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Bishop Darrell Hines: 4 Reasons Your Pastor Is a Gift

In anticipation of next week’s powerful  Revival with Bishop L. Darrell Hines, we’re sharing a word by Bishop Hines on the glory in God’s gift of the pastor to His people.

There are gifts throughout the body of Christ for the benefit of the church. Romans 12 speaks about the gifts which come as a result of faith, then in 1 Corinthians 12 you have the gifts which are exercised and come about as a result of the Spirit. All these gifts are for the benefit of the church…but gifts without government is chaos.

People don’t like to be governed anymore. We live in a self-absorbed society; people are only interested in doing what they want to do, without any oversight or direction. Some parents today even sit back and watch what sex a child decides to be! There was a time when America was paralleled, in its application in society, with the scriptures. There was a time when the pastor’s word was the word; but now you google the word. Now we have “cast off restraint,” and we reject the order of God.

THE GIFT OF GOD

We understand that God is a Holy God and He gave us Jesus Christ, His only Son. But that’s not the only gift God gave to man. According to Jeremiah 3:15-16, we have a very familiar passage of Scripture which says,

And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 “Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,” says the Lord, “that they will say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.

God was speaking to Jeremiah, telling him that after God’s people left captivity, they would be given pastors. Shepherds – pastors – are a gift from God to His people. And just as Paul had to bring order to the gifted in the church in 1 Corinthians, God gives us the pastor to impart instruction and insight; to tell us “That’s not the way that should be done,” and “Wait…you’re not ready for that.”

Many people don’t understand this – especially in the times we live in – but we need to recognize that pastors are gifts to us from God, God’s gift to man.

 

WHY THE PASTOR?
God has chosen the pastor because:

  1. He imparts instruction and insight. God is a God of government. In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. This gives us great insight into God’s ability. But what would it say about God that He could put the stars in the sky, but could not keep them there, or keep the earth on its axis? It’s important to know that one of the greatest abilities of God – even greater than His ability to create – is his ability to govern His creation. We are His body; His body also needs government. As the Scripture declares in Ephesians 4:9-12-

He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ

The pastor is different in this 5-fold ministry because he is stationary and must remain with his sheep. He has compassion; it is the pastor that God uses to bring government to the flock. On God’s governmental hand – the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, the pastor, the teacher – only one has the same title Jesus has, which is pastor.

  1. He ushers the presence of God into midst of His people. In the Book of Exodus, God tells Moses to take his shoes off, for he is standing on Holy ground. Then at Jericho – a different geographical location – God spoke through an angel to Joshua telling him to take his shoes off, because he is standing on Holy ground. God spoke the same thing in 2 different areas, so we know that it wasn’t the geographics! It was that God spoke at that place, which made it Holy. What makes West Angeles a great place is not that we have great praise and worship: great singing does not necessarily usher in the presence of the Lord. What ushers in the presence of God is His Word.  And when a true man of God declares the Word of God with power and authority, where God speaks His word, then the ground becomes Holy ground. This is the responsibility of the pastor.
  2. He replaces the Ark of the Covenant. Verse 16 of Jeremiah 3 (above) brings us an understanding of God’s purpose for the pastor:

“…they will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ And it will not come to mind, nor will they remember it, nor will they miss it, nor will it be made again.

To understand the significance of this passage, one must first understand the importance of the Ark to Israel. The children of Israel, their enemies, even the gods of their enemies, understood that the Ark represented the presence of God in the midst of His people. In 1 Samuel 4, Phineas and his brother went to battle against the Philistines, and took the Ark of the Covenant with them. The Philistines captured the Ark, and both Phineas and his brother were killed: but their father died when he found out that the Ark was missing – not that his sons were killed!  Phineaus’ wife was with child. When she found out that the Ark was gone, she went into labor; calling her son “Icabod” (meaning “God has left us”)! God has given us a gift, but that gift is not the Ark. We now live in a time when Pastors become the replacement of the Ark of knowledge.

