Follow Jesus, Not Emotions

Have you ever felt lost? Confused about a decision you have to make in your life? Whether it being a major in school, a career, who to marry, the list goes on and on.
It is very normal for a person to feel lost. Sometimes you do everything and still in the end you feel empty or lonely. The problem is not that we are lost, the question is, what are we using to find our direction?
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 KJV)
– The bible, to some, is unnecessary. Some do not see why they must read it. However, no matter what time or age it is, the bible is still relevant and accurate.
– Scriptures take effect in our lives if we are obedient.
– This scripture says trust in God with all of your heart and do not lean to your own understanding. We all have at some point, done things ourselves. We are either smart or wise because we have made bad mistakes and learn from them. Therefore, we sometimes just make decisions our own because we believe we can handle them without having to “bother” Jesus or pray about it.
– If we live our lives based off our heart and emotions, we will live very unstable and unfulfilling lives. For example, one person may say I want to earn 1 million dollars. After they get it, they aim for 5. After that they will aim for more. Proving money wasn’t their goal, it’s just human nature to want “more”. However, no earthly thing can fill the gap in our hearts that only Jesus is able to satisfy.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
– We know that the bible does not lie. Which is why we must really understand this verse.
– Ever seen a humble guy just snap one day? (For example: Quiet kids who do random shootings at school). It is not because they were always mentally unstable, but no one can understand their heart. It is a very evil thing.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10 KJV)
Do NOT, I repeat do NOT, follow your emotions. Follow Jesus Christ!
– Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV). Jesus did not say he was “a way” but “the way”. He is our way to salvation and he is the only one who can direct us in the right path.
– Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8 KJV). Jesus Christ never changes. We must follow him, because our emotions are surely not stable.
I am fully aware that because of our busy schedules, it is not as easy to find time to spend quality time in the word of God.
– It does not matter how busy we are though, we have to make time to be in the bible because that is our guide!
– Anyone to busy for God, is just too busy.
– The devil does not have to make you sin. If he can get you to not spend time with God, he has done a good job.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105 KJV)
– We are in a dark world, and we will stumble around if we don’t walk with our lights.
– We must keep the light in our hearts and minds so that we will always walk in the will of God.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11 KJV)
It is true that sometimes we are really in the will of God, but with all of our problems it seems that He is extremely distant from us.
– That does not mean God has forgotten. Sometimes God is silent to see what you will do.
– Teachers do not help you during your exams. Parents sometimes move out of the way to give their infant the chance to walk alone. If they keep holding the baby, it will never learn!
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. (Job 23:8-10 KJV)
If God says no to something, do not feel rejected. God is just redirecting you. Jesus is with us step-by-step, but you will only know that if you know his word.
Jesus does not want us to just “hear of Him”. Jesus wants us to experience Him! We cannot live off of the testimonies of others, it is time to find out who is the real God.
I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. (Job 42:5 KJV)
Let’s decide today to spend more time to seek God in His word.
Continue to press. Do not procrastinate, you do not want to die a slow spiritual death. Never give up! His word is our bread, we need it to live!
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4 KJV)
God bless,
Tovares Grey

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It's Time to Fight

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17 KJV)
Christians usually get spiritual warfare mistaken. One mistake we have is understanding who we are to fight, and how to fight!
Who are we fighting?
-We have one enemy, the devil. We argue and have problems with people, but people aren’t our enemies.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) (2 Corinthians 10:3, 4 KJV)
-We must understand that the same way that Christians aim to be led by the spirit of God, some people are led by the devil and by their flesh (human, sinful desires).
-The devil went into Judas and caused him to betray Jesus. The devil also influences the lives of others, sometimes they aren’t aware.
It is time to stop cursing at people. We were called to build one another up with love. You can’t use the same mouth to glorify God and curse people, that isn’t acceptable to God!
How do we fight the devil?
Not to use:
– Speaking in tongues
– Arguing
– Shouting, screaming, dancing, etc.
What to use:
– The word of God. Nothing more, nothing less. (See Matthew 4:1-11)
When Jesus was tempted by the devil, he was coming right off of a fast.
-The devil tried to test Jesus saying, if he was the Son of God, command these stones to become bread. Keep in mind, Jesus was HUNGRY! He went 40 days without food. The devil is fully aware of our needs and desires, he studies us. So he will tempt us by something he knows we are interested in. If you like a certain type of male/female, he will tempt you with it. However, Jesus answered it is written. He rebuked him with the word of God.
– The word of God is the only thing we can use to fight off the devil.
The devil also tried to quote Psalm 91 to Jesus while tempting him, Jesus rebuked him again with the word.
– When you don’t know your word, you’re defenseless against the enemies attack.
– God’s command was that Adam and Eve not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When the devil tempted Eve, she said that they shouldn’t eat or touch it. That was not what God said. When we don’t know our word, the devil will pick us apart!
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 KJV)
– This scripture is true, all scripture is truth.
– If we ignore satan’s lies, the devil will eventually leave you alone. If you don’t bite his bait, he will have to leave to find something else to bring to you.
However, the devil is persistent. He will throw thoughts of lust, perversion, stealing, bitterness, fear, and even stress. So you must know that when all of your defenses are failing, get on offense. Attack him!
I don’t believe in going out and finding demons, but if they arise I have to know how to defend myself. With my sword!
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)
No demon in Hell can fight against you, and win, when you have your sword.
Keep your sword armed, keep it in your heart! Keep it in your spirit! We cannot prevail in anything we do, without knowing Christ. God grants favor to everyone, but when a child of God knows their sword, devils cannot mess with them!
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11 KJV)
It is not time to be a powerless Christian anymore, stand up and fight!
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4 KJV)
God bless,
– Tovares Grey

