John

The One Who Completes Us

Our children, finances, homes, careers -any one of these things can easily become our focus, and if that happens, we will be left with very empty lives as we weren’t made to be completed by things or other people. In today’s video, Frank points us back to the One who IS our very life, the One who completes us. When we have Him, we need nothing else.


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The One Who Completes Us

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Whatever things you really cling to, whatever you fail to yield to God, whatever you look to as the source of your life will become the supreme issue of your life. Let me give you an example, if I’m going to try to get life out of my kids, then my kids are going to be the supreme issue in my life because that’s where my life source is. See how that works? If I’m taking my life from my finances, then money is going to become the supreme issue of my life. If I’m trying to get identity or life out of a house, that house is going to become the supreme issue of my life.


We only want God as the source of life. All those other things are just various, incomplete expressions of life. The only One who can give us total and complete life is our Father. John 5:26 says, “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself” Do you see that? That’s an amazing verse. He has life in Himself. He is life. Life is His nature. Do you realize what that means? If life is your nature, you don’t have need of anyone or anything. And here’s the glory of the new covenant. He takes this life which has life in itself, and He puts it in us to live that life through us and to express it through us. So all those other things cease to be a life source and instead become what they were intended to be—things to enjoy.

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How to Live Free in the Midst of Hardship

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In John 7:37, Jesus made a remarkable statement. He said, “If anyone is thirsty let [them] come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me…from [their] innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.” He tells us, I will satisfy that thirst, and I will satisfy it so fully that rivers of living water will flow out of you.”

“If anyone,” let’s stop there. It doesn't matter who you are, where you’ve been, where you find yourself any person anywhere, anytime, this is for you—Do you thirst? And then what does He say? Amazingly, He leaves it blank! He doesn’t say, “If you thirst after righteousness.” That's what we would have expected to see, right? He just says, “If you thirst.” In other words, “Whatever thirst you have, you can come to Me.” 

You see, we might think we're thirsting for something, but that's really not what we're thirsting for; we're actually thirsting for Him, we just don't always recognize it. You might be thirsting for money; but you're not really thirsting for money, you’re thirsting for security. And where can you get security from? From the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, darling! 

You might think you're thirsting for fame; you long to be recognized. What are you really thirsting for? Significance—and you can't get any more significant than being the child of the King of Kings of this universe!

You might think you're thirsting for sex. What are you really thirsting for? Sex! No, I'm just kidding. You’re thirsting for intimacy and you can get that from God. He's the One who knows your thoughts, not even your spouse knows your thoughts. He knows your thoughts and says, “I love you unconditionally.”

Are you thirsting for deliverance? No. What you're really thirsting for, is His freedom and did you know that you can be free even in the middle of a conflict? Oh yes, you can be free in the middle of a desert, you can be free even in a prison.  You can be free!


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The Secret to Being Truly Satisfied (video blog)

You've experienced it, haven't you? You're in deep turmoil, and you have a physical need, but the Holy Spirit provides the presence of God to you so richly, that you lose sight of the need you had. May Frank's words in this short video bring light into the darkness you are facing, as you are reminded that Father can satisfy your deepest thirsts.

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The Secret to Being Truly Satisfied

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Do you remember the story of John Chapter 4? The disciples were hungry so they go to the village of Sychar and Jesus stays behind. Why did Jesus stay behind? So he could meet with a lady called the Samaritan woman, who's had five husbands and is living with a man, and she comes to the well to draw water.

Why does the woman go to Jacobs well to draw water when Sychar had it’s own natural springs? She chose to travel a mile outside of town to the well because of the way she had lived. You see, she knew that if she went to those springs the other women would talk about her saying, “Oh there she is, the adulterer.” So she chooses instead to go a mile each way, twice a day, carrying heavy water pots just so she can avoid people.

And Jesus sees her and says, “Give me a little water to drink.”

Wait a minute, what is He doing? A Jewish man, talking to a Samaritan woman?! Oh, but if she only knew who was talking to her! If she did she’d be asking HIM for water because He’d give her a water that would satisfy her thirst forever!

