Useless Worship

There is one thing ultimately that God requires from each and every one of us, worship. The angels have worshipped God since creation. Problems arose when lucifer tried to get that worship for himself and ended up being kicked out of Heaven. Now with a vengeance, the devil has been seeking for mankind to worship him instead of God. He even tempted Jesus, but Jesus told him that worship was only meant for God (Matthew 4:1-11). You must determine in your mind who you will worship. Don’t try to give half of your heart to both, you will ultimately lose in the end.
To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. (Jeremiah 6:20)
In order to understand this scripture we must understand the significance of frankincense (incense) from Sheba. After studying, I have found out that Sheba was rich in gold and precious stones. However, the main source of wealth was in the exclusive trade of frankincense and exotic spices sought by neighboring kingdoms. So we see here in Jeremiah that the people were offering the best thing possible, with wicked hearts! Did you know it was possible for God to be disgusted by your worship? If something acceptable causes God to smell something sweet (Ephesians 5:2), why do we think if we give God halfhearted, lukewarm worship that God will take it? The two minute prayer when we wake up or are going to sleep is quite useless. These are the types of people that attend church faithfully, but never allow their bodies to be God’s dwelling place. We cannot settle at being saved from Hell, we must want to be saved from our sins as well.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isaiah 29:13)
Many talk Christian, not many live like Christians. God doesn’t require us to simply dress and talk a certain way, He wants us to behave a certain way. We cannot keep saying we are Christians and we’re living like atheists. We are simply sending the wrong message to unbelievers. Why would they change if we live just like them? Not only are we deceiving them, we are deceiving ourselves! The Bible says God wants us to be doers, not just hearers of the Word (James 1:22). It is time to wake up, Church! The world is decaying in sin and the Church will simply become Lukewarm if we do not wake up and worship God in spirit and truth!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
The most acceptable worship anyone can give is their heart. You may never be the most talented, but God simply wants you. Even if you are a terrible singer, God is more concerned about the sweet aroma flowing from your worship. Of course I am not supporting legalism. We are not saved because we are good, but we must be good because we are saved. Jesus did not come to the earth and die for you to simply attend church. God wants a relationship with us outside of church. You may never be well educated and rich, but God can do more with a faithful person than someone trusting in their own accomplishments. God doesn’t need your ability, He only wants availability. Worship Jesus with your time, talents, and heart, not just with your mouth at Church.
Is worship your lifestyle or a Sunday hobby?
– Tovares Grey

20130627-103914.jpg

Are You Insane?

