Summary: We agonise over what we will we be when we grow up, but have we asked the question, "What will we be when we die?"

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What do you want to do when you die?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

 How many of you have sat around worrying about the answer to that question?

 I wanted to be a fighter pilot

 Wanted to fly at mach 2 with my hair on fire

 Here I am 30 years later and I’m still waiting for that first flight

 As you can see, things don’t always work out the way we expect them to

 My parents joined the church and instead of being a fighter pilot, instead I’m a sky pilot

Today I want to share with you a story of three bright young men, probably in their late teens

 They were happily studying at Jerusalem University when their plans to were rudely interrupted

 they were invaded by the Babylonians

 must have thought their dreams of a career in the big end of town go out the window

 but God had bigger plans for them, not only was their career going to continue, they were in line for a huge promotion

 it was not only Jerusalem but the whole Babylonian empire

 like going from Ballarat to Washington DC

 instead of the mayor’s office, it’s the president’s office

 sometimes God has bigger things in mind for us

Daniel 1:1-7 During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it with his armies. 2 The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah. When Nebuchadnezzar returned to Babylon, he took with him some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God and placed them in the treasure-house of his god in the land of Babylonia.

3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, who was in charge of the palace officials, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. 4 “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good sense, and have the poise needed to serve in the royal palace. Teach these young men the language and literature of the Babylonians.”

 Neb was smart, realised not just physical assets are important, but human assets are equal or of more importance

 5 The king assigned them a daily ration of the best food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for a three-year period, and then some of them would be made his advisers in the royal court 6 Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah.

Daniel 1:17-20 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for learning the literature and science of the time. And God gave Daniel special ability in understanding the meanings of visions and dreams. 18 When the three-year training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief official brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with each of them, and none of them impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were appointed to his regular staff of advisers. 20 In all matters requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, the king found the advice of these young men to be ten times better than that of all the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

Why did God give these young men special favor?

 I believe it had something to do with another question that we should be asking ourselves beside just what do we want to be when we grow up?

 That question is, What do I want to be when I die?

 It is so much more important to answer this question than “What do I want to do when I grow up?”

This may not be on our minds at this stage of life, but believe me it will be there rumbling around in the back of your minds until the matter is settled

 Shad etc were sitting pretty comfortable in the court of “Big Neb”

 But again something unexpected came up which jarred them out of their comfortable existence

Daniel 3:1-30

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then he sent messages to the princes, prefects, governors, advisers, counselors, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. 3 When all these officials had arrived and were standing before the image King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, 4 a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! 5 When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. 6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

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