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Summary: This sermon is designed to encourage church people to see their world the way He does

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Ezekiel 37:1-14 – The VISION for Outreach

We have before us a very symbolic, very peculiar passage of scripture this morning. The Bible says:

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold,

there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews

on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath,

Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me,

and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’

Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel.

And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.

Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

The VISION for Outreach… Let’s pray

About 350 years ago a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America.

The first year they established a town site.

The next year they elected a town government.

The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.

But in the fourth year these formerly ambitious people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town???

They had lost their vision.

How’s OUR vision??? 10 years ago – God moved on hearts to start a Bible believing church in the city of Troy. Efforts were made. Funds were raised. People bought into the vision. And a church was born. IMMEDIATELY! there was excitement and growth. But in just a few short years, the bonds that once seemed so strong began to unravel. People left. Leadership changed.

Stonebridge … lost its vision.

What’s YOUR vision?

Please don’t think me unnecessarily critical – but too many Christians have NO vision outside themselves. They only focus on whatever they are doing at any given moment. They go to work… they go home… they gas up the car… eat supper, bathe the kid… and they go to bed so that “tomorrow” they can do it all over again.

No vision. Life just - - happens. And before they know it, they go to the funeral of a family member or friend and realize – “I never told them about Jesus!”

So in your best interest – I ask – Where’s your vision??

Ezekiel had a vision. This man whose name means “the strength of God,” was a young priest of the family of Zadock, who served the people of God while in Babylonian captivity. He lived in a town called Tel Abib on the banks of the river Chebar. And for 22 years, he urged his people to keep the faith.

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