Pastel mist sits over a beautiful serene lake before sunrise. Reflections before Dawn, by Aaron Burden.

Dr. Tonya Lewis: 12 Verses for Living Stress-Free

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11).

Those plans do not include stress and worry about the issues in our lives. God really wants us to trust His love for us, as well as His commitment to be our Heavenly Father. Who knows better than He what it means to “Be” our Heavenly Father? He has pledged to care for us and even signed on the dotted line with the blood of His beloved and precious Son, Jesus Christ.

God’s original plan for us was to dwell in the stress-free environment of the Garden of Eden, while enjoying a loving relationship with Him. Genesis 2:16-17 says,

But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden – except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Adam’s decision to disobey God did not position him and the rest of us to just automatically enjoy a stress-free life. Now, we must put forth the effort to live stress-free.

Jesus asked in Matthew 6:27, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan? How often does Jesus have to substitute Martha’s name with our names and say to us what He said to her in Luke 10:41– “Martha, Martha,” the Lord replied, “you are worried and upset about many things?”

12 Verses for Stress-free Living

It is DEFINITELY possible to free our minds of anything which troubles us if we just follow God’s directives found in His Holy Word. Such verses to aid us in living stress-free” are: 

  1. Matthew 6:34– “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

  2. Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

  3. 1 Peter 5:7– Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 

Yes, “all” is such a tiny word to encompass such a giant-sized invitation, yet God means ALL…each and every single concern (even concerns you have that are not reasonable to others—yes, even those concerns)!

God knows that we cannot focus on obeying His will and Word if we are consumed with our own worries. Other verses to aid us are:

  1. Psalm 37:5Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.

  2. Psalm 55:22Give your burdens to the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

  3. Psalm 23:1-The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.

  4. Psalm 34:9O fear the LORD, you His saints; For to those who fear Him there is no want.

  5.  Psalm 34:10-…But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.

  6.  Psalm 84:11-the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

  7. Matthew 7:11So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

  8. Romans 8:32Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?

  9. Psalm 34:15 The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; His ears are open to their cries for help.

We must also note that Jesus said in Luke 10:42,There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Minister Matthew Henry explains, “For one thing is needful, this one thing that she has done, to give up herself to the guidance of Christ. The things of this life will be taken away from us, at the furthest, when we shall be taken away from them; but nothing shall separate from the love of Christ, and a part in that love.”* 

So stop stressing and worrying, and live stress-free!” God Bless!

 

[*] – Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible. Accessed 9/27.

Photo, © Aaron Burden, c/o Creation Swap.

What am I called of God to do? - A man with arms outstretched gives praise at sunrise.

Elder Thornton: What Am I Called of God To Do?

You’ve been attending church, enjoying the mighty choir and the moving sermon each Sunday. But you want to be more than one who just comes to Church and leaves until the next scheduled worship time. You’ve given your life to Christ, but now you may wonder, “What does He want me to do for Him? How do I find my place in the church?”

The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:1 (NKJV),
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.”

Your vocation is your total life’s calling. It includes every aspect of your life, such as your occupation (your job), your avocation (your hobby), your family and your ministry.

What You Can Give God for His Service

Take inventory of yourself. Stand before a full-length mirror, and allow the Lord to show you six important items:

1. YOUR HEAD – “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:25 (NKJV)

2. YOUR MOUTH – “And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:19 (NKJV)

3. YOUR WATCH – “Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times.” Ephesians 5:16 (CEB)

4. YOUR HANDS – “We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it.” 1 Corinthians 4:12 (NIV)

5. YOUR FEET – “I thought about my ways, and turned my feet to Your testimonies.” Psalm 119:59 (NKJV)

6. YOUR INCOME – “Sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:37 (NIV)

Your body, like the church, is one unit made up of many members. And, like the church, God has created each member for His service.

You are fully equipped to answer His call. Therefore, God’s plan is for you to recognize your spiritual gifts, and to spend the rest of your life utilizing them in the ministry of reaching and teaching your generation for God.

“May God richly bless you” is my prayer for you.

