The Christian Life: Developing Humility

Life in a materialistic, violent, and hate-filled world may make us feel that God’s dream of a peaceful, loving Kingdom on earth is out of our reach.  But sometimes the solution begins with our own response to trials, injustice, and hatred. This week, we’re starting a new series called, “The Christian Life”, to help you live a peaceful, Christ-filled life in the midst of a challenging world.

Hu·mil·i·ty – noun;  a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.

Jesus has a great deal to say about humility, and no wonder, since it was pride that first caused man’s downfall. As “The New Adam,” Jesus exemplified this aspect of righteous living. Man fell because he presumed his own way above God’s will and way. True God-given exaltation and recognition will come to those who least expect it, and who least seek it.

5 Steps in Developing Humility

Jesus is a living example of humility. He performed miracles. He is the embodiment of God, yet, He walked, dressed, and lived humbly, and did not define Himself by superficial titles or trappings. Even with unspeakable suffering His future, He humbled Himself before God, and maintained peace in the presence of His enemies. He lived to help others understand the nobility of Kingdom living, as we all are meant to do, and the power found within God’s purpose for our lives.

Here are 5 steps to developing Christ-like humility:

  1. Love – Love by choice, not by circumstance. Let mistreatment by others remind you to overcome their evil through love (Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-28; 32-36).
  2. Forgive – Forgive daily those who have sinned against you. Allow God’s forgiving nature to guide you in forgiving others (Matthew 18-21-35; Luke 17:3-4).
  3. No vengeance – Renounce any form of retaliation. Leave all vengeance to God (Matthew 5:38-42, Luke 6:29-30).
  4. Humble yourself – Be wary of the serious danger of pride and arrogance. Avoid striving for public recognition and promoting yourself or your ministry (Luke 14:7-11).
  5. Repent – Recognize and confess before God any sin in your life. Do not seek to justify yourself by comparing yourself with other sinners (Luke 18:9-14).

The Kingdom Within You

The Kingdom of God is a spiritual reality that is in one’s life, over one’s affairs, and expressed through one’s life, love and service. Humility is how we show others the human face of God.

Adapted from Truth-in-action through the Synoptic Gospels, Spirit Filled Life Study Bible. Jack Hayford, General Editor; Dennis Corrigan, Senior Pastor, The Carpenter’s Company.


Purchase the Spirit Filled Life Study Bible at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone:(323) 731-3012.

Courtney B. Vance Honored by Merge Summit

Integrating faith & entertainment, THE MERGE SUMMIT is a series of exclusive events that provides education, inspiration, empowerment and opportunity. The event takes place August 25-27, 2016 at The Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA.

courtney vance

Courtney B. Vance

Founded by West Angeles’ own Robi Reed, the Merge Summit brings together leaders in the arts and entertainment industry to teach, prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders in music, film, television, business and ministry. Their efforts revolve around providing value to their participants by providing the opportunity to meet and learn from industry powerhouses.

This year at the MERGE AWARDS OPENING GALA honors West Angeles COGIC member and Emmy Award nominated actor Courtney B. Vance; Senior Vice President of Prudential Financial, Dorinda Walker; ESSENCE Magazine Editor-At-Large Mikki Taylor; and founder and senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, Dr. Bill Winston. The evening will be hosted by celebrated comedian, Cedric The Entertainer.

THE MERGE SUMMIT features over 20 Interactive Panel Discussions; Powerful Master Classes and Engaging Breakout Sessions, all taught by more than 60 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives.  The Summit also features The Merge Awards™ Luncheon, The Merge Showcase, & FREEDOM, The Merge Concert Experience.

Within the past year, THE MERGE has traveled nationwide with events in Baltimore, Atlanta, and Chicago.

COGIC donates $50,000 to Louisiana Flood Victims

Originally posted on Christian Newswire

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Aug. 19, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Church of God in Christ (COGIC) churches devastated by the recent flooding in Louisiana will receive assistance from COGIC Charities.

