Ephesians – Chosen

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Read Ephesians 1:3-8

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4 (NLT)

Every single day I need to be reminded of who I am in Christ. I am God’s precious chosen creation. And even though I have strayed from God’s holy way, He has redeemed me by the blood of Christ to live to the glory of God.

He is Risen – Presence

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Read Matthew 28:16-20

[Jesus said] “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b (NLT)

When we are walking in faith with God, we still often wonder “What comes next?” Jesus usually doesn’t answer this, especially not immediately, but his promise here still holds—“I am with you always.” Periodically, look back and see how God has provided, how he has been with you in every situation. Then continue in his will, knowing that wherever you are, whatever you are facing, Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.

He is Risen – Pentecost 2

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Read Acts 2:22-40

Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today. Acts 2:33 (NLT)

We need Pentecost moments like this every day. We need a new sweep of the Holy Spirit to refresh His church, to move through us and to explain to everyone that we need God, and that that’s exactly why He came. Our lives can be so rich and so marvelously filled with His love, that we don’t have be alone, or afraid, or submit to Satan’s temptations. Let us pray that God would continue to make us willing to listen to Him, and to obey.

He is Risen – Pentecost

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Read Acts 2:1-8

They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!” Acts 2:7-8 (NLT)

The miracle of Pentecost – Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come, and he comes. The Holy Spirit enables people from all nations to hear from God what they need – who they are, who Jesus is, how they need him, and what he did for them – they need to hear the gospel. And it starts with the disciples resting, waiting on God. That enables God to use them mightily to draw many people to repentance.

He is Risen – Remembrance

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Read John 21:15-19

Then Jesus told [Peter], “Follow me.” John 21:19b (NLT)

In this passage, Jesus calls Peter to remember what Jesus has commissioned Peter to do. In the same way the Holy Spirit calls each of us to remember what we have been created and commissioned to do for the Kingdom. Listen as Jason encourages us to stay about the work of the Lord, so God can use us to bless many people.

He is Risen – Penitence

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Read Luke 24:44-53

There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent. – Luke 24:47b

When we humble ourselves before God, confess our sins and repent (enabled by the Holy Spirit), then we can be forgiven. Only after being forgiven are we ready to be used by God to share the good news of his forgiveness with other. Listen as Jason prepares us for Ascension Day.

He is Risen – Proof

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Read John 20:24-29

Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” – John 20:29 (NLT)

Thomas wanted what a lot of us want—proof. So Jesus provided it, knowing that Thomas would respond with worship and obedience. And God will do the same for us, providing the proof, the assurance we need so that we can be at peace. Listen as Jason elaborates on the fact that “God’s got you.”

He is Risen – Possibility

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Read Luke 24:13-34

Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:25-27 (NLT)

The disciples in today’s passage were discouraged because they couldn’t see or imagine what God was up to. When you are facing difficult circumstances and are stuck in disbelief, consider the possibility that God may be working even in those situations. As we recall what we have learned earlier about God’s work in our lives and in others’, we can reopen our minds to the possibilities that the resurrected God has for our future.

He is Risen – Perspective

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Read John 20:11-18 (NLT)

“Dear woman, why are you crying?” the angels asked [Mary].
“Dear woman, why are you crying?” Jesus asked [Mary]. John 20:13,15 (NLT)

When I’m stuck in my perspective, and am confronted with people who can look at my situation from God’s perspective, the two won’t match up, and I have a chance to recognize the difference and see the bigger perspective.
How often are you stuck trying to work things out on your own, instead of searching the Word of God, or consulting other faithful Christians who might have a God-perspective on your situation? Believe that it’s not something wrong with God, but something going on with you, that there is something stopping you from recognizing the presence of God in your midst. Let Jason encourage you to get past your limited perspective and return to God’s mission for you.

All Things New – A New Commandment

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As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13:31-35

Many people today, even Christians, are not comfortable or receptive to the idea of “commandment.” Yet Jesus (our Lord and King) commands us to love one another. We don’t (or even can’t) do this perfectly, but when we fall short, we need to see that as sin and repent of it. As we grow closer to Christ, the Holy Spirit will work more and more often through us, so that our loving words and actions “prove to the world that we are [Jesus’] disciples.”