, , , ,

The Power of Women: 7 Dynamic Traits of Women in the Bible

On Westa.org, we’re celebrating the power and strength of women. Read our list of 7 dynamic traits of women in the Bible which are sure to keep you inspired.

As modern-day women, we seem to have as many mountains to climb today as at any other time in history. Sometimes we find ourselves questioning whether we have the strength to balance the weight of all the responsibilities heaped upon our shoulders. We start our days on the run, stressed-out.  We worry that we’re unable to manage in our multiple roles as wife, daughter, mother, and career woman.

Often, we end our days seeking serenity by immersing ourselves in our favorite TV shows or social media outlets. Instead of finding peace, however, we’re bombarded with soul-shaking news stories and demoralizing images.  Those news reports seem to challenge the progress we’ve made as a people and as a nation.  And those challenges are made worse when they undermine our faith. 

We also know that we should make sure we’re healthy mentally and physically.  When one is mentally and physically fit, one can help others more efficiently. However, with so much to do and so little time, we go to bed exhausted and awaken the same way, unsure of how we’ll summon the strength to rise again and to start another day.

As women before us have known for centuries though, we must not lose heart when our help is as close as the Bible on the nightstand beside us.

8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

Prayer Warrior: 8 dynamic traits of women in the Bible.

OUR BIBLE, OUR POWER

The Bible tells us the story of our history, and it has the key to our empowerment. Women throughout history have overcome obstacles by seeking God.  They’ve relied upon His Word, and have gained strength from the Bible’s unlimited source of power.  

Here’s a list of 7 dynamic qualities of women in  the Bible to inspire and fortify you:

Prayer warrior. Women in the Bible reflect the power of prayer: Hannah’s prayers produce a warrior for God (1 Samuel 1:9-11); while Anna’s prayers and devotion to our Savior brought her honor and the promise of the Kingdom to come (Luke 2:36–38).

Support system. Together, Naomi and Ruth use Godly wisdom to secure their family’s future – and change the course of history (Book of Ruth).

Purpose-driven. To cure her condition, one debilitated woman endures possible disdain, scorn, and banishment to connect with Jesus. Nothing deters her from God’s Healing Power.  She exhibits a shining example of unwavering faith (Matthew 9:20-22).

Entrepreneur. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is a hard-working, enterprising, industrious entrepreneur.  She not only weaves her own fabrics (Proverbs 31:19) but from that fabric she also “makes linen garments and sells them.” She supplies products for other merchants (Proverbs 31:10-31) and makes her family proud.

Life-saver. Esther uses the power of grace, fasting, and marriage to save her people from extermination (Book of Esther).  And Deborah, prophet and judge, knows how to save her nation from oppression.  She aligns herself with a leader named Barak who can get help her to get the job done (Judges 4).

Ruler of nations. The Queen of Sheba uses wisdom and discernment before giving King Solomon her blessing (1 Kings 10:1-13).  But Jesus warns the disobedient that they will not have the same results (Matthew 12:42)!

Mother of humanity. Eve is the first woman – mother of us all (Genesis 3:20). And to Mary, a Savior is born, whose existence gives us the only living example of our fullest potential (Matthew 1:18-21).

BE INSPIRED!

So, the next time you need a boost of faith, come back to this list of Biblical heroines.  It will remind you of those who came before you; of those who faced seemingly insurmountable challenges.  They all triumphed through the power of almighty God.  

Stay strong, encouraged, and focused on the Promise of The Word. As women, we can do all things through Him who gives us strength.


7 Dynamic Traits of Women in the Bible: West Angeles Choir Singing King Jesus Is A Listening from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

 

,

Watch Night: Position Yourself to Advance

Evangelist Joyce Rodgers, COGIC’s International Youth Department leader, delivered an exciting, encouraging, and always prophetic Word for 2017 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s Watch Night Celebration. 

Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers’ Watch Night sermon titled, “Position Yourself to Advance” encouraged the saints to move forward in 2017 with confidence in Jesus, even in the midst of uncertainly in the next year.

“This is your year; this is your time to bust through some open doors! Somebody shout, ‘ADVANCE!’”