COGIC Charities has committed $50,000 to help COGIC churches in the Southern Louisiana area hit by the recent flooding. The funds will be distributed through local jurisdictions to assist churches with their immediate needs.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “The Church of God in Christ is committed to assisting our churches in the Southern Louisiana area that have been affected by the recent flooding. Our goal is to help as many of our churches with whatever they may need to help get their congregations back on their feet.”

Currently, the Church of God in Christ has over 200 churches in the state of Louisiana and approximately five of them were damaged by or completely destroyed by floodwaters. These COGIC Charities funds will help local churches remove water, repair structures, provide food, water, clothing and any other assistance that may be needed.

Working in conjunction with COGIC Charities, the International Missions Department has dispatched a team of workers to the Baton Rouge, LA area to assist churches there with cleanup, water removal and any additional needs affected congregations may require.

COGIC Charities, the benevolent arm of the Church of God in Christ, provides assistance to areas devastated by natural disasters. Since it’s founding in 2002, COGIC Charities has provided humanitarian relief to victims of hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, along with disasters in Flint, MI, Haiti, the Philippines, Nepal, Japan and Africa. COGIC Charities has contributed to various relief agencies, including The Salvation Army, the Horn of Africa Relief and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in over 82 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

REVIVAL: Conquering the Strongholds

Elder Lawrence C. Blake and the West Angeles Youth & Young Adult Ministry hosted THE GOSPEL EXPERIENCE REVIVAL, August 15-17, 2016, at the West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary. The New Generation Choir led praise and worship as the dynamic guest speaker, Bishop Milton R. Hawkins, prayed for yokes to be broken and strongholds to be pulled down.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shared a prophetic vision for the young adults in attendance, praying that they involve themselves in the things of God.

“I believe the Lord is in the process of giving the next generation what they need to take over the work of the Lord,” said Bishop Blake. “Get ready for what God is going to do in your life.”

Highlights from “Conquering the Strongholds” follow:

“You don’t need exegetical or hermeneutical knowledge to understand what a stronghold is. A ‘stronghold’ is something that holds you strong.”

“Breaking a stronghold starts with your honesty. You have to admit that something has a hold on you, that there’s something in your life that you need to get rid of.”

“Some people are good at avoiding what they need to confront.”

“Deliverance does not come by wishing it would happen. Deliverance happens by attacking the problem.”

“Deliverance takes work – one must plan strategically and have suitable weaponry. But in a spiritual battle, deliverance comes ‘not by might or power, but by the spirit,’ said the Lord of hosts.”

“Because I am saved, I have a keeper inside of me…I am kept by the power of God. Something else keeps me elevated mentally, in my spirit.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,

By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,

A higher plane than I have found;

Lord, plant my feet on higher ground

– Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1898

“Believers operate differently than non-believers, because we operate through prayer, fasting, supplication, and thanksgiving. We make known the deeds of the Lord among the people.”

“Apostle Paul is a winner because he’s a sufferer. Your advancement comes because of misery and agony.”

“Bishop Blake is a good example. Before you use the glory, you need to know the story!”

“The greater your suffering, the greater your blessing. If you don’t believe me, ask Abraham.”

“I don’t care what you’re going through, the Lord will provide for you.”

“God told David, ‘I will anoint you in the presence of your enemies.’”

“Keep your faith in the time of suffering. The devil wants to make it appear that you’re the only one going thru suffering.”

 “Before you use the glory, you need to know the story.” – Bishop Milton Hawkins

“You praise Him in the storm. If you can praise Him…He’ll bring you out of the storm.”

“Anybody in here feel like giving God a double praise?”

“Some folks have some hidden agendas. They’re here for whatever they can get. They’re not here to give.”

“Embracing the teaching of Paul helps us to stand in the face of adversity.”

“As parents, we have to pray for the school systems …Children can’t leave the house without pleading the blood of Jesus over their lives.”

“The devil is a lie. God wants you to live!”

11 Put on the whole armor of God; that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places – Ephesians 6:11-12 (NKJV)

“Tell that joker ‘No,’ until he puts a ring on it! Buy a padlock and keep it locked up! It doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to God!”

