Posts

greater blessings for greater afflictions

Sermon: Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. cites the story of Joseph, one of the Bible’s most 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 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 great wealth to the nation of his captivity.  “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.”

Highlights from the sermon “Greater Blessings for Greater Afflictions” 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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

free to dreamDO YOUR DREAMS seem to be marked, “Never to be fulfilled”? Do you feel that it is impossible for your dreams to come true? Do you fear your dreams are too big to achieve?  Let  Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. teach you the biblical principles to follow from the life of Joseph and other dreamers. In Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, you’ll learn how faith, integrity and endurance will pull you out of the valley and up to the peak of success. Bishop Blake will encourage you to pick your dreams back up, dust them off, and persevere to the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.

PURCHASE Free to Dream: Discovering Your Divine Destiny, by Charles E. Blake, Sr. at the WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM, 3021 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.  Phone (323) 731-3012 for more info.

God's got my back

SERMON: Bishop Blake says, “God Has Your Back”

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. offers words of encouragement, hope, and fortitude in difficult times in his September 13, 2015 sermon titled, “God Has Your Back.”

“One of the greatest joys of my life was early in the administration of Barack Obama,” Bishop Blake explained. “I was able to have a private meeting with the President in the oval office and sit and talk to him, and to be in his presence and to let him know how much I appreciated the opportunity. What had been set aside for a 15-minuute conference turned out to be a 1-hour conference, and as long as I live I’ll never forget sitting in the Oval Office, talking to Barack Obama.

“But I’ve got a greater honor for you today. We have the privilege of coming into God’s house, sitting before Him, lifting our hands to our Almighty God, letting him know how much we love Him and appreciate Him.

“What a privilege it is to worship God. God of miracles is here. God of power is here. God that is able to go inside your psyche, inside mind, your spirit, and set things right…Clap your hands and give praise to God!”

Bishop Blake’s full sermon titled “God Has Your Back” and the entire September 13, 2015 service is available HERE, on West Angeles Video On Demand. Highlights from this mighty and inspirational sermon follow:

“What do you do when your expectations crash on the rocks of despair…What do you do when it seems that God has changed His mind about you?”

“Sometimes God can so Bless us that we think we’re in some kind of special category of Blessing…Then on the other hand, sometimes it seems that God begins to snatch back Blessings formerly given to us.”

“Sometimes it seems that God does not behave like we expected God to behave.”

“I’m hearing from a lot of people who feel that God was just not there when they needed Him. They experienced repossession…foreclosure…death of a loved one or loss…Under circumstances like these, some people begin to wonder, ‘Where is God when I need Him?’”

“What God has provided for you is just what you need.”

“Learn to allow God to lead. Learn to allow God to choose what He chooses for you. The best prayer you can pray is ‘Thy Will be done.’”

“When you can see a miracle, it’s easy to believe God for another miracle.”

“There’s always an ‘after a while.’”

“Some people may begin to wonder, ‘Where is God when I need Him?’” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“Isn’t it amazing how the things that we escape from try to recapture us and entangle us again?”

“Have you ever been in that place where you needed to feel the presence and the anointing of God in a special way? Jesus went through that kind of time.”

“When God moves, some people interpret ‘move’ to be ‘leave.’”

“You know, most people don’t do ‘different’ very well.”

“I’ve got a word of encouragement for you today. I’ve got a word of Hope…God has not moved to punish you. Sometimes God just moves because He’s God.”

“Sometimes God moves to develop unexposed powers and abilities …within us. He wants us to trust Him, to expand into a new area, give us a new testimony. Sometimes God wants to bring glory to Himself in a special way. Sometimes he moves just because he wants to test our faith.”

“The greater the level to which an individual is to rise, the greater the trial God takes that person through” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

“God does not change in his essential nature. God never changes in His purpose. But he changes in the methods and in the processes by which He perfects His children.”

“God’s trying to make something out of you.”

“God, I can’t see it. I can’t feel it. But I’m going to praise you anyhow!”

“Sometimes we need somebody to watch our back…God has your back.”

“Sometimes you can see God best by looking back.”

“Sometimes God goes behind you because there are things in your past trying to recapture you.”

“The devil always wants to remind you of your past.”

“You are not what was done to you…Stop holding on to that pain…Stop focusing on those kinds of memories that poison your present and poison your future.”

“Sometimes you can see God best by looking back”  – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“God’s gonna help you get over it.”

“Child of God, you can go out onto the back porch of your life and see where God has brought you from.”

