COMMAND YOUR DAY: How to Connect with God in 7 Simple Steps

There’s a simple method of 7 easy biblical steps which will give any Christian the power to connect with God at any time – even in the middle of chaos. Read below about how you can “log in” to God’s transforming power by learning the simple disciplines of Scripture meditation and prayer.

Are our lives busy, and getting busier day by day, or what? These days, most of us are:

  • Staying connected to the ever-present digital world of social media, online-publications, shopping, entertainment and even work, through the internet and our smart devices
  • Navigating through rush hour-packed freeways in nerve-racking traffic to work and home; shuttling our kids here and there
  • Working long, hard, exhausting hours on our jobs
  • Striving to keep ourselves healthy by eating right and exercising
  • Trying to keep our homes clean and in order and running household errands

This whirlwind of activities, noise, information, attractions, and distractions of our post-modern lives can leave us feeling exhausted, confused, and disconnected from God. How do we find calm centers in the storm to stop and focus on God?


Connect with God

Our Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that we must not “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed” by the renewing of our minds. And Colossians 3:2 says to “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Therefore, we must discipline our physical minds to think on and thereby connect with the amazing spiritual blessings we have in God, through Christ Jesus.

The Good News about Jesus Christ is that the power of His Holy Spirit is always available, always ready. We’re always connected to the Lord, even if we feel we are not! There are 7 simple biblical steps to easily connect with God, at any time, in any place:

  1. Find a space – Find a quiet place at work or in your home where you’ll go to pray daily, without distractions.  Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” This is the best advice, but additionally, because your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), then where you are, Jesus Christ is within you. Therefore, turn your focus to Him in you and you in Him, whether you are in the grocery line, caught in traffic, involved in work or with your family.
  2. Choose a time: or choose “now” – Set aside time to encounter God in the scripture. Before you start your day can be a great time to start (Psalm 63:1; Matthew 6:33); turn off the television, computer, and phone. Again, this is best, but, wherever you are in your life’s activities, stop – and take a few moments to connect with God through a small verse of Scripture, God’s Word. God is the “I AM”; always present in the eternal “now.”
  3. Read the Word – Find the Words of Jesus and His Good News (Gospels and Epistles). Read a small section of Scripture until something grabs your attention. TIP: Read slowly! Read out loud! Read so you can hear it and your eyes can see it. Read that small section over and over. It’s like eating something good: chew on it and savor the flavors. Read it over and over, while listening to God speak it to you, through His Holy Spirit.
  4. Meditate on the Word – Mentally reflecting and imaginatively pondering is the powerful aspect of Scripture meditation. Reflect on what you’ve read, and begin to think about what God is saying. Biblical meditation begins with thinking God’s Word continuously to ourselves. We begin to internalize God’s Word inside our mind and our heart. Now, God starts downloading! Listen to God’s voice…God is now talking to you personally!
  5. Respond: Talk to God in prayer through the words and images in that Scripture. Thank the Lord for what He is revealing to you! Praise and worship the Lord for His goodness! Ask God to touch you, to form and conform you to be more like Jesus! Tell God, “I’m reading because I want You to read me; form me change me, make me like You.”
  6. Receive from God – Jesus said, “Come unto me and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).” Abide and rest in the Lord; contemplate Him. Now it is the time for the Lord to communicate with you. Listen. Enter into a deeper place with God. A place of intimacy; in His presence. This is a special time between you and the Lord. One-on-one with God. Give Him room; this is the time that God is blessing you. Let the Lord Bless you. Receive from the Lord and receive the Lord Himself, who is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! God is now working within you, renewing your thoughts in the knowledge of Jesus, activating the mind of Christ in you. You are actively connecting with God and God with you.
  7. Take action – Ask Father God to give you the power of the Holy Spirit to help you do what Jesus, the Living Word, has revealed to you. For example, in relation to God, the Lord may be asking or reminding you to trust, love, believe, obey or stop disobeying Him. In relation to other people, the Lord may be asking you to forgive, love, pray for, accept, help or bless them. Ask our Holy Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the help, our Lord Jesus has promised. Now continue in your day, walking by faith and connected to our loving Lord who is with you and in you, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!