Are you Insane?
There are a few things I’ve learned from being a child, playing sports, and just life itself. Those who work harder get better results. Students and children who obey their parents and teachers tend to be on their good side and can usually ask for whatever they want and get it. That should make sense to us why Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15), and previously just told the disciples, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:14). There’s a direct correlation between obedience and favor. When we obey God, He is always willing to work things out for us. Even as an athlete, I remember the first time lifting weights and I could barely handle anything in that weight room. However, I noticed that the more dedication I gave it, was the stronger I became. Not just me, but those who are Olympic medalists today. They train vigorously in order to be able to compete and be some of the greatest to ever run.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
The problem in today’s church, is that most of us are insane! We expect to make disciples, but won’t invite anyone to church. We expect to be used by God but spend no time with Him outside of the church building. We attend church camps, conferences or revivals and get on a “spiritual high” for a couple months if we are lucky, and then go back to the same lifestyle. Why? Most likely they didn’t plan to apply what they learned, just wanted to hear a nice message to make them get excited. Some of us even stopped caring whether or not our worship was in spirit and in truth, and now we are more concerned about not messing up our new outfit or shoes.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)
We have Jesus as our example of how to live on earth. Jesus prayed for hours, sometimes He would pray alone or at “inconvenient places” (Luke 5:16). When Jesus finished those long hours of prayer and fasting, he could cast out a demon with just one word. When Jesus finished praying He was able to heal, deliver and change lives. Now let me ask you this: if you aren’t willing to dedicate more of your life to God, why do you expect God to use you? If Jesus humbled Himself and relied on His Father daily, why won’t we learn to be more dependent on God’s presence and power? Abraham said to God he didn’t want to go anywhere without God’s spirit guiding him (Exodus 33). Are we really that crazy to think we can do anything by ourselves? Am I that insane to fight a spiritual battle against the devil with carnal weapons (Ephesians 6:12)? If Jesus defeated the devil with the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11), why would I be insane enough to not study my bible and expect to overcome? God has our back, but God cannot defend us if we don’t even have a relationship with Him.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:21)
A major problem in today’s church is that we don’t believe God called us to sacrifice things we love. We find scriptures to justify anything we want to do. God wants to change our lives through His Word, not have us twist His Word to fit our lifestyles. Many say “I want to be like Jesus”, but listen to artists and watch movies/shows that go against His Word. No one can say that after watching pornography, listening to all these filthy, perverted and materialistic shows or artists that they just feel the urge to worship God. Let’s not fool ourselves. Artists can say “I want you to go to Hell with me” on a nice beat and people are so foolish that they’ll set it as their ringtone. We have to understand the agenda of the devil (2 Corinthians 2:11). Whatever you put inside of you will come out. You can’t listen to garbage and expect to produce something pleasing to God. Jesus said you will speak what’s in your heart (Matthew 12:34). Are we that insane to believe what we listen to doesn’t affect us?
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33)
We cannot admire and look up to people that contradict the lives we are called to live. If you’re aiming to be a Virtuous, Proverbs 31 woman, you cannot spend your time looking up to Beyonce, Nikki Minaj, Rihanna, etc. They may be “good” people, but they contradict the life God has called you to live. Men aiming to walk upright and walk the way Jesus did cannot be looking up to men like Chris Brown, Jay-Z, or even president Obama. These men blatantly go against our God and His Word. Whoever you spend the most time with, you will act like. That’s why many of us have traits like our parents, friends and family members, because we spend so much time with them. So if we want to live Godly, why should we feed ourselves junk? If you want to be virtuous, why do you admire women who promote lust, sexual behavior and are promiscuous? It’s time to cut the excuses, “only God can judge me”, “no one is perfect”, etc. We must understand that God doesn’t want our excuses, He just wants our obedience and faithfulness.
Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10:22)
Who do you want to be like? Do you want to be more like Christ or the crowd? Are you still conforming to the world? Trying to see how much you can sin and still be saved. Have you really given your life to God? Or do you think because you pray, read your bible and attend church then you’re good to go? God doesn’t want the same tired ritual. No one will marry a man or woman that claims to love them and goes out and sleeps around. That’s just disrespectful isn’t it? Well that’s what you and I do to God every single time we sin. We claim we love Him but we rather watch Scandal and sports, rather than read His Word. We claim that we have faith and God answers prayer, but yet we pray for five minutes and text for hours. We rather take pictures for Instagram and tweet all day, rather than doing something productive. Do you want to be like Jesus or be popular? Jesus didn’t seek fame, He took the role of a servant. If we want to do great things for God we have to be servants, not try to be served.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)
I pray for every reader that we will quit being insane. Insanity is living a lukewarm life and saying grace covers everything. Of course God’s grace outweighs sin, but it is no license to sin. Insanity is not praying and expecting a change. Insanity is being a part-time Christian and expecting full-time benefits. Are you insane? If so, go to Dr. Jesus and allow Him to work on you.
God doesn’t want me to visit Him on Sunday, He wants my heart daily.
– Tovares Grey

