Idolizing Marriage

So you say that you want to be married. That’s fantastic! However, your desire may be delayed because of your motives. Why is our society so deceived into thinking that they can’t be happy until someone else comes along to give them worth? Marriage is so great, but it cannot complete. Good things cannot fill God’s role. Marriage is meant to be a blessing, but not your purpose on earth.
Okay, before I scare you away, let me get into the point of this blog!
There are so many people out there desiring marriage. That is so good, because marriage gives us an idea of just how much God loves us. Husbands are literally told to love their wives the way that Christ loves us. If that isn’t an indicator on how serious God takes marriage, I really don’t know what is. We are blessed with the gift of sex in marriage which gives pleasure and the ability to procreate. However, the problem arises when we want to be married more than we want Jesus. We seek a spouse before we seek the God who created us. Of course the all-knowing God could tell us who to pursue and who to stay away from, but we simply just hunger so much for the fairy tale love story that we forget all about God. Too many people are expecting a story like Love and Basketball, The Notebook or a Disney channel love story. I think many of us have the idea that marriage carries us into a happily ever after without problems, but is that the case? Every “romance” movie we watch, the movie ends with the highlights! The boy finally wins her heart. That pretty girl finally gives that guy a chance and they run off into pure bliss. The couple who broke up and moved on, somehow managed to run back into each other and fate would have it that their love is rekindled.
“It is definitely God’s will that I get my fairytale!” That’s just how it should be, right?
Wrong. Relationships don’t always go according to our plans….even if we love Jesus. Divorce rates are high just for the misconception many of us believe. You must know that no matter how awesome they are, they are still human. Perfection can only be found in Jesus, so do not hold an extra high standard for someone that cannot fill it. Marriages fail when God isn’t the center, but your idea of how marriage is. You both will have work to do, but you can’t grow if you two aren’t CHOOSING to forgive, love, cherish, respect and honor even when the feelings may fade.
Ever heard someone say they want a Godly spouse or someone following Jesus, but they aren’t even following Him wholeheartedly? That will never happen, you attract who you are not necessarily who you want. If you’re pursuing Jesus, then like-minded people will be drawn towards you; if you’re a lustful person, then that kind of person will be drawn to you. It is not God’s will for you to be with anyone holding on to the world. You two are going in opposite directions if they choose to remain lukewarm or unsaved. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Wait on someone you can pursue Jesus with. Wait for the type of person that will protect your purity and encourage you to seek Christ. So many want marriage so bad that they don’t take the time to evaluate themselves or the person they are with. God does not want us with anyone leading us away from Him. Love does not lead to sin. A Godly man/woman can commit to one person. Be careful of those wasting your time with their games. Do not say “I do” to someone who hasn’t said “I do” to Jesus. Committing to someone that doesn’t love God is only setting you up for a dead end relationship. If the two of you even last, you’ll still find yourself far away from God and that wasn’t your intention.
Are you getting yourself prepared for marriage, or do you just want a honeymoon, a ring and sex? Be careful of doing right things with wrong motives. Paul did say it’s better to marry than to burn with lust/passion (1 Corinthians 7:9), but keep this in mind: if sex is the only reason you are going into marriage, you’re not ready for it. Of course no one will be perfect before marriage, but be careful of jumping into it and you’re not ready for such a great commitment. It should be until “death do you part”, not until “looks fade and you run out of money”. Remember that it’s a lifetime commitment you are preparing for so do not rush into something you can’t handle. Guys, if you don’t want to commit then leave the girl alone. Stop trying to see how many hearts you can break before “settling down”. And vice versa, because some women string men along and try to get attention from him, but won’t give him the commitment that he desires. Divorce is only common because we are seeking guilt-free sex, a wedding celebration, someone to control and manipulate rather than a best-friend we can honor Christ and grow with.
Think about it, your heart is too valuable to just jump into marriage and you weren’t prepared for it. Rushing will lead our vulnerable hearts into sin, brokenness and wasted time. Choose today to be patient, wait on God to lead you and not our emotions that can easily change. His timing is perfect.
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

My Friends Don't Understand my Walk with God

Living for God is such an amazing experience that we get to enjoy daily. He changes our lives from the inside out and delivers us from many things that used to keep our hearts in bondage. Unfortunately, our “friends” don’t always see it that way. What makes it even worse is when our “Christian” friends don’t support us. I can understand a nonbeliever questioning my desire to pray or fast, but not a Christian. I can understand an atheist saying negative things about my attempt at a disciplined life, but not someone in the “church”.
“Bro, you are doing way too much!”
“Girl, chill. Stop acting overly spiritual.”
“Don’t be so ‘heavenly minded’ that you’re no earthly good.”
“I get that you say you want to do right, but all of those things are just leading to legalism or a self-righteous approach of earning God’s love.”
I have heard these things said to me and to others before; but what if I told you that your friend was doing you more harm than good by saying those things? What if they want to help you, but their “good advice” is not “God advice?” What if God is actually calling you into a deeper place of intimacy, but you will never experience it because of your company?
Anyone that makes you feel bad for being passionate about living for God is a distraction from the enemy. It is best to keep a healthy distance and pray for them, instead of having them keep you comfortable in a stagnant walk with God. I am not advocating for foolish or weird behavior, because God will use friends to explain the scriptures to us and tell us when we are viewing things wrong. I am saying that there should be no one in your inner circle that doesn’t want to see you grow into who God is calling you to be.
Let’s look at 3 major things every believer should do when their friends don’t support their walk with God:
1. Examine your friends.
I’m just going to make this plain, everyone isn’t meant to be your close friend. Jesus is our example of how to love and treat others, and even Jesus had an inner circle. Jesus preached to masses, did life with 12 disciples, and yet He only called Peter, James and John for certain situations. Did he love them more than the others? No, not at all, but He had a different purpose for them and possibly a deeper level of intimacy with them.
If your friends stop you from growing, then you two must address it or slowly drift apart. If your friends are struggling with the same issues as you, then accountability is hard. Instead of having the wisdom to help you out of it or the boldness to rebuke you in love, they will give you a pass (because they are struggling).
So again, check if your friends are growing and keeping you accountable. If they aren’t, they should not be in your inner circle.

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, WITH THEM that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22)


2. Challenge your friends!
This is something many never do because of fear, but why be afraid if the person wants to be in your life? Jesus had a rich, young ruler coming to him that seemed to have it all together. Jesus gave him one command, to sell his possessions and give it to the poor. However, the guy didn’t do it, and he went away sorrowful. What I find interesting about this is that Jesus never chased behind him. Too many of us are running behind people that God is not sending to us. If they aren’t willing to meet certain standards or to make any sacrifices, they aren’t willing to be in your life. If you are only valuable to them when it is convenient for them, that is not the will of God for your circle. Stop thinking you can’t push your friends to grow with you. If you aren’t doing so, you aren’t a good enough friend to them.
If I cannot tell you that you’re living beneath your purpose, I don’t love you. I should be able to genuinely say “get it together, you’re better than that” without it being taken as judgment. If you don’t have friends that do that, challenge them to challenge you. Pray for God to send people who will push you!

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:6)


3. Be willing to find friends that don’t look or think like you.
This may sound simple, but this is one of the hardest tasks for a person. We will always naturally gravitate to those who look or think like us. It doesn’t matter if it’s politics or sports; we will feel more at ease when the person we are conversing with has things in common with us. Like for me, I have a few friends that act just like me. We can laugh and joke literally all day. The problem with that though is they will have my same issues so they may not pull me out of my spiritual valley. It wasn’t until recently when I started making friends with people who are of different races, denominations, financial status, various cultures, etc. that I hadn’t seen some things with a clear perspective. That’s like me being a guy with a Jamaican background and not going out to eat a lot when I was younger. So now when my wife and I want to go out or friends invite us out to eat, I don’t even know what to pick. Not because I’m super picky, I’m just not familiar with a lot and in need of someone to expose me to it.
How much is God trying to show you, but you aren’t able to see because it looks unfamiliar? How many people has God sent your way to push you into purpose, but you ignored them for being too “churchy”, “different” or too “weird”? Jesus gave Ananias clear instructions on what to do in Paul’s conversion. However, he knew how Paul used to persecute the church. God had to take him out of his comfort zone in order for Paul to be delivered, because he was possibly afraid of the things Paul would do to him. People may not be used to you or you with them, but you need others in order for you to be who God called you to be.

