Without Jesus, We Can Do Nothing

The name of this ministry ThrivingBranch, comes from the discourse that Jesus makes in John chapter 15, about Him being the Vine and us being the branches. We have done studies in this discourse before. Today however, we are going to focus in on one specific area of what Jesus said – one specific point which often gets overlooked; that without Him we can do nothing.
I emphasize that last part, because it is actually very important to our understanding and perspective of our relationship with Christ, and it’s also a point that is devastating to our own human pride.

You see, we tend to not really believe that Jesus meant what He said… that without Him we truly cannot do anything. Surely, He was exaggerating a little bit, right? Of-course He didn’t mean that we can’t do a single thing without Him, did He?

Indeed He did. And this is what we will be taking a look at today in this study. And by seeing this, we will be able to truly embrace our relationship with Christ, and understand the necessity for Him and everything that He provides to us.

Guarding Your Heart

If you’ve been reading the Bible for any length of time, you may be familiar with the words of Proverbs 4:23, which counsels us to be diligent to guard our heart, because the “issues of life” flow from it. And this has been interpreted to mean many different things… but if we aren’t sure what it means then we also can’t be sure if our heart is guarded properly!

Thankfully, the scriptures do not leave us guessing about how to guard our heart, and the benefits of doing so; and as we examine this today, we can see that it is not only simpler to guard our heart than we might think at first, but also incredibly beneficial for us to do so.

Nothing Can Hold-Back Your Healing

If you are in-need of healing, chances are that you’ve sought insight from many sources. And like myself in the past, you have probably run across the myriad of articles, books and opinions of various leaders that all seem repeat the same idea over-and-over again as if they were in an echo chamber… that healing exists, but there are all these prerequisites and qualifications before you can ever hope to receive it – and even then, it all depends on God’s will, so just don’t expect too much.

Believe me, I’ve seen those same articles – and they make it seem as though physical healing is more difficult and more precious and guarded of a gift than eternal salvation! The worst part of it is, because of such beliefs, precious people are dying every single day because healing has seemingly been fenced-off – and it has hindered the faith of many people. So today, I want to encourage you with the actual truth of Christ, the Gospel truth (which includes healing), that in-reality, nothing can hold back your healing today.

If you need healing, whether it be spiritual healing, emotional healing, or even physical healing, this study will set you free to receive it today.

Keep Your Hope High in Christ

One of the biggest areas of doubt for many people is a lack of hope. And as we have studied in the past many times, I am not speaking of hope as the world understands it to be, but I am speaking of spiritual hope, Biblical hope.

You see, worldly hope is like a wish, a dream, something that you don’t really expect.
Whereas spiritual hope, is a confident expectation.

In the Bible, when you see the word “hope” – especially in connection with Christ, it is always the spiritual kind of hope, the confident expectation of good.

For many people, their confidence is constantly being attacked and challenged. Their hope is always being pressed by situations, circumstances, thoughts and feelings. The world even likes to say “don’t get your hopes up!” – and that same sentiment has infiltrated churches as well.

I have been in many churches, where I have shared with my Christian brothers and sisters that I was believing for a miracle, and they would respond with something along the lines of:
“Yeah! That sure would be great… but don’t get your hopes up.”
“Absolutely! That would be amazing! But I can’t count on it.”

What I want to share with you today, is why you should go ahead and get your hope up, and also keep it up in Christ Jesus. And how by having a proper perspective through the lens of the finished work of Christ for you, you can stand against these attacks against your hope, and show others to do the same.

Beware the Bait-and-Switch

A very old scam with a long history, is called the “Bait-and-Switch”, were people are promised goods or services at a substantial discount, and then later come to find out that what they were promised is either not available, or not as good as was originally expected. The customers are then often highly-pressured to consider more expensive items instead of what they were originally promised.
In the United States, such actions are generally considered to be “false advertising” and many lawsuits have been filed over the years for such practices.

So it saddens me when I see people falling victim to the exact same type of bait-and-switch tactics in modern Christianity. There’s a lot of this going on today and most people don’t even realize that it’s happening to them. In many ways it happens very slowly and subtly, over a period of years, and it ruins people’s spiritual lives.