As the congregation erupted in thunderous praise, Evangelist Rodgers continued, “We are embarking upon a new era in life. As we transition into a new year, God said, ‘Get ready for new opportunities!’”

High praise filled the Cathedral as the congregation ushered in the New Year with corporate prayer lead by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and classic gospel selections “Changed,” and “Praise the Name of Jesus” performed by none other than the magnificent Lady Tramaine Hawkins. Lady Tramaine was accompanied by the Cathedral Chorale and the mighty West Angeles Mass Choir, conducted by Dr. Judith Christie McAllister and David Daughtery.

After the service, the congregation moved to the North Campus’ beautiful Crystal Room for a new Watch Night tradition, The Afterglow Breakfast, where the congregation enjoyed chicken and waffles prepared by West Angeles’ Food services Department, and wonderful gospel jazz performed by the West Angeles band.

Order the entire 2016 Watch Night Service HERE, on West Angeles Gospel on Demand, or visit the West Angeles Christian Emporium to purchase on CD or DVD. Highlights from the service follow:

Position Yourself to Advance

“If our faith is in the political arena; if our hope lies in the economic arena, then we are destined to be discouraged.”

“Because our hope lies in the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is on our side; therefore, God says to you, ‘Position yourselves to advance.’”

“There are spiritual doors that God wants to open for you during this season of your life.”

“This is a time for…new doors in our lives; new doors in our families’ lives, new doors in our businesses, new doors in our church.”

“We are embarking upon a new era in life. As we transition into a new year, God said, ‘Get ready for new opportunities.’”

“There’s a door of new hope.” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“What doors would the Lord have for your life during this time of transition? What opportunity could be in front of you, waiting for you to knock; waiting for you to enter?”

“God said, ‘I have set before you an open door, and no man can close it.’”

“The word set means, ‘I have placed before you; I have positioned, stabilized before you an open door,’ and not man, nor demon, can shut the door.”

“God has a plan and a strategy for our lives.”

“God really, really, really knows us!”

“God said, ‘I made you in secret…when you came out, you came out whole; complete, entire, wanting for nothing.’”

Lady Tramaine Hawkins performs, "Changed" at west Angeles COGIC, 12-31-2016.

Lady Tramaine Hawkins performs, “Changed” at West Angeles COGIC, 12-31-2016.

“God knows what lies ahead for the upcoming year, and He feels every minute of your life .”

“Now our prayers should be, ‘Lord, show me the door that you have set before me! Open my eyes! Give me insight and revelation.’”

“There is no such thing as an authentic ministry, an authentic calling, an authentic anointing without problems or opposition of some sort. Satan is going to see to it that oppositions will come.”

“If the door is great, the adversaries are many. If the door is little, then the adversary is little. Great doors denote great adversaries.”

“Every door that God has planned for you, there are opponents and adversaries that desire to shut the door and stop you from entering in: but the devil is a liar!”

“This is your year; this is your time, to bust through some open doors. Somebody say, ‘ADVANCE!’”

“Whoever you are, wherever you are: God says, ‘Behold, I have set before you an open door

“In your failure can be the seeds of the greatest mission in your life.” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“Even when you don’t have the strength to put one foot in front of other, even if you’re too troubled and too weak, by the grace of God, just keep on walking until you can enter in.”

“God said, ‘Not only do I have an open door open for you, but I’ll hold it open!’”

“Unusual things are about to happen. I declare and decree that throughout the coming year…You’re about to be adventurous; to do some things you’ve never done, so you get some of the things you’ve never had. This is your year for adventurous new things!”

“I need some people to scream, ‘Boomerang!’ because what devil meant for evil, God’s going to turn it around!”

“You have to come out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to ask God to give you the faith the walk on water, but you don’t want to get out of the boat!”

“Tell the truth and shame the devil. There are areas in our lives where we feel comfortable moving in faith, but there are some areas in our lives that make us feel anxious.”

“How can you see a miracle happen if you don’t move out of your comfort zone?”

“This is the year for God to drop new opportunities into your lap.”

“What adversary will keep me from great opportunities?…What is the greatest enemy of great? Good! Many people have good marriages but not great ones. Good relationships but not great. Good prayer lives but not great. Why is this?”