Westa.org honors Elder Ronald Thornton, West Angeles’ long-time instructor of “What Am I Called of God To Do?” Elder Thornton uses the spiritual gift of teaching to prepare others for the life God has called them to. He received his B.A. from the University of Alaska and was ordained in 1975. Rev. Thornton served as Dean for the CH Mason System of Bible Colleges, and as Principal of the West Angeles Christian Academy. He was promoted to Facilities Manager for West Angeles Church of God In Christ, where he also teaches the popular class, “What Am I Called Of God To Do?” He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Louise.

Westa.org congratulates Elder Ronald Thornton upon his retirement this week! 


Watch Alicia Keys perform Bob Dylan’s “Pressing On” below. Copyright © 1980 by Special Rider Music.

WANT TO KNOW YOUR CALLING? Curious about your purpose on earth? West Angeles Church of God In Christ has classes to help you discover all of this and more.

For information regarding Sunday School, Bible College, classes offered and more, call West Angeles Church of God in Christ at 323/733-8300. Department extensions can be found below:

  • Christian Education (including Sunday School inquiries) – Elder Oscar Owens, Director; Ayanna Bereal, Administrative Assistant to Elder Oscar Owens, X2345
  • Bible College – Letha Rhymes, Bible College Registrar , X2367
  • School of Practical Christian Living – Elder Richard Brooks, Christian Education Program Coordinator, X2366
  • Young Women’s Christian Council – Mrs. Renee Weathersby, President, X2765
queenofkatwe-feat

FILM REVIEW: Disney’s “Queen of Katwe”

An ambitious young man on the other side of the world is torn between his dream job as an engineer and his mission to help impovershed youth succeed – To Sir With Love, 1967

David Oyelowo as Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in "The Queen of Katwe."

David Oyelowo as Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in “The Queen of Katwe.”

 

One of my favorite films is 1967’s To Sir, With Love, based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by E.R. Braithwaite (…what can I say: I love old films). In it, Sidney Poitier plays an out of work engineer who takes a position teaching  street youths that no one else can manage.

Fast-forward to 2016. Disney’s new film, Queen of Katwe is based a book by Tim Crothers. In the film – also based on a true story – Robert Katende, an out of work engineer, takes a position teaching street youths that no one else seems to care about… but that’s where the uncanny similarity ends. Robert has something that “Sir” didn’t have: a brilliant chess prodigy named Phiona.

Queen of Katwe is based on the incredible, heart-warming, true story of 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi, a girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. With Katende’s training, and the support from her family and community, Phiona is instilled with the confidence and determination to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

(At least) 3 verses of scripture came to mind while watching the film:queen-quote2

  • Matthew 25:40 – And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me;
  • Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; and
  • Proverbs 18:16 – A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men (all NKJV).

For Phiona Mutesi (played by beautiful newcomer Madina Nalwanga), life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle, Her mother, Harriet (played by Lupita Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende , a soccer-player-turned-Christian-missionary who teaches chess to local children (played by David Oyelowo), she is captivated (plot, courtesy of Disney.com).

Queen of Katwe picks up the mantle of the wildly successful To Sir, With Love; showing how far the love and vision of a good teacher can take a child, and how that love can ignite genius: even a child with no hope or vision of their own.

SUBTLE GENIUS

Forced to drop out of school after the death of her father and sister, Phiona did not read or write; yet she has the remarkable skill, analytical acumen, and quiet genius to master the game of chess. “Anybody can be taught moves and how to react to those moves, but to reason like she does at her age is a gift that gives her the potential for greatness,” said Dina Kagramanov[1], a Canadian national champion who Phiona plays against and is represented in the film. Phiona finds her “greatness” in mastering the strategies of chess, in spite of the fact that she lacks education, and is surrounded by unspeakable poverty and hopelessness.

The real Phiona Mutesi in a game of chess.

The real Phiona Mutesi in a game of chess.

The remarkable story first came to the attention of Walt Disney executive Tendo Nagenda after reading about Phiona in the ESPN article. Nagenda, who is of Ugandan descent, knew that it would make a great movie, and became its champion within the ranks of Disney. The film is groundbreaking in that it provides an inside look at life in an African country; specifically of those who live in poverty: a first for a Disney film. Yet, its triumph-over-adversity theme is quintessentially Disney, and it brings to mind popular films like Slumdog Millionaire, which took place in the slums of Mumbai. An amazing fact about Queen of Katwe is that none of the children in the film – including its star, Madina Nalwanga – have ever acted before.

See Disney’s Queen of Katwe,  a wonderful, inspiring film for the entire family. Directed by Mira Nair, the film stars Golden Globe® nominee David Oyelowo, Oscar® winner and Tony Award® nominee Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga.

Like To Sir, With Love and Phiona Mutesi herself,  Queen of Katwe has all  that it takes to become a triumphant success.  This timeless classic is a testament to the resilience and power of the spirit.

Queen of Katwe opens in U.S. theaters on SEPTEMBER 23, 2016.

SEE THE OFFICIAL TRAILER HERE:

[1] – “The Game of Her Life”, ESPN The Magazine,  Jan. 10, 2011.  http://www.espn.com/espn/news/story?page=Mag15gameofherlife .  Accessed 9-21-2016. 

 

 

 

 

A child runs to stay on God's path - and out of danger.

Dr. Tonya Lewis: You Are Passionately​ ​​Loved

Recently, I said to my grandson, “I have a surprise for you.” He then asked, “If I’m good?” My response to him was that I expected him to behave, and to do what he was supposed to do.  The surprise I had for him, however, had nothing to do with rewarding his good behavior, or anything else that he could do. It was birthed out of my heart and desire to lavish him with love, and an experience I know that he would enjoy. I wanted to shower him with this gift because I love to see him happy and experiencing memorable moments, remembering his “Granny’s” great love for him.

My love for my grandson is also demonstrated by how closely I watch over him – even though he feels that he can take care of himself. He is, after all, 5 years old; I know that he is totally unable to care for himself. No, he is not always happy when I set boundaries for him, or give him instructions and warnings because he feels he can protect himself. From my experience and maturity, however, I am able to recognize potential predators, dangerous encounters, unwise decisions, and destructive traps. Because I love my grandson dearly and want to protect him as best as I can, I watch him closely. Out of my desire to protect him is my commitment and dedication to provide the best experience I can for his life.

GOD, OUR PROTECTOR

This example of my relationship with my grandson reminds me of our ongoing experience with our loving Heavenly Father. He loves us so very much and oversees our lives very closely. The unlimited blessing He lavishes on us is not necessarily because we did this or that, but just because of His passionate love for us.

God created us to have fellowship with Him. Even though this fellowship was interrupted by sin, God still loves us beyond measure and gave His only begotten Son, JesusChrist, to die and to be resurrected; to bridge the gap between God and man. He watches over us to protect us from the evil one.

God is consumed with our care and happiness. Translations of Job 7:17 express His love for us:

  • What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention (NIV)?
  • What are people, that you should make so much of us, that You should think of us so often? (NLT)
  • What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him (ESV)
  • What is man that You magnify him, And that You are concerned about him (NASB)

-and Deuteronomy 7:9 (NLT) answers:

Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps His covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes His unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

GOD LOVES US

We are so passionately loved by God. This should motivate us, as my grandson said, to “be good,” and to act as we should. Furthermore, we must remember that there will be many times that God will lavish His love on us just because He passionately loves us.

Therefore, rest in God’s love for you! Trust in His love! Dive deeper into His love by learning of Him through His Word! This will teach us how to enjoy our relationship with the Lord as our loving Heavenly Father, and as the one who truly delights in “passionately loving” His sons and daughters.

 

See JASON NELSON perform his moving song, “I Am” below:

 

accounting

COGIC, First Tennessee partner to provide financial counseling

The Church of God in Christ’s world headquarters at the historic Mason Temple in Memphis will soon be home to free financial literacy counseling for consumers, small business leaders and entrepreneurs, courtesy of First Tennessee Bank.

First Tennessee will provide a full-time, on-site Operation HOPE financial counselor who will offer seminars and one-on-one counseling on credit and money management for consumers and entrepreneurial training for start-up small businesses.

The counselor will be available to Church of God in Christ congregation members and the public at the Lelia Mason Museum on the grounds of the Mason Temple.  Hours will be established in partnership with the Church of God in Christ, and the workshops and counseling sessions will begin early in 2017.

First Tennessee has made a four-year commitment to provide the financial counseling in partnership with the Church of God in Christ.

Church of God in Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., says, “The Church of God in Christ is delighted to partner with First Tennessee Bank and Operation HOPE to open a financial literacy center in the newly built Lelia Mason Museum on the campus of the historic Mason Temple. This financial literacy center will provide training and assist individuals in raising their credit scores and provide classes for small business development.” He added, “This center is only the second of its kind in the country and could not have been accomplished without COGIC Urban Initiatives, First Tennessee Bank and Operation HOPE coming together to help the Memphis community.”

2016 Pentecostal World Conference in Sal Paulo, Brazil.

Presiding Bishop Blake Voted to Executive Council, Pentecostal World Fellowship

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Srwas voted to the prestigious Executive Council of the Pentecostal World Fellowship during the 24thBISHOPblake-2011 Pentecostal World Conference in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Pentecostal World Fellowship is a multi-cultural cooperative body of Pentecostal churches and groups from around the world. This year, tens of thousands of Pentecostal churches made the pilgrimage to São Paulo, which marks the first time the triennial conference took place in Brazil. The theme for the conference, which took place from September 7-10, 2016, was “60 Years of Celebration of the Pentecostal Family.”  

Said Bishop Blake, who is also Co-Chairperson to the leadership council of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America and was also a keynote speaker at the conference, “I count it an honor and a blessing to serve on the Executive Committee of Pentecostal World Fellowship. God has grown the organization over the past 60 years, and I look forward to assisting in the upcoming initiatives of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.”

Bishop Blake is the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God In Christ which boasts of over 7 million members and is considered the leading and largest African-American denomination in the world.

 

ABOUT THE PENTECOSTAL WORLD FELLOWSHIP

The Pentecostal World Fellowship is a cooperative body of Pentecostal churches and groups from around the world, formed in mutual agreement for the furtherance of the Gospel worldwide.  It is not a legislative body of a national entity, but is a compromise coalition for the advancement of the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. It functions to interact and fellowship with Pentecostal leaders from around the world and to connect the body of Christ with what the Holy Spirit is doing worldwide.

In May 1947, Pastors Leonard Steiner, David J. du Plessis, J Roswell Flower and Donald Gee organized a conference for Pentecostal leaders. Three thousand attended this first conference. Triennial conferences followed and in 1961, this celebrative gathering was officially named the Pentecostal World Conference (PWC).

For more information, please visit http://24pwc.org/.

 

FEMA - September is National Preparedness Month.  Remember to help those with special needs and disabilities.

September is National Preparedness Month!

Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency? Are you and your family prepared? West Angeles Church of God In Christ is providing you with the tips, resources and information you’ll need in case of an emergency.

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM), which serves as a reminder that we all must take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.

Ready.gov is continuing their commitment to help us prepare ourselves in case of emergency, with an emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

FEMA - Build an Emergency Toolkit

READY.GOV – Build an Emergency Kit

To download your free disaster toolkit information, please click the links below.

Thank you for taking time help make America more prepared for emergencies!


Please pick up your EMERGENCY TOOLKIT in the West Angeles Cathedral vestibule after Sunday service.

Please CLICK HERE to read President Barack Obama’s official proclamation, designating September 2016 as NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH. 

Presiding Bishop Blake smiles from the pulpit.

Bishop Blake: Confident Living

Are your worries and fears closing in on you? Do you feel that the world goes against all you believe in? In this sermon from 2012, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. gives us the Kingdom tools for living confidently within the power of the Word of God.

Romans 8:37 – Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

“Our text for today provides for us a foundation for living with confidence, and living without fear.”

“There are many Christians who do not live confidently. Our father has given us the Kingdom, but we sometimes think and act like paupers.”

“Omnipotence awaits our very beck and call, but we are filled with fear and intimidated by it all.”

“Those who would manipulate you, those who would control you, those who would imprison you emotionally, will do so by capitalizing on your hunger and on your fear.”

