Yesterday at our worship gathering I preached on where we as leaders of Mystery Church believe God is leading us. Our text came from the book of Ezekiel, chapter 37:1-14. If you have grown up in church you have no doubt heard the story of the Dry Bones. In this vision that God gave Ezekiel we drew out some overall corporate goals consistent with scripture and given to all of God’s people. We also gathered some specific visions from the text as they pertain to the next chapter of our church.
A VISION OF GODS MISSION
The overarching story of scripture is that of God’s redeeming pursuit of sinners and his restoring work in the world through the person and work of Jesus. The whole bible points to, anticipates and validates Jesus.
When God saves a person he also invites them into his redemptive mission, sending us out as a community of grace to seek the lost and serve a broken world. It is not a question of “if” we are missionaries and evangelists, it’s how are we doing at what we are supposed to be doing. God is clear about his plan, are we being obedient to his commands?
Question 1. What is your plan to immerse yourself in God’s word this year?
Question 2. What obstacles and sins are keeping you from contributing to God’s mission?
A VISION OF GODS POWER
God lead Ezekiel into a pretty desolate and desperate situation – a very large valley, full of a very large amount of very dry bones. He then asked Ezekiel a pretty telling question that we would all do well to answer, “Can these bones live?” Paraphrased it might read, “Am I great enough in your mind to handle this situation?” or “Am I big enough in your heart to bring beauty back into this brokenness?”
Question 3. What brokenness, what dry bones, surround you? In your life or others.
Questions 4. Do you believe God is powerfully enough to resurrect your life and the lives of those around you?
A VISION OF GODS FAME
The primary purpose of every man, women and child, created in God’s image, is to glorify him. We are to live proclaiming the excellencies of Jesus in every area of our life. In other words, we are to love God with all of our heart, mind and strength. He is the most glorious, therefore he deserves the most glory right?
Who he is is worthy of our praise. What he has done is deserving of dropped jaws. Any one of his perfect attributes justifies the attention and affections of every human being. The world is about him. Everything he has done, and everything he will produce is ultimately for his name, not ours. The good news attached to this truth is that to pursue his glory in all things results in our ultimate and eternal good as well.
Question 5. Who is the centerpiece, star and hero of your life?
Question 6. How could you, this week, in your words and work point people to Jesus?
A VISION OF NEW LIFE
The bones, in the story are symbols of Israel, deserving of wrath and devoid of hope. They were dead in their sin and in need of God’s saving grace. Their story is our story. Read Ephesians chapter 2:1-10 sometime this week and sit with it while it sinks in. God, rich in mercy, has loved us with a great and costly love in Christ. Every Christian is a testimony of his grace and a miracle in themselves. All who are in Christ, where once dead in sin and now resurrected by the gospel. We have been given hearts of flesh where once there where hearts of stone.
It is our desire as a church to see people meet, fallen in love with and be saved by Jesus. We want to be faithful to Jesus’ command to go and make disciples.
Question 7. Who are you praying for God to save by his power and for his fame?
Question 8. Who, this month, needs to hear from you the good news of Jesus?
A VISION OF OUR JOY
When you think about Jesus does it make your heart happy? When you ponder the day he saved you does it bring to your emotions great joy? When you think about your Father in Heaven, do you believe he feels for you what he feels for Christ? When you look at your life, even in the hard times, are you confident in the goodness of God and his good for you?
God reveals himself to us in the bible and through the preaching of his Word, that we might know him and in knowing him, find the fullness of joy only he provides. Likewise, when we calls us to obey his commands and walk in his ways, his goal is to keep us from the sorrow of sin and lead us into an abundance of gospel joy.
Question 9. Do you approach reading the bible as an opportunity to be with God or an obligation to do for God?
Question 10. What’s one thing you could do that would allow you have 20 minutes alone with and listening to Jesus three days this week?
Use these questions during your times of prayer this week. Share them with your spouse or a Christian friend. Ask them several times of yourself. Ask others about their own answers. We want to see you experience an incredible joy in Jesus this year. We also want to see us as a church collectively introducing as many people as possible to Jesus that they might also share in the same joy of knowing God, enjoying freedom from and forgiveness of sin and living in the purposes for which they where made.
Image your life committed to God’s mission, trusting in Gods power and anticipating Gods glory in 2013. Who would be worshiping with you on Sunday, sharing a meal with you during the week revealing in Jesus with you next year? Exciting isn’t it?
You can listen here to the entire message “For My Name“