“We don’t fight with vulgarities…We fight on our knees.”

“We saints don’t fight by human standards. Fight on your knees!”

“There will always be false accusations against you. People will say you did something you didn’t do; said something you didn’t say.”

“God has you in a whole other place. We overcome the flesh.”

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4 (KJV)

“Everything seems to be vulgar, constantly feeding into our spirit…We’ve got to take control over our minds.”

“What do we think on? Paul said in Philippians 4:8 – ‘Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.’”

“How many of you know the devil is a liar?”

“Stronghold, I command you right now, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, ‘Drop your weapons and flee! Deceit, lies, homosexuality, lesbianism, adultery, fornication, witchcraft…I bind you right now in the name of Jesus, and I pull you down!’”

“Lift your hands up and pull it down…and when you pull it down, that’s where it belongs.”

“Jesus said, ‘Unto you, I give power!”

“The Lord doesn’t want you to leave out of here burdened; he wants you to leave…lifted!”

“Come on tell the Lord ‘Yes.’”

“Tonight is the night for your deliverance! Hallelujah!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Zechariah 4:6,  Genesis 22, Psalm 23:5, John 8:44, Philippians 4:19, Ephesians 6:11-12, Philippians 4:8, Luke 10:19.


 

Superintendent Milton R. Hawkins is the Pastor of Temple of Deliverance Church Of God In Christ in Memphis, Tennessee. He faithfully served as Adjutant Apostolic to the Late Presiding Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson, whom he succeeds as pastor of Temple Of Deliverance COGIC. He was also appointed by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. as National Overseer Adjutant for the General Board; he is Committee Member for the International Administrative Headquarters Planning Committee, and is Chairperson of COGIC’s Governmental Relations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), and was appointed Police Chaplain for the state of Michigan. Superintendent Hawkins has been the recipient of numerous awards, honors and commendations, including the SCLC Presidential Award, and the Distinguished Service Award presented by the Detroit City Council.  He has been happily married to Catherine Crawford Hawkins for 23 years and is the father of Joshua Nathanael Hawkins.

Hymn, “Higher Ground”, Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1898. Copyright status, Public Domain.

 

How Jesus’ Love Can Change Your Life

God desires to minister to us, and to bless and encourage our hearts by showing the greatness of His love for each one of us. Remember, although Jesus’ willing desire was to yield to the will of His Father and to die upon the cross (Matthew 26:39), He did ask the Father if the cup of His suffering could be taken from Him. One reason God’s implied response was “No” was because His love for us is as great as His love for Jesus.

God loves us so much that He allowed His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer throughout His life on earth, which concluded with the agony of the cross. This was so that each of us would have the chance to be saved, to experience God on earth, and to spend all eternity with Him.

GOD’S PLAN FOR US

Before the foundation of the world, God had the plan of reconciling man to Himself, even after Adam disobeyed Him and yielded to temptation (of course, this disobedience is what ushered sickness, pain, tears, sorrow, and death into our lives). Because God loves us so much, He had His plan and solution waiting for Adam – and for each one of us – to provide a way out of living life in agony, both here and in the hereafter. That is just how much He loves us!

The same is true today: God has a plan and solution awaiting our arrival, where and when it is needed. Thus, the actions of the Father who sacrificed His Son, and of Jesus who sacrificed His life for us, have assured us that we can believe Romans 8:32,37 (TLB):

32 Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also surely give us everything else? 37 but despite all this, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.

5 BENEFITS OF JESUS’ LOVE

Now, let’s make these truths personal. As you reflect upon some of His many benefits, you can boldly say,

“Because Jesus loves me”

  • I can trust Him. I can declare His Word and unleash its power in my life. I can speak to my fears and rise up in faith. I can create a happy, fulfilled and prosperous environment.
  • I can change my life by yielding to, and abiding in, God’s perfect plan for my life. I can ask God our Father to teach me what I don’t know. As long as there is breath in my body, I can discover and rediscover my life, and all I was created to be. With the excitement of anticipation, I can continue looking forward to new chapters in my life.
  • I can realize my purpose – I can be assured that God has prepared each day for me to connect me with my destiny; to create blessings in my life, both for others and for myself. Because I will meet the right people at the right time, my encounters with others will be purposeful. I can rightfully believe that as long as I live, there is purpose and need of my gifts and talents, which were handpicked by my Father. I can know that yes, I am a blessing to others and do enrich their lives.
  • I can live and thrive, even beyond the passing of very dear loved ones. I can be honest about my feelings and own up to them. I know that Jesus will relight my fire when the situations of life begin to suffocate its flame.
  • I can have peace. Romans 8:28 says:

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.    

Because of the assurance of His love, I can hold my peace and let the Lord fight my battles. I can lay down in peace and enjoy the comfort of bed and covering and sleep. I know that He will work all things out, and that everything is going to be all right. 

YES, JESUS LOVES YOU

Just reflecting upon this partial list of blessings invokes love and praise in my own heart for my Heavenly Father; for Jesus, His Beloved Son, and for the Precious Holy Spirit. There are so many more reasons to praise Him, but know that our Triune God is always watching over our lives to love us, to enrich our lives and to give us fulfillment.

Thank you Lord!

Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years. She serves on-staff as the Executive Director of Bereavement Ministries. She holds both Honorary Doctorate and Earned Doctorate degrees. Dr. Lewis has been teaching the Overcomer’s Bible Fellowship for over 34 years at West Angeles, along with other teaching venues.


Are you in need of peace in your life?  Read Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s message, “A Picture of Peace” HERE.

The West Angeles Couseling Center invites you to live a fuller life today and every day, but remember: “life happens” to all of us. We provide support and services to the greater Los Angeles area. You do not have to be a West Angeles member.  To find out more about our programs and services, please call the West Angeles Counseling Center at 323-737-7463.

West Angeles Bereavement Services – The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing to experience or expect and our experienced and dedicated staff serve in empathy and compassion during this difficult time. If you need help, please call West Angeles Bereavement Services  at 323/ 733-8300, Ext. 2242.

 

 

Please Join Us: The Gospel Experience Revival

PLEASE JOIN US!

It’s not too late to join!

Elder Lawrence Blake and the Youth & Young Adult Ministry for

THE GOSPEL EXPERIENCE REVIVAL

Don’t miss our dynamic guest speaker, Bishop Milton Hawkins. Come out and experience the Gospel tonight!
REVIVAL gospel ex sm

 

 

Bishop Blake: The Archer’s Bow

Sometimes affliction in your life is like an archer’s bow. The archer pulls the bow back; he pulls it further back, and further back. The archer seems as if he’s about to break it, but just before it reaches its breaking point, the archer releases the arrow, and the arrow soars farther and higher than imagination can conceive because of the stress on the bow.

The reason God is stressing you, pulling you beyond your limit, and it seems He about to break you is because, after a while, the arrow of your destiny is going to be released, and God is going to take you higher than you’ve ever gone before.

When the devil strikes you, keep on praising Him.

When the way is rough, keep on praising Him.

When the burden is heavy, keep on praising Him.

Jesus the Son of God is our example. Because he humbled Himself, God took Him higher than He’d ever gone before.

Life might crush you down, but I see you coming up! Be a “Hallelujah anyhow” person when the Lord stresses you.

Just start praising God!

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Philippians 2:5-11, 4:13.

 

Adapted from the sermon, “Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, 7/12/2015.  The entire sermon is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand.

Bishop Blake: What God Wants From You

For many of us, there is the strong feeling that more is required of us by God. Presiding Bishop Blake gave the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ a gentle, yet powerful lesson in understanding God’s desire for our lives in his First Sunday sermon titled, “What God Wants from You,” on August 7, 2016.

“You have the dimension the divine, the moral, and the spiritual impinging on our lives,” said Bishop Blake. “So you’d ask, ‘Is there an eternal spirit within me? If so, how can I live for the benefit of my soul and my spirit? Should I respond to the physical side…or the spiritual side of my being?”

