Guest speaker Bishop Roderick L. Hennings’ Sunday, January 24 2016 sermon titled, “Don’t be Conned By My Coat” begins with a poignant lesson on the power of praise.
“I am a public praiser and a private praiser,” began Bishop Roderick Hemmings. “Ephesians says, ‘The enemy is prince and power of the air.’ There are two theological thoughts: that Satan’s the prince and power of nothing, or that he’s the prince and power of the atmosphere. Contrary to popular belief, the devil isn’t omnipresent or ubiquitous that’s why he has demons and devils…going up and down and to and fro.
“The devil uses the airwaves to transmit things to our ministries, to our homes, to our marriages and to our children. So if he uses the airwaves, but you decide to give God praise, your praise gets in the atmosphere, and messes up his transmission. So if you open your mouth and clap your hands and give God praise, give Him a shout, you interrupt the atmosphere and mess up the transmission! Praise interrupts things! And I will praise the Lord at all times!”
“When blessed people connect with you, they bless you.”
“The Hebrews teach us that the woman is ishshah; she is the appropriate partner. That means there can be many for you, but only one who fits you.”
“[The woman] is the help mete, or, the help meter. She brings balance.”
“The word of God is everything.”
“There is a propensity to look at the text and go after the son as the focus; we even call him ‘The prodigal son.’ However…The son is not the center focus…The focus is on the father.”
“The son makes arrangements to be lost, in his immaturity.”
“You know you’re immature when you’re always asking, ‘Give me.’”
“You know you’re not on your own when you leave home to join someone else to take care of you.”
“You know you’re immature when you’re always saying, ‘Give me’” – Bishop Roderick L. Hennings
“According to Leviticus, you cannot touch the swine as a Jewish boy. But when you have to deal with people who don’t know who you are, they’ll have you doing things that you should not do.”
“According to Genesis 2, the bible says, ‘God gave to every man herb fruit meat. Every time you eat something with a seed, it has a future.’”
“He left home before time, and he’s eating something that has no value. How many of you are eating something that has no value?”
“He left home saying, ‘Give me.’ Now he’s saying, ‘Make me.’”
“The Holy Spirit didn’t make him go home…he was hungry. Hunger made him get up.”
“Maybe we don’t have to drive or ambition to get up and do anything because we’re not hungry enough.”
“He left home saying, ‘Give me.’ Now he’s saying, ‘Make me.’ – Bishop Roderick L. Hennings
“Sometimes you can’t make it all the way, but if you can just get up, the father can see you a great way off.”
“There’s a concept in science called ‘abiogenesis’ – that’s the theory that if you leave something alone, it will change.”
“The young man had to make up in his mind. ‘I’m sick of being sick, and tired of being tired, and I have to get back to who I really am.’”
“People make choices based on what they value.”
“Favor doesn’t fit…If it fits you, it’s not favor! Favor is always too big, too long, over-sized. But it’s been given to you by somebody greater than you.”
“When people are struggling with you, they’re not struggling with you, they’re struggling with your favor – because they don’t believe you deserve it.”
“You can’t work for favor…it’s put on you.”
“Favor doesn’t fit…If it fits you, it’s not favor!” Bishop Roderick L. Hennings
“When God gives you favor, and if it’s big on you, it means you’re going to grow into what God has put on you.”
“So many times, God will give you things before time so you can practice for what you’ve got coming.”
“Stewardship is based on the premise of taking care of that which is another’s. He said, ‘If you’re faithful over a few things, I’ll make you ruler over many.”
“Love will make you do some things you said you’d never do.”
“You can’t see wheat he’s been through because his coat is covering his transgressions.”
“God will cover you publicly, and wash you privately.”
“The Hebrews teach us that the woman…is the appropriate partner. There can be many for you, but only one who fits you.” – Bishop Roderick L. Hennings
“Never become jealous of somebody’s comeback party, because you didn’t have to go through what they had to go through.”
“You see the finish – but you didn’t see the journey!”
“When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, the scripture says that God killed an animal…Anytime there’s sin, something has to pay.”
“What’s the difference between a raisin and a grape? Exposure to the sun! Are there any raisins here today?”
“There are some people who, if you told them your journey, they’d view you differently. But I’ve learned that the Blood is a coat.”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Luke 15:11-15, 22; Ephesians 2:2, Job 2:2, Luke 15:1-10, Leviticus 11:7-8, Matthew 25:21-23, Genesis 3, Genesis 37.