So they have a little conversation about who He is, and who she is, and who He can be to her, and she leaves her water pot and runs to the village. Wait a minute... put the car in park! What does she do? She leaves her water pot, the water pot she was using to collect water in, the one she’d carried a mile out of town just so she could avoid people, and now she’s going back to the very people she was trying to avoid! Why would she do that? She did it so she could tell them about the Messiah she'd just found because you see, getting water didn't matter any longer because her soul was so satisfied that she didn't even recognize her thirst anymore.

The story continues and the disciples return with the food, saying “Master, we're here with the food.” Jesus replies telling them that He has food that they don't even know about, and they wonder who fed the Master! What does Jesus tell them? He tells them, “No, you don't understand, my food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and I've just done it. I've led a woman into Life and now I'm just not hungry anymore.” Isn’t that amazing? You've experienced it, haven't you, when you're in a deep turmoil perhaps, and you do have a physical need, but the Holy Spirit of God so provides the presence of God to you, that you lose sight of the need around you. It's exactly like what happened to David; Father infused his soul with His presence and it satisfied not only his soul but his fleshly need as well.

Thank you, Father, that you can satisfy our deepest thirsts.


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Mansions

Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are one day going to get a huge house to live in?

Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are one day going to get a huge house to live in?

So what is God talking about when the New Testament speaks of us getting a mansion? Let's think about that for a moment. Is that what heaven is really all about? Living out our days in the hopes that we are one day going to get a huge house to live in? Let's not trivialize the heart and purpose of the Bible in such a way! The Apostle Paul did not say that there was "one thing" that he pressed on for - to get a big mansion! What did he say? My "ONE THING" is to KNOW CHRIST!

The passage on "mansions" is found in John 14. The key to understanding John 14 is to read it in light of John 13. CONTEXT!!!

In John 13, Jesus has told them that He is going to go away, and they cannot go with Him. They are saddened by this news, of course. But then He tells them to not be troubled because He is going to prepare a place for them, in the Father's house are many "mansions". In doing so, He says that He will return for them again, and receive them unto Himself, that where He is they will be also. The heart behind this passage is an intimate relationship, not a construction project.

What troubled them is separation. Once you have tasted God, you want all of God, and cannot stand the thought of separation from God. Now focus on the word "mansions".... the word is really dwelling places or as I would translate it "abidings". Jesus is going to prepare places for "abiding",  places where He and us can live together in union. And note that He says as soon as He prepares that place, He will return and we will be received unto Him.

May I suggest, that this has nothing to do with mansions in the sky that we have to wait for one day when we get to heaven in order for us to be able to have Jesus receive us! In the context, the place He went to prepare is us! Rom 6 tells us that He took us to the cross. There He killed our old man, our old sinful self and resurrected us brand new creations (II Cor 5:17). Having now been "prepared", having been made right, He the RIGHT ONE could now come back to us and live in us, through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now He could receive us unto Himself so that we could be with Him (seated in Heaven right now Eph. 2:6) and so that He could be with us wherever we go. 

This is our true "ONE THING" --- to know Christ! The Greek word for "know" there is ginosko which means to know by experience. I do not believe that God made a bunch of big houses for us to dwell in in heaven, but I do believe He "prepared us" as the place of His own residence so that we could be with Him and experience Him forever.  And it all is starting right now and continuing in union with Him when we leave this earth.

WOW!

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Where We Should Fix Our Eyes

In the many years that I have studied the Bible, I have loved reading the letters of Paul because he ministers to my mind. He provides me with truth.

In the many years that I have studied the Bible, I have loved reading the letters of Paul because he ministers to my mind. He provides me with truth.

Did you know that the only New Testament writer that uses the term “anti-Christ” is the Apostle John? As I have meditated on that, I have come to the conclusion that is as it should be. John was the one known as the beloved Apostle. John was the one who laid his head on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper. John was the only one at the cross. John was the one Jesus entrusted his earthly mother too when he was about to die.