“The enemy of great opportunity is learning to love the good to the place that it satisfies the soul, and there’s no need to desire to go any further.”

“Great is about to come out of you…I will not be satisfied with ‘Good’.”

”The enemy of great opportunity is learning to love the good to the place that it satisfies the soul, and there’s no need to desire to go any further.” Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“Somebody scream, ‘SHIFT’! I need you to shift from ‘Good’ to ‘Great’!  It’s time for more intensity in your worship; it’s time to penetrate evangelism.”

watch-night-westa

Bishop Blake leads the West Angeles congregation in prayer. Watch Night, 2016.

“Are you the status quo, or are you about to walk into greatness?”

“Things, places, people can be adversaries, but I’m pressing on the upward way…new heights I’m gaining every day!”

“There’s a door of new hope.”

“What is the Valley of Achor? A place of sorrow, devastation, grief; yet even here, in  the place of death, God said, ‘I’m going to open a door.’”

“Sometimes when you’re down there, if you’re not careful, you can miss the door that has been set before you.”

“Even if you’ve failed at some things, you’re not a failure…and in your failure you can be rescued by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Failure can be the grace for your great success. What you didn’t achieve this day, God can give you grace to achieve it tomorrow.’”

“In your failure can be the seeds of the greatest mission in your life.”

“What you did not overcome today you can turn into a book, a song, an outline: so somebody will be able to say, ‘If it had not been for the Lord on my side, I wouldn’t have made it!’”

“ You can’t enter the new door until you shut the old door…Shut the door of old relationships, shut the door of bitterness; of unforgiveness, of resentment, of poverty, of bad habits, of old patterns, of crazy thinking, of negative people.”

“I don’t know what door has been trying to hold you back, but by the power of the Holy Ghost this is your night to shut the door!”

“You’re getting ready to walk through the door, not that man made, but that God made. God has a Blessing with your name on it!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Hosea 2:15, Revelation 3:8, Psalm 139:13-16, 1 Corinthians 16:9, Acts 14:27, Hosea 2:15.


Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers is the founder and CEO of Primary Purpose Ministries, Inc., and serves COGIC on the international level, leading the Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ. The widely respected evangelist and speaker is also author of the book Fatal Distractions, which uncovers the roadblocks which can keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Born and raised in Gladewater, Texas, Evangelist Rodgers is a third generation daughter of the Church Of God In Christ. She is widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator of the deep truths of God’s Word, which she blends with precision, humor and God’s anointing.

Follow Evangelist Joyce Rodgers on Twitter @MsJoyceLRodgers.

Please join us in prayer and fasting for the month of January: please CLICK HERE for the 2017 Consecration Calendar and Guidelines.

Hear the classic live 1994 performance of “Praise the Name of Jesus” by Tramaine Hawkins below:

, , ,

Please Join Us: 11/40 Prayer & Consecration Guide

The need for prayer today is greater than ever. Our world faces wars, along with an epidemic of broken homes, poverty, violence, sexual immorality and social strife. Please join us as we pray over the next 40 days. Participate in the 11/40 Consecration.

It was the mission of Church of God In Christ’s founder, the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, to recapture and maintain the prayer traditions of the slaves[1]. Our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. desires that we must again commit ourselves to seeking God through prayer, and to maintaining the COGIC legacy of being a church of prayer and fasting.

The 40 Days of Prayer was established by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., in 2011 to intercede on behalf of the Annual International Holy Convocation. For 2016, God has placed the following theme upon Presiding Bishop Blake’s heart:

FIGHTING FOR SALVATION AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IN A VIOLENT AND IMMORAL WORLD – 1 Timothy 6:12

cogic-theme-2016

It is the joy of the Presiding Bishop to call the people of the Lord to seek God during the 40 days leading up to and during the 109th Annual International Holy Convocation in Saint Louis, Missouri. Please join us as we pray over the next 40 days. Participate in the 11/40 Consecration: 40 Prayer requests/11 Minutes of our daily prayer time/40 Days –

 

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 – NOVEMBER 6, 2016

We pray that this event impacts your life, and that praying for our nation moves us from a 40-day venture to a lifetime endeavor.

