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Summary: God desires us to advance his kingdom through witness and service

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“Planning for the Kingdom – Luke 12:13-34

Gladstone Baptist Church – 9/1/07 am

1. We plan for our financial future, but we don’t plan for God’s kingdom. Vs 33b-34, 29-31OOPS

We are now half way through January and most of you have returned to work. There has undoubtedly already been a lot of planning for the coming year in your minds. You are organising your desk, your schedule. You have to buy a new diary. Archive your past emails and your notes. You need to think about your commitments for this next year and decide when you are going to plan holidays and the like. It is the time when you look over your budget again and see what you can afford to do on your home. Whether you can afford to upgrade the car or the boat or the TV or the surround sound system. It is a time to revisit your ambitions in life and see how you can take another step to achieving them. Maybe it is the year to finally go and start some study. Maybe it is the year to start saving some money. Maybe it is the year to launch out on a new adventure.

Larry Walters was born in 1949 and ever since he was 13 years old , he had been taken to an Army-Navy surplus store and saw weather balloons hanging from the ceiling. Since then he dreamed of being carried into the sky by such balloons. He had an obsession with this dream for the next 20 years until on 2nd July 1982, Larry, tied 42 helium filled balloons to a basic aluminium deck chair in his backyard outside of Los Angeles . It was anchored to a friends car with 2 nylon ropes. His goal was to float across the desert and hopefully make it to the Rocky mountains in a couple of days. He had planned it all out and had water bottles for ballast and a BB gun to shoot out the balloons to help him descend. He even wore a parachute for added safety.

When he was ready, his support crew cut the first rope and the second one subsequently snapped and Larry shot into the sky at over 300m per minute. It was so sudden, that Larry lost his glasses in the initial ascent, but he had planned for such an emergency and had a second pair in his pocket.

He climbed to over 5000m and for several hours drifted near the Long beach municipal airports. A TWA and Delta pilot spotted him and reported him to the control tower.

It was very cold up at 5000m and so he shot out a couple of balloons and started his descent. He unfortunately dropped his gun during the descent, and eventually landed in some high voltage power lines in Long Beach, 15 km from his launch point. Thankfully the tethers he used protected him from electrocution.

The Federal Aviation Administration wasn’t amused. A spokesman said shortly afterwards … "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed, If he had a pilot’s license, we’d suspend that. But he doesn’t." Larry was later fined $4000 for breaking 4 sections of the act. One being … operating a "civil aircraft for which there is not currently in effect an airworthiness certificate."

Larry was a bit crazy, but you have to admit, that he did a lot of planning for his little adventure.

I don’t know how many of you in 2007 are going to fulfil one of your life long ambitions – maybe some of you might. Is anyone planning anything this crazy?

Okay I want to see what people are planning. Put your hand up if you are planning any of these things …

Is anyone planning on doing some holiday travel outside of QLD this year?

Is anyone planning on travelling overseas this year?

Is anyone planning on any home improvements? A new kitchen, a new bathroom, new carpet, a deck, a pool?

Is anyone planning on getting a new car this year? What about a new boat, TV, Surround sound system or other electronic appliance.

Is anyone planning on changing jobs this year?

Is anyone planning on getting your finances in order and going to see a financial planner?

Okay, I don’t want you to put your hands up for this one, but I want you to think about whether you would be able to in all honesty put your hand up if I ask you if any of you were planning to do something specifically that would advance God’s kingdom?

I think that many of you would have to think hard about that one wouldn’t you – “What am I really doing to advance God’s kingdom?” Jesus said to his would be followers … Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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