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Summary: Sitting on curb waiting in a small Texas town waiting for the CHRISTmas parade to start, I began to witness to a young man sitting next to me. I asked him where he was from and then he asked me, "Where do you stay?" This question led to this message...

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iNTRODUCTION: I recently read about SIX THINGS WE NEED TO LEAVE IN 2014: They were 1) Regrets, 2) Negative Thinking,

3) Drama, 4) Chaos, 5) Anger, and 6) Resentment.......

But how do we go about making this practical?........

I came across one person's NEW YEAR's RESOLUTION SOLUTION about how to keep his resolutions:

He said, "I've made it from the bed to the couch....there's no stopping me now!"

QUESTION; WHAT WILL MAKE 2015 DIFFERENT THAN 2014.....IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU STAY !

I. STAY: FAITHFUL by staying in SERVICE...Matt 20:20 - 28

* It is easy to get to the age or place in life:

* where we feel we need to "hang up the reins and spurs " and sit down and soak

* where we feel others, perhaps younger or healthier, or etc, etc. should be doing the work of the church

* where we feel we are not appreciated or praised enough by the Pastor or people around us

* where we get LAZY and do not want to make the effort to do our part in the church

* JESUS came into the world as a baby to become a SERVANT and HE gave us the instruction that if we wanted to become

great in GOD's eyes, HIS eyes, we should seek to be a servant and not to be served

* JESUS was the perfect example of a SERVANT

* Matt 5:16 says that we are to let OUR LIGHT (JESUS in us) shine so men can see HIS good works in us and glorify our

FATHER WHO is in heaven

ILLUSTRATION: Recent article in Yahoo news declaring the continuing work of those people in their 80's and 90's...one being

T. Boon Pickens and others

ILLUSTRATION: Elderly Man in former church who only came to Eatin" Meetins but did not have time to come to anything other work

or services of the church because he was too busy...he contracted cancer and then he was at everything, yet he only had such

a short time to do anything for GOD.....

ILLUSTRATION: A Preacher Friend of mine, the same age as me, died suddenly just a couple of days ago....his time for laying up

treasures for eternity are over......we each have a certain number of days allotted to us here to allow JESUS to do (Phil 1:6)

what only GOD will accept (Phil 1:27)....we must stay connected to THE VINE that we might produce the Fruit that should be

produced by a more mature SERVANT of GOD

NOT ONLY SHOULD WE STAY; FAITHFUL by staying in SERVICE in 2015 but we should:

II. STAY: FAVORED - by STAYING SWEET..

* Scripture says that JESUS "Grew in Stature and in Favor with GOD and men"

*ILLUSTRATION: Tell the story of Joseph and the favor granted him .

ILLUSTRATION: *.Matt 5 gives examples of those who were Blessed or Favored (elaborate on

* Forgive as you have been forgiven

* Forget how you've been mistreated

* Don't harbor hate for your mate or any other

* Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes knowing that they generate strife...See 2 Tim 2:22-26

QUOTE: 90% of the friction of daily life is caused by the wrong tone of voice..

.Proverbs instructs us to "study how to speak"

in Prov 16: 3, "Commit (roll over on) your works to (or on) THE LORD and your thoughts WILL BE established."

"THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK" so if you do have to eat your words, they will be sweet"

NOT ONLY SHOULD WE; I. STAY; FAITHFUL BY STAYING IN SERVICE AND

II.STAY: FAVORED BY STAYING SWEET

WE SHOULD:

III. STAY: FOCUSED BY STAYING IN SCRIPTURE (Expound on 2 Tim 3:1-17

and FINALLY, WE SHOULD:

IV. STAY FREE BY STAYING IN THE SPIRIT (2 Cor 3:17: Expound Galatians 5)

* Romans 6 tells us that we have been set FREE from SIN by the Death, Burial and Resurrection of CHRIST from the dead

* It also tells us that we have been set FREE FROM SELF by the LIFE of CHRIST within us

ILLUSTRATION: I got to the place in my CHRISTian life in my late 30's where I pondered this statement:

"Either the CHRISTian life is a whole lot less than I expected, or it is a whole lot more than i'm experiencing"

GOD sent me on a JOURNEY with JESUS that proved to me that the only way to live FREE in this life was to

allow HIM to live HIS LIFE in me......Gal 2:20 became my THEME VERSE for LIFE along with Isaiah 40:31....

ILLUSTRATION: Wife called me recently asking me to help her family....her husband was an alcoholic (a saved one, btw, but

running from GOD....She too, was saved and addicted to pain meds.......they both were in bondage to selfish

sins of the flesh because they were presenting their bodies as instruments of unrighteousness......but the moment

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