number to the kingdom of God. They've been bought with a price. They belong to Jesus now, not you. And God, we know that you'll keep them. In the palm of your hand, according to John 10, we trust your grace to sustain every new believer that just opened their eyes and opened their hearts by your grace. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-07 01:51:17 / 2023-09-07 02:09:24 / 18

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