“If you knew what God has in store for you, you’d be jumping and shouting and praising the Lord!”

“God will never leave you.”

“Lord, I thank you…you’ve been so good to me! Hallelujah!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Exodus 14:19-31; Isaiah 52:12; Exodus 12:37-38; 13:20-22, Matthew 27:46; Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 54:17; Deuteronomy 28:2-3; Psalm 23:6; Deuteronomy 31:6-8; Psalm 34:7.


Hear JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise perform “You Deserve It” below:

Bishop Blake: Confident Living

Are your worries and fears closing in on you? Do you feel that the world goes against all you believe in? In this sermon from 2012, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. gives us the Kingdom tools for living confidently within the power of the Word of God.

Romans 8:37 – Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

“Our text for today provides for us a foundation for living with confidence, and living without fear.”

“There are many Christians who do not live confidently. Our father has given us the Kingdom, but we sometimes think and act like paupers.”

“Omnipotence awaits our very beck and call, but we are filled with fear and intimidated by it all.”

“Those who would manipulate you, those who would control you, those who would imprison you emotionally, will do so by capitalizing on your hunger and on your fear.”

“Don’t tell folk your business; don’t tell folks your insecurities and fears – unless you know they love you.”

“If you look to people as a source…and if you strongly desire what people can give you, they may use you and your hunger to accomplish their goals and aspirations, rather than your good.”

“By holding up what you desire, they will lead you in directions that you should not go.”

“Be careful of who you reveal your insecurities to.”

“Fear will cause you to turn away from a very righteous agenda.  When people know you are afraid, they will use your fear to make you step aside and be silent, when you ought to be speaking out.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“You’re never better off when you’re content.”

“Don’t be hungry for things…live in, drive in, and wear what you can pay for.”

“Don’t live on credit, because if you live on credit you’re going to live hungry and afraid.”

“If there’s unavoidable hunger and there’s unavoidable fear, reveal it to God.”

“The devil and the wicked will use your hunger, use your fear as handles by which they will guide you and control you and keep you in bondage.”

“If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are justified.”scripture-graphic3

“It’s good to base your actions on what you know about the Word of God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Grace is something wonderful to be under because grace is God’s righteousness at Christs’ expense.”

“Jesus paid it all!”

“Stop downing and condemning yourself: start praising God!”

“Start believing what God’s Word says, and you shall become what God’s Word says you can become.”

“Aren’t you glad to be a child of God?”

“Look over at your neighbor and say, ‘It’s working out!’”

“You’re dealing with something that’s bigger than you can handle; overwhelming you, driving you down into the dirt, but I want you to know, just keep on loving and serving God…it’s working out!

“God is going to bring you over! God is going to bring you out!”

“It’s good to base your actions on what you know about the Word of God.”

“Some of you are worried about the forces that are against you…You’re worried about a situation the environment that is…but you ought to rejoice because the Bible says, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ Hallelujah!”

“The Bible says that God has created all things…How can something that God created and controls be against us?” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“Don’t worry about what seems to be against you. Just keep on trusting God. You’re going make it. You’re going to come through it.”

“The psalmist says, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me!’”

“When God shows up, I don’t care who else shows up: there’s nothing that God cannot deal with!”

“Break for praise! Clap your hands and give praise to God for all that He is!”

“We can live confidently because if God is for us, the world cannot come against us stop us block us.”

“If you’re looking for love, you’ll find it in God.” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“If you looking for someone who cares about you, if you’re looking for someone to trust with your fears, open your heart and say, ‘These are my challenges; these are my fears, my hunger,’ you can do so with God, and He will help you.”

“Stop walking in inferiority…All of us need the mercy of God. Come boldly to the throne of Grace.”

“You don’t have to live in defeat. Position yourself in Christ and you’ll be more than a conqueror.”

“Jesus conquered demons; He made them tremble and He made them obey Him…He destroyed principalities and powers. Through death and resurrection, Jesus was more than a conqueror.”

“The same spirit that raised Him up from the dead is in you to conquer and to overcome.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Romans 8:31-37, Genesis 25:19-34, 50:20; 1 Timothy 6:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:11, Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:4-5, Psalm 27, Roman 3:28, John 3:16, Hebrews 4:15, Proverb 16:32.


CONFIDENT LIVING: Be blessed by this inspiring sermon from 2012 titled, “Confident Living”.  See this sermon it in its entirety HERE, on West Angeles Gospel On Demand. 