Keep on meditating on the words of Scripture that the Lord has drawn you to, throughout the rest of your day, wherever you are. Keep meditating, praying, thanking, praising, rejoicing and worshiping the Lord in your spirit, heart, mind, and soul: whatever you are doing in your life. Do this until you can center in on the presence of the Lord in His Word.

God is now working on your mind. Your thoughts are renewed in the mind of Christ. You’re now “logged in” to God through Scripture meditation and prayer! Hallelujah!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: John 3:16, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1-2, Matthew 4:4, Matthew 6:33, Matthew 11:28-30, Psalm 1, Psalm 63:1, Psalm 119, Joshua 1:8, Deuteronomy 31:6, Philippians 4:8, Timothy 4:15-16, Romans 10:17, Romans 12:2, Colossians 3:2,  1:21, Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 2:8-10, Ephesians 3, 2 Peter 1:2-8.


Elder Oscar Owens has a passion for helping others deepen their connection to the Bible and to the Lord! He currently serves as West Angeles’ Minister of Christian Education, as well as President of the West Angeles Bible College, where he teaches Systematic Theology. He is currently studying for his Doctorate of Ministry in Christian Spiritual Formation at Azuza Pacific University’s Seminary in Los Angeles, where he also teaches Urban Spirituality. He’s been married to the powerful singer and Tony-nominated playwright Lita Gaithers Owens for 31 years. Read more about Elder Oscar Owens HERE.

worship unplugged




GET BIBLE APPS FOR YOUR SMARTPHONE! Now you can take the Bible wherever you go. has a link to the You Version app. You can download it HERE.



TODAY IS THE WORLD DAY OF PRAYER.  Please join Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and the West Angeles Prayer Ministry for a moment of prayer on this International World Day Of Prayer 2018, as we pray for our neighbors, for our nation, and for our world.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 


We come to you first thanking you for being the One who can heal the land. You alone have the power and sovereignty to bless our nation, Lord. Forgive us for our shortcomings and for the times that we have failed you as a people, God. Help us to draw nearer to You, Lord, and strengthen us as a nation to serve and honor You in all that we say and do.

We praise You in advance for guiding us, and for giving us wisdom and discernment in all of our endeavors. We pray for Your “peace that surpasses all understanding” to quicken all hearts and minds today, Lord. You alone have commanded us to make disciples of all nations. Help us to begin within our own hearts. Give us the courage to spread Your Love, whether it be with our neighbors across the street or with lost souls across the globe. Work through us Lord, for without You we can do nothing!

In Jesus Name! Amen!

Evangelist Yvonne Gibson Johnson

Director, West Angeles Prayer Ministry

What Are Negro Spirituals?

Dr. Judith McAllister: We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome:

-From “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the Negro National Anthem, by  James Weldon Johnson.

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.



(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.  They are similar to the one in which we now live.  This is where we, as a people, would be able to freely worship in a 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. As a race, we must be resilient and dig deeper. 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!


A father leads his 2 sons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.

A grandfather leads his 2 grandsons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.


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.

In conclusion, let your words today be filled with life, hope, and 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!

For together-

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.

Dr. Judith McAllister, COGIC's International Minister of Music.

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 the 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.

Soon and Very Soon: West Angeles Honors Gospel Legend Andrae’ Crouch

"Soon and Very Soon": West Angeles Honors Gospel Legend Andrae' Crouch


Born July 1, 1942, vocal arranger, songwriter, choir leader and pastor Andrae Crouch bridged the worlds of church and mainstream music for more than 50 years.  Dubbed as “The Father of Modern Gospel Music,” Crouch brought a contemporary sound and melodic sensibility to gospel.  This made him uniquely suited to appeal to both black and white audiences during the early days of the countercultural “Jesus Movement,” and it also brought him attention beyond the church.

A California native who grew up in the Church of God in Christ, Crouch wrote his first gospel song at age 14. That song, “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power,” went on to become one of Crouch’s signature hits, gracing churches everywhere.

His contribution to the worship of the church include songs such as:

  •  My Tribute (To God Be the Glory)
  • Bless the Lord Oh My Soul
  • Through it All
  • Let the Church Say Amen

His recordings garnered him 7 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards, an Academy Award nomination for his arranging work on the 1985 film The Color Purple, and an induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

Crouch’s career was formed during a period of great unrest in America. The Civil Rights Movement, assassinations, the Vietnam War, race riots and a rising drug subculture defined the times, as did the Jesus Movement. Crouch left college and went to work for Teen Challenge, a Christian organization which rehabilitated drug addicts and gang members. He formed the Addicts Choir there and began writing songs to comfort and encourage the troubled teens he counseled.

Soon and Very Soon Andrae Crouch

Bobby Jones, Marvin Winans, Donnie McClurkin, Bebe Winans as the Donnie McClurkin & The Disciples Tribute Ensemble at the Andrae Crouch Memorial service at West Angeles Church, January 2015.

During the same period, Andrae and his sister Sandra formed Andraé Crouch and the Disciples from members of his church. In 1969 they were signed to Light Records, a mainstream Christian label. Crouch was inspired as much by contemporary pop, rock, and R&B as he was by traditional gospel.  The crossover appeal of the group and Crouch’s contemporary gospel style also garnered them popularity on the white church circuit. It catapulted the group to prominence during a time when the nation was in need of a clear message of hope.

The Disciples’ contemporary style also brought some criticism from some gospel music purists who challenged the authenticity of Crouch’s contemporary sound. The popular gospel style of the day followed the more traditional gospel sound, such as that of the Reverend James Cleveland; also a driving force in modern gospel music. Still, because Crouch’s songwriting followed familiar gospel music structure and reflected traditional church doctrine, his music’s purity has earned a place in hymnals around the world.

It wasn’t long before Andrae Crouch also caught the attention of the pop music world. He was best known to the mainstream music audience for his choral work on Michael Jackson’s hit Man in the Mirror (1988), Madonna’s Like a Prayer (1989) and the soundtrack to the Disney film The Lion King (1994). His passion, however, would forever be for creating the music that expressed his faith and for preaching and teaching at his parent’s home church in Pacoima, California.  He passed away on January 8, 2015, at the age of 72.

“That’s all I want in life is to be remembered as a guy that really loved God” – Andrae Crouch

Introduction, Dr. Judith McAllister.  History, Karen Lascaris.

Hear West Angeles’ Revelation Choir, under the direction of Brother Ron Taylor,  honor the anointed work of Andraé Crouch by singing one of his most heralded songs entitled, “Soon & Very Soon”:


021818_Andre Crouch Tribute from West Angeles COGIC on Vimeo.

40 Acres, Reparations, and the Black Church

As the debate continues regarding reparations for African Americans, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. reveals the truth about the “40 acres and a mule,” and its origins in the Black church.

We’ve all heard the story of the “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves. It’s a staple of black history lessons, and it’s the name of Spike Lee’s film company. The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves, and it was astonishingly radical for its time. In fact, such a policy would be radical in any country today, the federal government’s massive confiscation of private property — some 400,000 acres — formerly owned by Confederate land owners, and its methodical redistribution to former black slaves. What most of us haven’t heard is that the idea really was generated by black leaders themselves.It is difficult to stress adequately how revolutionary this idea was. As the historian Eric Foner puts it in his book, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, “Here in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, the prospect beckoned of a transformation of Southern society more radical even than the end of slavery.” Try to imagine how profoundly different the history of race relations in the United States would have been had this policy been implemented and enforced; had the former slaves actually had access to the ownership of land, of property; if they had had a chance to be self-sufficient economically, to build, accrue and pass on wealth. After all, one of the principal promises of America was the possibility of average people being able to own land, and all that such ownership entailed. As we know all too well, this promise was not to be realized for the overwhelming majority of the nation’s former slaves, who numbered about 3.9 million.

What Exactly Was Promised?

Today, we commonly use the phrase “40 acres and a mule,” but few of us have read the Order itself. Three of its parts are relevant here. Section One bears repeating in full: “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns river, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States. We have been taught in school that the source of the policy of “40 acres and a mule” was Union General William T. Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued on Jan. 16, 1865 (That account is half-right: Sherman prescribed the 40 acres in that Order, but not the mule. The mule would come later). But what many accounts leave out is that this idea for massive land redistribution actually was the result of a discussion that Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton held four days before Sherman issued the Order, with 20 leaders of the black community in Savannah, Ga., where Sherman was headquartered following his famous March to the Sea. The meeting was unprecedented in American history.

“Imagine how profoundly different race relations in the US would have been had the former slaves had access to the ownership of land…to build, accrue and pass on wealth.” – Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Section Two specifies that these new communities, moreover, would be governed entirely by black people themselves: “… on the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be established, no white person whatever, unless military officers and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside; and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be left to the freed people themselves … By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the United States, the negro [sic] is free and must be dealt with as such.”

Finally, Section Three specifies the allocation of land: “… each family shall have a plot of not more than (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet water front, in the possession of which land the military authorities will afford them protection, until such time as they can protect themselves, or until Congress shall regulate their title.”

With this Order, 400,000 acres of land — “a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina, to the St. John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast,” as Barton Myers reports — would be redistributed to the newly freed slaves. The extent of this Order and its larger implications are mind-boggling, actually.

Who Came Up With the Idea?

Here’s how this radical proposal — which must have completely blown the minds of the rebel Confederates — actually came about. The abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens and other Radical Republicans had been actively advocating land redistribution “to break the back of Southern slaveholders’ power,” as Myers observed. But Sherman’s plan only took shape after the meeting that he and Stanton held with those black [leaders], at 8:00 p.m., Jan. 12, on the second floor of Charles Green’s mansion on Savannah’s Macon Street (pictured). In its broadest strokes, “40 acres and a mule” was their idea.

Stanton, aware of the great historical significance of the meeting, presented Henry Ward Beecher (Harriet Beecher Stowe’s famous brother) a verbatim transcript of the discussion, which Beecher read to his congregation at New York’s Plymouth Church and which the New York Daily Tribune printed in full in its Feb. 13, 1865, edition. Stanton told Beecher that “for the first time in the history of this nation, the representatives of the government had gone to these poor debased people to ask them what they wanted for themselves.” Stanton had suggested to Sherman that they gather “the leaders of the local Negro community” and ask them something no one else had apparently thought to ask: “What do you want for your own people” following the war? And what they wanted astonishes us, even today.

Who were these 20 thoughtful leaders who exhibited such foresight? They were all ministers, mostly Baptist and Methodist. Most curious of all to me is that 11 of the 20 had been born free in slave states, of which 10 had lived as free men in the Confederacy during the course of the Civil War (The other one, a man named James Lynch, was born free in Maryland, a slave state, and had only moved to the South two years before). The other nine ministers had been slaves in the South who became “contraband,” and hence free, only because of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union forces liberated them.

“Sherman’s plan only took shape after meeting with black ministers. 40 acres and a mule was their idea.” –  Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Their chosen leader and spokesman was a Baptist minister named Garrison Frazier, aged 67, who had been born in Granville, N.C., and was a slave until 1857, “when he purchased freedom for himself and wife for $1000 in gold and silver,” as the New York Daily Tribune reported. Rev. Frazier had been “in the ministry for thirty-five years,” and it was he who bore the responsibility of answering the 12 questions that Sherman and Stanton put to the group. The stakes for the future of the Negro people were high.

And Frazier and his brothers did not disappoint. What did they tell Sherman and Stanton that the Negro most wanted? Land! “The way we can best take care of ourselves,” Rev. Frazier began his answer to the crucial third question, “is to have land, and turn it and till it by our own labor … and we can soon maintain ourselves and have something to spare … We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.” And when asked next where the freed slaves “would rather live — whether scattered among the whites or in colonies by themselves,” without missing a beat, Brother Frazier (as the transcript calls him) replied that “I would prefer to live by ourselves, for there is a prejudice against us in the South that will take years to get over … ” When polled individually around the table, all but one — James Lynch, 26, the man who had moved south from Baltimore — said that they agreed with Frazier. Four days later, Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, after President Lincoln approved it.

What Became of the Land That Was Promised?

The response to the Order was immediate. When the transcript of the meeting was reprinted in the black publication Christian Recorder, an editorial note intoned that “From this it will be seen that the colored people down South are not so dumb as many suppose them to be,” reflecting North-South, slave-free black class tensions that continued well into the modern civil rights movement. The effect throughout the South was electric: As Eric Foner explains, “the freedmen hastened to take advantage of the Order.” Baptist minister Ulysses L. Houston, one of the group that had met with Sherman, led 1,000 blacks to Skidaway Island, Ga., where they established a self-governing community with Houston as the “black governor.” And by June, “40,000 freedmen had been settled on 400,000 acres of ‘Sherman Land.’” By the way, Sherman later ordered that the army could lend the new settlers mules; hence the phrase, “40 acres and a mule.”

And what happened to this astonishingly visionary program, which would have fundamentally altered the course of American race relations? Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor and a sympathizer with the South, overturned the Order in the fall of 1865, and, as Barton Myers sadly concludes, “returned the land along the South Carolina, Georgia and Florida coasts to the planters who had originally owned it” — to the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.

By Henry Louis Gates, Jr., excerpted from “The African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross.”  Accessed 2/24/2016.

Hear NPR’s podcast, “The Story Behind ’40 Acres And A Mule'” on All Things Considered here:



  • After President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865,  Andrew Johnson, his successor, overturned Special Field Order No. 15.
  • The freedmen were forced off of the land granted to them by Special Filed Order No. 15, including the Skidaway Island establishment.
  • Today, Skidaway Island, GA is one of the most affluent communities in the United States. Less than 0.9% of the inhabitants are the descendants of African slaves.

Elder Charles Blake II on the Importance of the Black Church

As a part of our Elder’s Corner series, Elder Charles Edward Blake II took time to reflect on the history and importance of the black church. 

Elder Charles Blake II on the Importance of the Black Church

The old West Angeles Church at 3501 West Adams Boulevard, c. 1960’s.

“Over the course of centuries, black churches served as “hush harbors” where slaves could worship in safety, praise houses where their free descendants could gather and shout hallelujah. (They were) rest stops for the weary along the Underground Railroad, bunkers for the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement. They have been, and continue to be, community centers where we organize for jobs and justice, places of scholarship and network, places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harm’s way, and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter. That’s what happens in church” – President Barack Obama, in the eulogy for Clementa C. Pinckney, Pastor of Emmanuel AME Church.

As I listened to our President deliver this historic, heartfelt speech, I was especially drawn to his comments on the historical significance of the black church in American history. I have believed that the black church is as our president described: the beating heart of the black community. The first African American schools, hospitals, farming co-ops, workers unions, and many more aspects of our community, came out of the black church. After the Civil War and slavery had ended, the church was the only institution the black community had to protect our civil rights during Reconstruction.

Years later, however, after the Civil Rights Era, other secular African-American organizations did our civil rights work for us. Today, it would now seem that many of the rights that we gained during that time have either slowly eroded, or have not been realized at all by our community.

“The Black church is as our President described: the beating heart of the black community.” – Elder Charles E. Blake, Jr.