In the many years that I have studied the Bible, I have loved reading the letters of Paul because he ministers to my mind. He provides me with truth. But I have loved reading the letters of John because he ministers to my heart. So I find it fitting that the one who was so in love with Jesus, should be the one who recognizes that which is not of Jesus, that which is “against” Jesus, which is what the word “anti” means. 

I believe this speaks volumes to where we should fix our eyes. Ours is not to be concerned with identifying or searching out what is wrong, but rather to so be devoted to Jesus that anything contrary to Him will be readily identifiable. The one whom Jesus loved, he is the one who saw that which was not of Jesus. Let it be so with us, may we see Jesus so intensely, that all that is anti-Jesus will be readily identifiable in our hearts and minds.

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Father Is A Name of Summation

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent that no one name can adequately describe Him.

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent that no one name can adequately describe Him.

On the final night of His life, Jesus prayed what has been called His “High Priestly Prayer” in John 17. It is one of the most incredible possessions we have because it takes us into the “dialogue of God”. In it, we are afforded the privilege of listening in to “God talk” between the Father and the Son. Amazing! 

In that prayer, Jesus declares that He has finished the work that He was sent to do. He states that “Father, I gave unto them (us) your name!” Now think about that! Throughout the Old Testament God manifested Himself through a multiplicity of names. El Shaddai, Elohim, Yahweh, Jehovah Rapha and so on. This is as it should be, because really, how do you describe God?

He is so grand, glorious, and magnificent
that no one name can adequately describe Him.

There was one name however, that was not used in the Old Testament that Jesus used throughout the Gospels. In fact, in His communication with God, the religious world was scandalized at how freely and intimately Jesus used this name - - - Father! I believe with all my heart that this is the name that Jesus was referring to in John 17.

All those other names, though they contain wonderful truth about the nature of the Father, are limited in their scope. Father is a name of summation. It wraps up in one word all that He is and longs to be to us. A father is strong, a father is a provider, a father is a protector, a father loves his children and desires and implements the best for his children, and we could go on and on. It really is, the name above all the other names for God, the name that He desperately wanted us to know, the name He sent Jesus to herald to us.

This is so important to understand because most people get their view of the Father from distorted sources. They view our heavenly Father through the lens of their own earthly father. That is so potentially destructive because so many earthly fathers are horrible fathers. Please understand, even the best earthly father is a hideous distortion of what our heavenly Father is really like. Others get their understanding of the Father from religious leaders, renaissance art, and a faulty understanding of the Scriptures and end up with a heavenly Father that they are desperately afraid of in His awesome glory. No, my friends. The Father is love. That is what it says in I John. And our Father wants to be known for who and what He is really like. Maybe I could put it this way if I could be so bold? He is tired of so many others telling what He is like in their own distorted views, so He sent His Son to herald once and for all what He is all about. “I am your heavenly Father, and so you could know Me and how much I love and care for you, I sent you My Son to provide you with a visual so that once and for all you would know what I am really like!"

Who is God? Oh, He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and sovereign, and omniscient and all those other glorious attributes. But He is above all else, My Father, which means that He is omnipotent and omnipresent, and sovereign, and omniscient and all those other glorious attributes to me personally as my Abba (Papa) God!

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My Name is Branch Frank.

Ours is a multi-faceted identity.

We are not only called saints, we are called slaves of righteousness. Did you know that when we were born again and freed from sin, that we really just exchanged Masters? Then, where is our freedom? The glory is that now, finally, we can be what we were created to be – vessels of righteousness, the very slaves of righteousness. GLORY!

We are also called “children of God” and that is glorious because it provides us with a family and especially a real Father instead of our former father the devil.

We are called soldiers because we must never forget that we are in a war. If we are not prepared for and ready to fight at any moment, there is a very real danger that we will become a casualty and fall into a sin that might have devastating consequences.

We are called the light of the world, we are called vessels of mercy, we are called living letters and on and on it goes.  Father wants us to understand the full glory of Who He is, who we are in Him and ALL that He longs to do in and through us as we trust Him by faith. I will say it again as I have said it so often,

“God wants to be ALL that He is, to all that we need, at the moment of faith.”