But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. (Acts 9:15 ESV)

Your environment will play a major role in determining your destiny. God wants to bless your life and it requires the right people on your team and the wrong people can delay that calling. Not only can they delay purpose, but bad company will corrupt good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Grace and peace,
Tovares Grey

Stop Chasing Butterflies

I receive many questions from people who want to know how can they tell if someone is the one for them. We’ve made a YouTube video about the concept of “the one” and wrote a blog about knowing how you can tell if they’re the one for you, you should check it out if you haven’t already. However, it confuses me when someone says they’re with someone who’s amazing and loves God, treats them right, but something is missing.
“Well…. what’s missing?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t have those butterflies I’d expect to have.”

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Can I tell you something that you know, but can easily forget? Your feelings will destroy you. Your feelings will have you running back to relationships that God delivered you out of. Your feelings will have you running back to abusive relationships, because you’re focused on memories instead of reality. Your feelings will have you thinking it’s okay to to let your flesh take control, but you know in your heart what God is telling you to do.
DO NOT ALLOW SOCIAL MEDIA, FRIENDS OR TELEVISION TO TELL YOU WHAT TRUE LOVE IS.
If you want to know true love, look at the Bible’s definition of it (1 Corinthians 13). Too many expect life to be like Love and Basketball or The Notebook. All of these Disney and movie fantasies will have you ignoring your blessing that you’re praying about. Many people want a godly relationship, but when they have a godly person in their lives that’ll correct them when they’re falling or lukewarm, they take it as judgement. So you want a godly relationship, but you don’t want God? Some people claim they want true love, but they really just want someone they can post on social media. Just because all of your friends are dating or married, that doesn’t mean God is telling you to do the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being married, but I honestly believe many of us don’t understand that marriage is way more than we think. We have to understand that marriage is a ministry as well and God has to prepare us for it. I honestly believe our motives are what causes us to have our blessings delayed (read more about that here).

“(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” 2 Corinthians 5:7

I’ve learned that we live in a generation of people that are driven by emotions (see Provers 30:12). We disregard the word of God, and we go by opinions instead of scripture. We don’t like correction, because our feelings are placed higher than God at times.

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs‬ ‭30:12‬)

There are days when my marriage isn’t all sunshine and roses. I absolutely love my wife and our marriage is great (she said so as well, so don’t think I’m being dramatic lol). However, that does NOT mean we are happy every single waking moment of the day. There are some days when it’s like she can’t wait to hug me, and there are some times when I’m sure her hands just want to hug my neck. If we go by those days when there are no “butterflies”, we’d foolishly think God didn’t bring us together. When we don’t feel those “butterflies”, does that mean it’s time to jump ship? No. It’s time to keep cultivating our love so it doesn’t die out.
Does that mean I’m telling you to settle? NO, PLEASE DON’T SETTLE. I get butterflies when I’m around my wife still. But you have to understand feelings should not dictate your future. Pray regarding that person. If God gives you peace regarding them and He gives you confirmation to keeping the relationship, then don’t give up on them just because you don’t feel happy all the time.
Grace and peace.

Stumbled back into Lust? #NoLustNovember

Hey guys! Day 6, and I know some of you are absolutely amazing and you are just kicking your old lifestyle out and seeking Jesus like never before. However, I am realistic and I know this isn’t the case for all of us. Have you made a mistake since the month started? Have you looked at lustful images and didn’t turn away like you should have? Is that girl’s body still in your mind, bro? Is that handsome guy still playing with your mind and emotions, sis? Did that song, movie, or conversation stir lust back up into your heart? Did you go to their house again knowing it would lead to fornication?
 

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11 ESV)

 
It’s crazy that we look at the men and women in the bible as being such perfect believers and that must have been the reason God used them, right? Wrong, God used them because they depended on His Spirit. God didn’t use them because they had it all figured out. Paul is someone I reference a lot, because he was a great example on how to live (other than Jesus). However Paul mentioned that he had a weakness he wanted God to remove. God told him “no”. He was telling Paul that His grace was sufficient for him and He would help him overcome his issues (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). However, I want to draw your attention to Romans 7 (read all of it when you can). Paul mentions that the things he wants to do, he doesn’t do, but yet he finds himself doing things he doesn’t plan to do (Romans 7:15). Sounds familiar? Yes, because that is all of us serving Christ. We want to live pure and righteous lives, but we don’t at times. We want to hate sin at times, but yet we find ourselves falling into sin. Not only do we fall into sin, but we fall into the same one we repented of 831 times at the altar. However, I love how chapter 8 begins, because it stops focusing on our failures and points us to the solution – Jesus and His grace. You are not condemned. You are His. Don’t stay in your mess when Jesus died to free you.
 

