Words

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato
As Christians, we have the opportunity to show someone Christ without even mentioning His name. We have grown accustomed to saying “I’m Christian” instead of being Christian. A major way to show the world the love of God is by our words. We should not say things that will cause people to sin or go against the church. Our words should always be graceful, beneficial, and kind to the hearer (Colossians 4:6). Words are very impacting. You can be nice to someone for years, but they’ll never forget the one time you did them wrong. You may be forgiven, but you cannot take back your words. So to avoid the hurt, just learn to limit your words and speak to people respectfully.
 

Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. (Proverbs 10:19)

 
Before you speak, ask yourself:
1. Is this true?
2. Is this helpful?
3. Will they be offended?
4. If it needs to be said, does it have to be said now?
5. Even if I’m right, how can I say this without a judgmental approach?
“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Whoever made that up was very clever, but that is definitely far from the truth. Many of us today struggle with insecurities because of things once said about us. Called names and ridiculed, and in return leaving many scars. If that is you, I will definitely like to encourage you and let you know that you are good enough, you are beautiful, and Jesus thinks you are to die for. Never let someone’s opinion of you change your reality. God did not make a mistake. Before you speak, think about what you are saying. You want your actions to point people to God, not to insult anyone. The bible says it is almost impossible to reach a person that was previously offended (Proverbs 18:19). You do not understand someone’s battle, so just use your mouth to keep them in prayer.
Here’s a challenge for you! This week, choose one of these 2 ways to impact/uplift someone with your words:
 
1 – Use your words to share Jesus.
If you love Jesus, why not share Him? Yes, the Bible says they will know us by our love, but how can someone come to salvation if you don’t share the gospel (Romans 10:14)? Talk about Jesus as often as you can. Please don’t be awkward though.
Friend at work: “Hey, would you like to come to lunch with us?”
You: “I can’t, but Jesus loves you. Let me know when you have a minute to discuss salvation and your eternal dwelling place.”
Just please don’t. But pray that God will open a door for you to share your faith, your testimony and share His goodness.
 
2 – Encourage someone.
Everyone loves to hear kind words, and many of us have a friend that is just always kind. But have you ever reached out to them and just said, “Hey, I appreciate you. You’re a great friend, praying for you. Have a blessed day.”? Be willing to reach out. I know you would rather someone reach out to you, but this is a way to treat your neighbor the way Jesus expects.
You know that they struggle with sin? Pray for them. Try to help them back up, don’t look down on them for their weakness. Use your words to assure them that God is able to deliver and keep them.
 
 
I encourage every reader to listen to an amazing song by Hawk Nelson, it is called “Words”. Your words have power. Use your words to bring life and not to tear others down.
 

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)

 
Grace and peace.

Called to Singleness?

This blog is long overdue! One too many people have been frustrated with God because He has not met their desires when or how they expected Him to. Many are now in their 30s, 40s, 50s and even older and still message us saying “I really don’t understand if I am missing something. I turn down bad relationships all of the time. I honor Christ with my body and I do my best to stay focused on Him. But I want a wo/man, doesn’t the bible say God will give us the desires of our heart?” And yes, I have received this concern from all age groups, genders, countries, etc. I used to think some people were honestly being impatient and “needy”. But is that always the case? Nope. Some people just have good desires that won’t be met, or they will be and they just have to learn to trust the journey.
 
Here are 4 things I want you to grasp about this topic:
 
1 Just because you want to get married, that does not mean a spouse is owed to you.
 
I believe many people can twist the scriptures so much that they no longer serve God, but they serve their idea of God. I say that because it is so easy to find a bible verse that sounds good, so we try to apply it to our lives without knowing its context or understanding what God was actually trying to say. I literally received a comment from someone that said “We all were created for marriage, and the bible says the woman was created for man.” I didn’t even bother arguing with them or getting into some form of biblical debate, because everyone has the right to their own opinion. Even when they are wrong. We are created for God and to give Him glory. Yes, the bible mentions that God brought Eve into the picture because it was not good for Adam to be alone, but that does not mean every woman born on this earth needs to be married in order to have a purpose. Just because God did not see it fit for Adam to be alone, that does not mean that every man on earth needs a wife before he can do the will of God for his life.
 
