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Summary: There are three "C’s" to assure we start the year off right.

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START THE YEAR OFF RIGHT

By: Chuck Hendrix

I’m sure you are well aware the way you begin anything greatly affects the way you end.

Starting off right is so important. You have heard of things getting off to a rocky start. Though it is not impossible to have a good ending when you start off on the wrong foot, it does certainly make things more difficult.

So this morning, the first Sunday of 2001, I want to help you START THE YEAR OFF RIGHT. In fact, there are three “C’s” that will ensure you start this year off right.

This past Thursday, I went to the school to pick up Jason. There were a group of bus drivers talking. One of the them said that both her parents and her in-laws were living with her. One of the other drivers said, “As far as I’m concerned, You deserve a free ticket to heaven.”

I chuckled. Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy? If the only thing you or I had to do to get to heaven was to convince another person on earth, that we deserved a free ticket, it would be so simple. But there is more to it than that.

The first “C” that will insure you start off the year right is…

1) CONVERSION

H. L. Hunt made millions of dollars as a Texas oilman. He was an aggressive businessman who had little regard for time. His chief confidant said he was just as apt to call in the middle of the night, as he was to call in the middle of the day. One night Hunt called at 2:00 a.m. and said, "John, I just made the greatest trade of my life. I traded the here for the hereafter." That was the night H. L. Hunt had become a Christian.

· "Bivocational Ministers," Paul Powell

THERE ARE SIX STEPS TO THE CONVERSION PROCESS..

1) Hear – Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

2) BELIEVE – Mark 16:16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

3) REPENT – Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

4) CONFESS – Romans 10:9,10 “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

5) BE BAPTIZED – 1 Peter 3:18-21 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

A certain businessman arrived at the airport 30 minutes in advance of his flight. He went to the ticket window and received his boarding pass.

Next, he checked his suitcase in plenty of time to get it on the proper flight with him, then sat down with a magazine in the lobby waiting for time to board.

Since this was his first chance to relax all day, he closed his eyes for what he thought would be a ten minute "cat nap." He rested his eyes right through the first, second, and final boarding calls on his flight.

When he awoke, a quick glance at the clock on the wall snapped him back to reality. The flight had taken off without him. He had done everything right except one. He had not gotten on board.

Some people are going to miss the plane spiritually if they do not get on board. It is fine that we have faith and Christian parents and atmospheres in our homes. But we must accept Christ to get on board.

6) LIVE – Romans 6:1-4 “RO 6:1 “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

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