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)

 
I’m here to tell you that it is okay that you messed up. The only people who mess up are the ones who tried. You can only break a fast when you are fasting. You can only become weary when you have been fighting. Falling is inevitable, because you are human. But that is why we have the Holy Spirit, to guide us away from temptation and to restore us when we fall. Are your actions okay when you sin? Not at all. Is God pleased with your decision to turn back to your sin? No, He wasn’t pleased. But I am here to tell you that it is okay for you to get back up again. No way am I telling you to keep committing your sin, but you have to understand that God expects growth, but He is fully aware that we are human. There is grace for His children because we cannot do things on our own (Psalms 130:3). You don’t have to stay down just because you fell into the same mess. You can and you will overcome, in Jesus’ name. You won’t overcome on your own, but you will when you decide to turn away from those things and people that are toxic to your spiritual walk.
 

If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. (Psalms 130:3-4)

 
So for those who have fallen, and for those will fall tomorrow, please get back up again. Be sorrowful, be remorseful, be sincere in your repentance and get back up again. Take a break from social media if you must. Unfollow some accounts if you’re failing. End some relationships if you see the cycle is repeating and no boundaries are being followed. Because it is one thing for your relationship to make a mistake, but it is another when it is just not God’s will for your life (read more about that here). Please don’t quit, let’s keep growing!
Remember to stay engaged with us! How?
– By using the hashtag #NoLustNovember on your pictures, statuses or videos that you’ll use to encourage others.
– Sharing what God shared with you during your devotion.
– Sharing a quick video about overcoming lust or a testimony.
 
Pray Psalms 51 when you get the chance.
 
Grace and peace.

No Lust November

Welcome to the first day of #NoLustNovember! Everyone is familiar with “No Shave November”, but I wanted to do a weird twist on it and give Christians something they can relate to. This is a challenge for everyone to jump in on. I’ll be checking for this hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and talking to you all so we all can hold one another accountable. 
Before you go any further, I have a blog on “Fighting Lust” that you can read here if you haven’t already. 

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs‬ ‭30:12‬)


One of the most dangerous things a believer can do is assume that they have it all together. The Bible says to be careful when you think you’re standing firm because that is when you’ll fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
Many Christians are under the impression that they cannot fall into sexual temptation. I used to be one of those. I would wonder how are people being so gullible and consistently falling into the same sin, but I realized with my own struggles that it wasn’t something as simple as I assumed. Then there are other Christians that believe they cannot break that cycle over their lives, but that’s because they aren’t properly following God and establishing boundaries. Understand this, falling into sexual sin is common. I am not saying this to justify anyone’s sinful lifestyle. I am saying that so you can know as a reader that you can overcome in Jesus’ name and you don’t have to keep hiding your weakness. God’s strength is made perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Be willing to let go. 






But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:28-29)


When you talk about overcoming lust, many people target the symptoms rather than the real issue. So they’ll be willing to stop watching a certain show, but they won’t end the relationship. Or they will end the relationship, but they’ll still check up on the person. Sometimes we even overcome and then turn back to our filth. What I have realized is, Jesus isn’t a passive God. Jesus was so drastic in His teaching that many didn’t like Him and many turned away. If we aren’t willing to cut off what stimulates lust, are we tired of that lifestyle? No, we enjoy it but we don’t want its consequences. Sin never satisfies, it only pushes you to go further and further away from the presence of God. Are you disgusted with your sin yet? Ask God to remove those desires. Stop entertaining those desires and watch that sinful desire begin to fade out of your life. 
Be willing to examine your heart and take spiritual inventory. Some people shouldn’t still be in your life. Some shows shouldn’t still be on your tv. Some social media accounts should’ve been unfollowed months ago. Are you willing to let go of your past life to embrace what God has for you?




“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬)


What are you going to choose today? Your porn or Jesus? Your fornicating/adulterous relationship or Jesus? Your ungodly friendships or Jesus? Your music that corrupts your heart or Jesus? Your feelings or Jesus? Your lust or Jesus? Your pride or Jesus? 