  1. He can change your life. There is an anointing on the life of a pastor. God saw work for him to do and He anointed him to do it. Anointing is the ability on any man to accomplish the work, and there are benefits to God’s people as a result of that anointing.  When you have a real presence of God in your midst, blessings find you. The preacher is the only one with the ability through the word of God to change lives.  When they get through, you have been increased in knowledge. There are plagues which should have gotten to you or your children, but the man of God stood between you and that plague: the plague of divorce; the plague of mental illness, the plague of cancer. Pastors sacrifice and give their lives to their flocks, and have in their mouths the power and authority of deliverance for your children, salvation for your marriage, and healing for your body.

Romans 10:14-15 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!

There is some revelation that God is not going to give you except through the preacher; some measure of faith will not be established until the preacher preaches. You have got to realize that it’s the anointing of God on a man’s life that makes the difference.

LAST THINGS

Your pastor is a gift. The kingdom of God is at hand and we are God’s people. But we cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by ungodly things which speak against what God is doing.

The church, unfortunately in these last days has been tricked into bestowing less honor upon the men of God.  You may not know what God has given you but the devil knows what you have. The devil wants to kill the influence of the men and women of God. The devil is not God’s opposite because he is not God’s equal. He’s not omnipotent, and because he can’t be everywhere at the same time, he uses the influence of media – television, newspapers, the internet – because he wants to destroy the influence of Holy men.

It is the preaching of the gospel that will always make the difference in any society; it is the preaching of the gospel that brings salvation to a people. If you follow Jesus, you see that He opened blinded eyes, healed the sick, rose the dead, walked on water, fed 5000 with the lunch of one child.

After He had been in the wilderness for 40 days, Jesus spoke in the synagogue,

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound – Isaiah 61:1

I’m so glad He declared himself a preacher before anything else.

I’m glad I am a preacher of the gospel. I identify with Jesus; He has anointed me to preach the gospel. And I don’t know about you, but I am glad I have a preacher in my life! The word of God saved me out of sin, gave me faith to be healed, and gives me hope to my eternal destination. I thank God that He sent Jesus for the government of the world: but He also sent back pastors to bring government to the church. I thank God for doctors, lawyers, and engineers, but if every one of them left, leave me the preacher! The word in his mouth can heal the body, save a soul, change a family.

I came to encourage you to speak a word of life into your soul. We have a gift in Bishop Charles Edward Blake: a man of vision, a man of purpose, a man of prayer and pursuit of excellence in ministry. Thank God for my gift. Thank God for my man of God.

God’s gift is my pastor.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Jeremiah 3:15-16, Ephesians 4:9-12, Exodus 3:5, Joshua 5:15, 1 Samuel 4, Romans 10:14-15, Isaiah 61:1.

Adapted from the sermon, “God’s Gift to Man” by Bishop Darrell Hines; Men’s Day 2016 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. To see the entire sermon and 2016 Men’s Day Celebration, please click HERE for the Legacy Broadcast.
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PLEASE JOIN US FOR REVIVAL AT WEST ANGELES! Please join Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and Bishop Darrell Hines for Revival, May 24-26 2017 at 7 p.m. at the West Angeles North Campus, 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

Bishop Darrell Hines Revival at West Angeles COGIC.

Bishop Darrell L. Hines is a man of vision, purpose, prayer and a pursuant of excellence in ministry. His primary mission is to fulfill the call of God on his life by proclaiming God’s uncompromising Word. He is committed to bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people of every ethnicity, nation, and culture. His purpose: “To tell a dying world about a living Christ.” Bishop Hines, a Stellar Award-nominated singer/psalmist, has appeared on Christian programming such as CBN, The Word Network, TBN and This Is Your Day with Benny Hinn, courtesy of Christian Faith Fellowship Church where he is Pastor.  Bishop Darrell Hines has been married to Pastor Pamela Hines for 37 years.  They are the parents of 2 children and the grandparents of 3.

For more by Bishop Darrell L. Hines, please CLICK HERE.

Please Join Us For: “A Day In May with Mae!”

