Today we are celebrating Cadet Sunday and having the Cadets be an important part of our worship. The Cadet theme this year is Amazing, and we will be focusing on Joshua 3:1-6 Amazing. Israel is getting ready to enter into the Promised Land and Joshua calls on the people to prepare themselves, telling them that “tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” We will take time to reflect on the “amazing” things in creation, the “amazing things” God has done and is doing. Our focus will be on the awe and wonder of God and to marvel at who God is, the creation around us, and our relationship with Jesus.
It’s great to see all of you cadets here this morning with your families and all the other members of the church. It’s cadet Sunday, a special Sunday when we get to hear about some of the things you’re doing and learning, and think about how God is part of our lives. We’re going to be talking about amazing things this morning and we’re going to look at a pretty amazing story this morning about the people of Israel crossing through the Jordan River without even getting their feet wet, but before they did that, Joshua had a special command for them, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."
Do you know what the word consecrate means? It’s part of our code, but it’s a word that we don’t hear used very often any more. Consecrate means that you make yourselves ready to be used by God to do special things for God. The people would do this by washing themselves and their clothes so they were all clean and then they would pray to God to make their hearts clean too. They are told to consecrate themselves because “The Lord is going to do amazing things among them.”
The next morning the people get up and get ready to cross the Jordan River, but the water is flowing by really fast and really deep. (slide 1). Joshua now tells the people that the priests are going to carry the ark of God and walk right into the fast-flowing river that’s too dangerous to cross at that time of year. What happens? As soon as the toes of the priests touch the river, it stops! Heaped up in a pile! The people of Israel simply walk across without even getting their shoes wet. Imagine that, if you can! That’s amazing!
Now everybody’s on the other side of the river with dry feet, but now there’s another problem, there’s this city called Jericho surrounded by huge strong walls and they don’t want all these new people in their land. (slide 2) How would you try to tear down the huge strong walls of a city? Use dynamite? Dig away at the foundations till they crumble? God has a better idea. Just walk around the city seven times, then blow the trumpets and shout. The Israelites trust God so that’s what they do and those huge walls crumble and fall down, so the Israelite army can just walk right into the city. That only happens in video games, not in real life unless God’s involved! Amazing!
Consider the Monarch butterfly. (slide 3) Do you know that they migrate from our area all the way to Mexico for the winter. Now butterflies don’t look all that strong or tough, but if you’re going to fly all the way to Mexico without an airplane, you have to be strong and able to keep flying a long, long time! What an amazing creature, created by an amazing God! God has created so many amazing creatures! (slides 4-8)
God’s so amazing, he created everything, the whole universe was created by God from nothing; that’s amazing! From the furthest heavens above to the depths of the seas, God created some really creative creatures and places that show everybody that there really is a God because there is no way all the different things in the universe could have happened by accident. One of the things I find amazing is space, there are some amazing pictures that we’re now able to take because of our newest space telescopes. I love the NASA website, here are a few of the pictures I found pretty amazing, see what you think. (slides 9-11) In Isa 40:26 we read, "Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." What an amazing God!
What are some things that you find amazing? Are there any people that you think are amazing?
There’s one person in history that I find totally amazing, that’s Jesus! He did some really amazing things. He healed people that nobody else could heal. There was a lady who was bleeding and nobody could heal her for years and all she had to do was touch his clothes and she was healed! There was a boy who kept throwing himself into the fire and even the disciples couldn’t heal him, but Jesus did! Jesus could heal lepers by touching them, he could heal people far away by just saying they were healed. Jesus raised a mother’s dead son back to life while they were on the way to the grave. Jesus raised the daughter of an important synagogue leader from the dead. Jesus even raised up his friend Lazarus from the dead after he had been put into the grave for 4 days! Jesus did some pretty amazing things among the people!
God had told the people of Israel more than 1,000 years before that he was going to send us a saviour who will come and save his people, and he did, he sent Jesus. What God says, he does. God says he will be with you, and he is; he says he loves you, and he does. Amazing!
Jesus did something even more amazing, something so amazing that he’s the only one who could do it, Jesus loves us so much that he took all our sin and washed it away on the cross. It’s like coming back from the snow derby and you’re all smelly from the fire making, the shelter building, and all the other activities, but when you come home your mom tells you that you have to take a shower or bath to get clean because you smell. Our sin makes us stink too and Jesus washes the stink of sin away because we can’t. To me, that’s the most amazing thing ever because sin keeps us far away from God, but God wants to be close with us because he loves us so much. Amazing!
Amazing fact: In spite of living on a miniature dot in a huge universe, and being micro-mini dots on that planet, God knows each one of you cadets. He made you; he knows you; he loves you. He sees you and watches over you. Now that's amazing! And he has plans for you, Cadets, and will do amazing things not only among you, but through you. Commit yourself to Jesus, follow him, and who knows how many scientists, doctors, nurses, long-haul truck drivers, caregivers, teachers, artists, musicians, missionaries, farmers, mechanics, software and video game creators, will come from our cadre. God is in the business of doing amazing things, even in and through you.