Love God. Love People.

We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 KJV)
Most people are quite aware of this scripture. We all know that God loved us first. Before he even created us, God had an unconditional love for mankind. Which is why we love and serve Him.
Q: How do we love God?
A: Simple, obedience.
-If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15 KJV)
-God doesn’t ask us for anything except obedience. He doesn’t ask us for our opinions, our inputs, or anything else. Our love is expressed through obedience.
-Many prove their love through many religious acts. However, doing things in church or for a church doesn’t mean you love God. It could be for recognition, or fear of Hell.
-Some choose to tattoo scriptures on their bodies to show the world their faith. An outward expression of their inward person. However, this isn’t necessary to be a disciple. The world knows we are Christ followers by one thing, our love for people.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35 KJV)
-Jesus didn’t do have to do much for others to believe him or accept his ministry. He showed love to sinners and they were immediately drawn to Him.
-They didn’t understand why he spoke to sinners, but he said: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Luke 5:32 KJV)
-If we ever become to “high” that we cannot be reachable, we have failed as God’s ambassadors.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:37-39 KJV)
-So here we see that loving God is our number one priority, but now we must take it into consideration that loving others is second!
False beliefs:
1. God first, then family, then others.
2. God. Me. Others.
Truth:
J.O.Y: Jesus. Others. Yourself
You come last! Jesus came as God in flesh but he never made his priorities come first. He was always mindful of the situation of others!
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Philippians 2:7-10 KJV)
We must learn to love people the way we love ourselves.
-You don’t like to look or dress bad. Maybe you should find someone less fortunate and help fix them up.
-You like having money? Find someone without lunch and feed them.
-On judgment day, many wont make it because of their selfish behaviors. Need proof?
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:41-46 KJV)
Question: When was the last time we visited the sick? Not the ones related to us.
When did we ever buy something to eat and drink for a homeless person?
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:20, 21 KJV)
-Yes this is something serious now, haha. If you are still reading, you obviously want to grow. God bless you!
-The bible clearly states we can’t love an invisible God and dislike a visible man.
-We will NEVER agree with a man 100%, but disagreements shouldn’t cause bitterness, envy, rage, anger, gossip, etc.
-If you even hate a person, the bible says you’re a murderer. There will be no killers in heaven!
-If you love God, love people.
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21, 22 KJV)
-We all have people in our lives that makes us upset over and over, if we don’t, maybe we are that person.
-Jesus still said keep forgiving.
-Forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you.
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 KJV)
-It doesn’t say love tolerates sin, but it says that it covers it.
-Don’t spread rumors about people, and don’t be so quick to give up on people.
-Love hides their faults and love raises them back up!
Do something different today! Choose to smile when you’re insulted. When that person offends you, walk away. When you have 200 reasons to fight, curse, be bitter, remember Jesus! Remember that he endured so much ridicule, for you and I to overcome!
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. (Hebrews 12:3 KJV)
Have a blessed day! Show love, stop hate.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King
-Tovares Grey

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You Have a New Life in Christ