20130618-102246.jpg

Guilty by Association

Even though it is sad when people get in trouble, disciplined or even imprisoned for doing wrong, we often find it easier to understand because we all have to pay for our actions. However, what about those people who are guilty just because of their association? Many are dead, in trouble or have been in trouble for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And he went up from thence unto Beth–el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. (2 Kings 2:23-24)
Elisha just lost his dear leader and was beginning a new journey in his walk with The Lord, and as soon as it began there came little kids to mock him. The kids mocked his head and told him to go up to Heaven (referring to Elijah). After he cursed them, two bears destroyed FORTY-TWO children. I just believe that there could have been at least one child in that group who just tagged along. Maybe didn’t mean harm or even said anything, just smiled and laughed with friends. However, hanging with the wrong crowd will destroy you. You may think it’s just “idle fun”, but idleness is the devil’s playground. Stay away from bad company.
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
Learn to stay with the right crowd because your company either invests in you or take away from you. God’s Word says not to give in when people try to cause you to act foolishly (Proverbs 1:10). You have to understand your worth. Surround yourself with people that push you towards Christ, not with those indulging in sin. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to avoid those who aren’t saved yet, God does want you to reach out to them. However, God’s Word says to avoid hanging out with those who are fornicators, liars, rebellious, etc. and claim to be believers (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). God loves everyone and He wants us to love others, but He does not want us in groups or crowds that will encourage sin and foolish behavior.
I know this is not popular teaching, but we all must hear it. If people ever want to hang out or talk, keep the conversation centered around Christ. After all, we want to win our brothers and sisters back to Christ. Just do not allow yourself to get caught up in the circle. We must learn that we can’t bring everyone where God wants us.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Sometimes, elevation requires separation.
– Tovares Grey

20130610-115540.jpg

Get Up and Go

Sometimes I wonder if we believe in Hell. I wonder if Christians understand what it means to “love our neighbors as ourselves”. Many are becoming so comfortable in their lives of luxury. We have homes, cars and love to attend church quite faithfully. However, there are 7 billion people on this earth and not many of them know about Jesus. 32% of the world’s population (2.2 billion) claim to be Christian. So where do the rest end up when they die? What about the homeless people that feel abandoned, unloved, overlooked and insignificant? I don’t think many of them know about Jesus, and if they do, they probably don’t get much help from us believers.
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:15)
There are people dying without knowing God’s love for them. People are dying without ever hearing someone loved them to die for their souls not to go to Hell. People are dying that have never been baptized and never even experienced God’s spirit within them. Can we blame them? No! We cannot keep blaming society for the way the world is. The church is supposed to influence the world, I don’t know why many are being influenced by it. It is our voice that should bring change, deliverance and healing to a lost world. Of course, you cannot reach everyone on earth! However, you can reach one. That one will reach another, and the chain will continue. You must be willing to be the change you want to see. Lord, please start a revival in my heart!
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)
Silence is deadly. How can we have love for humanity and watch souls dying everyday without speaking up or helping? We have to cut out the, “my lifestyle shows Christ” talk. There are people genuinely nicer than Christians. It’s not just how you dress or look, it’s about your standards, your social networks, your giving and even how you respond to negativity. Our pastors are not the only people called by God to make a difference, you have a purpose as well. Don’t let your life be in vain, bring your family and friends to Christ.
And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. (Luke 9:5)
Recently the youth group went out at my church to do some evangelism. We went to different parking lots and stores offering prayer and inviting people to church. The youth seemed afraid at first, but eventually became pros haha. They did not let the fear stop them. Some rejected us, some took prayer and some accepted the offer to church. You see, we cannot let our fear stop us. If they say “no”, they’re rejecting Christ, not us. But we must do our part by planting the seed. We do not save, Jesus does. We just have to be willing to step out and help a dying nation. Sometimes people won’t change or join you, but God is with you and your labor is not in vain.
I just want to encourage the body of Christ to not be complacent any longer (Amos 6:1). We all have a command to follow: win souls, not just get fancy churches, dress nice for Instagram pictures, or have “Christian music” on our iPods. We are able to change the world, God has empowered us. So to every reader, get up and go!
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
– Tovares Grey

20130606-155702.jpg

Pouring Out

We have all heard or prayed some of these prayers before: “Fill me up Jesus”, “I need you, Lord”, or “God, use me for your glory”. Not that I am against these prayers, because I will pray them. The problem is not in the words of our prayer, but the heart behind our words. When was the last time we prayed “God, I’m tired of the ritual! Break me and mend me into the person you have called me to be”, “God, my sins disgust me. Allow me to walk upright by your grace and keep me from evil” or even “God, please have mercy on him/her. They offended me but I forgive them and I’m asking you to have mercy on them. You don’t have to change them but change me so I know how to treat them with love and compassion“. You see, God is not impressed by those putting on a show and religious act in prayer or church, God sees our hearts and is concerned more about whether or not we are living for Him and not just “looking the part”. God is ready for you to pour out to Him, so He can pour into you!
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
We all must understand that God only takes control when we give Him the power. The more we empty ourselves of the junk we have put in is the more God’s spirit can take control over our lives. Jesus will never force Himself on you, He can only be your Lord if you give Him permission. Yes, He is sovereign but He also gives choices. It is with these choices that we will see whether or not Jesus is our God, or we are our own god. Many of you do not bow down to yourself, but you prefer your own thing over God’s will (idolatry). Just in case you were not sure, God has a better plan for your life but you will never experience it until you’re completely empty in His presence. When you reach that place of brokenness, that is when God can heal and mend you into who you need to be!
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46)
Whether we see it or not, this world is in chaos. It’s pretty much going in a downward spiral if the church does not wake up and assume their rightful places. Your race, gender, past, mistakes, or your disabilities do not matter. God does not have to use talented people, He just needs available people that are willing to obey and follow Him. God is able to heal the broken and use them to reach a broken nation. How do we get there? By pouring out to God!
How do I pour out to God?
1. Prayer: Prayer is simply conversing with God. Keep in mind I said “with” not “to”. There comes a point in prayer when you have to sit and just wait on God to speak to you. He speaks differently to everyone. Wait on Him to say something to your spirit. It could be a verse, song, or just one word, but wait on your word! Consistent prayer shows God that you acknowledge you are weak without Him and you need His direction. Lack of prayer shows pride, it’s basically saying you can handle things on your own. It also shows that you don’t love God. Who doesn’t talk to someone they love?
2. Studying the bible: Reading the bible may not be fun for some at first, but it is quite interesting to me. The best part is that all of it is real, no prophecy has failed, and it helps you in every circumstance. Studying also shows us God’s plan for our lives. It shows us where we need to ask God to change us. Never overlook a scripture because you don’t want to change. God’s word isn’t a magazine, you cannot skim to find what you like.
3. Fasting: Growing up, this was the “F-word” to me. I hated that, but the more I grow is the more I realize that fasting helps my flesh to die and allow God to speak to me and through me, and it also humbles me.
4. Less junk: No man can say any secular music, hours of television and social networks, and consistent texting benefits their spiritual life. Some of these may not be sin, but they are weights that slow down our spiritual growth (Hebrews 12:1). We cannot hold onto God and sin at the same time, choose (Joshua 24:15).
5. Repentance: A lifestyle of repentance is not just saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. It’s looking consistently to see if our lifestyles are wicked. If we ever catch a hint of something against God’s word we turn away from it. What would you prefer hearing when someone disobeys or hurts you: “I’m sorry” or “it won’t happen again”…. Thought so.
Keep this in mind, God will not fill you if your mouth is not open. I cannot imagine God visiting someone who does not want more of Him in their life. When we go before Jesus in surrender, only then can He change us. God is knocking at your door. He will not open the door, you have to open up to Him (Revelation 3:20).
I also watched an awesome poem/spoken that I would love for you to check out, Propaganda- Prodigal Sons. We must understand that we cannot hide our heart from God. Religious cosmetics cannot cover up our sinful blemishes.
I urge you to give God more than a few minutes today and to examine your lifestyle. Pray for God to show you what you need to change and how you can be a better follower. It is all about following Jesus, not becoming famous, dressing nice or looking saved. I want to be more than a closet Christian, I will be a man after God’s heart!
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
– Tovares Grey

20130603-173949.jpg