“Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you”
Whether we know it or not, every thing, and everyone, has a purpose. But life can seem pretty hopeless at times if we don’t know what our purpose is. We all want to be happy, but what if we were to find out that our true purpose in life isn’t contingent upon our own happiness at all?
The dictionary defines purpose as “the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists.”
But God’s word defines purpose in higher way. Ecclesiastes 3 (KJV) says,
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
That means, in a nutshell, that our purpose isn’t our choice, it’s God’s. It’s got nothing to do with our parents’ purposes, or our connections, or a particular industry we may think our skills fit into. Our purpose is strictly between us and God, and that makes it pretty important.
Now that we know that God has created us for a divine purpose, also know that the world will be a much better place when we all know what that purpose is, then focused on making it happen. But before we can understand how God’s plan for our lives is revealed, we must also know that our society is going to provide us with its own ready-made ideas for us to claim a “passion” in life – ideas which can distract us and take us down the wrong path if we’re not careful.
That part of the journey can lead us to proclaim:
- “I want to work in the ______ industry.”
- “People like me on television are doing_____, and I want to do it too.”
- “_______looks like fun!”
- “My parent was a ______, so I’m going to be one too.”
- “_______makes me happy.”
These reasons, though, probably have nothing to do with why God created us in the first place.
THE SECRET TO YOUR PURPOSE
To find the answer, we’ve got to turn our own ideas inside out in order to embrace a whole new way of thinking. So if we’re serious about taking this journey, we’ve got to let go of our own egos and desires, then:
- Ditch the world’s idea of who you should be (Romans 12:2). This is one of the most important mind-clearing steps to finding our purpose. This may be hard to do: but take a “media fast”, in order to spend time with God. Social media, television, music: all can be distracting and soul-numbing, and can fill the soul with a million voices – none of which are God’s. Even if you could find your purpose by watching endless hours of talent shows, cat fights, musical performances, sports, news, and reality tv, God doesn’t need any of them to make His purpose for your life known to you.
- Listen to God (Isaiah 55:11). He speaks in a myriad of ways. Asking God, hearing and listening to Him, and following Him takes commitment. Fasting, praying, meditating on His Word…You have to do the work, but in the end, it’s worth it.
- Keep a journal (Jeremiah 30:2). Record your dreams and visions. Let Scripture define each task you do.
- Go back to childhood (Jeremiah 1:5). Who you were and what you did best in the early days of your childhood can reveal the skills you’ll need to manifest your purpose.
- Know that you are not your parents (Exodus 20:5-6). God doesn’t want you to take your parents’ issues into your future. You were created for a specific, unique reason.
- Understand it’s not about your happiness (Luke 22:42) – it’s actually about someone else’s. Finding your purpose can actually bring difficult times because sometimes your faith will be tested.
- Get off the career ladder (Colossians 1:16). That’s society’s vision for you. You were born with gifts and skills to be used for a higher purpose.
- Listen to your elders (1 Timothy 4:14). Respected elders can see the vision for your life, and can confirm the path God wants you to follow.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23,
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
and in John 15:13,
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
If you look at Jesus’ life, everything He did, all of the miracles He performed, He did for others; for those who needed Him. That’s the secret to unlocking the miracles in your purpose: using your gifts for the benefit of uplifting others.
What voice is unique only to you? What aspects of society drive you forward and turn on a light within you? Using your God-given gifts and talents to let the world know who God is, changes the world as only you can. Following God’s call puts you on the road to manifesting miracles found only in living for His purpose for your life.
DO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Do you fear your dreams are too big to achieve? Let Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.
PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.
Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. has called Bishop Roderick Hennings to conduct a Revival at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. The theme for the Revival is:
“ORDER IN THE COURT” (1 CHRONICLES 15:13)
Please join us at the North Campus Sanctuary on
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1ST through FRIDAY, MARCH 3RD, 2017
at 7:00 P.M. each night.
The West Angeles North Campus Sanctuary
3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
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. Please join us March 1st-3rd, 2017 for a dynamic Word from Bishop Roderick Hennings. Call (323) 733-8300 for more information.