“Well the bible says in Psalms 37:4 that if we delight ourselves in God then He will give us the desires of our hearts”. Yes, it does say that, but it does not say everything that we desire is owed to us. Neither does it say that every good desire in our hearts is God’s desire for us. When you delight in Jesus, you begin to desire more of Him and you begin to desire what He wants you to have. So while you are there spending time with Jesus, He will begin to rearrange some mentalities, habits, actions that you have/struggle with and He will mold you into His image. What if it is His plan for you to be single? So many people are not content, but they believe a spouse will fill that void. That will never happen because a spouse should add to our life, not be your goal in life. Jesus is the only One able to fill the void in our hearts.
 

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)

 
2 – Some people are called to singleness.
 
I figured I might as well tackle this topic at some point, because some people really do not think it is possible for this to happen. In the scriptures, there were people that were not meant to be married. Those were the eunuchs. Of course, I am not advocating to having any man castrated or forcing people to remain single. Times have changed, and that is a bit extreme if you ask me. However, if you don’t mind reading Matthew 19:1-12 really quickly you’ll see what I am about to refer to. Jesus was asked about divorce by some clowns, I mean Pharisees, and He dropped the truth on them like a BOSS! Marriage is God’s design, and the two become one flesh that way. They asked so why did Moses allow divorce then, clearly trying to start drama. Jesus told them because of your “hardened hearts”, Moses allowed that to happen. God’s plan is never divorce, and He goes into a little more detail, but I want you to go and read that really fast! Back to my point, Jesus said in verse 12 that some were born eunuchs, some were forced into it, and others chose that lifestyle for Heaven’s sake. I could possibly be wrong, but this is only my opinion on what He was stating: Jesus wasn’t saying some castrated themselves to glorify God. Rather, He was saying some abstained from marriage and sex in order for their lives to be fully dedicated to God. It is possible to be alive and not desire marriage or sex. Don’t feel inferior or weird if that is you. Use your life for His glory. I believe it is also possible that some may desire marriage, but they can be more effective for God while single. Which is why marriage will always be a great desire, but being single is not something you should just shun the very thought of.
 
Paul was a man that literally changed the world for Jesus. He was so on fire for Christ that he could send a handkerchief and it would heal the person when it reached them (see Acts 19:11-12). However, in all of the great things this man did for Christ, he did something that many refuse to believe is God’s will: he stayed single. Whether Paul was always single, divorced or widowed is beside the point. He said that he recommends for Christians to remain single like he was (1 Corinthians 7:6-8). Of course he was not saying everyone should be single and celibate, because that will mean there is no way to repopulate God’s earth. However, he was showing us that there is so much you can do for God when you are single. If you have the desire to be married, that is a good desire, just be sure that you are willing to serve God with your heart whether single or married.
 

For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. (1 Corinthians 7:7)

 
3 – Your motives can be the reason why you are still single.
 
In the era of social media, everyone feels like they are missing something. You follow that dream couple and you wish you could be like them. You are constantly told by friends and family that you need to hurry up and get married. People begin to question your sexuality, your character and everything else about you. Sometimes it feels like the best thing to do is to just rush a relationship. However, seeking something God does not want us to have or rushing into something because we do not want to feel left out will only lead to pain, stress or sin. I have reached a point in my life where, I only want what God has for me. Waiting sucks, we all know that. But what good is it to be married and you end up walking out of God’s will in the process?
 
I didn’t get into too much detail because we already wrote a blog on how our motives often times delay God’s plan for our lives. Click here to read that full blog that will get more into why motives are a reason some will never be married, or it will simply be a very long time before they do.
 

You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3)

 
4 – If you aren’t faithful to Christ in your single season, you will still be inconsistent when you’re married.
 
