Death was Defeated

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Matthew 28

With greater plans in store, three days, that’s all it took and our savior was given life once more. As Mary and Mary Magdalene went to visit the tomb where Jesus was buried, they were greeted by an angel of the Lord who came down from heaven and rolled back the stone from the entrance of the tomb. When the women approached the entrance, the angel called out to them saying:

Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: “He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.” Now I have told You (Matthew 28:5-7).

Once the women left, they crossed paths with Jesus and collapsed at his feet, praising him in awe. Furthermore, the eleven disciples hurried along to meet Jesus in Galilee upon receiving word of his resurrection. There on a mountain, Jesus told his disciples of the great commission.

Jesus said “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 19-20).

The death & the resurrection. What pinnacle events in the Christian faith as death was defeated once and for all. As you continue reading and growing this year (through the FUEL Bible devotions as well as other Bible study and training), ask yourself in what way/s you can spread the news of Jesus Christ and The Coming Kingdom of God. Are you willing to be a part of The Great Commission? This week we read through the Easter message, this weekend we will specifically celebrate this message, and day by day we give thanks for this message. What a beautiful message it is to share.

-Kayla Tullis

 

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For You

Matt 27 31

Matthew 27

Matthew 27 gives an account of the death of Jesus Christ. Within this chapter, Jesus is tried before Pilate, flogged, mocked by soldiers, beaten by staff, crucified, and buried. This sounds like a quick series of events if you’re simply reading the text but simply reading doesn’t compare to the reality of that day. After reading the story of the crucifixion once more, I am amazed. I am amazed by the obedience that Jesus exhibited while encountering an unimaginable amount of pain and suffering, yet he did so willingly for it was in his Father’s will.

 

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open” (Matthew 27:51-52).

 

“When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!’” (Matthew 27:54)

 

Surely he was & surely he is.

 

“At the cross, at the cross I surrender my life.

I’m in awe of you. I’m in awe of you.

Where your love ran red and my sin washed white,

I owe all to you.

I owe all to you, Jesus.”

-Chris Tomlin

 

What Love. What Grace. What Sacrifice.

The veil was torn. Jesus truly paid it all.

 

 

-Kayla Tullis

Not as I Will

Matthew 26

Matt 26 39

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

 

Our lives are so very busy. I know it can be hard to carve out the time to read these devotions & I applaud you for making it to this point! Some of you may be going through today & are just trying to make it to tomorrow. Some of you are stressed. Some of you are hurting. Some of you are worn. Some of you may be just fine. As we go through the highs and the lows of this life may we remember that the God who is with us on the mountain, when life is great, is the same God who walks with us in the valley, when life becomes much to bear. Today, I am challenging you to spend some quality time seeking after God. As you read through His word, I encourage you to turn off the world around you. Turn off your cell phones. Turn off your work desktop. Take a second to breathe. Pour yourself a cup of coffee (or for my southern friends, some sweet tea) and curl up next to your Bible, spending valuable time with our LORD.

Or, if there is another form of worship that draws you near to God, I encourage you to spend some time pursing it. God welcomes us with open arms. May we take some time today thanking Him for His faithfulness, His grace, and for His Son Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

A lot is happening here in Matthew Chapter 26. As Easter is approaching in just a few short days, now is a great time to read about and remember the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf. In Matthew 26, the events leading up to the death of Jesus have taken place: Jesus was anointed at Bethany, Judas planned to betray Jesus, Jesus and his disciples partook in the last supper, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial, Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, Jesus was arrested and put before the Sanhedrin, and Peter disowned Jesus. Below, I have listed a few passages that really stood out to me while reading in this chapter.

 

A Few of Many Key Passages in Matthew 26:

 

“I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom” (Matthew 26:19).

 

“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39).

 

“Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” (Matthew 26:53-54)

 

“But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matthew 26:64).

 

Jesus endured the worst to wash our sins clean. “Not as I will, but as You will.” What powerful words. He was sent out of love to die for you. Let that sink in today.

 

-Kayla Tullis

 

 

 

Well Done

Matthew 25

well done

The Parable of the Bag of Gold:

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:23).