Well, the scriptures are not shy in warning about it, and so today I want to share with you some common bait-and-switch tactics in Christianity that I have come across, and how you can avoid them by knowing the truth of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 91, in the Light of Jesus Christ (part 3)

Psalms 91 is one of the greatest Psalms for those who believe on Jesus Christ, because it is a detailed list showing us all of the many ways in which God demonstrates His love for us – and what the finished work of Christ has given to us, even in this life.

In Part 1 of our study, we looked at the foundation: our personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our connection to Him, our oneness with Him – as mentioned in verse 1.
In Part 2 last week, we looked at the many gifts and blessings that are included in that relationship in verses 2 through 14.

Now today, in this third and final part of our study on Psalms 91, we conclude by completing the circle, as this all returns once again to our relationship with Jesus Christ, our personal connection with Him, as we see the final blessings and marvelous promises for us, found in the final verses of the chapter, verses 15 and 16.

Psalms 91, in The Light of Jesus Christ (part 2)

In last week’s study (part 1), we looked at the foundation of receiving everything mentioned in Psalms 91, by looking at the first verse. If you have not yet seen part 1, I highly recommend that you view that study first as again, it lays the proper foundation for everything that we will be examining today in this study – the foundation of course, is Jesus Christ and His finished work; and the relationship that is possible because of it.

Today we examine the blessings themselves… and hold on tight, because this is a fantastic journey beyond even your wildest dreams. Ephesians 3:20, mentions that Christ is able to do exceedingly, abundantly far above all you can ever ask or imagine – by His power that works in us! And we are going to be seeing exactly what that looks like today, in Psalms 91.

Your Victory in Christ, By Putting on Incorruption

As I’ve mentioned the last couple of weeks… I talk to a lot of people who claim to be believers in Christ, but seem to have more defeats than victories, They are constantly recounting the details of their latest trial, latest hardships or their latest burdens. From their perspective, the enemy is always on the offensive, and they are always on the defensive, struggling just to survive and make it through another day.

I see this quite often and it’s sad, it should not be. There are millions of people who have been deceived in the worst possible way, to quite literally spend their entire lives being subjugated by an already defeated fore. A foe who has been completely beaten and spoiled by Jesus Christ Himself.

Today what I want to share with you, is the victory (yes, victory!) that you have in Christ today, right now. Not sometime later when you get to heaven, but right now today in this world. And by seeing this, you will not need to live another single second in defeat. You will no longer be held hostage by a powerless enemy any longer.

Give Thanks In All Things

At one time or another, most of us have probably heard at least one sermon preached on the famous verse of 1st Thessalonians 5:18. This well-known verse says that we are supposed to “give thanks in all things.” It’s a tough pill to swallow for many people – not because the instruction itself is difficult, but rather because our interpretation of it makes it harder than it actually is.

You see, what I was taught long ago, and what many people still believe today, is that this famous verse says that we must “give thanks for all things”, when in-fact it doesn’t say that at all. And what I want to share with you today, is what this verse actually is saying, and why this in itself is a testament to Jesus Christ and your relationship with Him.

Present Yourself Properly

Anyone who visits here, or has listened to me teach before, has probably heard me mention our identity in Christ. I speak about our identity more than any other topic, simply because it is so very vital to understanding our relationship with Jesus Christ. Nearly every day, I end up meeting someone, or having a discussion with someone who fails to understand the reality of who they truly are in Jesus, and who He has made them to be. This literally breaks my heart to see people in such a state, because I know the pain of living that way far too well. I was stuck in that same spot for many years, and there was no one around to help me through it.

So whenever I encounter someone who needs to know this truth, I don’t hesitate to share it with them – and so I end-up talking about it quite a lot here as well in our studies. Yet I don’t always explain exactly why it is true. Most of the time, I mention it in passing, or as an aside to whatever topic we may be studying in-particular, and this sometimes leaves people wondering where exactly I am getting it from, or if I just made it up!

In light of this, today I want to share with you, how we are to truly see ourselves in Christ Jesus, and why it is true. And by seeing this, it is my wish (and God’s wish) for you to stand on the solid foundation of the finished work of Jesus Christ, for you.