“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah‬ ‭2:13‬)


This scripture shows us that we as the people of God can easily backslide and choose things that can’t satisfy. The woman who met Jesus at the well was searching for Jesus, but she didn’t know it. No man could satisfy. She went from man to man and still never found true love until she met Jesus. That’s you and I. Searching for something to satisfy, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to choose lust anymore. 
So what do you say…….Challenge accepted? 
This journey is for everyone, but I don’t expect everyone to participate. If you desire more of God and less of that sinful cycle, then let’s get this party started! Jesus satisfies, trust me. Let’s not turn back. Forget what you did before starting this and let’s go back to the cross and the plan of God. 
What I need you to do!
1. Post a picture everyday with the hashtag #NoLustNovember so we can be engaged together! 
2. Post a verse, prayer, or your journal talking about what God is sharing with you on this challenge. 
3. Don’t judge anyone, just grow! 
4. Don’t quit WHEN you make a mistake. Not if! 
Grace and peace. 

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.

Even if Alone

photo (4)Following Jesus is hands down the best decision I have ever made. However, I have had times when I was beyond discouraged because it just seemed like I was in this thing all alone. I know some people have always been spiritual and they just had it together at all times, but even people in the bible felt discouraged at times. Elijah wanted to die because of fear of Jezebel (1 Kings 19:4), Jeremiah wanted to give up on his calling but he couldn’t (Jeremiah 20:9), and even the great leader Moses was frustrated and impatient with the people at times (Numbers 11:10-15). So if you ever get weary in your walk, I understand. If they could overcome their temporary afflictions, so can you and I (Romans 8:18).
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
When Jesus called you to follow Him, He did not call your friends or family. There is a separate calling for each and every one of us. Stop trying to take people where God is trying to take you. Sometimes God wants you alone so you can learn to depend and trust Him. Many of us talk to our friends for hours and God for minutes, but God deserves more reverence and honor than we are giving Him. We must also come to a realization that our salvation is not dependent on others either. My pastor, parents or loved ones cannot save me. My salvation is based solely on my relationship with Jesus. I may be surrounded by praying people, but if I don’t pray I will have no connection to God. I may have a great leader in my pastor, but if I do not seek God for myself I will not know Him for myself. God wants each and every one of us to seek Him for ourselves.
I know most people have heard this before, but if you haven’t let me just warn you: when you truly begin to follow Jesus, people will drift away from you. I don’t mean when you attend church regularly, I mean walking like He walked, talking like He talked and eschewing sin like Jesus did. I say that because now you are serving a different Master, so people will not always like that. You want to live right, but they want to let their flesh be in control. If everyone is comfortable with you, then maybe you still have maturing to do. Not saying when people hate you you’re considered Godly, because sometimes people hate our arrogance. I mean light and darkness does not mix, so don’t expect to have a big crowd of friends. Many stopped following Jesus before He came down to twelve followers.
There came a point in Abraham’s walk with God that he was asked to sacrifice the very thing he waited all his life for. That is a true test of faith. God saying, “I gave you this promise, but I want you to give it back now”. When Abraham went to sacrifice his son Isaac, there was a point when he had to tell some people to wait here while he went up to worship (Genesis 22:5). Abraham understood clearly that the place God wants him is not for everyone’s sight. God wants to do great things to and through us, but he first has to separate us. Being alone is not a bad thing! Let God isolate you so He can elevate you!
Many people choose to follow God when it is convenient for them. They give God a couple of minutes of prayer and half-hearted worship in church when things are going fine. However, whenever they go through hard times or read something in the Bible that contradicts their lifestyle, they just overlook it and do their own thing. Don’t get caught up in this company! Surround yourself with those who have a hunger for God. Yes, some people will call you “deep”, “too holy”, etc. but I rather be an outcast for God than to be cast out later. We want God to be pleased with our lives, we do not need man’s approval.
“I talk about Jesus, all the Christians love me
I walk like Jesus now they wanna judge me, ain’t it funny?” – Andy Mineo

It is very easy for believers to follow and obey Christ when they see others doing it. However, that is not always the case. Many of us are around people who do not obey God and do not even want to obey Him. Trust me, it’s better to avoid that group because they are only hurting you spiritually. I choose to follow Jesus even if no one decides to join me. The three Hebrew boys decided to obey their God even if no one joined them and they did not compromise when their lives were on the line.

And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. (Matthew 8:21-22)
  • When God calls you, don’t go back to dead situations.
  • Stop trying to hold memories of your past life and relationships.
  • Press forward and forget the past (Philippians 3:7-14).
  • You’re a new person in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), so let your old life be crucified with Christ (Romans 6:6).
Trust me, I know this blog is beyond lengthy and I am sorry about that. However, if you read this I know that God has touched your heart in some way or another. Continue to seek God, even if you are alone. No more compromising. Let’s be a generation of God seekers, God bless!
– Tovares Grey

Who Gets More Time?