 

2016-prayer-11-402016-consecration-prayer-guide

Please DOWNLOAD your 2016 11/40 PRAYER GUIDE HERE (please click image on the left to download). 

Please DOWNLOAD your 109TH ANNUAL HOLY CONVOCATION 11/40 CONSECRATION GUIDEBOOK HERE (please click image on the right to download).


[1] – COGIC.org, “Church of God In Christ 109th Annual Holy Convocation 11/40 Guidebook”;http://www.cogic.org/hc2016/files/2013/09/11-11-40-l-Guidebook-2016.pdf. Accessed 10-1-2016.

, , ,

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake: The Prodigal Son

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. shares a lesson on following the most important aspect of our being in his sermon from the book of Luke 15:11-24 title, “The Prodigal Son.” 

“The text implies, the Bible confirms, and experience reveals that most are a composite of many selves: rather than just one self.”

“This young man had to bring himself to himself to do the right thing.”

“It’s only when he came to himself that he got his life together.”

“One self was down in the dumps, while the other self, reached out to God.”

“Somebody out there needs a mighty deliverance…you need to be delivered from yourself. Ask your neighbor, ‘Do you need to be delivered from yourself?’”

“Has anybody out there ever been in a situation where one self was crying out, ‘Do it! Do it;’ while the other self was yelling out, ‘Don’t do it!’ and thebishop-quote-1 third self was in the middle of it all: not knowing what to do?”

“All of us have used phrases like, ‘Watch yourself’; ‘He never found himself;’ ‘I’m sorry, I have not been myself;’ ‘He’s trying to get himself together.’”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Don’t you follow every self…follow the right self.’”

“Wisdom and practice in that day indicated that you did not give your money to your children until you died. At your death, they received their inheritance.”

“Immature saints today want to receive, rather than give…God does not have to give you anything.”

“That ought to be the spirit and attitude of every child of God: not, ‘God, what can you do for me?’ but ‘God, what can I do for you? How can I give your name glory and honor?’”

“So many, in their pride, have an erroneous sense of entitlement…but tell your neighbor, ‘You have no right to make withdrawals, if you’ve made no deposits.’”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘Don’t you follow every self…follow the right self.’” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“The deceived self led to a lustful self.”

“Real respect and real commitment are the only foundations for a lasting relationship, and marriage is the only meaningful haven for sexual involvement.”

“If you know the Bible’s right, why don’t you say, ‘Amen!'”

“Marriage is the only meaningful haven for sexual involvement.”

“When the money was gone, the women were gone.”

“There is a friend…who will love you whether you have money or not; clap your hands and praise God for that friend.”

“Listen: God says, ‘Put me first, and I’ll take charge of your life.’”

“I don’t want anything to do with the devil. Give me Jesus!” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“You’ve got to stop and realize you are more than a physical man: you have a spirit and a soul.”

“You can’t depend on folk; the very person you leave the lord for will let you down.”

“The devil is opportunistic. He puts you in situations where you’re weak and feeble, and unable to really rise up for righteousness; then he brings the best arsenal he has, and releases all of his weapons onto you.”

“Today, I want to talk about the most important you.”

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything to do with the devil.  Give me Jesus!”

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Luke 15:11-24, 1 Samuel 30:6, Romans 7:15-24, Mark 12:30-31, Matthew 20:28,  Proverbs 16:18, Galatians 6:3, Luke 15:30, 1 John 2:15, Romans 8:28, 1 Peter 5:8.


“The Prodigal Son” Bishop Charles E. Blake from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

Please join us for Sunday Worship Services! Join us at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the beautiful West Angeles Cathedral, 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016; and at 7 p.m. at our North Campus Sanctuary, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

Phone: (323) 733-8300 for more information.

 

 

 

, , , , ,

Elder Richard Brooks Imparts Practical Christian Wisdom

In this edition of “The Elders’ Corner,” Elder Richard Brooks shares pearls of wisdom on purpose, understanding enemies, and allowing God to use our lives to Bless others.