Some people amaze me at how much they love the idea of marriage, but not the idea of being the bride of Christ. That isn’t to sound judgmental, but we really need to check our hearts. Do you really think that marriage is the time to start living spiritual? No, singleness is the time to develop your walk with God. If I struggle with lust while dating, I will struggle while married. If I am rude while dating, I will be rude when I am married. If I can’t budget and I spend all of my money shopping, I will simply lead my marriage into bankruptcy. Too many people are focused on finding “the one”, instead of becoming the one. I know firsthand that all of my issues before marriage are still issues now unless I address them, learn from them and depend on Jesus for growth.
 
Not only that, but we must have our own walk with God. Please do not think a “godly relationship” is a substitute for an actual relationship with God. You want a godly spouse? Live a godly life. You want to prove that you are “marriage material”? Start developing yourself as a Christian and mature adult so that you will actually be ready for this marriage that you are prepared for. Some people are single because they cannot be trusted in a relationship. If we are inconsistent with God, we will only love someone else conditionally. If we are not faithful to Him despite His love and grace towards us, we will struggle with the person we are dating. We all mess up, but a consistently growing relationship with God will help you to love others.
 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

 
Grace and peace.
 

Christians with Addictions

Everyone finds themselves battling some form of sin at some point in your life. It’s sad that in the church we have people that believe in “big” and “little” sins. You know, those who secretly gossip, lie, steal and hate others, but they don’t think they are a “bad person” because they aren’t fornicating or a homosexual. Please understand this before reading any further, you need Jesus. I need Jesus. Those people that hurt you need Jesus. WE ALL NEED JESUS!
As I was saying, it is normal to have a struggle, the issue is what you do with your struggle. Let me give you two biblical examples of how your issue can become your downfall or it can be used to your advantage depending on how you control it.
The apostle Paul

Other than Jesus Christ, Paul was arguably the most influential man in the New Testament. The guy practically wrote half of it. Many of us look at Paul and we pray things like, “Lord, let me be as effective for your Kingdom” or “Lord, let me walk with that sort of boldness and faith”. Those are great prayers, but did you know that Paul still wasn’t perfect? If you read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, you will see that God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh. Some argue that it was a sickness, some say a struggle, but that is besides the point. The point is that God will allow us to go through certain things that may not be pleasurable, but it will help mold us into His image. Paul says he sought God three times to remove that issue, but Jesus responds to him saying that “His grace is sufficient”. Paul didn’t want to remove his issue to have an easy life, he honestly thought that thing was just a burden to his purpose. Your struggles can push you into the presence of God instead of away from Jesus. I know this thorn in Paul’s flesh may not have been some form of addiction, but it was something he couldn’t shake. Many of you aren’t struggling with “sins”, but you have some spiritual weights that you need to be freed from (Hebrews 12:1). You feel trapped now, but allow that weakness to push you deeper into God’s grace and in His presence.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Some guy named Judas