Speaker, preacher, teacher, apologist, Bishop Roderick L. Hennings is Senior Pastor of Zion Dominion Global Ministries which he founded 1993. The church grew from 20 to 4000 members, moving to 14-acre campus in Buffalo, NY. Bishop Hennings is also the COGIC International Director of Church Growth and Development, and Administrative Assistant District Superintendent to Bishop Glenwood Young of the NY Western Jurisdiction #2. He is married to First Lady Pamela D. Hennings; together they have two daughters, Ariane and Chloé.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. is doing his part to bring attention to the fight for equal rights for the unborn.
Read the full Catholic News Service Article HERE.
COGIC CFO Tyrone Potts takes a moment to survey America’s current fluctuating labor trends, while giving thanks for a Presiding Bishop’s five decades-long ministry tempered with consistency, resilience, and wisdom.
As an accountant, I tend to be fascinated by numbers, trends, and statistics. Recently, I read a few statistics revealed by the U.S. Department of Labor which you may find interesting, too:
- The average American’s work life spans 40-45 years
- Most older adults will have changed jobs at least 5-7 times
- The average worker today stays at each of his or her jobs for 4.6 years 
- The average person born in the latter years of the baby boom (1957-1964) held 11.7 jobs 
- Younger Americans, also known as “Millennials,” (born 1981-96) may have 15 – 20 jobs over the course of their working lives
- Because we are now in the Technological Age, many will now change jobs in less than every 3 years 
Americans are changing jobs so often for reasons such as job frustration, job dissatisfaction termination, promotion, pursuit of life’s calling, or flat out boredom and in desperate need of change. There’s nothing inherently wrong with changing jobs, however. In fact, some job changes are ordained by God.
“CAREER CHANGES” IN THE BIBLE
There are several notable career changes in the Bible. For example:
- In the Old Testament in 2 Samuel 5, David, a shepherd boy, tended sheep for many years before God promoted him to King of Israel.
- In the New Testament, the Apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen (Matthew 4:18-22);
- Evangelist Luke was a physician (Colossians 4:14);
- The Apostle Paul was a tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3);
- The Apostle Matthew was a tax collector (Matthew 9:9-13),
These job changes all happened long before these figures were called to full-time ministry.
Although it’s quite common to move from one job or career to another during a lifetime, can you imagine what West Angeles would be like today if we followed today’s career trends? Can you imagine if every 5-7 years we had to search for a new pastor? That means over the last 47 years, West Angeles could have changed pastors between 6-10 times!
Thank God that West Angeles Church of God In Christ has had 47 years of the consistency and vision of one mighty man of God: Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
THANK YOU, BISHOP BLAKE
Today, job dissatisfaction has not escaped the world of ministry. Churches are shutting their doors every week. Men of God are discouraged, making the decision to walk away from ministry. But thank the Lord our God we have a Bishop who didn’t walk away from the church.
Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. has diligently and steadfastly served West Angeles Church of God In Christ, the West Angeles community, the national church, and the world at large for over 47 years. From the beginning, Bishop Blake and his family endured many hardships during their tenure of service to West Angeles. They’ve withstood a church split, court battles and threats of bodily harm. He mortgaged their home more than once to help keep West Angeles afloat. He underwent major surgery without complaining or quitting on the church. Even recently, he has endured attempts to assassinate his impeccable character. Yet through it all, he has continued to represent us with grace and dignity, and to preach the uncompromising gospel. What an incredible testimony of faith and faithfulness!
With all of the preaching, teaching, and conducting the affairs of multiple corporations, I can’t imagine his job could ever be boring in any way. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our pastor for his 47 years of service, and for his faithfulness in ministry. In today’s world, it is uncommon for a person to stay at one job their entire adult life. But West Angeles has a rare and precious gift in Bishop Blake which we should not take for granted.
Please join me in thanks and prayer for our pastor, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.:
Heavenly Father, as your church, we come before you today to honor your servant, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. Thank you for granting him vision, wisdom, health and longevity, and we pray that You continue to bless and protect him as he executes Your will for Your church.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Elder Tyrone Potts, CPA is the Chief Financial Officer of the Church of God In Christ, Inc. After obtaining a BA from Georgetown University, Tyrone worked for one of the top five accounting firms in the world and went on to become a Certified Public Accountant. He was saved, baptized and joined West Angeles COGIC in 1992. He acknowledged the call to ministry in 1999, was licensed in 2001 and ordained as an Elder in the Church of God in Christ in 2010. He is the author of several books including the “Escape from Debtors’ Prison” series, which he co-authored with his wife, Evangelist Rachelle Potts, a former stockbroker. Together they have traveled the nation teaching financial workshops for churches and other community groups.
