Summary: God calls His people to live again despite what they may have gone through in the past. Yes, these bones can live again.
It’s Time To Live Again
Ezekial 37:1-14 John 11:17-44 9/28/08
How do you feel about birthdays. Do you say my birthday is coming with a smile on your face, or do you say, oh no here comes my birthday again as though it was something to dread. Today we celebrate our church’s 46th birthday. How many of you think 40 is pretty old and 50 is really pushing it?
How many of you realize 40 is very young and 50 is just the start of life. How you feel about your birthdays is really the result of what has been happening in your life. Life can beat upon us so badly, that sometimes we just don’t want to come outside anymore, and we certainly don’t want to see another birthday.
But birthdays can be a chance also to recognize that God has given us a new year, and that it’s time to live again no matter where you are. Even in our darkest moments, God has a plan that leads us back to life. You may be starting to mess up at school and it’s not even October yet, but it’s not over.
You may have lost the boyfriend of girlfriend you thought was going to be the one. Some dream you had for your family isn’t going to happen. A vision for ministry that you believed God for isn’t coming together. You may have had some health problem return that you were sure was finally behind you. Your business has had a downturn and you’re starting to worry about the money not coming in. You’ve had a falling out with someone, and you wish you could somehow make it right, but it’s not happening.
In all of these situations it’s easy to start to get discouraged. I had one of those discouraging moments at the start of this month. Having coming back from vacation excited about what God was going to do and then coming to church the first Sunday and seeing how many people were not here. It was like, “God after 19 and ½ years of hard work, there were the same number of people in worship that Sunday as almost had been at the end of the first year. What on earth went wrong.”
There are times, when it’s not going to be a matter of what went wrong, but rather can you still be faithful where you are. I want you to accept, there will never be a perfect place for you to be in, in your life. You have to know how to live where you are.
I want us to look at a bible character by the name of Ezekial. Ezekial was born into a family of priests. Solomon had built this beautiful temple to the Lord. It was magnificent. As Ezekial grew up, each time he went passed the temple he thought inside, “one day I’m going to work there. One day the people will come to me, and I will offer sacrifices on their behalf to God.
One day I’ll start to move up the ranks of the priest and who know I may even become one of the chief priests. Ezekial spent his entire young life, preparing to become a priest to serve in the temple. The Jewish law provided for a man to enter into the priesthood at the age of 30. Ezekial thought all he had to do was to make it to age 30. That 30th birthday was when he was planning on really living.
How many of you have been where Ezekial was and you were saying one day, “I’m going to be on that team.” One day I’m going to get that job. One day “I’m going to finish my education.” One day I’m going to get out of this neighborhood. One day “I’m going to do this or that.
We may all have one day visions, and it’s good to have them, but you also have to be prepared for interruptions in your life, because none of us are gods, and all of us need a savior to walk with us through this world. There is going to be a stumbling block between us and that one day. What will we do when we hit it.
Go back with me for a moment in history. While Ezekial was looking forward to one day becoming a priest, the people were busy living their own lives as though God did not exist. They were far more interested in money, in wild sex parties, and worshipping other things than they were in God. Times were good financially so they felt they didn’t really need God.
God told them to repent or he would remove them from his presence. There response was “who is the Lord that we should worship Him.” They forgot He was the one who brought them out of slavery in Egypt. They forgot He was the one who put health in their bodies and light in their eyes. They forgot he was the one who got them out of bed each morning and enabled them to go to work. They forgot he was the one who really was in control of everything.