The Blessing of Being Hidden With Christ

Colossians 3:3 contains one of the most amazing of statements. This statement has so many wonderful implications that it would greatly strengthen and bless our lives if we would allow it to. And in-fact, this particular verse of scripture contains a specific truth that is absolutely vital to our understanding of our identity and how we are supposed to live as new creations in Christ – yet sadly I have seen many people rush passed this truth and latch onto the verses following it, and adopt a self-focused mindset that is destructive, due to not taking the time to consider the truth of verse 3.

So in this study today, we are going to examine, both verse 3, and the verses which follow it; keeping everything in context, and viewing it all in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Every Good Gift is From God

God is a giver. In-fact every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Some of us may be familiar with the scriptures that speak on this point, but how often do we truly stop to consider the implications of what they are saying? Do we really believe and understand that every good gift actually comes from God?

In this study today, I would like to share with you just how deep and wonderful this truth of God actually is; and as we see it together, we will be able to appreciate the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ and His Grace, all the more.

The Names of God Show Who He is (Part 4)

Last week, we looked at one of the most important names of God, which was יהוה צדקנו – The ever-exiting God is our righteousness. And we saw how that righteousness is not merely a separate thing that He gives to us, but that He Himself is our righteousness. A very important distinction that highlights His glory, His grace, and the amazing union that we have with Him today in Christ.

Now in this study today, which is part four of our series looking at the names of God, we are continuing this theme by looking at the name of God יהוה מקדשכם, the ever-existing God, who is your sanctification.
This goes hand-in-hand with His name that we studied last week. And as before, it highlights His glory and His grace. As as we see this today, we will be able to enjoy deeper levels of unity with Him as we rejoice in the fact that, yes, He is both our righteousness and our sanctification.

Know That You Are Completely Clean Forever

One of the biggest hindrances (if not the only hindrance) to intimacy with God, is sin. Almost every single believer, and even most non-believers know this to be true. With that said, what is to be done about it?

This is where most people tend to branch-off into different directions regarding the solution to the sin problem. Some people set-out on a grand life-long quest to try and rid-themselves of wrong behaviors, wrong thoughts, and to “clean themselves” up, always reaching but never truly attaining perfection.
Others become so confused and intimidated by the whole problem that they become discouraged and defeated and just shut-down on the whole thing.
Still others accept their sin and decide that since they can’t do anything about it anyway, they might as well indulge it all the way.

But are any of these ways correct?

Must we live a defeated and striving life here on this earth dominated by sin and beaten-down with sin-consciousness?

Today in this study, we are going to answer that question, and through the finished work of Jesus Christ and His New Covenant of Grace, you will be able to have assurance, and confidence in your position from this day onward.

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.