Bishop went on to question, “What does God want from me? How can I please a perfect God? How can I come up to God’s standard, even in light of the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ?”

Hear the entire sermon and more HERE, on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“Almost every person who hears my voice this morning is struggling with some kind of behavioral disorder.”

“Almost everybody in your world wants their piece of your life…Of course, if you did what everyone wanted you to do, you’d explode into 100 pieces.”

“You’re in a quandary between what you want to do and what you ought to do, and even your wants and your oughts seem to be extremely complex, contradictory, and conflicting.”

“Some are convinced that the demands of the Christian life are so great, that one would be better off if he had nothing to do with God.”

“No living, no moving, no being without God.”

“God wants us to share His power” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“If you seek God and His will, everything else will take care of itself.”

“God wants you to be blessed. God wants you to be happy. God wants you to have the highest and the best in life.”

“God is saying, ‘What I want from you is that you just walk humbly with me.’”

“God wants us to share His power.”

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. before the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ. 8/7/16.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. before the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ. 8/7/16.

“Loving and knowing God is more important than serving God.”

“It’s God’s desire to know and love his children.”

“God wants our love more than anything else.”

“Pharaoh did not know Joseph. He did not acknowledge any obligation to Joseph or Joseph’s people…He did not recognize what Joseph had done to preserve Egypt during the time of famine.”

“To know Jesus is to acknowledge Him…To acknowledge Jesus Christ is to recognize who He is: the Son of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.”

“Jesus said in Matthew 22:29, ‘You are mistaken not knowing the scriptures, and not knowing the power of God’” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

 

“To know Jesus is to believe in Him; to believe what the Bible says about Him, and in what He says in the Bible.”

“The word of God is our guide and our reference book for learning all we need to know about Jesus Christ.”

“Jesus said in Matthew 22:29, ‘You are mistaken not knowing the scriptures, and not knowing the power of God.’”

“We should read the Bible every day.”

“A friend is a person you know very well. God wants to be your friend; Jesus wants to be your friend.”

“Real friends understand one another, and turn to one another in times of trouble.”

“Knowing Christ as an intimate friend will build an immunity to temptation.”

“To people who are distant to us, we must be diplomatic regarding our approach to them…But a friend you can approach without hesitance.”

“Come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” – Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV)

“How many of you know you can call on Jesus at all times?”

“The Bible says, ‘If Jesus is in your life, He’ll keep you from falling.’”

“How many of you know that a real friend will stop you from doing stupid stuff?”

“Jesus is the perfect friend.”

“To know Christ is to obey Him…to follow Him. You seek His advice and guidance as you go through life.”

“Jesus: His power is unlimited…The Bible says that the same power that raised up Jesus is at work in your life.”

“If you believe in Jesus, if you know Him, if you trust Him: then as he arose from the dead, you can rise above challenges that stand before you.”

“Our Savior is alive! Our Savior conquered death! Hallelujah!”

“You can have victory through Jesus Christ…Jesus said, ‘I give you power over the power of the enemy! Nothing shall, by any means, harm you!’”

“Jesus is the perfect friend” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“I may not have bombs and artillery at my disposal, but I have the name of Jesus who rose from the dead. I can call on that name any time.”

“There’s healing in the name of Jesus. There’s deliverance in the name of Jesus. There’s power in the name of Jesus.”

“Child of God, don’t go through life without knowing God.”

“You need the power of the Holy Ghost at work in your life! Lift your hands and say, ‘Hallelujah!’”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Micah 6:6-8 acts 17:28 1 cor 1:25, psalm 147:4, 73:25, 42:1; john 6:68, Matthew 5:6, 6:33, 22:29; John 3:16, 7:37, 10:10, 10:27, 14:13, 15:7, 17:3; Jeremiah 9:23, 29:13; Hosea 6:6, Hebrews 4:15-16,  Jude 24, 1 john 2:3, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Ephesians 1:18, Luke 10:19 , Acts 1:8.


Hear Guest Psalmist NIA ALLEN as she performs the beautiful and touching, “Holy Spirit”:

 

 

 

SERMON: Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. cites the story of Joseph, one of the Bible’s inspiring examples of triumph over affliction, to uplift us in trying times.

“The more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” – Exodus1:12

In this poignant and prophetic sermon from 2015, titled “Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions,” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares words of encouragement and hope in the story of the children Israel in Egypt and the life of Joseph.

Joseph’s wisdom and blessings saved his family and his entire people, and brought wealth to the nation of his captivity, and for that he was greatly rewarded.

“God’s providential involvement with His people Israel did not stop when Joseph died, or even when Joseph’s generation passed from the face of the earth,” said Bishop Blake. “As a matter of fact, they grew even in the absence of any leader that we know about. They were increased from 70 souls… to 600,000 men by foot by the time of the exodus;” a number which may be closer to 2.6-8 million people, if you count all of those that followed them, according to Exodus 12:37.

Bishop Blake encouraged, “Adversity and affliction do not mean failure or defeat…The more you’re afflicted, the more you’re going to multiply and be fruitful. I see you going higher than you’ve ever gone before.”

This sermon from 7/12/2015 titled, “Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions” is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel on Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“Some statistics I read many years ago indicated that only eight out of 100 people live to be 70 years old. Two out of 100 live to be 80…and only one out of 100 lives to be 90.”

“Since my childhood, I’ve seen three generations of leaders pass off the scene. So we would do well to think more generationally, and understand that there will come a time when each and every generation will pass from the face of the earth.”

“Today’s generation of leaders must prepare and make room for the next generation of leaders.”

“And as we grow older, we must think less of ourselves and more about those who will come after us and follow in our footsteps.”

“Every generation comes to a point where everyone in that generation will pass away…Don’t get sad. I didn’t say you were going to pass away today!”

“Every generation should spend a lot of energy planning and working for the good and for the advancement of the next generation. Following generations should be careful to build on the work of succeeding generations.”

It is very tragic when a generation ignores the work of the preceding generation; is incapable of continuing that work, or squanders that work in such a way that it is lost.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Valuable years of Joseph’s life had been spent in one adversity after another adversity: years in slavery, years in prison, years being forgotten and neglected. All of that was lost because of the adversity that characterized Joseph’s life.”

“Several years after the death of Joseph, a new King of Egypt took control of the throne. This man knew nothing about Joseph…[but] if he had cared enough to look into the books of history, he would have seen the positive impact that Joseph had had on Egypt, making them rich beyond all imagination.”

“He would have remembered how Joseph had prophesied…and Joseph had provided the strategy that not only saved Egypt, from starvation during the famine but also provided for almost the entire known world and made the royal family of Egypt rich beyond all imagination.”

“That king would have remembered that Joseph ascended to the vice presidency of Egypt after a series of afflictions that his enemies – and ‘frienemies’ – had imposed upon him.

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘You’ve got both enemies and ‘frienemies.’”

“I’m not angry I’m not bitter. God used your evil for my good, so I’m going to take care of you. Isn’t it amazing to take care of folk who hated you and tried to destroy you?”

“Joseph named his son Ephraim, meaning, ‘God has called me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.’”

“Doesn’t that remind you of what God has done for black folk in these United States? Came here as slaves, as captives; worked for hundreds of years without getting paid for that labor; people hated us and tried to lynch us and excluded us, and we can still lift our heads and say, ‘God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my afflictions.’”

“Though we came here as slaves, no black people on the face of the earth are as blessed as we are because of the goodness of almighty God. Come on clap your hands.”

“Joseph named his son Ephraim, meaning, ‘God has called me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.'” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God had long promised Abraham that he would make of Abraham a great nation. And after 400 years, he would deliver Abraham’s seed out of slavery from the land of Egypt.”

“Joseph and Israel had had a good effect on Egypt…A positive and productive relationship had developed, and pharaoh should have known about that, and he should have attempted by kindness to build on the relationship that the former pharaoh and Joseph had with one another.”

“The new pharaoh demonized Israel…and contrived a plot to destroy them, to break their spirits, and to stop them from reproducing. He wanted to cause them to do despair so that they would die emotionally and ultimately, that they would die physically.”

“Every successful positive person is not a threat to you.”

“Somehow, we project on others what’s in our own mind, then we act on that projection.”

“There’s enough success for everybody; there’s enough resources for everybody…I’m glad that you succeed, because God will bless me with success also! Does anybody know what I’m talking about?”

“This king decided he was going to do everything he could to destroy the Israelites. He said to the midwives, ‘When their children are born…don’t let them live…I’m going to work those folk to death; I’m going to make them build cities; build pyramids and make their lives bitter with bondage.’ The strategy was to break their spirits.”

“One of the great maladies and tragedies of this whole philosophy of same sex marriage: where are the children going to come from?  How is the human race going to be perpetuated?  If everybody married same-sex, after a while, there would be no one left on the face of the earth.”

“Adversity and affliction do not mean failure or defeat. It just means God is going to get a greater glory.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Notice how long this persecution lasted; notice how long this oppression lasted. It started before the time of Moses’ birth, and continued until Moses was over 80 years of age.”

“The reason they needed to hide Moses in the first place is because the king plotted to kill Moses.”

“They afflicted them. They oppressed them. They humiliated them for 80 long years.”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘The more you are afflicted, the more my God is going to bless you!’”

“God is getting ready to work a special miracle in your life.”

“God said, ‘The problem is not the problem. But you’ll earn a blessing from the way I deal with it. You’ll learn humility, obedience, patience; you’ll become stronger and a better person. I want to deal with that problem in such a way that you and those around you will have to lift up your hands and say, ‘Praise God!’”

“God wants to get glory out of your situation…Hallelujah!”

“If Abraham had a child at 30, God would not have gotten any glory from that; that’s normal. But Abraham had a child at 100 years old! Nobody but God could get the glory; nobody but God could get the praise! Come on clap your hands and praise God!”

“God is going to give you miracles for your afflictions.” –  Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Whatever the Lord pleases, He does…in the heavens, in the earth, in the seas, and in all places.’”

“Neighbor, wait and let God do it His way.”

“Child of God, The lower you go, the higher you go. God knows what’s in your heart and he knows what’s in your mind, but let God do His work in your life because God is pulling you out on the other side.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘When God gets through, you’re going to be shining just like gold!”

“You are going through trials. You’re going through adversity. Adversity and affliction do not mean failure or defeat. It just means God is going to get a greater glory.”

“God is going to give you miracles for your afflictions. God said, ‘I’m going to give you victory in the midst of your trial. Don’t worry about the affliction and don’t worry about the trial. Just trust Me and I’ll bring you out!’”

“Just keep looking up to God. Just keep trusting God. The more you’re afflicted, the more you’re going to multiply and be fruitful. I see you going higher than you’ve ever gone before.”

“Jesus, the Son of God, is our example. The Bible says:

‘5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)

“Because Jesus humbled Himself, God took him higher than he’d even gone before.”

“I’ve just come by here to give you a message of encouragement and hope and to let you know that God is not only going to deal with your issues,  but you’re going to be better in every way when God gets through Blessing you!”

“That’s what happened in Joseph’s life…When those brothers stood before him he could say to them, ‘Thank you for hating me; thank you for selling me into slavery. Thank you for forgetting about me, because when you forgot me, the Lord picked me up.’”

“The Lord works in mysterious ways!”

“When the devil strikes you, keep on praising Him.”

“When the way is rough, keep on praising Him.”

“When the burden is heavy, keep on praising Him.”

“The time will come when you look back on this day and say, ‘Thank You for every trial; thank You for every challenge, thank You for every tough time You brought me through.’”

“Life might crush you down, but I see you coming up!”

“The greater the trial, the greater the victory! The greater the test, the greater the prize…because of the goodness of almighty God! Hallelujah!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Exodus 1:5-12, 12:37; Acts 13:36, Genesis 15:20-21,37-50; Psalm 135:6, Deuteronomy 8:14-20, Philippians 2:5-11,  Psalm 25:15, 30:5, 34:19, Isaiah 40:31, Job 23:10.