“Don’t tell folk your business; don’t tell folks your insecurities and fears – unless you know they love you.”

“If you look to people as a source…and if you strongly desire what people can give you, they may use you and your hunger to accomplish their goals and aspirations, rather than your good.”

“By holding up what you desire, they will lead you in directions that you should not go.”

“Be careful of who you reveal your insecurities to.”

“Fear will cause you to turn away from a very righteous agenda.  When people know you are afraid, they will use your fear to make you step aside and be silent, when you ought to be speaking out.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“You’re never better off when you’re content.”

“Don’t be hungry for things…live in, drive in, and wear what you can pay for.”

“Don’t live on credit, because if you live on credit you’re going to live hungry and afraid.”

“If there’s unavoidable hunger and there’s unavoidable fear, reveal it to God.”

“The devil and the wicked will use your hunger, use your fear as handles by which they will guide you and control you and keep you in bondage.”

“If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are justified.”scripture-graphic3

“It’s good to base your actions on what you know about the Word of God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Grace is something wonderful to be under because grace is God’s righteousness at Christs’ expense.”

“Jesus paid it all!”

“Stop downing and condemning yourself: start praising God!”

“Start believing what God’s Word says, and you shall become what God’s Word says you can become.”

“Aren’t you glad to be a child of God?”

“Look over at your neighbor and say, ‘It’s working out!’”

“You’re dealing with something that’s bigger than you can handle; overwhelming you, driving you down into the dirt, but I want you to know, just keep on loving and serving God…it’s working out!

“God is going to bring you over! God is going to bring you out!”

“It’s good to base your actions on what you know about the Word of God.”

“Some of you are worried about the forces that are against you…You’re worried about a situation the environment that is…but you ought to rejoice because the Bible says, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ Hallelujah!”

“The Bible says that God has created all things…How can something that God created and controls be against us?” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Don’t worry about what seems to be against you. Just keep on trusting God. You’re going make it. You’re going to come through it.”

“The psalmist says, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me!’”

“When God shows up, I don’t care who else shows up: there’s nothing that God cannot deal with!”

“Break for praise! Clap your hands and give praise to God for all that He is!”

“We can live confidently because if God is for us, the world cannot come against us stop us block us.”

“If you’re looking for love, you’ll find it in God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“If you looking for someone who cares about you, if you’re looking for someone to trust with your fears, open your heart and say, ‘These are my challenges; these are my fears, my hunger,’ you can do so with God, and He will help you.”

“Stop walking in inferiority…All of us need the mercy of God. Come boldly to the throne of Grace.”

“You don’t have to live in defeat. Position yourself in Christ and you’ll be more than a conqueror.”

“Jesus conquered demons; He made them tremble and He made them obey Him…He destroyed principalities and powers. Through death and resurrection, Jesus was more than a conqueror.”

“The same spirit that raised Him up from the dead is in you to conquer and to overcome.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Romans 8:31-37, Genesis 25:19-34, 50:20; 1 Timothy 6:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:11, Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:4-5, Psalm 27, Roman 3:28, John 3:16, Hebrews 4:15, Proverb 16:32.


CONFIDENT LIVING: Be blessed by this inspiring sermon from 2012 titled, “Confident Living”.  See this sermon it in its entirety HERE, on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. 

Several young men fellowship and celebrate the bond of friendship.

How to be a Positive Example to Others

Dr. Tonya Lewis discusses three ways we can be a positive example to others: with our speech, with our actions, and with our lives.

WATCH WHAT YOU SAY

Talk, talk, talk! It is much easier to say things – whatever they may be – than to actually do them. It doesn’t take long before others become weary of the talk we’re proud to use to influence them. We forget that “talk is cheap.” Instead of talking about it, we must “be about it.”

How many times have we missed the blessings and the good we could have been experienced, if only we had done what we talked about? When it is all said and done, deeds impress us, rather than words. In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul penned,

…Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.

To be means that effort will have to be applied to produce the results of being. We must demonstrate Godly qualities in every area of our lives; for who we are will be exhibited in every area of our lives. For instance, if we lie to our employers, then we will lie to others. We must therefore practice being trustworthy in what we say, and in the way we live. Our outstanding and credible character should precede our names. Our words and lives should be so respectable, that those around us would hastily run to our defense when others accuse us.

