Elevators, Exit Ramps and Eternity

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Elevators, exit ramps and eternity: why would I group these three very different items in one sentence? Because frankly, each require that we know where we’re going. The Lord has grown me in patience and deeper love toward others, which is a blessing and prayer answered over the past year and a half. Praise God! He continues to grow me in an area that challenges my level of patience: when people get into the elevator and forget what floor they’re going to. I am not a coffee drinker and still manage to be alert to what needs to occur in the mornings. Nevertheless, I need to be sympathetic to those who need several hours and a couple cups of coffee to get it together. A rule for riding the elevator: other riders need you to know where you’re going.

There is another area that requires us to know where we are going: a highway exit ramp. Have you ridden with someone who is indecisive on whether to get off at that exit or the next? Or the driver hasn’t paid attention, realizes in two seconds their going to pass their exit and steers suddenly to exit the ramp? It’s unnerving. They could cause an accident.  Ain’t nobody got time for that. A rule for approaching exit ramps: know where you are going and signal your intentions in advance to other drivers.

 

Elevator buttonsExit ramp signThere remains yet another destination we must be certain of where we’re going: eternity. Some people think they have a great deal of time to decide if they believe in heaven or hell, Jesus Christ or Satan, eternal life or if this earth is heaven already. Earth is not our home. It is a temporary location, not your permanent address. Since creating mankind, God Our Heavenly Father has desired an eternal and intimate relationship with you and me. He even sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to show us His love and provide us a way to secure an eternal relationship with God, while we were yet in our sins.

Jesus came so that through him we can access “life to the full.” (John 10:10) Many question who is Jesus, question what has been said about Him and seek other ways to establish their own path to “eternal life.” Yet, Jesus made it clear to us the path in John 14:6-7, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7- If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

It’s decision time folks. Step quickly, signal your intentions and decide your destination. Jesus says, “The time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)Salvation

-Nicole

About Nicole D. Hayes

Nicole D. Hayes is committed to serve as a vessel of compassion, instruction, love and truth for Jesus Christ. Born and raised in Topeka, Kan., she is a member of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in Washington, D.C.  Drawn to know Christ in her early childhood and saved at the age of 12, Nicole is a student and applier of God’s Word. She is also a successful public relations professional operating in Washington, D.C., with more than eight years experience of coordinating and delivering strategic communications and media outreach support for nonprofits and small business owners. During her career she has placed several nonprofits and small business owners in national, local and regional media spaces. She operates with a personal and business mantra of “making an investment in people.” Among many things, Nicole is also a motivational speaker. She has been invited to deliver messages to business leaders to not be misguided by the world’s view of success, to direct young people navigating through the world’s challenges, and to remind those who may have lost their way that joyfully, “God Has Not Changed His Mind About You.” Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amidst confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

 

 

 

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Bend Toward God’s Will

Faithful Readers: I am delighted to introduce and welcome our newest Voices Against the Grain devotional writer, Jason Alexandre. Jason was connected to us through our dear brother-in-Christ and fellow devotional writer, Herbert Bowen, Jr. (thank you Herbert!). Residing in Limerick, PA, Jason is passionate in spreading the gospel from nation to nation. I’ve been touched by our conversations, sensing his deep commitment to the Lord and love of serving others. Please read his first devotional for us, “Bend Toward God’s Will,” and his bio below. Welcome Jason!

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (New International Version)            

The human race, a people created by God who share one true purpose which is to love and glorify Him. What is love to God? Jesus Christ said, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” (John 14:23)

Unfortunately, Saul’s earthly kingdom was taken from him because of his disobedience to God and he was no longer able to be used by the Lord. For the Lord does not look at our social status, appearance, what we have or what we don’t have. The Lord looks at the heart. The Bible calls David a man after the Lord’s heart (Acts 13:22). One may say, was not David an adulterer who conspired an unjust murder in an attempt to cover up his sin? Yes, this is true. However, because God is omniscient and omnipresent having complete knowledge and is everywhere at the same time, David’s sin was laid bare and exposed before God. Yet when David was confronted of the sin committed, David humbly, remorsefully, and willingly repented of his sin.

Throughout the beautiful book of Psalm, we witness the intimate relationship David is in with the Lord. There is a noticeable friendship and an obvious submitting of David’s self toward the will of God. David expresses his inner being to God telling all of how he is feeling. That is the kind of attitude and intimate relationship God wants us to have with and toward Him. A heart that is open and bent toward His will. The Lord’s will is always good and He wants the best for us. But if we are prideful, self-seeking, denying, not recognizing nor confessing our sinfulness as Saul failed to do, the Bible says we make God a liar and His word is not in us (1 John 1:10).

Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us always remember to keep our savior Jesus Christ in the forefront of our thinking. He will lead us by the Holy Spirit moment by moment if our hearts are bent toward His will for our lives. Living a life bent toward the Lord is a life worth living for! It is an exciting and thrilling life that has no limits! Jesus Christ loves us endlessly and is a God of second chances. He will restore you to being used by Him again for His glory and your benefit if your attitude toward Him is right (2 Chronicles 7:14). Amen

-Jason M. Alexandre

 About Jason M. Alexandre

Jason Melchizedek Alexandre was born on November 29, 1989 in Brooklyn, New York. However, at two years old he and his family moved to Philadelphia, PA. Later, Jason moved to Limerick, PA where he now resides. Jason is currently working toward obtaining his Master of Social Work degree at Widener University. Although Jason’s career is Social Work, his spiritual passion is missions. Jason believes in actively answering the great commission call Jesus gave all Christians for the gospel to be spread from nation to nation. On a yearly basis, Jason primarily goes to Haiti on a mission trip with Haiti Christianity Inc. Each year Haiti Christianity visits different cities and/or villages in Haiti bringing children educational supplies, clothes, and medical supplies. They also facilitate conferences in which bible study, budgeting tips, financial planning and most importantly evangelization takes place.  Jason is currently their public relations director. Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to be spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively.