Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake teaches on overcoming negativity in his first sermon of March.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s First Sunday sermon for March 2015 was inspired by Psalm 18, which is titled, “God the Sovereign Savior.” David spoke the words of the Psalm to the Lord on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of all of his enemies. David had been pursued by Saul, who’d called for David’s death many times.
“Certain things made David afraid. He mentions fear; he mentions sorrow; he mentions distress,” said Bishop Blake. “But one thing about Brother David,” Bishop went on to say, “is that even though he faced these negative emotions, he was under- girded with some firm convictions about God.”
Bishop Blake cited the uplifting principles of verses 1-3, which he used as the outline for his sermon, among other passages.
Bishop preceded his sermon with a moment of remembrance for Assistant Pastor Emeritus Marion Green, who passed away on February 23, 2015.
“Our hearts are heavy. Our hearts are a little bit broken. Someone who has been a fixture around West Angeles, a constant, consistent image, presence and blessing, has gone on to higher ground, on to a better place. [Elder Green] was such an excellent, excellent leader in the life of our church, who was with us almost from the beginning. Always ready to serve; always loving; always kind…A great and wonderful man of God. We’re going to miss him so very, very much.”
Highlights from Bishop’s sermon follow:
“One of the most important abilities a person can have is the ability to endure and rise above negative circumstances and emotions.”
“It was Samuel Lover who said, ‘Circumstances are the rulers of the weak, but they are the instruments of the strong.’”
“Napoleon said, ‘Circumstances? I make circumstances!’”
“The same circumstances that will destroy and devastate one person will make and develop another person.”
“Arnold Toynbee said, ‘Great civilizations are not born in circumstances where everything is nice or where everything is beautiful; but rather, in environments that are unusually difficult.’”
“It’s not your circumstance, t’s how you respond to your circumstances, that is the important thing.”
“Some people don’t need a reason to hate you. They just find out that somebody else hates you, and they’re gonna hate you, too! Does anybody know anything about haters?”
“Don’t be surprised when people hate you. Just be glad when you find some folk that love you.”
“If you live, you’re going to have enemies.”
“When you’re in the midst of wickedness all around you, it begins to drain your spirit and drain your enthusiasm for righteousness – if you’re not careful.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake
“People are afraid today. They’re afraid about their marriage. They’re afraid about holding onto their job…They’re afraid for their children…and then there are some folk that are afraid, and they don’t know what they’re afraid about!”
“If I can get you depressed, I can defeat you.”
“Austin O’Malley said, ‘Sorrow, like rain, makes roses and mud.’ That same sorrow, if you allow God to use it, can create a rose garden in the middle of your mud.”
“One thing about Brother David is that even though he faced these negative emotions, he was under-girded with some firm convictions about God!”
“If you know God, you ought to be able to overcome negative emotions better than some folk who don’t know God.”
“Whenever you see those words ‘OH LORD’… that’s a tetragrammaton to replace the word ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah’…that let’s you know the name of our God.”
“Nothing else defines God but God Himself!”
“God spoke out of a bush that was burning, but not consumed.”
“God doesn’t need any fuel to burn!”
“God can send fire, and He needs no fuel for the fire to burn…If our world could do that, then nations could stay at home, and not be out somewhere trying to take somebody else’s oil!”
“God speaks to the things that be not as though they were…and if God wants to create something out of nothing, God can do it. And if God wants to bring life out of death, then God can do it. And Jesus proved that when He died on the cross; nails in His hands, nails in His feet, but on the third day morning He got up!”
“With God, nothing is impossible! Does anybody know God? Does anybody trust God? I’m gonna rely on GOD! Clap your hands! Give praise!”
“When you have a God like that, you’ll stop telling your God about your problems, and start telling your problems about your God!”
“God loves you with an everlasting Love.”
“God wants you to love Him; and if you love Him, He’ll work it out for you”.
“The psalmist says, ‘I’m going to overcome my negative circumstances; I’m going overcome my negative emotions by loving the Lord.’”
“My love for God will cause me to hold onto God, no matter what else happens in my life.”
“If you don’t trust God, you’ll be overwhelmed by worry. If you don’t trust God, you’ll be overcome by fear.”
“Neighbor, put it down…Cast all your burden on Him, because He loves you. He’ll take care of you”.
“God is courteous…He will not come in until you call Him. If you call Him, He’ll hear your prayer.”
“Does anybody know He’s an on time God?”
“Are there any over-comers in the house? Let all the over-comers give God a cheer!”
“I’m not gonna let fear destroy me; I’m not gonna let negative circumstances drag me down… I’m not gonna let the world take my salvation; steal my joy… I shall be saved!”
“Child of God, don’t throw in the towel; Child of God, don’t give up. Your best days are still ahead…Tell your neighbor, ‘Keep going! Hold on! Halleluiah!’ ”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Psalm 18:1-4 ,“Proverbs 18:14, Psalm 46:1-2; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:28, Matthew 22:37, John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5-6, 1Peter 5:7, Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 40:31, Job 1:13-22, 2:8-9, 23:10.