The easiest way to tell what a person loves is by checking where they spend the most time, money, and their talents. Everyone may not believe in God, but everyone worships. Some worship Jesus, while others worship other gods, their boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, their car, homes, education, music artists and actors, models, or social networks. Sad to say, but many of us worship ourselves. Of course none of us bow down to these things or people (at least I hope not), but we worship them because we dedicate most of our time to them rather than to God. Am I saying God wants us to wake up and pray/read our bible until we fall asleep? No, but He surely shouldn’t have to compete to be in our schedule. God wants to be in control of our entire life not a part of our life.
So let me propose a question to you: who or what do you worship? Please don’t just say “God, duh. Next question.” Rather, please examine your busy schedule and see if it is centered around God. Let God be the most important part of your day or get the most devotion. Of course we all have things to do like work, school, take care of family, etc. but that’s no excuse to give God a few minutes of a day that He did not even have to give us. We should start trying to spend more time with God than with our television. That person you love may be great, but they do not deserve more time than the Man who thought you were to die for, Jesus! We often go through our “busy schedule” and find time to squeeze in the mall, phones, social networks, gossip, sin, gym, and then we give God the five minute prayer before a meal or bed (even though we are already half asleep).
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalms 63:1)
By no means am I saying that “my priorities are set, I spend time with God for hours and I am perfect”. I am doing my best to give Him more time, as we all should. When we look at this previous verse we must understand what David was really trying to convey. David was in a literal wilderness! When in those types of conditions you’re without proper nutrition, any friends around, etc. Take Jesus for an example, after fasting in the wilderness, He was very hungry after (Matthew 4:2). However, despite David’s condition, he said he wanted more of God. David had an hunger for God, knowing that more of God was all that matters. He did not care about himself, but his mind was on getting more from God. Even though David committed adultery, he was considered as “a man after God’s heart” (Acts 13:22). It is not about your mistake, it is about your willingness to get up and seek God again. David was in constant pursuit of making God his number one priority.
Here are a few questions that I want us to read and answer truthfully. Do not be in denial, God knows the REAL you.
– Do we care more about winning souls to Christ or about our followers on social networks?
– Are we focused on living a life acceptable to God or one that conforms to society and makes us not looked weird or called “too holy”?
– Are we giving more to God with our tithes and offering than we do to the mall?
– Are we giving God leftovers or our best?
– Are we serving God with gladness or out of guilt, obligation, and fear of Hell?
– Do we know more lyrics than we know scriptures?
– Do we reach for our phone or bible when we get up?
– Do we pray for others or talk about them?
– Do we shout louder in praise or over a sporting event?
– Is Instagram more interesting than prayer?
There are so many questions that we can ask ourselves, but this is not to make us feel guilty, ashamed, or even say “you don’t earn salvation, you accept it”. This is about us willing to boldly forsake our worldly ways and pursue Christ. After all, God does not want most of our life, He wants us completely surrendered to Him. What can God do with someone who only wants to worship Him in a church setting? God cannot use a cyber Christian, God wants full time obedience. Worship the Creator, not His creation. People and things should never get more time and appreciation than God. Be grateful for everything you have, but do not make God feel as though you no longer care about Him. Jesus died for us, we should live for Him. Jesus did not die for us to go to church on Sunday and live like He doesn’t exist the rest of the week. What are you hungry for? Fame? Money? Love? Respect? None of that matters if you gain it and lose your soul (Matthew 16:25). Seek God now while you can, our days are limited. Let’s stop wasting it focused on the wrong things.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)
– Tovares Grey