 

ARE YOU LOVING?scripture-graphic1

Love is an action word; therefore, our lives must be full of loving actions. Some questions to ask ourselves:

  1. How do we react to the pain of others?
  2. How do we express our compassion, encouragement and support of others?
  3. Are others enriched because they have interacted with us, or are they, instead in a reduced state after interacting with us? 4. Do we encourage trust and patience in the love of God, or do we project worry, doubt, and fear: both to others and to ourselves?

If our Father is the Great God of the Universe whose very essence is love, then we must reflect His loving essence in our own lives. Our confession of faith in God must be genuine; it must be demonstrated beyond Sunday morning services, and impact what we say to others and to ourselves.

 

ARE YOU HOLY?

We don’t want to just proclaim holiness; we don’t want to live questionable Christian lives. We want to be holy and God-like in all that we say, do, and believe. How we live and show love should clearly associate us with the Lord in the eyes of others.

God requires us to be examples of His glory – both to believers and to unbelievers –  for our actions do positively or negatively influence others. 1 John 3:7-10 (NLT) says,

“When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. 9 Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God 10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

 

YOU ARE A LIVING TESTIMONY

We should desire for our lives the evaluation of Joshua 22:2-3,5-6:

He told them, “You have done as Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you. 3You have been careful to obey the commands of the LORD your God right up to the present day. 5- But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all His ways, obey His commands, hold firmly to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul.” 6 So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home.

For this to be the evaluation of our actions, we must obey God. By being a positive example to others, we benefit them as well as ourselves. As Kingdom Citizen Representatives, let’s utilize every opportunity to be a positive example for the glory of God.

Photo, courtesy David Pugh.

African Americans stand outside a church, 1899.

Bishop Blake: Why We Need The Church

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. shares with us why the church is of vital importance in today’s world.

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord’ (Psalm 122:1)
 …not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…” (Hebrews 10:25) 

 

Imagine a world without the church.  Can you conceive of how bad things would be? Conditions are already bad on the earth in which we live. The moral standards of our nation have gone into the sewer; mankind today is doing every conceivable thing – and even some things that have not yet been conceived!

Why do we need the church?

The work of the church is important because:

  1. The church points men to their Creator.
  2. The church defines the meaning of life.
  3. The church prepares men for eternity.
  4. The church talks about morality.
  5. The church gathers people together to hear the Word of God and the will of God.

If the church were not here, who would tell men about Jesus?

If the church were not here, who would point men to God?

If the church were not here, who would stand for morals; calling right ‘right’, and wrong ‘wrong?’

“The work of the church is more important than any institution in the world because it makes the spirit of man its central focus.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

Every endeavor has a place. Every pursuit has a place, and we go to that place to pursue what it stands for. The church is that place which stands for God. We ought to make sure that we have a house where we can worship Him; to lift our hands and praise Him! When we fail to provide a place of worship, it indicates a lack of sincerity and commitment to God.

We also need to make the church as great as we possibly can. God gave us His best when He gave us Jesus Christ; therefore, we ought to give God our best. God’s house ought to reflect the beauty and majesty of God; a beautiful, a spacious place which accommodates the people of the Lord.

David said in Psalm 122, “I glad was when they said unto me, let us go into house of the Lord.”  The work of the church is more important than that of any institution in the world because no other institution makes the spirit of man its central focus.

We need the church to tell men about God’s Will, and to push him higher than he’s ever gone before.  God has a plan for mankind and for this world, and the world needs to turn to God.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) – If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Adapted from the sermon, “Of Your Own, We Have Given You”; July 26, 2015, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. at West Angeles Church Of God In Christ.  PHOTO – W. E. B. DuBois, 1899. “Photographs of African Americans in Georgia exhibited at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900.” Courtesy, Library of Congress.


West Angeles Family: Our online broadcasts are not designed to encourage our members to avoid being physically present for worship. They are available for those who cannot attend church.  If it is possible for you to attend, please make every effort to do so as much as you can. – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.