Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A sermon encouraging us to take a chance and trust Christ

The following is a true story. Larry Walters led a fairly boring normal life as a truck driver in southern California until the fateful day of July 2nd, 1982. On that day, Larry turned himself into a legend. You see Ever since he was a boy Larry had dreamed of flying, but the US Air Force had turned him down from becoming a pilot due to his bad eyesight. After he was discharged from the military, he sat in his backyard watching jets fly overhead. It was torture to a man who felt the need to fly. One day he could stand it no longer and so he hatched a scheme while sitting outside in his Sears lawnchair. He went out and purchased 45 weather balloons from an Army-Navy surplus store, tied them to his tethered lawnchair which he dubbed the Inspiration I, He then filled the 4 foot diameter balloons with helium. Then he strapped himself into his lawnchair with some sandwiches, a 6 pack of Miller Lite, and a pellet gun. He figured he would pop a few of the many balloons when it was time to descend.

Larry’s plan was to sever the anchor and lazily float up to a height of about 30 feet above his back yard, where he would enjoy a few hours of flight before coming back down. But unfortunately, Larry knew a lot more about truck driving than physics and so things didn’t work out quite as Larry planned. When his friends cut the cord anchoring the lawnchair to his Jeep, he did not float lazily up to 30 feet. Instead, he streaked into the LA sky as if shot from a cannon, pulled by the lift of 42 helium balloons holding 33 cubic feet of helium each. He didn’t level off at 100 feet, nor did he level off at 1000 feet. After climbing and climbing, he finally leveled off at 16,000 feet.

At that height he felt he couldn’t risk shooting any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really find himself in trouble. So he stayed there, drifting cold and frightened with his beer and sandwiches, for more than 14 hours 3 miles above the ground. He crossed the primary approach corridor of LAX, Imagine the surprise of the air traffic controller when she was informed by Trans World and Delta Airlines pilots that they just passed a man floating in his lawn chair. Eventually Larry gathered the nerve to shoot a few balloons, and slowly descended.

Unfortunately The hanging tethers tangled and caught in a power line, blacking out a Long Beach neighborhood for 20 minutes. But Larry finally got back on the ground where he was arrested by waiting members of the LAPD. As he was led away in handcuffs, a reporter dispatched to cover the daring feat asked him why he had done it. Larry replied nonchalantly, "A man can’t just sit around."

I believe if the Apostle Peter were here with us this morning, he would have chuckled at Larrys story for his mind may have went back to a stormy sea when while the other disciples were content to stay in the boat, Peter in essence said the same thing as Larry Walters, A man cant just sit around. This experience of the disciples in the storm can be an encouragement to us when we go through the storms of life. When we find ourselves in the storm, we can rest on several assurances that we will look at today. If you’re taking notes, the outline would be, He brought me here, He is praying for me, He will come to me, He will help me grow and finally He will see me through. First point is He brought me here, look at verse 22

22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away.

The context of this passage was the miracle of feeding the 5,000 – the people were so caught up in the miracle experience that they wanted o crown Jesus King and if the disciples had stayed, they certainly would have fallen in with the plans of the crowd. You see the Jewish people were looking for the promised Messiah and would have accepted Jesus as that Messiah, except for one thing. He did not fit the mold, He did not fit their idea of what the Messiah should be and do. They wanted a Messiah that would lead a revolt to overthrow the Romans and re-establish Israel to a Davidic type kingdom. Jesus wanted them to learn about the heavenly Kingdom, for it is easy to recognize God’s Kingship in the midst of miracles but Christ wants them to recognize His Kingship in the midst of storms.

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