The Parable of the Bag of Gold, in Matthew 25, tells the story of a master who left on a journey and entrusted his wealth to three servants. The first servant received five bags of gold, the second servant received two bags of gold, and the third servant received one bag of gold. The first two men went off and put their money to work, making the most of it. The third servant, however, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

The master returned later on and was pleased to find out that the first servant had accumulated five times the amount of money that was entrusted to them! Additionally, the second servant accumulated two times the amount of money that was entrusted to them!

When the third servant revealed to their master that they had nothing but the original bag of gold, the master was outraged. He called the servant wicked and lazy for burying the gold in the ground, for they practically wasted it.

 

“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them” (Matthew 25:29).

 

This parable reflects the way that God has entrusted us with different gifts, talents, abilities, and responsibilities. As my friend Mackenzie once told me “if you prove you are faithful and diligent with what God has given you, He’s going to entrust you with more and more.” How are you using that which God has entrusted you?

 

-Kayla Tullis

 

You Also Must Be Ready

Matthew 24

matt 24 44

 

You must be ready. Today, I am going to be real with you just as Jesus was real with his disciples when he spoke about the destruction of the temple and the signs of the end times in Matthew 24. There will come a day, whether you are ready or not, when Jesus Christ will return to establish his Father’s Kingdom. As I read about the return of Jesus, I am filled with excitement. How wonderful of a day that will be! While we await the coming of our Savior, it is important to keep watch as it is said in verses 36 & 42 that Father is the only one who knows exactly when this day will be.

 

It’s easy to think that we are indestructible. I picture a full life ahead of me with dreams and aspirations that I hope to one day fulfill. However, I know that this life is unpredictable and that each day is a blessing in itself. I picture her in my mind quite often. I picture her at our track practices, I picture her with livestock at the fairgrounds, I picture her when I walk into the church that she attended with my grandparents. And the thing is, I wasn’t even a close friend to Sara yet she has left such an impact on the world around me, forever changing my perspective on life. In the fall of 2017, Sara, a beloved member of my community, tragically lost her life after being struck by a speeding driver who was under the influence. This 15-year-old was kind, compassionate, gentle-spirited, and a friend to many. What I admire most about Sara is the way that she made her days count. Though her life was short, it was one worthy of living. I bring up Sara not to share a tragedy but to share the testament that her life was, one that proclaimed God’s glory. Sara accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and lived each day holding firm to her faith, loving the LORD above all else. When I think of Jesus’s words “you also must be ready,” I think of the fact that we never really know when the final days will be. Sara spent her days preparing for the return of our Lord. I find this trait to be honorable as I too aspire to live my life in this way.

 

Jesus laid out the signs of the end times in this chapter. He said that there will be:

  • many who come falsely claiming to be the Messiah
  • wars & rumors of wars
  • nations will rise against nations
  • famines
  • earthquakes
  • persecution & death, you will be hated by all the nations because of Jesus Christ
  • many will turn away from the faith & will both betray and hate each other
  • false prophets will appear, deceiving many
  • an increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold
  • a dreadful time for pregnant and nursing women
  • great distress
  • a darkened sun, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, the heavenly bodies will be shaken

 

But once this all takes place…

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other”

(Matthew 30-31).

 

Are you ready? Let’s seek to be like the faithful and wise servants in verses 45-47?

 

Jesus states in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 

Take heart, friends. Jesus is coming!

 

-Kayla Tullis

 

 

How to Be Great!

Matt 23 pic

Matthew 23

15 Seconds of Fame. All eyes on you. Receiving an applaud. Taking a bow. If we’re being honest, it is easy to seek recognition in life’s little & big moments. In Matthew 23, while speaking to his disciples and to the crowds, Jesus warns against acts of hypocrisy & the seeking of self-glorification. Moreover, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were setting a poor example in their daily lives for they did not practice what they preached.

 

Matthew 23:4 states, “they (referring to the Pharisees and the teachers of the law) tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.”