Ambassador Charles R. Stith on the Power of Angels

As we look for answers to the moral and spiritual unrest in our world, West Angeles takes a look back to July of 2015 when Ambassador Charles R. Stith delivered a powerful message of comfort, about the strength and solace which can be found beneath the wings of angels.

A few weeks ago, Ambassador Charles R. Stith, a long-time friend of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., worshiped with the congregation of West Angeles Church of God In Christ, alongside his wife, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith. I was reminded of a powerful, insightful, yet comforting sermon Ambassador Stith delivered last year. The sermon addressed America’s burgeoning spiritual unrest; punctuated by troubling events in Ferguson, MO; the tragic shootings at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

His message, simply called, “Angels,” was inspired by Hebrews 13:2 –

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels.

“Implied in this text, said Ambassador Stith, “is a profound word of caution: be careful how you treat folks…Be careful who you ignore…That person you ignore just might be the one bearing your blessing.”

The full service is available HERE, on West Angeles’ Video On Demand; highlights from this sermon follow:

“St. Thomas Aquinas said that ‘an angel can illuminate thought in the mind of a person by strengthening the power of their vision.’”[1]

“Moses Maimonides said that ‘everyone entrusted with a mission is an angel.’”[2]

“We make all sorts of assumptions about people. We harbor all sorts of stereotypes about people. And what the evidence reveals is that more often than not, these assumptions, these stereotypes, are not true.”

“Race is not an arbiter of content or character.”

“You need to be careful about the assumptions you make about people…You never know. Anybody can be an angel”  – Ambassador Charles R. Stith

“Martin Luther King Jr…His moral vision defined the last half of the last century, and continues to provide a moral compass for this century.”

“You need to be careful about the assumptions you make about people. You need to careful about the stereotypes you harbor about people.”

“The stranger might not simply be a chance encounter, but it could be someone special. That person could be an angel.”

“You never know. Anybody can be an angel. They don’t come with wings or dressed in long white robes. They’re not perfect vessels unscarred or embattled by life. They’re not necessarily saintly or models for how you ought to live your life.”

“I believe that, just as God moves in and out of history, He moves in and out of the vessels He uses.”

“These angels that He sends work in mysterious ways and come at mysterious times; speaking word of truth or demonstrating random acts of kindness that cut to the heart and soul of the human condition.”

“Anybody or everybody can be more than they seem…Someone you’ll meet when you leave here this morning, or somebody you met on the way, could be an angel.”

“Sometimes the worst wrong we can do can do is not a sin of commission but a sin of omission.”

“We need a change in the entire country’s culture.” – Ambassador Charles R. Stith

“Sometimes the worst thing you can do to a person is to neglect them…to treat folk as if they’re invisible, as if who they are and what they represent doesn’t matter.”

“Neglect and indifference often does more damage than outright dislike.”

“Despite what Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Nixon’s head of HUD, said in the 1960s, there is no such thing as ‘benign neglect.’”

“Neglect, beloved, is a cardinal sin. So powerful is its impact that Jesus made it one of the conditions to inherit the Kingdom. Hear Jesus: ‘When I was a stranger, did you take me in? And remember, whatever you did to the least of them, you also did it to me.’”

“Neglect…this is the source of the cry that Black Lives Matter.”

“The devil kills the conscience of those he possesses.”

“What we miss, or choose to ignore, is that there are politics and policies that kill whole communities. It is such policies and politics that neglect the needs, the hopes, the dreams of communities like those around…communities like this one, and they provide an environment for hate…to grow.”

“You need to take some time to discover the angel within you.”  –  Ambassador Charles R. Stith

“What I’m trying to tell you this morning, church, is that we don’t just need a change in police culture, we need a change in the entire country’s culture.”

“If God can use the person sitting in front of you, behind you, or your neighbor down the street, or the stranger you pass or have yet to meet, He might just want to use you.”

“To be all that you can be is about the extent to which God is in your life.”

“The bible says that we were created a little lower than the angels and it seems like some of us have been working to get lower ever since.”

“You’ve got to know Jesus. If you know Him… you can be the good you want to be.”

“What is your mission? Will you master your mission or miss it?”

“You need to take some time to discover the angel within you.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Hebrews 13, Matthew 25:31-46, Romans 1:16.

 

Ambassador Charles R. Stith serves as Chairman of The Pula Group International, and is founder of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center of Boston University. He was appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the United Republic of Tanzania by President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Ambassador Stith received a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA, and a Master of Theology degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. By the age of 30, he was Senior Minister at Union United Methodist Church in Boston, the youngest minister ever appointed to the position at the church. Ambassador Stith is also founder of ONE, the Organization for the New Equality, a non-profit organization devoted to generating economic opportunity for women and people of color.