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
– When we believe on Jesus, get baptized in his name and receive the Holy Spirit, we are apart of his body!
– We are now in Christ, so we are new creatures. We receive a fresh start. God forgives us of our sins and gives us the chance to walk and live right.
We should never believe that God is trying to condemn us. God is a God of wrath but he is also a God of forgiveness and a God of restoration!
– If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV).
– God forgives those who are bold enough to admit their sin and confess.
– Not those who just say sorry, but those who genuinely have the desire for change.
Of course God doesn’t approve of any sin we commit, but he surely will help us out of our rough situations.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4 KJV)
– God didn’t command baptism just for us to get wet and say “hey, I’m now a Christian.”
– Baptism was symbolic of our bodies dying to our old natures. Having our sins forgiven.
– You’ve been baptized, now receive the spirit and let Christ live THROUGH you!
– You should do your best to live differently. Not just different, but holy.
You will never become who God intends for you to be without total reliance on Christ!
– If you listen to man and don’t seek God, you will change, but you won’t be who God intended you to be.
– You can never overcome sin until you fully depend on God. Otherwise you will overcome some, but not the ones you are comfortable with. Even then, you’ll develop pride, thinking you can do it all by yourself.
One thing we must all learn to do is to STOP trying to please people!
– We can do so much and people will find a reason to start a problem with us.
– If you aren’t in school, they say you’re worthless. If you’re in school and have to miss a service to finish a project, you’re a sinner. Tell me something, do you really want to be a man pleaser or do you want to please God? Jesus Christ presents abundant life to you and me freely, let’s live for him!
– People, even the ones in church, will judge you. You have to know why you do, what you do. Don’t let people distract you from your dreams. Please God, don’t worry about them!
For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 KJV)
If you haven’t given your life to Christ, I suggest that you do it today while you have the chance. Tomorrow isn’t promised to you. Today is the day to repent, today is the day to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to receive the Holy Ghost!
“Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” (Anon)
Be encouraged. Don’t let your joy be taken away by people or situations. Know that in the eyes of God, you’re his child. Be blessed, and remember to share this!
– Tovares Grey

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Only God is Perfect

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)
I believe it is time for us to realize that we are or were all sinners. We only have hope at eternal life because of Jesus Christ.
Don’t judge someone because they sin differently than you.
We all have our flaws. If we were perfect and had it all together, we would not even believe we needed God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8 KJV)
– God is love, and his love is unconditional.
– Nothing we say or do can make Him love us more or less. He loves us not because of what we do, but because of who He is.
– God surely loves everyone. No matter of your gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, or lifestyle. He doesn’t approve of your sin, but he surely does love you more than you can ever comprehend.
Christians must realize that whenever we see people on the road, it isn’t right to judge or condemn them. That was us without the grace of God.
If we are believers in the church, we must pray that the same God we serve will help these people the same way. You’re a Christian because of the mercy of God, not because of your personality! You’re better than no one, do not become prideful!
We serve a perfect God, but we as humans are not perfect.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48 KJV)
When Jesus spoke these words, he did not say be flawless. The word perfect here means a state of maturity in your Christian walk. So we will stumble here and there, but we should not stay down. We should rise up again and live victorious through Christ.
Since we aren’t perfect let’s spend our time working on ourselves, and stop finding fault with others.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5 KJV)
This does not mean let people live in sin without correcting them. You are to rebuke in love, but you should never look down on others. You have your secret sins, don’t be hard on people because their sin was exposed.
When I wake up and look in the mirror, it is to see what I have to adjust before going out into the public. Not to see what to fix on others! So when I go into my spiritual mirror (the bible), it is to see how to fix my OWN self! We have spend time in our bibles to learn how to fix ourselves up!
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Galatians 6:1 KJV)
I believe every man who does wrong must be dealt with, but I strongly believe in a God of second chances. A God of love and mercy.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3:16 KJV)
– There you have it! Lay down your lives for others.
– Don’t ever look at people as your enemies, the only enemy you have is Satan.
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 KJV)
-Stop exposing others!
-If you love someone, you wouldn’t want to embarrass them or make a mockery of them!
Sin is sin! Righteousness is all God wants, but stop beating on those who really want to do better. Give God the chance to work on them, stop trying to be God in their lives. God changes people, you can only influence them.
This blog is not to condemn anyone or beat up on those who verbally abuse people. Just to ask everyone to examine themselves. God bless! Share this, live it, practice it. Be the difference you want to see in the world.
-Tovares Grey

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Watch your Mouth

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)
Oftentimes we read scriptures like these and not take the time to examine ourselves. I once believed that scriptures like this were only pertaining to whoever it was written to. However, I know now that this was a commandment to all believers. Not a suggestion or just a verse to take up space in the bible.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” I honestly wonder who made up that lie. Words hurt just as much as a blow to the stomach. Physical abuse heals over time, verbal abuse can cause a lifetime of insecurities.
Everything we say will have a lasting effect. A word spoken can never be taken back once it is spoken. You can compliment someone hundreds of times and they may forget. However, one insult may never be forgotten. They may forget the words we say, but it will be hard to forget how we made them feel.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)

  • Words can uplift and they can pull down. Belittling people can really destroy their confidence, self-esteem, and their ambition.
  • Bullying is not always physical, it can also be verbal.
  • We have the ability to speak life over our situations and over others. Choose to speak life!