 “Median Employee Tenure,” US Department of Labor.
http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140925.htm. Accessed 1/25/2016.
 “Number of Jobs Held,” US Department of Labor. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/nlsoy.pdf. Accessed 1/26/2016.
Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. used the 2016 Church of God In Christ theme as the focus of his Sunday, January 10 sermon, and announces adoption plan to give homes to unwanted children.
“You all might be tired of me, but I’m not tired of you!” said Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake during the opening remarks of his January 10, 2016 sermon, referring to his 47 years as pastor of West Angeles. “It’s been a wonderful journey….but I still need your ‘Amens.’ I still need your prayers.”
Central to his sermon was the Church of God In Christ’s theme for 2016: “Fighting for salvation and righteousness in a violent and immoral world,” taken from 1 Timothy 6:12. “The theme the Lord has given us for this year,” said Bishop Blake, “leads us to focus on 3 areas:
- It has given us a focus on the nature of the world in which we live.
- It mentions two primary prizes we must seek, and
- The level of intensity with which we must proceed.”
Bishop Blake also revealed statistics which reflect the level of violence and death in today’s world. “In the US, over a million babies are snatched from their mothers’ wombs by abortion every year,” said Bishop. He took the opportunity to announce that the Church of God In Christ has started an initiative to encourage families and individuals “to make room in their homes for one more child,” in order to help stem the tide of abortions.
“Let the child live,” pleaded Bishop Blake.
This entire service is available on West Angeles Gospel On Demand; quotes from the sermon follow:
“Life is a fight; a warfare.”
“If people across the world began to reach for righteousness, this earth would become God’s paradise.”
“This world is not in the condition that God intended for the world to be. The bible tells us that man was created in innocence and to be in union and in harmony with God, His maker.”
“Through the disobedience of mankind to God, sin gained entrance into the world and in the experience of humanity.”
“War seems to be our favorite pastime. What can we do to promote peace and harmony to that part of the world?” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“You look at this vast synchronized universe of ours, and that leads you to assume that there must be somebody that set this universe in order.”
“War seems to be our favorite pastime. We lost 58,000 soldiers Vietnam War; 73,000 soldiers in the Gulf Wars. Some say as many as 1.7 million Iraqis have been killed around the Iraqi conflict. And 29,000 have died in the Afghanistan War; 100,000 in the war in Syria…What can we no to promote peace and harmony to that part of the world?”
“Annually around the world, 100,000 Christians are killed because of their faith. Isis and Al-Qaeda would wipe Christians from the earth if they could do so.”
“We complain about 500 blacks killed by policemen, but we should also complain about 5,000 black-on-black murders which take place every year.”
“In the US, over a million babies are snatched from their mothers’ wombs by abortion every year…Let the child live.”
“The world responded violently to Jesus Christ, the Son of God when He came to the earth.”
“What God is telling us is that we should love the people of the world; we should love the souls of men – but we should not love the sin.”
“Don’t love and become hung up on things.”
“Life on earth ought not be a quest for material goods of the earth; life ought to be a quest to know God” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Love the sinner, but don’t love the sin.”
“If you end up in a hot place you’ll be wishing that you’d never seen some of the people you’re attached to on this earth.”
“This world will not last forever…this world is not my home. I’m just passing through!”
“Believers are mentally the Kingdom of God, or the subject of God on the earth. We recognize God as our King.”
“What should be our endeavor? Life on earth ought not be a quest for the things treasures or the material goods of the earth. Life ought to be a quest to know god and the Kingdom of God.”
“When God becomes your priority, He takes care of your sojourn on the earth.”
“Evangelism is not an option, it is a mandate” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Introducing men to Jesus Christ and getting them saved is the obligation of every child of God.”
“Evangelism is not an option, it is a mandate…Not only is it a mandate, it is a survival strategy.”
“We’re either going to have to win the world, or be destroyed by it.”
“I would not want to live in a world where there’s no church.”
“The Lord said that some of you are more concerned about what people think about you, than you are about what people think about Jesus.”
“Jesus said, ‘You’re going to be a minister; you’re going to be a witness’… That means that you’re going to help people; you show concern for people, and you serve people even as you witness to them.”