 

_______________________________________
FOOTNOTES
[1] McIntosh, J; “Angels : A Joyous Celebration” (1999). Running Press, PA. Pg. 121.
[2] Maimonides, Moses; “The Guide for the Perplexed” (1919) George Routledge & Sons, Ltd. London. Pg. 160. (Google Books; Accessed 7/23)

_______________________________________

For more about Emmanuel AME and the stellar accomplishments of its pastor, the late Senator Clementa Pinckney, please click HERE to readPresident Obama Defines The Meaning of Black Church.”

Bishop Blake: The Best Wish You Could Ask of God

“If you’re one of those who have given up on yourself, this message is for you: special delivery from the Holy Ghost Himself.” – Bishop Charles E. Blake

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake drew inspiration from 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 for his sermon titled, “Solomon’s Wish.” In the scripture, God said to King Solomon, “Ask: what shall I give to you?” Solomon, honored that God had chosen him to succeed his father King David, asked for the wisdom to lead his people.

Said Bishop Blake, “My intention had been to commend Solomon’s request to God, but the more I prayed, the more I dug into it…I realized I would be making a mistake.

“Solomon made a mistake in what he asked for… His request was not a bad or an evil request; it was a good request. But my contention today is that it was not the best request that he could have made.”

To see this entire sermon, click here for West Angeles’ Gospel On Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“God has given us free will…God has given us the power to make choices; the power to choose.”

“What you really love, you set free.”

“You can’t make anybody love you.”

“If she says she doesn’t love you, brother, go on about your business; leave her alone. If he says, ‘Sister, stop calling me, I don’t love you,’ leave the man alone!”

“There’s somebody on this earth who will love you. If you waste your time looking at folk who don’t, you’ll never find the one that does.”

“Only those who are free not to love can really choose to love.”

“Stop blaming other folks for the choices you made. You made the choice. You made the decision. Deal with it.”

“It’s God’s nature to love and it’s God’s nature to give.”

“I know folks are turning you down and turning you away, but it’s God’s good pleasure to Bless you and to give you the Kingdom.”

“God loves us and wants to give good things to us.”

“Past failures, past sins, past disgraces, do not cancel the grace of God.”

“Don’t be discouraged that there’s darkness in your past. Don’t feel that there’s no hope for you…God loves you and God wants to Bless you.” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“No living, no doing, no being, without God.”

“God loves difficult cases, and you sure were a difficult case!”

“God does not give up, even on those who have given up on themselves.”

“Your wish is the single-most important factor in determining the nature of your life. Your wish is your master.”

“Everybody gets just one… one main wish, one real goal, one real purpose for your life.”

“No, it is not wrong to want to do your best at your profession. It’s not wrong to be excellent in your professional pursuits. That’s a good wish, but it’s not the best wish.”

“God is more important than anything He gives to us.”

“In pleasing his wives, Solomon displeased God.”

“The assigner is always more important than the assignment.”

“The good can be the enemy of the best.”

“Every wish that does not include God is a poor wish. And it is bound to fail.”

“When God asks us the question, we ought to say, ‘Lord, whatever You say the answer is. I want what You want’…That’s the answer.”

“Solomon made a good wish but there was a better wish…Solomon should have said, “I just want a relationship with You.”

“Lord, I just want to know You better every day!”

“Loving God is more important than serving God, because God is not looking for servants. God is looking for sons and daughters.”

“You are no longer a slave…you are a son, or a daughter. And if you are a son or a daughter, you are an heir through Christ Jesus.”

“God wants your love.”

“Don’t let the Lord find out that you love anything more than you love Him.”

“If you put God first, God will bless you…Put Him high on your priority list!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 2 Chronicles 1:7-12; Luke 12:15; Matthew 6:31; 2 Chronicles 1:3-10; Luke 12:32; Matthew 7:11; John 3:16; 1Corinthians 1:26-29; Proverbs 23:7; 1Samuel 16:7; Isaiah 48:22; Romans 6:23; Matthew 6:19; Acts 17:28; John 15:5 Psalm 147:5; I Corinthians 1:25; Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalms73:25, 42:2; Galatians 4:4; Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:28; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 27:8; Matthew 6:33, 36; Revelation 3:14-22.

WATCH the West Angeles Mass Choir perform, “Lord, Prepare Me To Be a Sanctuary”, with soloist Chaz Shepard, below: