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Dismissed by a Righteous Judge #Judgement #Mercy #Repentance 

A couple of months ago I traveled through a small rural town of Texas on my way to visit family in Oklahoma. It was good ‘ol Omaha! I quickly went through it and received a speeding citation that would cost me nearly a third of the town’s population in dollars. Dangit! I would so prefer buying an airline ticket.

The police officer who pulled me over asked, “Do you plan on being in the area any time soon?” I wasn’t sure if he was slightly ridiculing me after viewing my address on my driver’s license or what, but I chuckled aloud at the ridiculousness of his question, and belted a “No way!” out of my mouth. My response clearly caught the officer by surprise. He tilted his head like a bewildered puppy and asked, “No way?!”  I chuckled and repeated again, “No way.” In disregard, he proceeded to make hand gestures that gave directions to the courthouse around the corner, where I would be required to make an appearance. I thought to myself, “just give me my ticket, dude”, and he did. Insert low-pitched bitter growls and rolled eyes here.

I went on my way, and with the hour left to drive before arriving at my family’s home, I began reflecting and praying. I confessed my wrong to God. I was speeding and I did rightly deserve that citation regardless of how badly I didn’t want to attend court or pay anything. I was disobedient to His instructions to abide by the law of the land that I inhabit (Romans 13). My beef was not with the city of Omaha, my beef was with God. I pled for His grace and mercy. I knew there were steps that I would have to take to resolve this, but the first step would be to face things with God before attempting to handle them with man.

We don’t get to choose what is considered right, but we do get to choose whether or not we adhere to what is.

After later reading the fine print on my ticket, I discovered that court was only held the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month between the hours of 5 pm – 10 pm. Great. Oh…come…on, Omaha! I had the option to write a letter to the judge to request dismissal by a non-guilty plea, or to request a reduction by admission of guilt and completion of a grueling online driving course. I could lie and plead non-guilty out of fear of my consequence and fight this alone, or, I could tell the truth and hope that God would fight for me and with me. I chose the latter.

I wrote an honest letter and attended court accordingly. Thanks be to God, I found favor with the judge who was pleased with all of my efforts to resolve the matter! Not only was my ticket dismissed in entirety, but because I had to appear in court on an awkward 3rd Wednesday in the evening, it led to an extension of my stay, and the enjoyment of more time with my family. I was even reconciled with an estranged family member during this trip!

God has an amazing way of making things better than before. He has an amazing way of righting our wrongs when we acknowledge the truth. He is merciful! He dismissed my sin in heaven, before it was ever dismissed in Omaha. And for that reason, I was at peace with whatever happened thereafter. Knowing that I was pardoned by my Righteous Judge, Christ Jesus was all that mattered.

I encourage you to examine yourself and talk to God about whatever that requires your repentance too. There is nothing too small. In fact, there is nothing small at all. God wants His bride (us) without stain or wrinkle, or any other blemish (Ephesians 5:27). Go to your Righteous Judge in confidence, knowing that Jesus has already made a way for you. His grace is sufficient, and He is ready to hear your case and is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you can ask or think.

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Fix your gaze. #focus

The world we’re living in is crazy, and by crazy I don’t just mean Trump in America. We’re in perilous times. As I sit here and reflect on the rough day that I had yesterday, I’m thankful to the Lifter up of my head and my friends and family to remind me where to look.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:1&2 (ESV)

I chose to rejoice and be glad yesterday. I chose to recount my blessings and be grateful for what I know could be so much worse. It’s easy to get distracted by our circumstances and let our emotions take a roller coaster ride. We don’t have to stay there. We can hop off at any moment. God has given us the freedom and strength to fix our gaze on Him instead.

straight-aheadI was thinking…
What if America could no longer rubberneck? What if the tragedies that are so prevalent in other countries were suddenly sweeping our states and dividing like never before? We’re getting there, but FEAR NOT.

It makes me think of how crucial it is that we learn how to fix our gaze on God, now.  That we pass tests, now. That we’re faithful in the small, now. It is crucial that we fall madly in love with the One who first loved us, now. That we become mesmerized by His beauty, NOW! The peace the world gives, my friend, is not everlasting. No matter what, take heart! Don’t you dare turn your head. Keep looking straight ahead at our Prince of Peace who has overcome the world. For when your eyes are on Christ…when the world fails you, you will not fail with it.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 (NIV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27 (NIV)

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. –  Proverbs 4:25-27 (NIV)

 

I want to leave this world empty. #legacy

Let it be known
That I gave it all I’ve got
And that I kept on walking
Long after I got shot.

They tried to kill me
But He healed me
And now I can surely say
There’s no doubt in my mind
That God isn’t The Way.

He’s not a man that He should lie
So there’s no good excuse
Not to serve Him ’til we die
Not put our gifts to use.

I want to leave this world empty
On time and On “E”
I want to leave this world empty
And full of all of me.

He paid a pretty hefty cost
For our sinful, wretched mess
Then He rose; sent Help
And proceeded to call us blessed.

I thought I lost some here and there
But He said, “Nah, they quit the race.”
He said I chose to keep on running
And they chose to save face.

I want to leave this world empty
Having done all I loved to do
Love God, Love People
Love Me, Love You.

I want to leave flecks of gold
That shimmer within smiles
I want to leave hope, lots of hope
That lasts a great while.

I decided long ago that…
I wanted to leave this world empty
On time and on “E”
So that all would know, truly
That I was naturally me.

So when that day comes…
Let it be known
I didn’t leave early
Let it be known
I hate being late
Let it be known
I’ve waited long enough
For that Oh, so precious date.

© 2016 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

 

Can’t We All Just Get Along?! #Harmony #Unity

As I browse through the timelines and hashtags of social media, I see so many saints distracted. I see celebrity headlines and discussions highlighting Kirk Franklin, Kanye West, Kylie Jenner, Meagan Good, Donald Trump, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! *gag*. When will it end?! It’s always someone, and if we’re not careful when engaging, it certainly has the potential to destroy our fruit.

weapons of mass destructionLook here: All of these people need Jesus, just like you and I. Where’s the remnant that is praying for them instead of reading and talking about them? We don’t need to indulge past the headlines to do that. Forget pop culture. Where is Jesus culture? Must we mix?!

 

Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:17 (NLT)

Let’s be honest, some of us are just feeding our flesh with these discussions. We gave up “Scandal”, but we’re still “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” (no shade, I used to keep up with them too! lol). This type of chatter just fuels our sinful nature and employs gossip and drama as horrible department managers within our temple. We live in an era where fasts from social media are at times legitimately necessary, and sometimes harder than fasts from food! Believe me, I know. Been there, done that, do that!

 

blah blah blahI see Christians debating over justifiable topics too like what day the Sabbath is, or whether or not Christmas and Easter are pagan and should be celebrated; *sighs* my spirit is grieved. Meaningless! Meaningless! Meaningless! Here’s a suggestion: Keep every day holy. When we feud with one another we don’t represent our new spiritual identities in Christ. No! We shine light on our carnality, and remind the rest of the world why He was crucified.

Now, I’m not saying shut up and don’t ask anything. Questions are the devil, chile! Noooo. But, I do recommend that we check our heart motives for asking, stop relying so heart-check.jpgheavily on people for the correct answer, and we stop judging one another based on what we believe is the wrong answer. It’s meaningless!

This reminds me of the historical bickering in Paul’s day regarding the circumcision of Gentiles. Remember? This is what he had to say about that:

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Listen! I, Paul, tell you this:
If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. – Galatians 5:1-4 (NLT)

Let’s forget about the legal nonsense and keep God’s grace in the race! Our reasons for wanting an answer should be purely for the edification of the church. In all honesty, some answers will likely vary from person to person, or season to season. I’m ever discovering that God is much more out of the box than I think. If you’re hollering that Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season, yet you don’t feel like it’s Christmas unless you have a tree, that’s a heart matter to address. Do you see what I mean, here? It’s much deeper, and what may be sin or inappropriate for me, may not be sin or inappropriate for you.  The heart of the matter and the preservation and growth of our relationship with Christ should be priority.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. – Philippians 2:13 (NLT)

So, How about we put an end to all of this dissension and choose to agree to let God reveal His truth to us and make us right? There is power in that agreement. We don’t have all of the answers. We are but little children seeking an Almighty Father for keys to His Kingdom.

 Let us remain focused on this simple sum of instructions given by our Savior:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. – Matthew 22:37-39 (ESV)

i'm for truthA person who loves God keeps His commandments (See John 14:15), and a person who is filled with The Holy Spirit, and heeds the convictions of the Spirit, wants to be right for the right reasons. They don’t want to argue. They just want the truth to win, and one who loves God will rejoice when it does! ( See 1 Corinthians 13:6)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. – John 16:13 (ESV)

Some things we don’t need to know, but the things that we should, I pray that the Lord would reveal them to us, so that we won’t suffer ignorantly due to lack of knowledge (See Hosea 4:6). If you happen to be that person in the body of Christ that The Holy Spirit reveals it to for us all, please do share it in love. In the meantime, the only question I have is…Can’t We All Just Get Along?!

Dear #America,

Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you. Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags. Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment. For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you.

– James 5:1-6 (NLT)

#Babylon Will Fall: The End Is Here and Near #EndTimes #Prophecy

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
– 1 John 4:4

You’ve probably heard a thing or two (or a thousand) about the “End Times”. Well, I’m here to tell end is nearyou again, that the end is here and near, and I want to share what the Lord has been impressing on my heart. Do not be desensitized by this talk. Do not close your ears to the message God has for you. Do not miss it.

As Babylon falls, persecution will come through the despising of God’s people who are filled with His Holy Spirit.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
– Galatians 5:22-23

astrology planetsThose Luciferians who worship Satan and are bound to demonic/satanic forces and principalities of darkness.  Those world-lovers, diviners, witches, warlocks, idol-worshipers, mockers, slanderers, blasphemers, prideful fools of corruption…they will be dumb-founded when Sovereign God shows himself strong! Their seared minds won’t be able to wrap their head around the thought that Satan actually can’t keep a deal (or do anything for that matter) without God’s permission.

Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!
    And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!
But terror will come on the earth and the sea,
    for the devil has come down to you in great anger,
    knowing that he has little time.
– Revelations 12:12 (NLT)

city on the hill

In the midst of chaos, your enemies will cringe at the sight of you, a bright city on a hill.  The body of Christ will be thriving internally, eternally in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!

world trade centerThis generation is building a new tower of Babel (See Genesis 11:1-9 regarding the old one).  The Lord will tear it down and Babylon will fall. There will be confusion in the land and God will not be mocked.  He has spoken clearly, but His words have been rejected.  He will not be mocked. Woe unto those who think the Lord does not see! Sin and technology drive this building project.

 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap. – Galatians 6:7 (AMP)

In a selfish world full of various levels of immorality, money, fame, power, materialism, and sexual perversions, we must guard our hearts above all else!

23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.
24 Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech.
25 Look straight ahead,
and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
keep your feet from following evil.
-Proverbs 4:23-27

Today’s generation heavily places their trust in people, finances, degrees, status, titles, positions, and job roles.  They lust luke 16:13for more, more, more, and are bound, bound, bound! Yet sadly, they are praised and worshiped for “reaching the top” despite the demonic how: gaining the whole world to lose their souls (See Matthew 6:26).

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)

During this progressive fall of Babylon, many will mourn the loss of their earthly treasures, but those who know who they are and whose they are…those whose treasure is the One True Almighty God, will be sustained. Hallelujah!

 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. – Matthew 6:21

This will be a difficult and trying time for many.  People will go straight nuts!  They will ask “Where is God?” while surrounded by evidence of His wrath.  How quickly they will have forgotten sowed seeds of old as they reap a great and dreadful harvest.  It will be a time of increasing persecution for the body of Christ as well.  Remember your purpose and calling to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and love not your life so much that you are afraid to die (See my post “ISIS: A Message to The Body of Christ” for encouragement on living and dying for Christ).

21 “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. 22 And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.
– Matthew 10:21-22

If you’re not genuinely riding with God now, building yourself now, reading your word now, filled with the Holy Spirit now, I’m telling you now, that you are going to fall and be devoured. We cannot live on bread alone (See Matthew 4:4).  We need the word of God in us DAILY.  That is our nourishment and ammunition!  WAKE UP! We need stay humble and seek God for wisdom and understanding so that we know what is true and what is false, and even then…be careful! (See 1 Corinthians 10:12) Come exactly as you are from wherever you are.  Run to God, It’s not too late!

not too lateIf my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

If you belong to the body of Christ, FEAR NOT!  

 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
– 2 Corinthians 5:1 (NLT)

pearly gates

Check, please! #HeartCheck

 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

I had a vision last night and as much I don’t want to admit this gory thing…Isn’t that what a blog is all about?

In the vision The Lord showed me my heart and half of it was protected, but the other half was kind of outside of me and gnat-like bugs were swarming around it like it would an open piece of fruit. The sight of it was almost unbearable! My spirit squirmed. Gross! How could that be me?! I knew it was though, and I wanted out of this scary vision.

I knew what it meant. I needed to guard my heart. I needed to re-check myself. I needed to realize that I’m not exempt from the toxicity of this world. I am now convinced, and rightfully so, that we are all at risk for contamination if we don’t guard what flows into our hearts. For what flows in, will certainly flow out!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford it. Too many souls at stake.

I’m not a big t.v. person, but lately I’d been watching a lot more of it. Nothing crazily inappropriate or anything, but a little unwholesome stuff here and there, easily equates to a lot (or enough) of wholesome stuff! As I reflect…I then found myself listening to a little more secular music, reading a little more magazines, being entertained by a little more of those tweets and few more of those Instagram pics…Are you getting me?

Worldly stuff. Stuff that matters none! I’m so sick of “stuff” that I could just burn my phone right now! Ok, maybe not…I need it to blog 😉

…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

As Christians, we need to make sure that we’re not blending with the world. Because when we do, we stop trending in the Kingdom of God. No bueno! Check, please!

Dreams, visions, and prophecies, are nothing to be worried or afraid about, especially when you have an active prayer life. I believe they’re just another form of God’s little ways of putting us earthly folks in the know of what’s really going on in the spirit-realm. They’re his way of putting things on our radar and prayer list. It’s God’s way of supporting us and showing us just how much he cares. When this happens, we should prayerfully seek Him for clarity and understanding.

I tend to get hard on myself, but you know what, as long as we live lives of repentance and accept the fact that we will always fall short. When we delight in The Lord and strive to get it right, whatever our “it” is, He will be honored.

Remember that Jesus paid our gory bill long ago. All we have to do is say, “Check, please!” and be willing to let Him pay yet again.

Love you and praying for us both!