Ezekiel did not know whether or not the valley of dry bones could live again. God told him to prophesy. When Ezekiel did so, God breathed a fresh wind over the dry bones. So we see here that by Ezekiel’s faith, obedience, and his words that a dead situation came back to life! That same God Ezekiel served is waiting on you to submit to Him, and he can place life into your dead situations. See Ezekiel 37.
 
What is corrupt communication?

  • Foul or polluting language. There should be a fine line between a Christian and a sinner. If you claim to be saved and Jesus has your heart, he should also have your tongue! We should not talk the same as a non believer.
  • Jesting. Making jokes for entertainment. However, this is not just regular joke telling, this is making a mockery of something or someone. I know this is hard because I’ve done this sin my whole life, but if we want to get into Heaven, we have to stop. It is always fun and games until someone gets hurt. Down talking someone to uplift yourself is not Christ like. We are to honor one another. See Ephesians 5:4.
  • Idle speaking. Of course there are times when we believe we have nothing to do, so we just talk about anything. However, it becomes a sin when we lean towards sinful, futile talk. This is where gossip starts. God always has something for us to do. There are so many souls that need to hear the gospel. We should come together and work for Christ, not talk about people. You can spend your idle time seeking God, working, going to school, or helping others. See Matthew 12:36-37.

How we should talk?

  • Me personally, I don’t like when believers stop being realistic. Jesus did ministry but he also sat down and spoke to sinners. We have to know how to come down to the same level as others. Paul said he became all things to all men so that he could save some, see 1 Corinthians 9:22. If we do not know how to be human, we will never win souls. Stop condemning people. They will come if they see there is love in the church, but if they feel hatred, they will resent us.
  • Speak words that edify, uplift, and encourage. People will mess up everyday. People get discouraged every single day. If you give them one word of encouragement, you never know the door you will open in their life.
  • Let people know Jesus forgives, so many forget that!

 
Today choose to watch your words. Tell someone something kind today. Do not allow what someone said to you make you bitter, allow it to make you better because your identity is found in Christ, not man. Raise someone out of the dirt today with your words!
-Tovares Grey

Consistency is Key

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matthew 7:7)
Jesus tells us here that we basically will get what we ask him for in prayer. However, this may seem a bit frustrating when you are a person believing that you have been asking and not receiving anything. It does not mean that God has forgotten about his promise, maybe the problem is just on your behalf.
Different Dimensions of Prayer:
1. Asking

  • There are times when we can just ask for something and someone will give it to us. If I go to my father and ask “may I please have $1, dad?”, he can simply say “here, no problem”. However, if I ask “dad can you buy me a new BMW?”, he would have to think about it. Not because of his budget, but a key factor is if I am prepared for it.
  • If we had everything we asked for, would we really need God?
  • Not everything will be given, we have to show that we really want what we are asking for.

2. Seeking

  • When I go to pick up my car keys, I don’t seek for them. I just go towards it, because I already know where it is.
  • To seek means an attempt or desire to obtain something.
  • Now if my new phone is misplaced while being on silent mode, it’s time to go hunting! I would have to look high and low, left and right, just about everywhere with the expectation to find what I am looking for.
  • We must all realize that if we are seeking God for something, we must seek Him diligently.
  • But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ( Hebrews 11:6). God rewards us when we seek diligently.
  • Praying once and giving up won’t cut it.

3. Knocking

  • Honestly, there are times when a person knocks on your front door and you surely cannot hear them. However, when a police officer knocks, you are guaranteed to hear them. Why? Because he/she is determined to have someone open the door.
  • The problem today is, we pray for the will of God, but we do not wait on His timing. God wants to work, but if he does everything at my command then I am sovereign, not Him.
  • Jesus loved Lazarus. However, Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead and stinking to come and work a miracle. Why? If he was raised within 3 days, they would say he was never dead. They believed, or maybe still believe, that within 3 days the person could be raised back to life. Jesus decided to wait until the people lost hope so that they had no excuse not to believe on Him. We all have our situations that we want God to answer quickly, but we must learn to wait on his timing!

 
Men are always to pray and not faint! (Luke 18:1-8).
If my prayers aren’t being answered I should question myself, not God:

  • Luke 18:10-14, maybe I’m trying to prove myself as being better than others?
  • James 4:3, do I have bad or selfish motives?
  • Psalm 66:18, maybe I have iniquity in my heart?
  • Psalm 138:6, is pride separating me from God?