Every strong faith, culture or society makes room for the impartation of wisdom from its Elders, and the Church of God in Christ is no exception. The Bible provides us with such wisdom, and the Elders of the church are among those who teach and pass on that wisdom to others.

Elder Richard L. Brooks was raised in the church, and has been infused with Biblical wisdom and COGIC tradition through his grandmother, through YPWW (COGIC’s Youth Training Union), and through Prayer & Bible Band, the oldest organized auxiliary in the Church of God in Christ. A quiet, humble man, Elder Brooks has always had a fascination with education and Christianity, and is always seeking words of wisdom in the Bible.

He now passes on generations of tradition and wisdom through his Sunday School classes, during New Members’ Orientation, and as Program Coordinator of West Angeles’ School of Practical Christian Living.

In this edition of The Elders’ Corner, we’re blessed to have Elder Richard L. Brooks share some pearls of wisdom with us.

ON PURPOSE

“A lot of people talk about having an experience with God, but they don’t have any experience because they don’t listen. They know what they want to do and they go after that…That’s the biggest mistake we make. We are taught to make that mistake.”

“You’d be surprised at how many people have no idea what they are called to do. And it’s simply because they have not sought the Lord.”

“We ask our children from the time they’re little, what do you want to be? What are you going to be when you get grown? We tell our children to decide what they want to be. We don’t teach our children to seek the Lord. We don’t do that…we do not do that.”

“Children…they don’t know what they’re capable of…only God knows.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea. A good idea, anybody can do it. But a God idea…only the person God gives it to can do it, because He only gives you a part of it at a time.”

“God will say, ‘Do this,’ and you do it, then it comes to a standstill. You can’t go further because you don’t know what to do. Then sometimes you say, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll try to do this over here’ – but it don’t work. God does not give you the whole program.”

ON OBEYING GOD

“The Lord is ‘hinkty!’ If He tells you something, and you don’t appreciate it enough to get up and write it down, He’ll let you forget it, and all you’ll have is the knowledge that ‘The Lord told me something…and I can’t remember what it was!’ You know that it’s something that you need, because every now and then, way down the line, you’ll hear it again.”

“God is telling you, ‘When I give you something, write it down!’ When He said (in Habakkuk 2:2), ‘Write the vision; make it plain, so that those who read it may run…,’ the Lord’s not in the business of telling us things just so we can forget it. God has something He is trying to tell us.”

“There’s a difference between a good idea and a GOD idea.” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“You have to stay in harmony with what God’s doing, because if you get out of harmony with what He’s doing, He’ll quit, and you’ve got nothing, because it all came from Him.”

“It’s important that we remember what the Lord tells us because God knows that the devil is waiting…just waiting…”

ON ENEMIES

“You’ll run into people who look at your success, and they’ll think it’s you, and they don’t realize it’s God. They want to tap into it. ‘Oh, I want to do that.’ But you can’t give them what you’ve got because it was given to you.”

“You’d be surprised at the enemies you’ll make while you’re busy working, trying to do what the Lord says. But somebody over there is plotting, setting you up to stab you in the back. It puts you in a position where you’re totally dependent on God.”

“When you get involved with the work of the Lord…you’re not going to be happy a lot of times. Folk will make you unhappy. They’re gonna see to it that you’re unhappy, because they’re unhappy. You’ve got to be able to throw that off and keep on going.”

ON HEAVEN

“People think when they get to Heaven, they’re gonna see the Holy Ghost. No, you ain’t gonna see the Holy Ghost…It’s a Spirit.”

“When Jesus said ‘I’m going to prepare a place for you’ – He said ‘a place,’ but it’s a body…’In my Father’s House there are many a mansions’… John said, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth coming down out of heaven.’ God don’t need Earth. He’s Spirit. Earth is natural. Christ is telling us…the people who need earth will have a body.”

“Paul talks about, ‘The mortal must put on the immortal’ bodies. You won’t be floatin’ around, eatin’ milk and honey!”

“Peter said, ‘Nevertheless, we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and new earth wherein righteousness dwelleth.’ There’s something coming, but God doesn’t tell us. Paul said, ‘I saw it, but I can’t tell you. He won’t let me tell you.”