That is why I would share with you today, one of our identities that I don’t believe we hear enough about. We are “BRANCHES!” John 15 records how important this aspect of our identity truly is. Jesus told us in that passage, that we are branches, and that He and HE ALONE is the true vine. Please understand that a branch does not produce fruit because it cannot produce fruit. A branch is just a branch, something that really is worthless without being connected to the vine.

This reality should put a lot of preachers out of business. Can you hear them? “You wicked branch! Look at you! You haven’t produced any fruit! You are lazy and slothful, are you even born again?” And the poor little branch speaks in a muffled voice, “But I tried!” And the preacher screams back, “You need to re-dedicate your life to God and try harder!!!” And now, with tears streaming down his/her cheeks, the little branch “rededicates” his/her life to go back out into the world and try harder to produce fruit, which of course, they will NEVER be able to do on their own. Their Christian life will be lived in perpetual frustration and failure. They may even reject the faith and claim that Christianity does not work.

That is so very sad. They are trying to do what they can never do because they do not understand who they are. They are a BRANCH! End of discussion! God said it is so. A branch does not produce fruit. The only responsibility a branch has is to connect to the Vine. When connected to the Vine, the LIFE that is in the Vine will flow through the branch and that Vine LIFE flowing through the branch will produce the fruit that the branch will now bear!

Please hear the words of Jesus. It is not your job to produce fruit. It is your job to bear fruit, but that will only occur when you are intimately connected to and dependent on our Vine Jesus, to express His life through you as you trust Him by faith. I don’t believe Jesus could have made it more clear than when He said in John 15, “Without Me you can do nothing!”

I believe that we have a two-fold problem. Far too many people just don’t believe or appropriate what He said, and then off they go to try and do what they cannot do because they don’t understand who they really are. You are a weak, frail, branch! End of discussion! But, when you connect to the Vine and His LIFE is flowing through, you are strong, complete, and so full of life bearing fruit that others can come to you and experience God Himself living His Life in and through you.

My name is Branch Frank, and I hope that I have encouraged you in our own “branchness” to abide in Him that you might bear much fruit.

God LOVES Man. Period.

The “great verse” of the Bible is John 3:16. Millions of people throughout history have made it their favorite verse. It is in summary, the Bible in miniature. “For God so loved the world…” That is our starting point. The love of God for man. GOD LOVES MAN! End of discussion! No matter what man has done, no matter how many times man does it, and no matter who man does it with… and “it” can be very, very bad… NOTHING can hinder the love that God has for man.

But how can that be?

Because as I John 4 says, “God is love.” Note very carefully that it does NOT say, “God HAS love.” If God has love, then someday God might not HAVE love. But because love is what God is, God will never NOT have love or He would cease to be God. Isn’t that glorious? In other words, God has love for us, not because of what we do or who we are, but because of Who He is! 

Now, because He loves, He gave His Son… This too is wonderful, because for love to be love, it must be not just stated, but demonstrated. It is not enough for me to say I love Janet, I must show her that I love her as well. If I say it, but not do it, then my love would be in question. No one ever need doubt the love of God, for all they need do is look at the cross. In the cross, God shows us that He loves us.

Then, for love to be love, there must be the receiving, experiencing, and then expressing love back to the original lover. And so the verse says, “that whoever believes would not perish but have eternal life.” But what is belief? Remember the context of this verse, earlier in John 3, we are instructed by Jesus what faith is all about. He reminds all of us how in the wilderness when a man or woman was bit by the serpents, all they had to do was look at the brass serpent that Moses had placed upon the wooden staff. So it is for us. This is not the faith of great devotion and sacrifice --- oh no! All that is required when you are bit by the serpent, lost in sin, its venom flowing through your body and killing you --- again, ALL that is needed is the “glance of faith” to the One who has been lifted up on His wooden cross --- And the promise is you shall not perish, but have Life and that Life eternal. Glory! 

Oh my friends, if God wants to save mankind, and He does, why would He make it difficult? He has made it so simple… all that is required is the ”glance of faith” to the One Who has laid down His life on our behalf. GLORY!