Ladies, it’s that time of year again!

Please join our First Lady Mae Lawrence Blake and The Women’s Affairs Organization for:

“A DAY IN MAY WITH MAE”

WHEN:  Saturday, May 13th

TIME: 10:00 AM

DONATION: $60

PLACE:  The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel

5400 West Century Boulevard

Los Angeles, CA 90045
Parking is $10, or $15 for valet service.
CONTACT:  Peaches Allen at 323/733-8300 X2382 for details.
…And for our attire color this year:
“Pretty in Pink”!

Bishop Blake: The Importance of Marriage

We’re starting a new series on marriage! In the first of our series, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares God’s vision of marriage, and the importance of marriage in building a strong community and a strong nation.

In the early days of the church, many false and heretical teachers arose. They taught false doctrines, among them the assertion that marriage was adverse to the life of the spirit, the work of the church, and the will of God. These heretics said that if you want to do the will and the work of God, and to have the power of the Spirit at work in your life, then don’t get married. Even today, there are many who would depreciate the importance and value of marriage.

The traditional wedding ceremony says that marriage is an honorable estate instituted of God. It was at the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed the first of His miracles. Marriage is not to be entered into lightly, but reverently; discreetly, advisedly, soberly and in the fear of God.

IN THE BEGINNING

23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh – Genesis 2:23-24

Out of the ground, God formed Adam, and every beast of the field, but nothing in creation was sufficient for Adam, except for Eve.

God could have brought woman into existence out of nothing, or He could have formed her from any substance that already existed on the face of the earth. But in taking woman out of man, God implied that woman is a part of man. Woman was made out of man that man could esteem her and seek her welfare. Woman was given as man’s helper, to assist him in the challenges he would face:

Men have sight; women have insight.

Men have an understanding of the head; women have an understanding of the heart.

Where men fear, women enter freely.

Men supply structure; women provide adornment.

Men supply force; women supply the conscience.

Men provide nourishment; women make it good to the taste.

Men think in great generalities; women deal with minute details.

When men struggle to progress and to excel; women provide the encouragement they need.

GOD’S VISION FOR MARRIAGE

God devised and ordained marriage as a loving, lifelong, committed relationship between a man and a woman. Anatomically, men and women are made for each other. Their bodies are not the same, but comparable. One fulfills and completes the other. Male and female bodies join together to constitute the reproductive unit, and that unit continues to be needed even after the birth of the children, for their protection, nurture and training. The parental unit models life for them.

Marriage not only involves two individuals, but also their families. When families are brought together, meaning two individuals backed by two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents, marry for life and bear children only within those marriages, all kinds of strengths begin to develop. They provide a heritage and legacy of wisdom for their children, wealth begins to accumulate, and the likelihood of economic well-being and generational wealth skyrockets.

It is undeniable and indisputable that human progress would have been radically hindered and retarded if God had not instituted marriage. The Biblical pattern of loving husbands and wives reverencing God, living faithfully together, loving, guiding, and protecting their children together, can constitute a basic building block for a renewed and transformed society. The integrity of the family is essential for economic well-being. Multiple families and divorce are among the factors which can devastate any wealth that a couple has accumulated. There’s no way a man can do as much for two or three families as he can for one family. Our society will never get it together until we get the family together, and we’ll never get the family together until we get our behavior together and make a renewed commitment to the institution of marriage.

LOVE, AS CHRIST LOVES US

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself – Ephesians 5:25-28  

Marriage signifies unto us the mystical union between Christ and His church. And a husband and wife ought to love one another the same way Christ loved the church. They must commit to one another for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, until death do they part. Marriage requires both the husband and the wife to submit to one another and pledge their faithfulness unto one another, so that they may live successfully, gracefully, and peacefully. Mutual love, faith in God, and commitment to Jesus Christ, is the key area of compatibility in your marriage.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 2, Genesis 2:7-24, Hebrews 13:4 Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 5:25-28, 1 Peter 5:5.