“Nothing that we can imagine approaches what God has prepared for them that love Him. It’s beyond our human imagination. If people are already jumping off bridges and taking poison trying to get there, imagine if we had an idea of what it would be like!”

“There are people who just want to end it all. But they don’t realize, you don’t end nothing. You’re gonna live forever. It’s where you’re gonna live that’s the thing.”

ON LIVING A CHRISTIAN LIFE

“Most of us don’t read the Bible because we don’t understand it. We read Psalms, but the Psalms don’t tell us a lot of things.”

“We’ve got to learn that just because we’re saved, we’re speaking in tongues, we love the Lord and so forth, it does not mean that we know what we need to do. We don’t know.”

“Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do.” – Elder Richard L. Brooks

“Our will is not God’s Will. What we want to do 99.9% of the time is different than from what God wants us to do. Now, God will show us and tell us, and our reaction? ‘Ooooo, that’s going to hurt. I don’t know if I can do that!’”

“When you get in His Will, that’s when your life takes off. This is why Jesus said, ‘I do always those things to please My Father.’ It’s not our will, it’s God’s Will.”

“If you want the Lord to lead you, find out from Him what He wants you to do and you’ll be way up the line.”

“We must ask, ‘What does God want me to be? What does it take for me to be what the Lord wants me to be? How am I supposed to live and be a Christian?’ Don’t tell God what you want to do. Listen to God to find out what HE wants you to do. That’s Practical Christian Living.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Chronicles 16:10-12, Isaiah 55:6-7, Habakkuk 2:2, John 8:29, 2 Peter 3, Revelation 21:1-2; John 14:1-4, 1 Corinthians 2:9, 15:53; John 5:30.

Elder Richard Brooks is Program Coordinator for West Angeles’ Christian Education Department and its School of Practical Christian Living. A product of the Church of God in Christ, Elder Brooks acknowledged his call to ministry in 1953, preaching his first sermon that same year at Lockett Temple COGIC in Detroit, MI. He was ordained in 1967, and has served in various capacities within the Church of God in Christ, including District President of the Young People’s Willing Workers Department (YPWW), Pastor, and Sunday School Teacher, which he continues to do to this day. Elder Brooks encourages believers to practice Biblical concepts through daily application of its principles. He continues to direct, guide and serve the people of God through preaching, teaching, and living the Word.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW for THE SCHOOL OF PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING –  Do you want a more enriched life for you and your family? Are you new to Christ, and you want to know more about how to live from a Christian perspective? The School Of Practical Christian Living (PCL) offers classes such as Integration of Faith, Community and Service, What Am I Called Of God To Do and more. Learn to be the best Christian you can be by applying biblical principles and practices to your everyday life.

REGISTER NOW through Sunday, September 11th.  For more information or to register, please visit table 9A on the Cathedral concourse following each morning worship service.  You can also register in the lobby of the North Campus Sanctuary on Wednesday Nights from 6:00- 8:00PM.  Call (323) 733-8300, Extension 2366. Join us for the next session!

, ,

The Christian Life: Developing Humility

 

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.

, , ,

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.

, , , ,

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.

,

The History of Pentecost: Pentecostal Praise – Part I

JESUS, AND THE BEGINNING OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

Dr. William L Sheals of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Norcross, GA shares the history of the Christian church and what Pentecostal praise truly means, on Pentecost Sunday at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, May 15, 2016.

All churches should be Pentecostal, because the church was born on the Day of Pentecost. It was born after the power of the Holy Spirit manifested, as told in Acts 2:1-4.

Jesus spoke the church into existence supernaturally on Caesarea Philippi when He quizzed His disciples

The mihrab within the Upper Room (pictured center) was built during Muslim occupation.

The mihrab within the Upper Room (pictured center) was built during Muslim occupation.

asking, “Who do men say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ; Son of the living God.” Then Jesus answered him, “Yes, and upon that truth I build my church.” (Matthew 16:13-18)

Although Jesus spoke the church supernaturally into existence, she didn’t come into the manifestation until the day Pentecost had fully come. She was birthed after she received power and that power was the power of the Holy Spirit. When He came in, like a mighty rushing wind, tongues of fire set upon their heads and filled the house and filled everybody in the house and they were filled with power.

