Devotionals by Jason Pankau

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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.”

All Things New – New Relationships

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Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Colossians 3:11-15 (NLT)

To be the holy people God intends us to be, our actions toward others must become more Christlike. As the body of Christ, we are called to live in togetherness, in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we catch ourselves not being merciful, not being kind, not being humble, etc., it should move us to repent and let God’s forgiveness strengthen us as we act to restore our relationships with one another.

Holy Week – Psalm 22

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Read Psalm 22
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.

O Lord, do not stay far away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

Praise the Lord, all you who fear him!
Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!

For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them,
but has listened to their cries for help.
Psalm 22:1-3,19, 23-24

Much of what happened during Jesus’ crucifixion is foretold by David in Psalm 22. Listen as Jason takes us through this prophetic psalm.

The key, when we are greatly afflicted, is remembering where our help is, that only God can help us. I must remember that I’m done—I don’t have to work hard to figure out how to get right with God. Jesus did it for me. And that’s the Easter miracle.