A Branch That is Thriving

I have been asked a number of times, about the name ThrivingBranch. What exactly does it mean, anyway? And while I have explained it before, It occurs to me that I have not shared an actual study on it in quite a while.

So in light of that, what I want to share with you today, is not merely the explanation of the name (that wouldn’t really constitute a Bible study by itself), but the words of Jesus from where the name ThrivingBranch comes from, and the amazing truth contained in it. And as we look at this today, we are going to see some aspects of our identity in Christ that will have a profound effect, even in our daily life.

Know Your Rights… in Jesus!

Rights. We all have them, although they are not always respected in certain places or in certain times, unfortunately. However there is one place in-particular that they are always respected. And that is spiritually. In Christ, we all have certain spiritual rights that are absolutely undeniable, and the Bible tells us specifically what they are because God wants us to know what our rights are, and He wants us to make full use of them.

Even so, many believers are not making use of their rights in Christ. They have been sold a false narrative that they have no rights at all. They have bought into the lie that they are weak, powerless, and without any real recourse in this world… that they must wait until the sweet by-and-by up in Heaven for any resolution. And that is simply not the truth. What I want to share with you today, is what the Bible has to say regarding your rights and what you can (and should) expect in Christ Jesus – not later when you get to Heaven, but right now, today, in this life.

Relax, God is Not Angry With You

I’ve encountered many people throughout my years, whom I have shared the truth with, that God is not angry with them. And many times, their response, was “I wish I could believe that.” They couldn’t receive the truth of God not being angry with them, because they were measuring His attitude towards them using a different standard. Instead of looking at the truth in scripture, they were looking at their current circumstances, their emotions and feelings of the moment, to gauge God’s mood, instead of what His eternal word says. When things were going well, God was obviously happy, and when things were not going well, God was obviously displeased. And so for these people, thy were constantly living a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Never on a solid foundation, but always on the shifting sand of the present moment.

However, God does not want us to live that way… that’s not the abundant life that He came to give us. He paid a high and precious price to reconcile us with Himself – and that is not a maybe, or a half-hearted reconciliation. Jesus has done a complete work, one that has a sure result; one that we can be confident in, and one that does not waiver back and forth like the wind, or get tossed around by the waters of daily life. What we will be studying today is why you can be absolutely sure of your status with God today. Why you can be bold and confident in your relationship with Him, and know beyond all doubt, why He is not angry with you today.

Your Reality in Christ, and Why Some Never See It

God’s will for you is nothing short of perfection. That fact must be completely understood right from the very start. His will for you is perfect and that is exactly what He has given to you as a gift. Perfection. He has given you Himself. He has given you Jesus, and through Jesus, you are madeperfectly justified, perfectly righteous, perfectly redeemed, perfectly holy, perfectly whole and perfectly healed. He paid for these things to be yours in Christ, and for all of those that have received Jesus, this is actually your reality today, as amazing as that sounds.

Why is it then that some never see this reality for themselves? Why is it that for some this reality seems to be nothing more than a fleeting wish. Why do some shrug it off as a fantasy. These are questions that many believers struggle with, these questions have even shipwrecked the faith of some people. And so we will be examining these questions today, and see what God’s Word says about them, in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ, so that these questions will not stumble people any longer.

Trust in Christ and Be at Rest

There are many verses in the Bible that speak of rest… the importance of rest, finding rest and remaining in rest are all topics that can be easily found – or even stumbled across when reading scripture. Why is it then that so many believers are searching for rest? Why is it that so few believers have actually found rest, both for their body and for their soul? Have we all been deceived? Is the scripture on big lie? Or is something else going on here?

Today in this study, we will be taking a look at the rest mentioned in the Bible, to see the details of it, and exactly how it is received. This information is crucial to living the abundant life which Jesus came to bring, and He wants every one of His children to be enjoying His rest.

Rest Your Faith and Belief on Jesus

Many believers struggle with their believing… they find it difficult to believe because their human senses and their natural mind and thinking overwhelms them when situations and circumstances appear contrary to the Word of God. It’s true. Everyone has felt that way at one time or another, and then on top of that, we encounter Christians who are all too eager to inform us that because we have these thoughts and feelings, that we are “wavering” and that God will not answer prayer, because of doubting. It then begins a vicious downward spiral of struggling with believing, to being told that because we are struggling that we can’t expect anything from God, and so it just gets worse and worse.

My friend, I’ve been there, and I know the depression and feeling of hopelessness that comes from that desperate tailspin. And today in this study I want to share with you a little-known mental-shift found in the scriptures that will completely change your outlook. When you see the truths in the Bible that we will be studying today, it will lift you out of despair and into peace. It will reinvigorate your belief from hanging over the precipice, to on the very mountaintop. It is my joy to share this with you today.

Embrace Grace and Be at Rest

In the world today, things are very high-strung. People are very busy going from this thing to that thing. Always in a hurry, and always desperately seeking, but never finding true peace; true inner rest and tranquility. Now the world has many different avenues by which people try to find peace. There are many rituals and tools, and things that people pursue to chase after this inward rest.

The Bible though has another method, one which is opposite to our natural human thinking. We tend to have this idea that in order to really rest that we must shut-off our mind, empty ourselves and relax.. usually in front of the television or with music. But are those activities truly “restful”? What we will be exploring today in scripture is true Biblical rest; what it is, and how to receive it.

A God of Second-Chances

You have probably heard it said before, that God is a God of second-chances. But what exactly does this statement mean? What is the implication of such a truth? If God is a God of second-chances, then does that mean that there are no second-chances without Him? And how precisely do we avail ourselves of the second-chances that we are offered?

In this study today, we are going to be answering these questions from scripture. Taking a look at where this popular phrase comes from and how it applies to our daily life. By seeing this truth, you can have security in the completed work of Jesus Christ, and doubt, confusion and fear will no longer steal the peace you have in Christ.

The Enduring Word of God’s Grace

You probably have heard it shouted from pulpit’s before “The grass withers, the flower fades, but God’s word is forever” – and while that proclamation is absolutely true, the manner in which it is typically spoken, is not. It is usually uttered in a negative way and with the implication of God’s judgment. It may surprise you to learn then that the context in which these words were spoken in the Bible was not the judgment of God, but His promises of redemption and blessing. The enduring word of God is not one of condemnation, but words of restoration and salvation.

In this study today, we will see that what is truly center focus in the Bible is actually a desire of God to redeem and restore that which sin has so utterly corrupted. It is sin that God must judge, not necessarily man. God’s true desire is to punish the sin but spare the sinner… just as our desire is to destroy a cancerous tumor, but spare the one that the cancer is destroying. So if you have been struggling with a wrong idea or belief about the nature and the character of God, then this study will give you a fresh revelation of His grace today.

Live a Life Enriched Through Christ

Jesus is Lord. What does this phrase mean to you? There are those today who see it purely as a title, or a mantra to be repeated. Yes Jesus is Lord, the God of creation and Savior of the world; never forget that fact… but He is also personal, intimate and able to enrich and provide for every area of your life. Some people recoil from this fact, afraid that it will somehow take away from His Lordship.

This misunderstanding of the nature and character of God has held many people in bondage due to them not receiving from Jesus many of the gifts which He desires to give them; and so we will be studying exactly how Jesus fulfills our lives, and we will be letting the Scriptures teach us these things so that there will not be any confusion any longer.