In light of what the church has been to our community in the past, we must continue to question: “Who are we as the church in the present?”

Impacting Our Future

As the church, we have the power to impact nations and transform cities. Yet many of us have not allowed ourselves to be transformed by the Gospel into something new that God can use to help someone else. We praise his name and the Spirit of the Lord is here…there’s no doubt about it! But while this Word, this truth, this gospel is widely believed and agreed upon and we praise the Lord for it, it is a truth we widely take for granted. We have to really ask ourselves: “Is the world a better place because we are in it? Is this a better church because I’m a part of it?”

We are called not only to worship Christ, but also to truly follow him. So, how do we do that? Mark 10:43-45 says:

43 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

We have to remember beloved, that as members of the body of Christ, we have all been called as missionaries, evangelists, and ministers (Ephesians 4:11). We are here to follow Jesus’ example, to serve even those who we may feel don’t deserve it, in order to be a light to others. The church must be a better church because we are a part of it. The world must be a better place because we are in it.

Like the apostles themselves, we don’t deserve what Christ did for us when He died on the cross. But when we serve others and live our lives with integrity, God can look at our lives as an investment and pour out His blessings. We then honor the price that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid for us, and we begin to do our part to become the church He created us to be.


Elder Charles Edward Blake II serves as Assistant Pastor and Director of Community Relations of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. He received his BS in Marketing from Oral Roberts University, and studied for his MD at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Elder Blake also serves as the General Manager of the Los Angeles Ecumenical Congress.  He and wife DeAndra are the proud parents of two sons. 

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Bishop Blake: The Foundation of Our Faith

The starting point of the believer’s knowledge of God, and the believer’s knowledge of the things of God, is not in the Old Testament

…it is in Jesus Bishop C.E. Blake: The Foundation of Our FaithChrist, the Son of God. Without Jesus, we probably would not be aware of – nor would we even read – the Old Testament. But the Old Testament points to Jesus. He fulfills the Old Testament.

Before Jesus, the Jewish faith (the faith of the Old Testament) was exactly that…the Jewish faith. No one much beyond the Jews was interested in, nor did they feel they had access to, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Most people believed in in some kind of god, they just did not know what that god was like, or who that god was. In the Gentile world, they heard the testament of those who had walked the earth with Jesus Christ, or they were confronted with the very spirit of the risen Christ Himself. Without the life of Jesus, and without the Old Testament, the New Testament would not have become the basis for the great faith called Christianity.

This history is not said to reflect upon the Jews. God chose that nation, that group, to be the vehicle of the truth that He wanted to reveal up to that point. He isolated that race so that He could develop through them the truths upon which Jesus would build, and upon which the life and teachings of Jesus would be based.

The Gentile world seemed more ready to accept the Messiah that the Jews had described in the Old Testament than they were. And it is also a strange fact that the whole structure of sacrifices of animals and of blood ceased soon after Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice. In the Jewish synagogues and temples, there is no sacrifice of blood anymore, even though they believe that there is no redemption without the shedding of blood.

Because of Jesus we have a link – a Way – into the wonderful promises God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Jesus told us about God because He is God. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, He would never have impacted the world as He has. If He did not rise from the dead, He would not have the significance for us that He has.

Adapted from the sermon,“The Foundation of Our Faith”, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, 10/16/2016.  


1 Corinthians 15:12-21, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

JOIN US AT WEST ANGELES! – Join us each Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the beautiful West Angeles Cathedral, 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016, and at 7 p.m. at the North Campus Sanctuary, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Visit or phone:(323) 733-8300 for more information.

THE WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM –  Want to learn about the promises of God? Hear this entire sermon in its entirety on CD or DVD.  Visit us at the West Angeles Christian Emporium where you’ll find a variety of Bible translations, books on Christian life, devotionals, and more. Visit us in the lobby after each service, or visit us at  3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Phone: (323) 731-3012 for hours and directions.