Summary: What it means to live in connection with Christ.

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John 15:1-16

Let me introduce you to Billy Bob Brewer. Its been a long time coming, B.B….

Finally realizes he is a sinner….and it bothers him.

He starts trying to find spiritual peace—so be shows up a church. First, it’s a preaching service, then a Bible class, even a Wednesday night. But he is in a spiritual fog and still has no peace in his heart.

Billy Bob tries harder. He stops some habits, he cleans himself up a little. But guess what? Still no peace.

After months of trying and failing, struggling and losing, in desperation he feels the hopelessness of his condition and finally sees for the first time that if he is ever to be saved eternally from the awful penalty of sin it will be because of Jesus Christ alone–His death, His burial, His resurrection!

He comes to the end of himself and in simple faith he trusts Jesus. And, now, guess what? That’s right—heaven came down and glory filled his soul. Peaces comes in like a river. Joy fills his once empty life. Love floods his heart. Hope is sure and steadfast.

Immediately, church is the pleasure of his life. He is the first one there every week, ahead of the janitor and the last one to leave. He cannot get enough of church.

And the Bible is a living Book. He starts reading it day and night.

Prayer to him is as simple as a child talking to his Father. There is a lot of stuttering and stammering, but its real—straight from his heart to the heart of the God that has just found him.

He has an overwhelming drive to tell all his lost friends about Jesus and brings more people to the church services in a month than the “mature Christians” have in a year.

One Sunday Billy Bob is in church and his pastor mentions tithing. It’s the first time he had heard the word. “What tithing?” he asks the “mature Christian” sitting next to him. “That means you are to give 10% of your income to God through the church.” “Only 10%,” Billy Bob says. “Why I have been giving everything I can get my hands on!”

And one night the church calls an emergency Business Meeting. That is certain death for any new Christian. The situation was bleak. From all the information at hand, the church would not survive until next Sunday, without a miracle. That was the majority consensus of all the “mature Christians.” Every church usually has at least three groups.

* Feelers. “I feel…” Have you ever noticed? They never feel good or

positive about anything.

* Figurers. The calculators on the I-phones are red hot and they have

figured God out of business. The one things some people in the church

have not figured out is the while we are to be business-like in our

involvement in God’s work, God’s work is not a business in the world’s

sense of the word.

* Faithers (okay, I made that word up).

Billy Bob is a “faither.” He can’t figure out why the upright are so uptight about the financial needs of the church. He said he had started reading his Bible and had not read far, but he had read how God led the children of Israel out of place called Egypt (he wasn’t sure about the adults), and God took them through a place called the Red Sea and fed them six days a week for 40 years and gave them clothes and shoes to last the whole time. Lo, and behold, Billy Bob got the whole church so stirred up, a revival broken out in the church that night! It is known to this day as “The Billy Bob Brewer Revival.” Okay, I made that up.

Let’s leave the Billy Bob Brewer story and ask some questions.

What made Billy Bob such an alive, on fire, full of faith, successful Christian?

A: Not his in-depth knowledge of the Bible. Why, he thinks the Bible has 68 books—the 67th is “Concordance” and 68 is called “maps.

A: Not his vast Christian experience. He hardly knows when to stand up or sit down in church services. As a matter of fact, it is downright embarrassing to some in the church about how little he knows about church.

So, what is his secret? Here it is. Billy Bob is what he is, and does what he does, and is alive and on fire and a spiritual success (are you ready for this?)… because he is right with God! His success is spontaneous. He doesn’t work at being successful. He doesn’t work at work. He works at being right with God. Jesus Christ is real to him and he wants to keep it that way!

And as long as Billy Bob is right with God, he will have God’s blessings on him and, my friend, that is success. Success is being all God designed you to be in Christ!

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