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Next Steps

Jan 14, 2024 | Pastor Gerard Bolling

Rise Up Dry Bones!

The picture we have today in Ezekiel 37:1-14 is a memorable one. It’s the vision of a valley full of dry, dead, lifeless bones. This image points to something much deeper than just physical deadness. It describes God’s people – lifeless, spiritless, hopeless, and helpless to rise up and live the extraordinary life God intended His children to receive and live out. Anyone feeling lifeless today? May the Holy Spirit be poured out to offer us new life in this New Year. 

Ezekiel 37:1-14 

The Valley of Dry Bones

37 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. 2 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. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 6 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.” 7 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. 8 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. 9 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.” 10 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. 11 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.’ 12 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. 13 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.”


For Adult Homes & Groups

1. Have you ever seen a genuine skeleton or perhaps a lifeless corpse? Where? What was the occasion, and what thoughts and feelings did you experience? 

2. Read Ezekiel 37:1-14. Why might the dryness of the bones be significant? (vv. 2, 4)

3. The Hebrew language uses the word “ruach” for “breath,” “wind,” or “spirit”. How are these three related? (vv. 5, 9, 14) 

4. What are the two steps in raising these dead and lifeless bones? (vv. 7-8, 10) Why not do it all at once? What is God telling His people about their futures? 

5. How would you describe your life currently: Dry bones? No backbone? Fleshly (living for self)? Full of hot air? Or standing tall and full of life? 

6. In what areas of your life do you need a “resurrection”? (Read Ezekiel 37:3-4, 10; Ephesians 2:1-5; Romans 6:1-11.) Describe the connection between the picture in Ezekiel’s vision and the reality found in Christ. 

7. Take time to pray for one another, especially for those areas where a resurrection is needed. 


For Families with Kids

Read Ezekiel 37:1-14.

1. What do you do when a flashlight is dead? You probably replace the dead battery with a new one. Dead things don’t come back to life. But God’s ways are different, and death is not a problem for Him. In the reading, God shows Ezekiel a valley where everything is dead. But then God does what only He can do - brings life back to dead bones. This is a promise of what God has done for us. Because we were dead in sin, God’s Son died in our place and rose again. God doesn’t replace us, He restores us!

2. Pray the Lord’s Prayer together each night out loud together as a family.

Series Information

What would the Church of Jesus Christ at Faith Oakville look like if the Holy Spirit truly renewed and revived us? What would taking the 'Next Step' look like? During this six-week series, we will attempt to paint a biblical picture of a church that is taking the 'Next Step' to trust in God above all things.

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