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God Has a Standard

It is sad at how the morals of the world have become so low. We are seeing more funerals than graduations, and more baby showers than weddings. People look at tragedies and blame God, but these will be the same people that reject Him daily or say He doesn’t exist. Most times no one looks to the bible on how they should live, but everyone lives off of their own opinions and are self driven.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 16:25)
It is easy to believe in Jesus, but it’s impossible to say you’re a Christian but still continue to be an habitual sinner. The bible calls us to repentance, turning away from all sin and going to Jesus, and to a complete mind transformation/renewal (Romans 12:2). We need our minds renewed because whatever we think, we will do. If you think right, you’ll do right. If you think about sin all day, your body will want to do the act. In today’s society we have so many claiming to be Christians, but they just aren’t producing the fruit that they should. Am I saying they’re hypocrites and on the way to Hell? No, because we are saved by grace, not by what Tovares thinks. However, the bible says that the people who are God’s sons aren’t the ones who just have the spirit in them, but His children are the ones who allow His spirit to lead and direct them (Romans 8:14). Living for Christ is more than what we do for Him or our Sunday rituals, our faith is shown in our obedience to God’s word. We only really believe what we practice. If I believe exercise will make me look nice and stay healthy, I would do it. If I believe driving is more convenient than walking, I will drive. However, a man cannot say I know exercise is beneficial to my life and just not make the time for it. Neither can I say driving is more convenient than walking, but I don’t plan to get a license, buy a car or get behind the wheel. I can respect someone who says “I know Jesus is real, but I just don’t feel like surrendering all to Him right now”, rather than someone who says “I’m a Christian” but the lifestyle contradicts them totally. They will still party, fornicate, gossip, hate people, forgive sometimes, don’t evangelize, never feed the less fortunate, etc. I really wonder if we read the entire bible. God told us to go out and do something, not just to sing songs and go to Heaven. Many want to sit at God’s table, but not all are willing to work in His field.
Woe to them that are at ease in Zion…..(Amos 6:1)
In today’s society, many are just doing what they feel is right. People no longer seek The Lord, so their perception of right and wrong is distorted. We watch shows that promote sin and yet criticize the person in church who can’t sing well but uses their voice to bring glory to God. We no longer hate sin, we just hate the sins we see in others. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for more reasons than homosexuality (Ezekiel 16:49-50). We can’t keep looking down on homosexuals/lesbians and we are full of sin ourselves. I’ve noticed that if I try to hang out, play sports or just relax, everyone is free. If I say lets pray together, only a few would be willing. I’m not better than them, but many people are forgetting that we need to forsake sin and seek Jesus. How can we lift one another up if we keep looking down on people?
Contrary to popular belief, God rules, not the majority. It doesn’t matter if something becomes popular or common, if God’s word is against it, it remains wrong. Many have been quarreling about the rights for the homosexual community, and whether or not they should be able to get married. We must first understand that, God gives every man free-will. Even though that may not be God’s plan, He still allows them to do whatever they want. Does God loves homosexuals? Of course He does, but God never have and never will support sin. It was sin in the bible so it is sin now. It does not matter if people want to be “politically correct” and call it a “sexual preference”, God calls it an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). Many are thinking that its okay to dress provocatively or take half naked pictures for social networks, or boyfriends and girlfriends, but God’s word said to be modest (1 Timothy 2:9-10) and to flee fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18). This isn’t judging, because I’m not perfect. However, I will preach God’s word whether that makes me popular or not. Jesus loved sinners enough to correct them, if we love people we will tell them the truth.
Biblical holiness is very rare today, many love to say no one is perfect, but that’s no excuse not to try. Many people will never become who God has designed them to be, because they’re too busy trying to be someone else. If we aim to be like our pastor, parents, mentors, etc we will never know who we are. Elijah didn’t turn Elisha into a copy of himself. When he left, he made him twice the man that he was. We must understand that God did not create us to be like someone else, the only person we should try to imitate is Jesus. Right is right, even if you’re the only one doing it. Wrong is wrong even if it is popular.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14)
Make every effort to live a clean life before God. The bible says to stay away from the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). The problem that we have is that we want to experiment and partake in everything offered to us. Choose today to stay away from sin. Will we mess up? Of course, maybe even before the night is over. However, we don’t have to make our mistake become a lifestyle. Live pure. Follow Christ, not the crowds. Don’t compare yourself to people because God made you differently. Learn to measure yourself up in His word and see where you need improvement and what needs to be fixed. Just the same as we do naturally. Everyone looks in the mirror to make sure they look okay. We must do so spiritually. Get into the bible and see what you need to fix.
A few scriptures to remember:
-Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19)
– For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
– Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
– Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5)
– My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! (Proverbs 1:10)
God bless!
– Tovares Grey

