Summary: The last sermon that was preached in the old sanctuary the sunday before we moved into the new sanctuary.
Today, as many of us know, is our last Sunday in this building and this morning we’re going to take some time to remember what God has done in the life of Crossroads Baptist Church in the last 6 ½ years. There are a lot of sweet memories for me in this building and I thank God that He allowed me the privilege to be a witness to all those memories. I can honestly say that in my 14 years of ministry the last 6 years here at Crossroads have been some of the best. I have grown more as a Christian and as a Minister here than any other place that I have ever served and for that I say Thank You God! There is a part of that is sad as this leg of our journey comes to an end because God has done some great things here. However, the other side of me is pumped and excited about the next leg of our journey because I know that God is not done with us yet! As we will talk about next week, this is just the beginning; greater things are yet to come.
This morning we are going to be reading from Joshua 4:1-7. But before we read and start I just want to say that next Sunday is so much more than just moving into a new worship center, we need to see it as a time when we are taking a new attitude into a new opportunity. You see I believe that we as a church are on the right path and as we continue to make our way down that path we as a church will continue to be faced with new opportunities, new challenges and bigger decisions. So where do we go to get directions to face those opportunities, challenges, and decisions? The Word of God and as long as we listen and obey the Word of God we will never go wrong. Now if you’ve ever read the book of Joshua then you know that the theme verse is Joshua 3:5. Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” As we begin the next leg of our journey next week, we must prepare ourselves spiritually for what God is fixing to do in the life of Crossroads Baptist Church.
Let me set the stage. 3,400 years ago, Joshua led the children of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promise Land of Canaan. The Hebrew congregation stood on the eastern side of the Jordan River. The river represented both the border to blessing and a barrier to blessing. It was only when the priests stepped into the raging water that it stopped flowing, which is a reminder that we have to trust God first and then He releases His power. The reason many people live on the wrong side of the river is they are waiting for God to stop the water before they step in and God is waiting for them to step right into the water before He stops the water.
When they stepped into the water, the river stopped flowing—a miracle! Now how did God do that? It doesn’t matter how God did it—what matters is His timing is always perfect! Now they are on the other side of the River of Impossibility, so let’s pick up this exciting story in Joshua 4:1-7/ 18-24: Now skip down to verse 18 to see what happened. There is a lot we can learn from this pile of stones at Gilgal. In fact, I want us to think about three ways these stones speak to us today. Let’s answer the question, “What do these stones mean?” First, they are:
I. STONES OF REMEMBRANCE
If you take the time to read Joshua 4, you’ll discover there were actually two piles of stones. First, Joshua made a pile of twelve large stones in the middle of the riverbed—while it was still dry. After the flow of the river returned, the rock pile could be seen protruding from the surface of the water. In generations to come, people could see the pile of stones rising from the middle of the river and would know someone had to have stacked them up when the river was dry. It would help them remember God stopped the flow of the mighty Jordan.
Then they took another twelve stones, one for each family-tribe, and carried them to their camp at Gilgal. They stacked them up in a way to make the site one people could return to and recognize. When the children of future generations asked the question, “What do these stones mean?” The parents and grandparents could use both rock piles as a teaching tool to help the children remember God had shown His mighty power on their behalf.