Have you found yourself in situations which threaten to challenge your patience, disrupt your peace, and encourage behavior which is counter to what God expects of you? Now, more than ever, saints are uplifting each other with the simple reminder that, no matter what is happening in the world, “God is in Control.” In our latest post on living your best Christian life, Dr. Tonya Lewis shares a list of 10 essential Scriptures for maintaining your cool in challenging times.
When we are confident with who we are and Whose we are, we learn we don’t have to fight each battle which comes our way. Insecurity, immaturity, and not learning the value of living a peaceable life provokes us to think, say, and do whatever comes to mind, even though it is definitely not wise to do so. Most of the time, many of us feel that we must have the last word or action; we conclude that we can’t allow anyone to think that we are weak or afraid. We then want to blame others for our negative actions; even using the excuse “The devil made me do it!” (which legendary comedian Flip Wilson famous!)
Yes, while Satan and others may influence us, we make the final decision of how we think, speak, or act.
As we mature in both age and spirit, we actually learn that we express more power by not engaging in each temptation of battle. We are told in Proverbs. 14:29, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness; and in Proverbs 15:18, “A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (NLT). Rather than lose self-control, we must take personal responsibility for our thoughts, our choices, and our actions.
We must commit to keeping our hearts holy and righteous so that we reflect the Spirit of the Kingdom of God, both internally and externally. When we yield our lives to Christ Jesus, He empowers us to control what we think, speak or do.
Below are 10 Scriptures which encourage us to maintain our cool and control under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior:
- James 1:19-20 (NIV) – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
- Proverbs 10:19 – Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
- James 3:2 (NLT) – Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
- Proverbs 13:3 – The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin (NLT).
- Prov. 21:23 (NLT) – He who guards his mouth and his tongue, Guards his soul from troubles.
- James 1:26 (NLT) – If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless.
- Proverbs 28:25 (NASB) – An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.
- Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
- James 3:13 – If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
- Matthew 12:34 – (NLT) … For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.
As Kingdom citizens who live under the reign of Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior, we can have the assurance of 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which states,
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your entire spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (NLT).
Such is not true for persons who are still trying to live life apart from the Lordship of Christ. In order for our spirit, soul and body to be blameless, we must stay in control! When we live according to the Word of God, we can rest assured that we will be kept blameless in what we think, say or do.
God bless you!
Dr. Tonya Lewis has been a member of West Angeles Church of God In Christ for over 40 years, serving 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, and at other teaching venues.
Hear Jonathan McReynolds sing “MAINTAIN”, featuring Chantae Cann below:
We have come, over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
-From “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the Negro National Anthem, by James Weldon Johnson.
(Please click the images below to enlarge the slideshow).
OUR HISTORY is resplendent with examples of ancestral strength, unimaginable faith, and a powerful vision of a day – similar to the one in which we now live – where we, as a people, would be able to freely worship in beautiful Cathedrals such as this.
Our forefathers and mothers; the unbearable pain they shouldered, the profound injustice they endured. They sacrificed their lives, their energy and great strength to overcome: and yet we are overcoming.
Now, we, as a people, must stand in unity, with the holy resolve to keep fighting, keep marching, and keep succeeding until we have indeed overcome.
We literally come from kings and queens: Mansa Musa, Nzingha, Shaka Zulu, the Queen of Sheba – royal stock who, when bowed and broken, possessed a resiliency and an impenetrable determination to move beyond the hardship, to reach beyond the injustice, and to push past the dark veil of hopelessness to the promise of better day.
We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – and that same thread runs within each of us. We must dig deeper and be resilient. We may bend, but we will not break!
We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – for we must know that our true greatness lies not only in our ability to withstand oppression and survive, but also in our ability to hope, to trust, and to put our future in the hands of our Eternal God. He is strong to save. He who knows every detail of our victorious future. And it is within Him that true greatness lies!
We have overcome, but yet we are overcoming – for we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. Through the storm, through the strain, through hardship, through pain, we have overcome, and we yet, are overcoming.
So let your words today be filled with life, with hope, and with strength. Share with someone the testimony of what you have been through, so that they will know that if you made it through, they can too!
We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day.
Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome someday.
Hear Dr. Judith McAllister and the West Angeles Mass Choir perform “We Shall Overcome” below:
“We Shall Overcome” – Lyrics derived from “I’ll Overcome Some Day”, Charles A. Tindley, 1900.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Negro National Anthem, by James Weldon Johnson, 1899; music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.
Often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship,” Dr. Judith Christie McAllister is probably best known for her impact as one of the forerunners of the Praise and Worship movement in the African American Church. Having served as Worship Leader at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ under Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., as the church’s Executive Director of the Music and Worship Arts Department, and also as Minister of Music/President of COGIC’s International Music Department, she developed a style and approach to Praise & Worship earning her accolades from coast to coast. A wife, mother, author, prolific Bible teacher, prophetic psalmist and a Grammy Award nominee, Dr. McAlister is also CEO of three entities which enable her to mentor, train and empower the next generation in the ministry of music. Judah Music Group LLC, Inheritance of Judah Ministries and Never Ending Worship (N.E.W.) Enterprises LLC, provide the foundation for all of her workshops, seminars, ministry services and products.
If you were told that you could end a war, would you believe it? If you were told that you could save the world from hatred, hurt and pain, or that you are the cure to the cancer that’s spreading throughout our society, would you doubt it? It’s overwhelming for us to believe that we, alone, can make a difference in solving the issues that seem so massive today. However, it only takes one person with the compassion and vision to heal a particular pain in our world to stand up and do so…
The rest will follow.
WHAT ONE PERSON CAN DO
I am reminded of Esther, who saved her people, the Jews, from slaughter; and the young shepherd boy, David, who slayed a giant all on his own. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw the need for economic equality; to free the poor and disenfranchised from discrimination, and from oppression and repression by the wealthy. Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake saw the need to create a ministry which helped children orphaned by AIDS in Africa. Save Africa’s Children created much needed support for more than 100,000 children in over 23 African nations; now, Bishop Blake has set his sights on building an economic and educational legacy here at home to empower the generations to come.
Every revolution begins with a single person deciding to make a stand.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish”, but he who keeps the law is happy. The pattern in the word is that each battle and triumph begins with one person: and you can be that person. This does not mean you have to join every battle, but rather, pursue that calling which touches your heart most. That is the ministry that God has placed on your heart to help others, and to take each step one day at a time towards change. You may begin alone, but I guarantee that God will not let you fight the entire battle by yourself. He will put like-minded people in your path, and together, as a mighty team in the name of Jesus, we can empower God’s people, build His Kingdom on earth, and make the world a better place.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” – Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV)
As month of February turns our thoughts to love, here are 20 memorable quotes and scriptures to remind us of the true meaning of mankind’s greatest gift.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”
“There are some who’ve said that it’s the role of the husband to love, and it’s the role of the wife to submit, but I would say that both the husband and the wife must love and submit…The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:5, ‘All of you must submit to one another.’”
“Wisdom and love need to drink from the same cup.”
“Before you fall in love, put priority on spiritual and emotional excellence, not just on physical and erotic attractiveness.”
“When two people love the Lord, who committed to the way of God, who believe the Word of God, and who believe in Christian principles, living, and raising their family, they’ve got a marriage that’s going to work and be blessed.”
– Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Wisdom and love need to drink from the same cup” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.
“Love should be your top priority, primary objective, and greatest ambition. Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part. The Bible says, ‘Let love be your greatest aim.’”
“If God’s going teach you real love, He’s going put you around some unloving people.”
“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” – Cornell West
“We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense” – Former President Barack Obama
“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.” – Romans 8:28
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” – Matthew 22:37-39
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation” – Psalm 91:14-16
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:16-18
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” – Romans 8:35
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” – John 13:34.
Hear Hezekiah Walker & The Love Fellowship Crusade perform “LOVE LIFTED ME” below –
- Hear Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s sermon on love and marriage, “Invite Jesus to Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage” on THE LEGACY BROADCAST.
- Read “Bishop Blake Delivers the Word on Love and Marriage,” on Westa.org.
- Want more on love? Click here to read 7 Principles for Manifesting Love In Your life on Westa.org.