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.
“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…”
“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.”
“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.
DO YOU WANT TO LEAD A ORE ENRICHED LIFE 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. Join us for the next session! For more information call (323) 733-8300, Extension 2366.