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Empty Me

Many times, I used to find myself being discouraged that God will use many people, but it seemed as though He wouldn’t use me. I would see new born again believers and younger people get up and do God’s will, while I was clueless as to what I should be doing. I would watch people younger than me go to the altar and receive the Holy Ghost, while I tarried for years. I would be in ministry and wonder was I doing a good enough job. Receiving compliments, but knowing that there was much more that I could give God and much more I could receive from Him if only I was more available. The questions would arise as to whether or not I’m being led by God’s spirit or by emotions and charisma. There were many things that puzzled me, but now I’m beginning to understand what God is doing more and more.
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. (Mark 2:22)
Many of us want God to dwell in us and want Him to use us, but we have to make our temples conducive for His spirit to want to dwell there. Many want to be saved from Hell, just not from sin. We don’t mind attending services, tweeting about grace and mercy, or even wearing clothes and tattoos with bible verses, but when we examine our lives we are sometimes contradicting everything in God’s word. We don’t mind saying “I’m saved, and the people in the world should come to Christ like I did”, but the world won’t do that if they don’t see a difference between you and them. If you dress the same, act the same, talk the same, then everyone will assume they’re going to Heaven as well. “After all, if children of God can be half naked on social networks, why can’t I? God does love everyone? Right?!” We must understand the world doesn’t always read the bible, but they read us. If we don’t show Christ, no one will see Him. If we don’t walk like Christ, people will continue to stray further from God’s word. I mean come on? Why would I believe you when you say I should eat salad when you’re at McDonald’s? We can’t contradict the message we want to deliver.
Many of us have grown up with parents that hated a dirty home, I know I did. My mother would never want us to invite someone over and not clean up first. Neither would she wait until we have company. She would always make sure that the home was clean, because even though someone may not come, you still want to be in a clean house and have something presentable that would attract people, rather than push them away. This is the same principle with God. God does not dwell in unclean vessels. That is why Psalms 51 is such a powerful, repentance based scripture. David knew that God couldn’t live in a dirty vessel, so he asked God to purge him and to wash him.
David was a man after God’s heart. He was definitely willing to give his life to do all he can for his God, but did he fall short? Yes. That’s why we can should not say “nobody’s perfect”, because God knows that. He still expects us to have a willing and obedient heart. So yes, you may mess up, but do you have to stay in your mess? No! Get up and do the will of God.
Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. (Jeremiah 18:2)
Sometimes God has to separate you from certain crowds in order for you to hear Him. God told Jeremiah that He would speak to him, when he went to the Potter’s house. Jeremiah could have been stubborn like many of us, but he decided to go and then God spoke to him. We often complain when friends leave us or we have to leave friends, but that’s one of God’s ways of getting our attention. God can’t speak to you if you’re listening to several different voices. Which is one of the reasons I deleted my Instagram account. It was sad how people dressed on there that said they were Christians. I’m convinced some were allergic to clothes. If I continued going on that app, that would’ve just called lust. Which is why I decided to get rid of it. It’s much easier to hear God now, I won’t have to worry about perverted or sinful images in my head. That’s why it is also necessary to get out of certain relationships. Sometimes it’s best not to even reply to some text messages, because that’ll avoid lust, gossip, slander or just pointless talk. We all should start praying as much as we talk. Praying for people and evangelizing is much more profitable than spending the day on the phone. Social networks are really becoming idols, and many of us have different addictions and idols in our life that we have to get rid of to experience God on a deeper level.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
We ask God to fill us up daily, but we already have appetites for sin and things that have nothing to do with God’s will. Some pray that God will pour out His spirit like the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), but God pours His spirit out where the people are seeking Him. Where the people want to really know Him. God doesn’t visit certain denominations. Biblical Christians believed one thing and all were visited by God because of their humility and diligent seeking. We must know we are nothing without Christ. We will never get more of God until we desire more. God cannot feed a closed mouth.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
If you’re reading this, and feel as though this is irrelevant to you, I suggest that you keep it in your mind. Many times I fall into sin or get distracted, because I just thought I had everything under control and then in certain situations the way I would act was not Godly whatsoever. We should not wait until we sin to ask for a clean heart. The bible says our hearts are desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9), so we should follow God’s spirit, not our hearts. We never know what’s in us that God needs to uproot. I know that I have bad habits that I have to now submit to God for me to be delivered and I have to stop trying to do it myself.
I know that I haven’t been posting much lately, but I thank you for your patience. This semester has been rough, and I have been trying to work on myself in the process. I pray that every reader will seek God, so that He can cleanse them just like I have to. Continue to seek God, pray for me as I pray for you. God bless.
– Tovares Grey

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