Let’s revisit that day, 2000 years ago:

Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV) Coming of the Holy Spirit – 2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When we’re filled with the Holy Spirit, some of us quench the spirit, and that’s a sin. But for those of us who release Him, there’s power that permeates our very being, and you can’t keep it on the inside. That’s what happened to the 120 disciples who came out of the upper room that day.

There were also people from other nations who had gathered in Jerusalem at that time:

Acts 2:12-13 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

There’s a difference between Pentecostal praise, and what we call “praise” in the 21st century. We call “making noise” praise. But when it’s Pentecostal praise, it comes from the Holy Spirit. We cannot praise God in the flesh. We must come out of self, and the Holy Spirit within us will please God in the praise, if we release Him to do so.

 

WHAT IS PENTECOST?

Pentecost means ’50th.’ It refers to the Jewish feast celebrated 50 days after the 2nd day of Passover. It was called “Feast of Weeks” in Exodus 34:22 and Deuteronomy 16:10, and “Feast of the Harvest” in Exodus 23:16.

Pentecost, a day of thanksgiving to mark the end of the grain harvest, is a Holy Sabbath Day. On the day of Pentecost in Acts 1-3, Jesus was with the disciples for 40 days, then ascended back to heaven. We celebrate Pentecost 10 days after His ascension, on the 50th day after Jesus had risen from the dead. On that day, the words of Joel (v. 3:18) and John the Baptist (Matthew 3:11) were fulfilled.

On this day set aside to praise the Lord for giving His people a great harvest, the Lord began to harvest the lost souls of this world, through His church. The church, and the people who made up the church, would never be the same.

 

THE CHURCH, AND PENTECOSTAL PRAISE

Since those times, we have changed the format and the meaning of why we really come together. We come together as sacred assembly – we are the church – but when we do, it ought to be Pentecost Sunday every Sunday. We cannot duplicate the events of Pentecost; we cannot go to Jerusalem, enter the Upper Room and wait to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost has already come and baptized every person who is saved (Corinthians 12:13).  In Ephesians 5:18, the Lord says,

Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with My Spirit.

We cannot duplicate the miracles of that day: they are God’s doing (and we are foolish if we spend our time seeking the spectacular)! However, we can duplicate the conditions which existed among the people of God in that day.

The revival in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost is the greatest of all times. No revival has ever been so celebrated, nor so tremendous in its immediate effects and none has been so lasting in its result. The 120 disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were suddenly immersed in the Holy Spirit. Their character changed, the way that they spoke changed, they spoke in different languages, the church was birthed on fire. We need another Pentecost experience.

 

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Acts 1-3, Chronicles 4:1, Matthew 16:13-19, Exodus 34:22, Deuteronomy 16:10, Exodus 23:16, Joel 3:18, Matthew 3:11, Corinthians 12:13,  Ephesians 5:18

Adapted from the sermon, “Pentecostal Praise – Part I,” by Dr. William L. Sheals. West Angeles Church of God In  Christ on Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2016.

Photos, courtesy Studium Biblicum Franciscanum.


Dr. William L. Sheals is Senior Pastor of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Norcross, CA, also known as “The City of Hope.” Hopewell Baptist is built on what was originally a junkyard. It takes lives which had once been wrecks, and turns them into vehicles of praise for the glory and honor of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As the accomplished author of seven books, including “Walking In Authority: Biblical Examples for Modern Times” and “Live in the Spirit for Life,” Bishop Sheals is an ambassador of Reconciliation and Goodwill for Israel, and spokesman for the Global Peace Movement. He is also in an independent film producer with his own production company, “End Touch Movies.” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. preached at Hopewell “Bapticostal” Church, as it is affectionately known, in honor of Dr. Sheals’ 36th anniversary as pastor there.

Get the entire series Pentecostal Praise Parts I, II, & III HERE on West Angeles Gospel on Demand. Look for PENTECOSTAL PRAISE, PART II, coming soon to Westa.org.

PRAISE THE LORD!  Read our post, Bishop Blake on How To Praise the Lord HERE, on Westa.org.