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Summary: God can chisel away at our hard hearts and replace them with a new heart.

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“Removing the Heart of Stone”

Introduction:

It was 103°F in Hell Creek, South Dakota, one day in September 1993. Dinosaur hunter Michael Hammer was amazed at what he saw. Sticking out of the ground were the remains of a Thescelosaurus, a plant-eating dinosaur. The skeleton was almost complete. Hammer says he knew right away that it was "very special."

Scientists reported that inside the dinosaur’s chest was what seems to be a stone heart--the first dinosaur heart ever seen.

Having a stone heart usually is not a good thing. Cher had a line in a song that said: “don’t you wish sometimes you had a heart made of stone?” Having a heart made of stone is not exactly something we should long for. We see that in the book of Ezekiel the prophet was calling the exiled people of Israel back to the living God. He spoke of their hearts that had been turned to stone.

The Bible teaches plainly that it really does matter what condition our heart is in, it really does matter what is inside of us. It goes beyond the things that we do, God is concerned about what we think and how we think.

In the movie Godfather III, mafia chief Michael Corleone meets with Cardinal Lamberto, reporting to the Cardinal that executives from the Vatican bank and even an Archbishop, have been involved in a massive case of fraud. After hearing this news Cardinal Lamberto moves to a fountain, withdraws a stone and says: Look at this stone. It has been lying in the water for a very long time, but the water has not penetrated it." He breaks the stone in two, shows the inside to Don Michael and continues, "Look. Perfectly dry. The same thing has happened to men in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity, but Christ has not penetrated. Christ doesn’t breathe within them."

Before our lives can change Christ has to penetrate through more than just your mind. Most people acknowledge the reality of God and the fact that Jesus is Lord, but it doesn’t always move from a head knowledge into the heart. Jesus needs to penetrate into the hearts of those who make up His church.

A little girl picked up a potato and said, "Look, Mommy, this potato is so big and nice, isn’t it?" Then the mother peeled it and cut it in half. How surprised was the little girl when she saw it all black and hollow in the middle.

There are many in the church like that. Outwardly they look great, they look like they are growing, they look healthy because they have all the outward signs of being a Christian, just like that potato had all the signs of being a good edible potato. Inwardly though many are rotten and hollow, and need Christ to take over inside them to make them clean. Jesus is the cure for a rotten inside.

One of the main functions of the prophets that God raised up was for them to call the people back to God. They would call the people to repentance, they would call the people to turn back away from their idols and false gods and turn back to the one true God. Ezekiel was one of those prophets.

Text: Ezekiel 11:1-19


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