THE BISHOP C.E. BLAKE LEGACY CONFERENCE – The Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference imparts decades of wisdom to the leaders of tomorrow.  Secure your place in the legacy of this amazing ministry. To purchase the DVDs of the entire conference, please click HERE. 

For highlights of day 1 of the Bishop C.E. Blake Legacy Conference, please click HERE.

How Bishop Blake Became Our Pastor

As a message of hope and resilience during times of adversity, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. shares the inspiring story of his journey to the pulpit as Pastor of West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

I preached my first sermon in 1957. Between school terms, I traveled across the BISHOPblake-2011nation preaching revivals and attending COGIC conventions. When I finished college, I enrolled in graduate school at ITC, the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA (the same school that Elder Charles Blake, II graduated from).

During my education, I worked as a public school janitor and also as a recreation leader for the city of Atlanta to help support myself financially. My salary was $45 a week. and I decided I better get married. I married Lady Mae. She was a school teacher (that brought a little money in…you single men, get married!). When I received my Master’s degree, my father, Bishop J.A. Blake, hired me at his church in San Diego, CA. With a wife and a child, I worked for my father for three years at a salary of $75 a week…$3900 a year.

After working for my father for three years, Bishop S.M. Crouch, the COGIC Bishop of Southern CA, informed me that he intended to assign me to a church in Los Angeles called West Angeles Church of God In Christ. The church had approximately 50 members, but it had been without an active pastor for over two years.

Although bishops appoint pastors in the Church of God In Christ, the existing leadership of this church had made up their minds not to acknowledge Bishop Crouch, or to receive any pastor that Bishop Crouch brought to their church. The night before I arrived, they’d voted 40 to 11 not to hear anything Bishop Crouch had to say.

Bishop Crouch and I arrived the next morning at the church, which was on 5th Avenue and West Adams Boulevard. Bishop Crouch went to the pulpit and preached, then announced that God had directed him “to appoint this young man, Charles Blake, as pastor of this church.” Seven men stood immediately to announce that they did not accept his appointment. Bishop Crouch told the sevent men to sit down; they refused. So he said to the congregation, “Everybody, stand up.” The congregation stood. Bishop Crouch prayed the benediction, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “It’s yours, my boy” – and walked out the side door.

“A problem is not a problem with God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

I stepped to the podium and spoke to the congregation and said, “Listen, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be the first one out of here. But give me a chance, and if it works out, the church will be blessed. The majority of them voted at that time to give me an opportunity.

There were some in the crowd, however, who were determined that they were going to fight to the finish:

  • A back-slidden preacher walked from jail to the center seat of the pulpit to try to take over the church.
  • There were there years of continual litigation, where individuals filed lawsuits and personal claims.
  • Folks invited me outside to fight, during which time I had to have an armed bodyguard for my personal protection.
  • People would turn out the lights and disrupt our meetings with screams and with shouts.

I called the deacons and said, “You better get down here quick before I hurt somebody!” But in the midst of it all, the church congregation doubled in size the first year, doubled in size the second year, and doubled in size the third year, until it became the largest church in our denomination, and one of the largest churches in these United States. And that was history.

God let me know who the center of my life is to teach me that if He could bring me through that, then He can bring me through anything. If God can bless me in the midst of that, then God can bless me no matter what.

This message today about my experiences is to share with you that adversity and affliction do not mean failure or defeat. It just means that the more we are afflicted, the more we grow; the more we multiply, and God is going to get a greater glory.

A delay, a problem, may not be a real problem with God. Just show God that He’s in charge of your life. Hallelujah!

Adapted from the sermon “Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, Los Angeles, CA. 7/12/15.


 

To hear this entire sermon, “Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions,” please CLICK HERE, to visit West Angeles Gospel On Demand.

This sermon is available for purchase on CD or DVD at the West Angeles Christian Emporium,  3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012.