 
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

  • Is it a need? Or do you want it because everyone else has it?

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

  • Am I abiding in God?

 
We must all realize, GOD is NOT Santa Claus! You cannot just come to Him when we want something. Build a relationship with Him. Thank Him for what you have and stop being ungrateful. Never lose faith in your God. Jesus has already answered, just wait on your results.
Until that door opens, praise God! Keep praying. Keep Fasting. Be blessed!
-Tovares Grey

Stay In Pursuit

As Christians, we are called to run a race. I would not call it a sprint, it is more of a marathon. So now that we have accepted the free gift of salvation and the invitation to be a child of God, we have been enlisted into the army of God!
 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT)
Back in ancient times, the Olympics was an extremely popular thing to everyone. Which is why I believe Paul wrote this, for the Corinthian church to be able to relate clearly.
Whether you are overweight or skinny, short or tall, lame or paralyzed, you are in a spiritual race! When you accepted Jesus you decided to stop being idle and run. The way you look physically doesn’t determine your spiritual life or your growth. A man or woman can be dressed in the best suit, outfit, heels and still live a carnal life.
The worlds fastest man at the moment is Usain Bolt, from Jamaica. One may say that Bolt can just beat anyone in a race. I agree to an extent. If Usain dares not to train for months or years, I guarantee someone will come and beat him. Maybe I can as well, maybe not, but you understand the point. Training is everything. “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard” (Tim Notke).
How do I train?

  • An athletes appetite is extremely strict. We must watch what we eat, spiritually. One cheeseburger doesn’t cause a disease. However, if you feed yourself that for yours, you’ll become obese. Likewise in a spiritual sense. If you feed yourself with a tiny sin a day (gossip, lust, fornication, lying, backbiting, etc), you may not be in bad condition. Yet, it will still add up until you are too spiritually overweight and you cannot run any further. The devil doesn’t offer you a ton load of something. He gives you little by little until you are in bondage and you can no longer resist. Feed your spirit with the word of God, prayer, spiritual things. I won’t say every listen to every kind of Christian music today. I once heard a song where the artist was saying “baby”, however the entire CD did not say the name of Jesus, once!
  • Disciplining our body. Jesus said that we are to “deny ourselves”. Does that mean I should say, “I’m not Tovares Grey, I have a code name only God should know”? That would be foolish. We deny ourselves by saying no to our carnal desires. Whatever we feed will grow, whatever we starve will die.
  • Cut off certain ties. Athletes still have family and friends, but they put that behind them when they’re training or in a race……. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. (2 Timothy 2:4 NLT)

In this Christian race, we will have hurdles. Things that you can only go over with Christ. Yes, you may have strong faith and try this scripture: For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. (Mark 11:23). However, even though that’s a good try, you may not always get an answer. God answers by our faith, but he cannot deliver us from everything, he wants us to take us through them. I know you may say I’m blaspheming and not saying God is able, but let me give you proof:

  • The children of Israel were delivered from their oppression, they saw God work miracles, but yet they still murmured against God. They ended up dying in the wilderness. Why? They were delivered, but their mindsets weren’t delivered.
  • We often want to be delivered from tough situations (Poverty, sickness, ridicule, nonbelievers as family members, etc). Yet, we must know that God wants us to learn in these situations. If you never had a problem, how could you testify that God is a deliverer, protector, provider, healer?
  • The 3 Hebrew boys didn’t care that they would be thrown into the fire, because circumstances didn’t change their God. Their God changes circumstances.
  • Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. (Psalm 119:67, 71)
  • Embrace afflictions, they will come! (Psalms 34:19)

Our prize is JESUS! I’m sure Heaven will be beautiful. Some things we may even see that weren’t described in the bible. However, Jesus is what we look to at the finish line (Philippians 3:8). If we want to get there we have to persevere through many trials. Sometimes we get worried that we can’t hear God’s voice in the rough times, but you answer me. Have you ever seen a teacher talking to a student during a test, that they prepared them for? Can someone take up your cross for you? Don’t pray for a lighter cross, pray for a broader back to carry it (Anon)!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
I am writing to encourage you, and do not think I say this to scare you. If you look back, you may not get to come back!

  • Remember Lot’s wife! (Luke 17:32)
  • And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)

Once saved, always saved is equivalent to once shaved, always shaved. You must know Christianity is a everyday thing, not a service thing. It is about a relationship with Christ, not a religion.
Keep running, don’ stay on the fence. Run with endurance, don’t overwhelm yourself. Share this, help someone! God bless you!

-Tovares Grey