“Turn them from darkness to light” – Acts 26:18
“Are there any royal children in the house?”
“When you win a soul, you rob the devil of one more victim. When you win a soul, you give that person a new lease on life.”
“When you win a soul, you make the world a better place”
“Tell somebody else what the Lord has done for you…You may not give that individual a material possession, but you give them something that money cannot buy.”
“The world would be a better place if everybody loved Jesus.”
“Those are not the only stars, on Hollywood Boulevard; but there are some stars in the house right now because you’re winning souls to Jesus Christ!”
“The bible says that ‘Soul winners are stars!’”
“The world would be a better place if everybody loved Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Isis is fighting. Al-Qaeda is fighting. Terrorists are fighting. If they are fighting, we’d better start fighting, too! But the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.”
“If you’re playing while the enemy is fighting, you’re going to be defeated every time.”
Look at somebody and say, Be strong! Tell your neighbor, ‘Stand! Don’t stop fighting; don’t stop holding on!’ We’ve got the power; we’ve got the might! If God be for us, who can be against us?”
“Satan, you can’t have my peace! Satan, you can’t have my joy! Satan, you can’t have my family! Satan, you can’t have my ministry!”
“Are there any fighters in the house? This is war!”
“This is an immoral world, but we can make a difference…we can turn things around. This is an immoral world, but we can lift up Jesus.”
“Child of God, rise up in victory!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Romans 5:12, 1:18-32; John 1:10-12, 15:18-19; 17:14-18; 1 John 2:15-17, John 3:16-17, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4,10:4-5; 2 Peter 3:10-13, Colossians 3:13, Matthew 6:10, 28, 33; Romans 14:7, Proverbs 11:30, Isaiah 41:10, 53:5; Acts 1:8, 26:16-18, Luke 15:7, Mark 16:15-16, Daniel 12:3, Ephesians 6:10-13, Luke 10:19, 1 Peter 5:10, Romans 8:31, 1 Corinthians 10:4-5, James 4:7.
In this lesson on Biblical history, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. explains the metaphors which represent the life-giving power of Jesus in our lives.
32 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst – John 6:32-35
In this passage from John 6, Jesus presents to us metaphors to describe His person and to describe His mission. He said, “I am the Light of the world; I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Vine.”
If you really want to have a good, spiritual, Holy Ghost good time, study some of the metaphors that describe Jesus Christ; see how they apply to Him, and then understand what they mean to you. Such is the case when we observe Jesus as the “Bread of Life.”
Bread was the foundation of the diet of men in Biblical days. Sometimes, an entire meal would be comprised of just bread. The bulk of their diet was farinaceous, or made from flour or from [grains]. They very seldom ate flesh or meat. the word which we interpret to be meat meant “food” in general, rather than flesh in particular; the word which we interpret as corn really means, in most cases, “wheat” or “barley.”
The use of bread was so prevalent that “bread” was synonymous with “food,” and “food” was synonymous with “bread”. So when we say “bread,” we’re not talking about the anemic, mushy stuff that we eat today. We’re talking about a hearty, vitamin-rich natural staple that ancient men called “the staff of life.”
Jesus says, “I am to your soul what bread is to your body; I stand in the same relationship in your spirit and in your soul that bread and food stands in relationship to your physical life on earth.” In all that Jesus is, and all that He does, He is the bread of Life, but as with natural bread, you are never blessed by it until you consume it and receive it into your body. You are what you eat, and the more you partake of Jesus the more like Jesus you become.
“You can never get enough of Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
Not only is He the life-giving bread, but He’s totally wholesome! There are some foods that we eat that are not good for us, even if it’s vitamin-enriched. There are some things you can eat and get too much of and get indigestion from, but you can never get too much of Jesus. The Bible says that He is Good Bread (John 6:35-40). Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! How many of you know that God is good? God is good, and you can never get enough of Jesus!
If you’re hungry and your spirit is famished, Jesus is available. Oh Bless the Name of God! If you come unto Him believe in Him Praise the Lord. He must be received by faith. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus; all you have to do is lift up your hands and say,
“Lord I’m hungry! Lord I’m thirsty! My soul needs a blessing from on high. Every day I want more; every day I want to be closer; every day I want to feel the manifestation of his power, come on the inside of my life. Every day I want to know more about Jesus because you can never get enough of Jesus!”
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Lift up your hands and say, “Lord fill me again!” Hallelujah!
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 6:32-40, John 8:12, John 10:11, John 15:5, Psalm 34:8, Romans 8:1.
Adapted from the sermon, “The Bread Of Life”; Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. October 5, 2014 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.
JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed. Please CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the greatest leaders in world history. Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s-60’s to achieve legal equality and economic justice for African Americans in the United States.
A timeline of key events in the life of Dr. King follows:
1929 – Born on Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, GA, Dr. Martin Luther King was the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Baptist ministers. Named Michael King at birth, King was renamed “Martin” when he was about 6 years old. His father, Martin Luther King Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, and his mother, Alberta (Williams) King, a former schoolteacher, shared the Auburn Avenue home where Dr. King spent his early years with his maternal grandparents, the Rev. Adam Daniel Williams and Jeannie Celeste Williams.
1944-48 – King attends Morehouse College, majoring in sociology. Reluctant to follow his calling, he was ordained during his final semester.
1951 – King began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University’s School of Theology. It was during his time in the Boston area where he met met and courted Coretta Scott, an Alabama-born Antioch College graduate who was then a student at the New England Conservatory of Music. They married 2 years later.
1955 – Dr. King received his doctorate from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, PA. He became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL, making his first mark on the civil-rights movement by mobilizing the black community during a 382-day boycott of the city’s bus lines. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately declared bus segregation unconstitutional.
1957 – Dr. King laid the groundwork for the organization now known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He was elected as its president, and he soon began helping other communities organize their own protests against discrimination.
1963 – In Birmingham, AL, during a non-violent protest for fair hiring practices and the desegregation of department-store facilities, police brutality used against the marchers dramatized the plight of blacks to the nation at large. Dr. King was arrested during the protest; he wrote“Letter from a Birmingham Jail” during his imprisonment. He then became a principal speaker at the historic March on Washington, where he delivered one of the most passionate addresses of his career. Time magazine designated him as its Person of the Year for 1963.
1964 – At 35 years old, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize (see Dr. King’s original notes for his renowned Nobel Prize acceptance speech HERE). In Selma, Ala., he led a voter-registration campaign that ended in the Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March. King next brought his crusade to Chicago, where he launched programs to rehabilitate the slums and provide housing.
Dr. King rallied behind a new cause: the war in Vietnam. Students, professors, intellectuals, clergymen and reformers then rushed into the movement. King also began to address poverty, in which he saw an integral connection to the cause of war. He called for a guaranteed family income, he threatened national boycotts, and he spoke of disrupting entire cities by non-violent “camp-ins.” With this in mind, he began to plan a massive march of the poor on Washington, D.C., envisioning a demonstration of such intensity and size that Congress would have to recognize and deal with the huge number of desperate and downtrodden Americans.
1968 – On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr. was assassinated. He was standing outside on the balcony of the black-owned Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, with Jesse Jackson and Ralph Abernathy. The hotel is now the National Civil Rights Museum.
Today, we honor the legacy and memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with 7 of his quotes on racism, social change, and nonviolence:
- “Racism is a philosophy based on a contempt for life…It separates not only bodies, but minds and spirits. Inevitably, it descends to inflicting spiritual and physical homicide upon the out-group.”
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now…”
- “Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.’”
- “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense [rather] than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
- “It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission.”
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
- “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
Image and quotes, courtesy of The King Center.org. (accessed January 17, 2016). http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king. See excerpts from the historic March on Washington below, courtesy of The History Channel.
The King Library and Archives in Atlanta is the largest repository of primary source materials on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement in the world. Significant records which document the social, cultural, economic and political impact of the civil rights movement are housed at the King Library and Archives, and are available online. See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/
Evangelist Joyce Rodgers preached the First Sunday sermon of 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, on 1/3/2016. Chair of the International Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ and author of Fatal Distractions, a book which uncovers the roadblocks which keep us from our ministries and our destinies, Evangelist Rodgers continued the prophetic word delivered in her Watch Night message.
“We reverence the blood and the wine [of communion], but because this is the first Sunday of the year, I believe God wants me to share this message today,” began Evangelist Rodgers, in reference to her sermon titled, “Unforgettable.”
“I cannot bring up the topic without saying ‘Rest in peace’ to Natalie Cole. The lyrics to the song say, ‘Unforgettable in every way,’ and God is going to blow your mind in 2016!”
“2016 shall be a year of experiences that shall be unforgettable.”
“I want to prophetically let you know that God is going to blow your mind in 2016, with unforgettable things in every way, unimaginable things. No eye has ever seen or ear ever heard anything like this!”
“God knows what you have need of even before you ask Him, so when you arrive, He’s already done what He said He was going to do.”
“Can I get some radical people to scream, ‘Unforgettable’?”
“You shall experience extraordinary success. I release it in this house, indescribable joy; greater levels of spiritual intimacy.”
“Uncommon possibilities are going to knock on your door. You shall be filled with creative ideas that shall generate a higher income. You shall walk in Kingdom authority and declare and decree that you and your children shall be blessed and not in the midst of mess!”
“Man cannot see because man’s eyes are too limited. His ears are too limited. But God told me to tell you in 2016, He’s taking the limits off of things!”
“You shall experience extraordinary success. I release it in this house!” – Evangelist Joyce Rodgers
“I want you to know this year, we’re going to experience the demonstration of the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit like never before!”
“You’ll be driving down the freeway, and suddenly there comes a wave of God’s anointing…You’re going to walk through your own house and take back everything that the devil has stolen from you.”
“The message that Isaiah released in (chapter) 64 was also for (the nation of Judah) to receive the promises of God through the deliverance of the Messiah.”
“I’ve come to tell somebody, ‘This is your year of coming out! This is your year of mighty deliverance!’”
“Isaiah said, ‘Men are clueless about what God is about to do for them. You ain’t seen nothing yet! God is about to do something supernatural!”
“I’m talking about some unforgettable stuff, if you can just imagine what God has prepared for us!”
“You can’t know the things of God if you don’t know God!”
“Now that I have the mind of Christ, it is the Spirit of God that allows me to see to hear and to understand what God has planned for me and my house.”
“You can’t know the things of God if you don’t know God!” Evangelist Joyce Rodgers
“If you don’t know about my midnight, don’t you hate on my morning!”
“There are some things that if God doesn’t pull it off, it won’t be pulled off.”
“Every time you praise Him, He’s gonna bring you through. Every time you upraise Him, the enemy’s gonna get nervous.”
“When the praises go up, the blessings will come down. Say yes!”
“He might not come when you want Him, but He’s an on-time God.”
“I know the roads have been rough and the hills have been hard to climb, but…this is my testimony: what the devil meant for evil, God did a boomerang! Somebody say ‘Boomerang blessings!’”
“This is your year! This is your season!”
“God is going to blow your mind in 2016!” – Evangelist Joyce Rodgers
“In your unforgettable moment, you need to be around some people who can celebrate your celebration. Look around you and say, ‘Can you handle what God’s going to do in my life?’”
“Neighbor, you don’t know what I’ve been going through, but God is working in my favor. God is working in my life, so excuse me while I put a praise on it!”
“I know you’ve seen a lot of things and you’ve been a million places, but you ain’t seen nothing yet!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Corinthians 2:9, Ephesians 3:20-21, Job 23:10, Isaiah 64, 2 Chronicles 7:14, 1 Corinthians 2:12, Philippians 2:5.
Evangelist Joyce Rodgers is the founder and CEO of Primary Purpose Ministries, Inc., and serves COGIC on the international level, leading the Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ. The widely respected evangelist and speaker is also author of the book Fatal Distractions, which uncovers the roadblocks which can keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Born and raised in Gladewater, Texas, Evangelist Rodgers is a third generation daughter of the Church Of God In Christ. She is widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator of the deep truths of God’s Word, which she blends with precision, humor and God’s anointing.
Follow Evangelist Joyce Rodgers on Twitter @MsJoyceLRodgers.
Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. teaches us to follow the example of Jesus Christ…and pray.
Prayer was one of the central activities of the life of Jesus Christ. It was the one thing that Jesus never forgot to do. Whether He’d find himself in the midst of victory or in the midst of trials, Jesus always prayed. The idea of the Son of God praying has given rise to questions in the minds of many individuals. But the fact that He is the Son of God qualifies Him above all others to pray and converse with the Father.
Prayer was central in the life of Jesus Christ. Before all the crises of His life, He prayed:
- He prayed before He embarked upon the Galilean ministry.
- He prayed as He started to choose His disciples.
- He prayed before the Sermon on the Mount.
- He prayed before the Transfiguration.
- He prayed before He taught the disciples the Prayer of the Ages.
- And He prayed before the ordeal of his trial and His crucifixion.
But as often as Jesus prayed, He was never the central of focus of his prayers. His prayers were usually concerned with entreating God’s help or aid for someone else; for some person in need, or to prepare Himself to minister to the needs of the people.
So if Jesus had to pray, how much more do we have to pray?
Righteousness: Your Key to Survival
It is God’s will that we live free from sin for His glory. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world; you are the salt of the earth.” He knew that Holiness was essential for our salvation. “Be ye holy for I the lord your God am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). You are God’s example of what His grace can do.
Sanctification is our only evidence of the power of the Gospel. Men are seeking a way out of sin, but they will never hear us or receive our message if we are bound by the same sins they are bound by. They’ll never hear our testimony if we’re doing the same wrong things that they are doing. And if Jesus Christ has made no change in our lives, why should men expect that He’ll make a change in their lives? If you love the Lord, then your life ought to show it; your behavior ought to illustrate it.
Pray, and Be Holy
Our mighty God said, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” So, if you’re wise, you’ll pray to the Lord:
Lord, help me; keep me. Help me to do your will. Lord not my will but Thy will be done. Not my way but, Lord, help me to walk in Your way. I want to serve you, I want to bring glory to your name. I want to live for you.
Jesus prayed that you’d be sanctified, and that you would walk in holiness before the Lord. If you want God’s power, pray, and God will bring you out. Pray, and God will bring you over. Pray, and God will bring you through, and God, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and all the angels will show up to help you make it, and to help you to live for Him. You can live Holy by the power of God.
God can keep you! He is able!
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 17:1-17:26, Hebrews 12:14, Matthew 17, Matthew 5-7, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 3:5-6.
Adapted from the sermon, “Christ’s Prayer for the Preservation of His Followers”. Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.; August 3, 2014, at West Angeles Cathedral.
JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed. Please CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.
PRESIDING BISHOP CHARLES EDWARD BLAKE, SR. has announced the theme for 2016 for The Church of God In Christ:
“Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World.” 1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold of eternal life.
Please join us as we pray for peace, and for the manifestation of the Kingdom of God.
By Elder Oscar Owens
Are our lives busy, and getting busier day by day, or what? These days, most of us are:
- Driving rush hour-packed freeways and highways in nerve-racking traffic to work and home, shuttling our kids, here and there.
- Trying to keep our home clean and in order while running the household errands
- Striving to keep ourselves healthy by eating right and exercising.
- Working long, hard hours of exhausting activity on our jobs.
- Staying connected to the ever-present digital world of social media, online-publications, shopping, entertainment and even work, through the internet and our “smart devices.”
This whirlwind of activities, noise, information, attractions and distractions of our post-modern lives can leave us feeling exhausted, confused, and disconnected from God. How do we find calm centers in the storm to stop and focus on God?
There’s a simple method of 7 easy biblical steps I have found which will give any Christian the power to connect with God at any time – even in the middle of chaos. We can “log in” to God’s transforming power by learning the simple disciplines of Scripture meditation and prayer.
WHY DO WE NEED TO CONNECT TO GOD?
Our society, through various media channels, provides answers to just about everything. The one media source we’re staying connected to more and more is the Internet.
What is the Internet? The Internet, also known as the “world wide web,” is a system of interconnected computers which enables us to connect to other people and devices. The Internet is always active; its information sources are always available. We can connect to the Internet anywhere, if we have the right tools. We can ask any question, and it seems to have the answer.
The Internet has now consumed a large place in our lives, but has the time we’re now spending connected to social media and the Internet become a distraction? Is it replacing the precious time meant to be spent communing with God? Would our lives be different if we were hearing from God, following His Will and His Word for our lives?
Unless we take action, the business of our lives, the concerns of daily life, and the temptations of Satan, will pull our mental attention away from God’s good news in Jesus
Our Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we must not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” by the renewing of our minds. Connecting to God’s renewing, transformative Word in the Holy Bible gives us:
- Power – God has given us the Spirit of “power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8).
- Direction –As Bishop Blake always says, “God protects where God directs; God provides where God guides (Psalm 23).
- Faith – Learn to trust in God. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
- Prosperity – One of the greatest and most inspiring things about the African American Christian journey is the ability to OVERCOME. We learn how to get into God’s Word; encouraging one another through the Word. Prosper physically, spiritually, mentally – this is God’s prosperity (Joshua 1:8).
- Courage – There are all sorts of negative things happening in the world, but we must believe in our hearts that we can be strong! Have courage; be strong in the Lord (Psalm 46:1).
Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Therefore, we must discipline our physical minds to think on and thereby connect with the amazing spiritual blessings we have in God, through Christ Jesus.
HOW TO “LOG IN” TO GOD
God’s Good News about Jesus is that the power of His Holy Spirit is always available, always ready. We’re always connected to the Lord, even if we feel we are not! There are 7 simple biblical steps to easily connect with God, at any time, in any place:
- Find a space – Find a quiet place at work or in your home where you’ll go to pray daily, without distractions. Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” This is the best advice, but additionally, because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then where you are, Jesus Christ is within you. Therefore, turn your focus to Him in you and you in Him, whether you are in the grocery line, caught in traffic, involved in work or with your family.
- Choose a time: or choose “now” – Set aside time to encounter God in the scripture. Before you start your day can be a great time to start (Psalm 63:1; Matthew 6:33); turn off the television, computer, and phone. Again, this is best, but, wherever you are in your life’s activities, stop – and take a few moments to connect with God through a small verse of Scripture, God’s Word. God is the “I AM”; always present in the eternal “now.”
- Read the Word – Find the Words of Jesus and His Good News (Gospels and Epistles). Read a small section of Scripture until something grabs your attention. TIP: Read slowly! Read out loud! Read so you can hear it and your eyes can see it. Read that small section over and over. It’s like eating something good: chew on it and savor the flavors. Read it over and over, while listening to God speak it to you, through His Holy Spirit.
- Meditate on the Word – Mentally reflecting and imaginatively pondering is the powerful aspect of Scripture meditation. Reflect on what you’ve read, and begin to think about what God is saying. Biblical meditation begins with thinking God’s Word continuously to ourselves. We begin to internalize God’s Word inside our mind and our heart. Now, God starts downloading! Listen to God’s voice…God is now talking to you personally!
- Respond: Talk to God in prayer through the words and images in that Scripture. Thank the Lord for what He is revealing to you! Praise and worship the Lord for His goodness! Ask God to touch you, to form and conform you to be more like Jesus! Tell God, “I’m reading because I want You to read me; form me change me, make me like You.”
- Receive from God – Jesus said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” Abide and rest in the Lord; contemplate Him. Now it is the time for the Lord to communicate within you. Listen. Enter into a deeper place with God. A place of intimacy; in His presence. This is a special time between you and the Lord. One-on-one with God. Give Him room; this is the time that God is blessing you. Let the Lord Bless you. Receive from the Lord and receive the Lord Himself, who is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! God is now working within you, renewing your thoughts in the knowledge of Jesus, activating the mind of Christ in you. You are actively connecting with God and God with you.
- Take action – Ask Father God to give you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you do what Jesus, the Living Word, has revealed to you. For example, in relation to God, the Lord may be asking or reminding you to trust, love, believe, obey or stop disobeying Him. In relation to other people, the Lord may be asking you to forgive, love, pray for, accept, help or bless them. Ask our Holy Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the help, our Lord Jesus has promised. Now continue in your day, walking by faith and connected to our loving Lord who is with you and in you, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Keep on meditating on the words of Scripture that the Lord has drawn you to, throughout the rest of your day, wherever you are. Keep meditating, praying, thanking, praising, rejoicing and worshiping the Lord in your spirit, heart, mind and soul: whatever you are doing in your life. Do this until the next time you stop, to center in on the presence of the Lord in His Word!
God is now working on your mind. Your thoughts are renewed in the mind of Christ. You’re now “logged in” to God through Scripture meditation and prayer! Hallelujah!
SUGGESTED SCRIPTURES FOR READING AND MEDITATION
John 3:16, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1-2, Matthew 4:4, Psalm 1, Psalm, Joshua 1:8, Matthew 11:28-30, Deuteronomy 31:6, Ephesians 2:8-10, Psalm 119, Philippians 4:8, Timothy 4:15-16, Romans 10:17, 2 Peter 1:21, Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 3.
Elder Oscar Owens has a passion for helping others deepen their connection to the Bible and to the Lord! He currently serves as West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, as well as President of the West Angeles Bible College, where he teaches Systematic Theology. He is currently studying for his Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Spiritual Formation at Azuza Pacific University’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also teaches Urban Spirituality. He’s been married to the powerful singer and Tony-nominated playwright Lita Gaithers Owens for 31 years. Read more about Elder Oscar Owens HERE.
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