Judas is easily the craziest guy in the whole bible. At least, that is how we often view him. For a man to walk side by side with Christ and still manage to not get it right is sort of appalling. However, many of us live the very same way that Judas did. We follow Jesus, but we won’t die to our carnal nature. Judas didn’t appear to have an issue with what Jesus was teaching, because he was more interested in what Jesus was doing with the money (see John 12:4-6). We follow Jesus, but our love for the world continues to get in the way of that. Do you believe that Judas ever loved Jesus? I believe he partially did, he just never placed his addiction under subjection. Paul says that we can preach the gospel and still not make it into the kingdom of God, and Jesus said that many will be doing things for God, but never had a relationship with Him. So yes, it is possible to jump, shout, preach and sing and our hearts still be on the way to Hell. Don’t let that be you. I pray that isn’t me. It will be sad on judgment day if we have helped so many people go to Heaven, but we do not get in because we had a godly appearance, just not the lifestyle or heart (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Are you willing to admit you have issues that God wants to free you from?
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
If you find yourself not being able to live without someone or something other than Jesus, then that is an idol that you either need to remove out of your life or get it placed back into its rightful place. Many people love their bf/gf or spouse more than anything. Yes, loving others is great, but it should never exceed your love for God. The day you want to be with the person you’re dating more than Christ, you will see your life go downhill and that relationship hurt you in the end. The day we turn to pornography, sex, lust or masturbation in our times of weakness instead of Christ, we will see how much those sins will drain us. If you have to turn to alcohol, drugs, parties, etc. to ease that pain or fill some void, you will continually be empty. Those are just a few issues to name, they are not the only ones God wants to free us from. If we gossip and slander people to make ourselves feel better, God wants us to repent of that as well.
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)
The woman at the well is a clear example of a person that has a void in their heart and not know how to fill it. She was constantly sleeping with a new man, yet she was empty inside. Jesus saw her emptiness and offered her Himself, the Living Water. When we turn to Jesus instead of to whatever our “vice” is, we will be satisfied. Whenever we turn to our addiction or habit that isn’t pleasing to Him, we are still empty, full of shame and guilt, and desperate for more. Sin will never be satisfied. Sin will always take us further than we planned to go, keep us longer than we planned to stay and take more than we planned to give. I know you feel disgusted by your sin and maybe even in yourself, seeing how you continue to struggle. But that is why we need Jesus. The power of the Holy Ghost can help you overcome every single struggle and issue you face. Please do not condemn yourself. Get back up, repent and keep following Jesus. You may finish this blog and within the next thirty minutes find yourself on some XXX rated website. You may read this and go back to your binge eating to help your sorrows. I’m here to tell you that God is able to deliver you. You are not alone, Jesus is on your side. Do not allow your weakness to push you out of the will of God, allow it to cause you to keep seeking God so that you can permanently break that cycle.


Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalms 16:11)


Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (2 Corinthians 3:17)


There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)


Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

I Love Jesus, but I'm Depressed

You know what I’ve come to learn about many people in the church? We can easily misinterpret things because of our own convictions or emotions. It’s true because of how I feel. You hear more comments like “well, I think”, “I don’t think the bible was implying this, I believe it was suggesting….” or more comments like that. However, no one is saying what the bible says, just what they think or feel.
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”‭‭ (Proverbs‬ ‭14:12‬)
I’ve also noticed that some people don’t understand the dynamics of spiritual warfare whatsoever, so they consider anything positive a blessing from God and everything negative the devil. That would be complete nonsense for us to believe the devil has so much power. Jesus said that ALL power was given to Him (Matthew 28:18), so the devil has no power over us. It is possible to be blessed and not have much. Blessings aren’t in possessions. It is possible to be cursed and have everything you want. We cannot say God is on our side because things are going our way. God does not change based off of our seasons (Hebrews 13:8). So in some parts of the church, we see there are some believers that really don’t understand that spiritual warfare is necessary and they are living based off emotions.
Then there are other believers that tend to “over-spiritualize” everything:
“Don’t claim that spirit, depression is of the devil!”
“You don’t have mental health issues, that’s the enemy coming against your mind!”
“The reason you’re in that season that you are in is because you have been in sin…. God must be teaching you a lesson.”
Those are just a few statements I’ve heard. Sadly, I must admit I used to say and believe things like this. I say it’s sad because I know now how we as Christians can be both ignorant and/or insensitive to the battles others are facing…. Until we are in those shoes.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
Now before you misinterpret where I am headed with this, just follow me. This verse is not to say Jesus was depressed. However, there are many believers that found themselves afraid, sad, depressed, suicidal, lonely, distressed, overwhelmed etc. There are points in our lives when we are doing no wrong yet we are feeling burdened. Which goes to show us, “bad things” don’t always happen to us because we are living in sin. Yes, sin has destructive outcomes, but righteousness can have negative consequences. People are killed for their faith daily. Moses was leading the people as God commanded, yet they only stressed him out (Exodus 32:19). Elijah was a mighty man of God, yet reached a point where he just wanted to die; maybe he even had a few suicidal thoughts pass his mind (1 Kings 19:4). David was a man after God’s heart, yet he found himself in very low points and feeling away from God (Psalms 13).
If you feel alone, just know that this season will pass. It is a season, God has not forgotten you. I used to think “weak-minded” Christians are the ones that experience depression or anxiety. Now I know that we are still human and susceptible to weakness. However, weak moments are some of the most spiritually enriching moments. Jesus said that His grace was sufficient for our weakness and that His strength  is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). You don’t have to feel ashamed to be broken. Jesus will mend the broken pieces of your heart, but you have to be bold enough to seek His presence (Hebrews 4:16). If you are depressed over someone who left, understand that God’s plan for your life is not attached to someone He removed from your life. If you are down about what you don’t have, please understand that God can supply all of your needs (Philippians 4:19). If you don’t have a reason and this season just comes often, please understand that God is able to to deliver again and again and again and again.
I still firmly believe that many of us are misunderstanding the power of God at times. God is a healer. God is a deliverer. I refuse to believe that God is able to come to earth as a man, die, and rise back up again, only to have SOME power. Jesus said that ALL power is in His hand (Matthew 28:18). So no, you can’t medicate a demonic spirit. Some sicknesses and mental issues are spiritual attacks. I know many may not believe that, but you cannot believe in Jesus and the Bible, yet fail to realize there is a devil and he comes to destroy us (Ephesians 6:10-12). That is why Jesus said that He will give us power over the adversary (Mark 16:16-18), because He knows that we will have to bind demonic spirits through His name.
I’ve been in many circumstances where I have seen demonic spirits manifest in someone’s life. Either someone else casted it out of their body, or I had to. Many think that stuff only happened in the bible, but the bible said these signs will follow us as believers. You may have certain spirits plaguing your mind, cast them out by speaking truth. I’ve seen many people come to me out of depression and I have to talk them out of suicide or something else very dangerous. When God said He was giving us power, it was so we could rise above the enemy’s plan and do His will (Acts 1:8).
10 Verses to memorize and quote when you’re going through depression:
  1. Psalm 42:5 & 11
  2. Psalms 34:1
  3. Philippians 4:8
  4. Deuteronomy 31:8
  5. Psalms 34:17
  6. Psalms 40:1-3
  7. 1 Peter 5:7
  8. John 16:33
  9. Isaiah 41:10
  10. Jeremiah 32:17

 
Of course, depression doesn’t leave overnight. I remember going through the lowest point in my life, because I was ostracized over a rumor. The only people I could trust were family and a few friends. It didn’t make sense to me because everyone that cut me off were so close to me. David said that he could understand if his enemies hated him, but being hurt by church family can be overwhelming (Psalms 55:12). The trick of the devil though is to allow you to isolate yourself from people, he wants you to shut down so you can become an easy target. However, when you feel the most alone is when you need to seek God the most. Have a spiritual leader to lean on and help strengthen you. When you feel no one understands, that is when you need to learn to express yourself instead of assuming that no one cares. I’m praying for all of you who may struggle with this.
Grace and peace,

Tovares Grey

Feeling Unqualified?

There are many people in the church that absolutely love Jesus, but have some “issues” that prevent them from being confident in who they are. I pray that we get to the understanding that God didn’t pick us because He thought we were perfect. He understands your issues, but He wants your heart.
There is only so much the devil can do, but I know for sure he cannot silence the mouth of a believer that is focused on on the will of God. Job went through a storm and was determined to still trust God (Job 1:20-22). The Hebrew boys decided to not serve a false God despite being threatened to their death (Daniel 3:17-18). Paul and Silas were in prison and decided to still praise God (Acts 16:25). The list goes on with many people who didn’t allow their confidence in God to end.

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” (Hebrews‬ ‭10:35-36‬ ‭NLT‬‬)

Even if our hearts will condemn us at times, the Bible tells us the solution to that feeling: “God is GREATER than our hearts” (1 John 3:20). You know that sin that you feel is to big for grace? It isn’t, God’s love outweigh our mistakes.
Let’s dive into a few scenarios that we all have fell into at some point.
1. You have a bad past that you don’t want to be “exposed”?
Many people don’t understand this simple concept, God is not like humans. God does not forgive some of our sins and keep track of the “big” ones, that is what we do at times. God is not saying “I forgive you on this condition”, but that is what people do. The church has to reach to a point when sinners, and even believers that have fell into sin, feel comfortable enough to come forward and seek healing (see James 5:16 and 1 John 1:8-10). And we also must come to the realization that God is a loving Father, not just a judge. Yes, sin should never be taken lightly, but understand that Jesus died for you on purpose. He knew when you’d fall, so don’t be ashamed of your past. Let your past be your testimony.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

2. You feel as though you don’t have the resources or capability.
I don’t know how your spiritual walk has been, but I know for a fact that sometimes I feel inadequate or simply unable to do what God has called me to do. It’s crazy that I’d think that because He’s the one doing the work, I’m just the vessel. We place so much on ourselves and we don’t even realize all that does is take the glory for ourselves. I pray that God will strip away any pride I may have so that I can do His work willingly and with passion, without fear of how it would turn out. 
Moses didn’t believe he could speak well enough (Exodus 4:10), but God used him. David committed adultery and caused innocent blood to be shed, yet God restored him and called him a man after His own heart (Acts13:22). Paul used to persecute the church. Peter denied Jesus (Matthew 26:70-74). Jonah was disobedient and God gave him another chance; the guy was even suicidal. Pause for a quick second! You can be a child of God and get tempted with those thoughts! Please don’t cave in to suicide, allow God to give you His peace. Your valley moments are when you need to trust God the most, not isolate yourself. As we were….. God can use you despite those things you struggle with. Paul said God gave him a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Jesus said He would NOT remove the thorn, because His grace was sufficient in our weakness. Quit expecting God to remove those desires and struggles all of the time. God does remove ungodly desires as we spend time with Him. Other times, God allows us to have struggles in our flesh because it FORCES US TO RELY ON HIM FOR STRENGTH. Use your weakness to your advantage, seek God constantly and wholeheartedly.
You lack nothing, use what God gave you. Don’t compare yourself to others, be who God called you to be. You aren’t behind in life, your goal is not to keep up with others, but to be in the will of God.

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah‬ ‭4:6‬)

3. You are still in a sin that you know is wrong, but you don’t want to be delivered.
There is so much to say about this, but the truth is, you may already know it. You know God doesn’t want you out there in sin. You know sex outside of marriage is wrong. You know that stealing, partying, carnal lifestyle isn’t building you up, it’s simply making you numb to the voice of God. I won’t try to scare you straight, because I’m sure God is talking to you already if you’ve read this far. Please, just come home. I say this as a brother in Christ, we need you. There is no such thing as happiness outside of the will of God, it’s only temporary. There’s no peace outside of God’s will, only bondage and a constant need for more even though your flesh won’t be satisfied. Let go of that secret sin, you can’t grow with it.

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”‭‭ (James‬ ‭4:8‬)

I’m convinced that since the devil can’t stop us from getting to Heaven, he will try to stop us from fully realizing Who we belong to. We have to understand that it doesn’t matter what insecurity or “issue” we have, God is faithful and will use us if we allow Him. God works on our willingness, not because of how “great” we are. You can make a difference today, will you allow God to work in your life?

Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

100 Days until Forever

Prelude
I think it’s important that as followers of Christ, we have some extent of transparency so that our experiences and the lessons we learn from them, can be used to encourage others to live for and to wait on God. The ultimate goal here is that He gets the glory through the story, but how can He if we keep our experiences to ourselves? So as Tovares and I, go on this journey in transition from singleness into the ministry of marriage, I’ll share what I’ve learned and have experienced so far in hopes that it will be a blessing to someone and also encourage you to wait on God.
For a backdrop on our journey together before you continue, feel free to visit our wedding website www.weddingwire.com/sailingwiththegreys
100 More Days till Forever
I still can’t believe I am getting married. Like when did this become my reality. Because it feels like one day I just closed my eyes, wasn’t looking for anyone, was solely focused on my education and my relationship with God and then I opened them to find a Godly man kneeling down in front of me asking if I would do him the honors of standing by his side for the rest of our lives. At least that’s how fast it felt like it happened. I wasn’t looking for him but he found me and I’m convinced that this was orchestrated by God…
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. Prov. 18:22
Stay tuned on our journey towards marriage, God bless 🙂

Broken, yet Victorious

“You are a failure”, “you’ll never get through it”, “why would Jesus love you and you keep falling for the same sins?”, “am I really saved?”
There are many thoughts that plague our minds during our brokenness, after failing, when speaking with people that show no grace, or when we feel like we took  two steps forward and ten steps back. A key thing to remember during our weakness is this: there is a difference between conviction and condemnation. Conviction: That is no good feeling, but it serves a good purpose (see Isaiah 1:18). That is God’s way of tugging at our hearts to say, “you’re slipping away, come home”, or “you know that didn’t please me, that was your old sinful nature, but meet me in prayer and let me clean you up”. Condemnation: This is no good feeling, and it is not from God. It’s not God’s will for any to perish (see 2 Peter 3:9). Jesus himself said he didn’t come to condemn, but to save us (see John 3:17). Condemnation is that voice when you hear “you will never get through this, just leave the church” or “God will never forgive you.

God will never be happy when we sin, and neither will he turn a blind to it, but He won’t simply cut you off for making a mistake. The bible shows that God is gracious, and only leaves us to do whatever we want when we clearly show Him we don’t want to listen (see Romans 1:20-32). The prodigal son is a clear example of how things are when we backslide. God is watching daily for us to return, but he won’t force us to come back. Yet, his love is displayed when He sees we made the effort to come back and He will run to meet us (see Luke 15:11-32).
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:8)

Habitual sin is not going to be tolerated under any circumstances. We all need Jesus to cleanse us from our deliberate and secret sins (see Psalm 19:12-14). We all know that we are human and have our weaknesses, which is why we must seek God for strength. God allows us to have these struggles so we must rely on His grace for strength (read 2 Corinthians 12:5-11). 

It is easy to think that because we are saved that we won’t have any issues, but that is far from the truth. Problems are guaranteed, but through Christ, victory is promised. That is why Paul says he can now be happy in his persecutions and areas of weakness, because we can use it to our advantage. If you didn’t have any issues, you would not see your need for Jesus. However, our shortcomings teach us to be more reliable in Christ, they force us to have to pray and read our bible more.
Many of you have allowed your struggles to become your identity, I know I have before, but God is able to free us. No sin outweighs grace. No demonic force is greater than the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can separate us from the love of God that was in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35-39).
Declare this over yourself (or over that friend/family member you see slipping away):
My past does not define me. Sexual sin has no power over this child of God. I will not give anyone the power to break me or to show me who I am, my identity is in Jesus. My old habits are not leaving immediately, but in Jesus name I will kill those old habits daily as God molds me into His image. I am free, in Jesus name! I am new in Jesus! I am loved, accepted, and forgiven by the mercy and grace of God!