 

The teachers of the law & the Pharisees acted on a daily basis for all the wrong reasons. As it is said in verse 5 that “everything they do is done for people to see.” They craved high status. What do you think this may look like today? Maybe you have helped in a service activity with the sole intent of posting about it later on Social Media. Maybe you did the right thing just to impress someone. Maybe your worship service has lost the factor of authenticity and has become more of a production than anything. To this day, there are several ways that we may resemble the actions of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, even if we are doing so unknowingly.

 

I love this passage because Jesus paints a clear picture of how one can be great and it is not found in status. Matthew 23:11-12 states “for the greatest among will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

 

This verse reminds me of a prayer that I have come to like. “God, hollow me of anything that would get in your way… Hollow me of any pride, insecurity, and doubt. Make me hollow enough that You can breathe something through me that would turn people’s eyes to You. Make me a hollow enough vessel that You can breathe something that is literally beyond me.” –Toby Mac

 

According to Mac, this has become his heartfelt prayer- one that he prays right before he composes a new song of worship. Even in the midst of fame, Mac knows that God is the one worthy of praise.

 

Are you willing to do what is good even if you are not glorified by the world? Are you willing to get your hands dirty with your teammates, classmates, co-workers, employees, peers, (etc.) to complete a task? Are you willing to humble yourself? We are vessels, equipped with the ability to turn eyes to the Lord above. Vessels who can shine a glimmer of light into an all too often dark world.

 

Finally, consider Matthew 6:1-2 as you go about your days. “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full” (Matthew 6:1-2).

-Kayla Tullis

 

 

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It’s a Wedding Banquet You Won’t Want to Miss!

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Matthew 22 – Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Day by day, I am continually reminded that this life is ever short and ever precious. The saying “you never know what you have until it’s gone” has seemed to be a very frequent, very loud, and very clear message to me as I have gone about this year and have witnessed several loved ones finding themselves face to face with the most trying of situations. Though we walk through many trials in this life, comfort can be found in the eternal hope of the coming Kingdom of God.

 

Today, you have read through Matthew Chapter 22. In verses 1-14, Jesus uses a parable to compare the Kingdom of Heaven to a Royal Wedding Banquet.

 

As listed below, there are several points that can be taken away from this parable.

 

  1. “I have prepared my dinner. . . Come to the banquet” (Matt. 22:4).

This banquet wasn’t thrown together quickly. Rather, preparation took place to make sure that everything was just right. In the same way, our Father too is preparing His coming kingdom.

 

  1. Some of those invited “paid no attention and went off- one to his field, another to his business” (Matt. 22:5).

How many times have you heard the message of the Kingdom of Heaven yet ignored it? Maybe life has been “too busy” for you to RSVP to this wedding banquet event. Maybe your mindset is “I’ll look into it tomorrow.” What if tomorrow never comes? Are you actively preparing for the wedding banquet? Or in other words, are you seeking The Kingdom on a daily basis?

 

  1. “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come” (Matt. 22:8).

Do you feel unworthy of your invitation? That’s okay, I do too. It is true! None of us are deserving of the sacrifice that has been made on our behalf, such a sacrifice that bridged the gap between our sinful nature to a pure and holy God as we were washed clean by the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

  1. “Go into the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find” (Matt. 22:9).

Anyone is invited. We have the ability to spread the news of this coming Kingdom.

 

  1. The king noticed a man at the wedding banquet who was not wearing wedding clothes. He was thrown into the darkness. “Many are invited to this banquet, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22: 11-14)

Many are invited, but few are chosen. Let’s not waste our invitation to be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Rather, let’s live a life pleasing to God.

In doing so, may we hold true to Matthew 22:37-39.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

Your invitation is ready. Do you accept?

 

-Kayla Tullis

 

Hello everyone.  My name is Kayla Tullis and I am very excited to spend this week digging deep into the FUEL Bible Devotions with you all. I am nineteen years old and I attend North Hills Church of God in Ohio. I am currently studying at Edison State CC with the pursuit of becoming an educator one day. In addition to attending school full time, I play basketball at the collegiate level and work in childcare at the Kids Learning Place.