I'm Worth the Wait

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)
God does not see things the way that society does. God does not see things the way that we do. Many times we allow people or emotions to cloud our judgment, but we have to understand that there is no peace or clarity outside of the will of God. We can have a new relationship, but we won’t be happy without Jesus. We can look “beautiful” by society’s standard, but we won’t feel happy without knowing our worth is in Jesus. We can even be wealthy, which can buy anything our hearts desire, but it won’t give us peace or love.
Many people have recently been messaging me with dilemmas that are hard to understand. I say that because, many of us would not date a nonbeliever if we understood who we were in Christ and what His plan was for us. If we understood that hell is real (just like Heaven), we would invite people to Christ and be witnesses to more to souls rather than trying to “date them into a relationship with Jesus”. Some call it “missionary dating”, where you get the false impression that they will love you enough to attend church with you. My question is, where’s God in any of that? Dragging someone to church in order for them to get saved all so that we can marry them is a selfish desire that God may not honor (read James 4:2-3).
When tempted to give in to lust, remind yourself that God has something better for you.
Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. (Psalms 37:4)
When tempted to go back to the ex who only led you to sin, remind yourself that God wouldn’t free me if He wanted me to go back into sin.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)
When tempted to settle for just anyone saved or not just to not be lonely, remind yourself that God is never going to ignore His children.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalms 84:11)
When tempted to have sex before marriage, remind yourself that the marriage bed is honorable and sex can wait to be enjoyed the way that God intended. 
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
You are worth the wait. Your time is to be valued. Your body is to be respected. Your God is to be honored. Don’t feel ashamed if you are the only one doing it, but never forget…. You are worth the wait.

How do I Know If They're "the one"? 

How do I know God’s will for my life? Who does God want me to marry? Are they going to be attractive? Will they workout often? Are they spiritual? Is the person I’m with a blessing or a burden?
These are just a few of the random questions that plague our minds when we are single or are contemplating marriage. There is nothing wrong with taking great thought into marriage, the issue simply occurs when we allow our emotions or our friends to bring clarity rather than praying and waiting on Jesus to give us direction. You see, it’s nothing wrong with me being single, if I’m single and using my singleness to honor Jesus. Meaning I’m honoring God through my inward (thoughts and desires) and outward (actions, entertainment, dressing, etc.) purity. It’s also nothing wrong with being in a relationship if I’m using that relationship to glorify Jesus and not turning that person into an idol/besetting sin (see Hebrews 12:1).
“There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.” (Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬)
The majority of us want to be married, and I strongly believe it isn’t God’s will for anyone to be alone. By alone I do not mean “single”, I mean isolated and having a mindset that you can do everything by yourself. Desiring company, whether that simply being godly friends or a spouse that you can honor God with, is a good desire to have.
“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians‬ ‭5:7‬)
Whoever we date/marry will influence our spiritual walk. Maybe you missed that so I’ll say it again for anyone who hates that fact, WHOEVER WE DATE/MARRY WILL INFLUENCE OUR SPIRITUAL WALK. Too often there are believers that feel it’s okay to date nonbelievers. While that is not the right thing to do biblically (2 Corinthians 6:14 and Amos 3:3), it really isn’t safe. We may feel as though we are leading them to Jesus, but why couldn’t we do that outside of dating? Isn’t witnessing God’s will for us? We are to win souls for the kingdom, not date people into a relationship with Jesus.
For those wondering how good looking their spouse will be…. Of course the person you marry will be attractive to you, God knows that you will see more than their spiritual walk. However, everyone who is attractive or is interested is not supposed to be an option for you. That six pack isn’t a strong enough foundation for marriage. Those curves may look nice, but they do not raise your children or determine if someone respects you.
You want to know how to tell whether someone is “God’s will” for you? Seek God for yourself! If you don’t know truth, a lie will always deceive you.
“All men/women are the same”.. You’ve heard it before, but the reason they’ll keep ending up with those types is because we haven’t surrounded ourselves with God. Evil can’t stand in God’s presence, so the more you seek Jesus is the more you’ll see Him weed out the bad influences in your life. We can study a lie so we know how to resist it, but then the enemy will bring another lie. It’s not enough to understand your enemy, you have to understand Jesus as well so that you can be alert against every possible attack/distraction coming in.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John‬ ‭10:27)
Just because we believe in Jesus does not mean we have a relationship with Him. God wants us to keep coming close to Him. We can’t be satisfied with where we are. The closer we get to Jesus is the further we are from distractions, and that’s definitely the easier way to recognize when something isn’t God’s will. If someone comes along trying to get you to do the opposite of what God is telling you, then it is no way that God wants you to be with them (see James 1:13-15).
Grace and peace.