Adapted from the sermons, “Invite Jesus to Your Wedding and Into Your Marriage,” “The Importance of Marriage,” and “A Believer’s Agenda,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ. Hear the sermons in their entirety HERE, on The Legacy Broadcast.

The Importance of Marriage: Bishop Blake says, “Invite Jesus to your Wedding” – at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.

WANT MORE ON MARRIAGE?  CLICK HERE to read PART II of our series: LADY MAE AND THE POWER OF PRAYER:

Bishop Blake: Your Power, Your Authority

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. reminds us to use the badge of power, authority, and strength found only through Jesus Christ.

 “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do…If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” –  John 14:13-14

There are some who try to impersonate officers of the law. They will paint their cars as close to that of a police officer as they can, putting on some kind of phony uniform, trying to act like they are an officer of the law. But listen…trying to act like an officer does not make you a policeman  A true deputy is a person appointed as substitute. He is someone who has the power to act.

It is an impressive thing when you read the scriptures that imply that we are deputies of God and of his son Jesus Christ. All these privileges, powers and rights are conferred upon believer,  and you cannot confer authority upon others unless you have established authority within yourself.

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” – Luke 10:19 (KJV)

Who gives us our power? What gives us our authority? Our authority comes from:

  1. God. Jesus Christ gives us our badges. Our badges imply that we are empowered and authorized to act on His behalf. Don’t try to walk the earth on your own authority. People and devils will not respond to us. But when we go forth in the name and the power of Jesus Christ, we can change our situation.
  2. The Word. The power of your authority is in the Word of God; the Word is power! If you stand on the word, the devil has got to back up and step aside in the name of Jesus!
  3.  Prayer. Prayer is the key to the kingdom, and faith unlocks the door. Sometimes our answer is detained; sometimes the miracle we want does not happen right away. He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be right on time. Hold on to your faith. Hold on to your badge.

    Your Power, Your Authority: Bishop Blake praises the Lord.

Is there anybody who needs to change their situation? Is there anybody who knows that God can change things? If you’re a saved person, you’ve got authority. You are an agent of the Kingdom. You are somebody. Don’t live beneath your privilege. Don’t let problems discourage you. Use your badge!

Holy Ghost power is what we need in this day and time; the Holy Ghost is our back-up! Raise your hands and say,

“Father, I stretch my hand to thee; no other help I know. Lord, I need your power! I need your might! I need your anointing!” 

You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. If you use your badge, God will show up in your life. You are an agent of the Kingdom!

Hallelujah!

Adapted from the sermon titled, “Use Your Badge,” at West Angeles Church of God In Christ.This entire sermon and more is available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand

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SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 14:12-14, 16:15; Luke 9:1, Mark 16:15-17, Matthew 10:1-7; Luke 10:19, Matthew 16:19, 18:20, 10:40; Ephesians 6:16, Exodus 12:23, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Revelations 1:5, Matthew 6:31, Acts 19:13, Luke 9:23, John 13:34, Judges 16, Daniel 10, Hebrews 14:12, Matthew 22:29, Ephesians 3:20, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:31, Acts 4:13-31, Jeremiah 33:3, Daniel 3:19-26, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 34:7, Isaiah 40:31.

 

Hear the West Angeles Youth and Young Adult Choir sing,” We need your power”, featuring Darius Maxey. At WEST ANGELES CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST.

Bishop Blake: Motivation in Tough Times

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. 39He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” – Matthew 26:38

At the time of His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus’ agony and sorrow became more and more intense in His heart. He had just finished the Passover Supper with the disciples, and He was aware that this was the last meal that they would share together before His crucifixion. In the scripture above, in essence, Jesus prayed, “Father if you can find any other way to redeem men, then do not make me go through this. I don’t want to do this: but if you want me to…I’ll die on a cross for the world.

“It’s not what I want: it’s what You want.”

There are many times in the life of the believer where what he has to do as a believer is not what he wants to do as a person. However, when you have to do what you don’t want to do:

  1. Be honest with God. When we’re honest with God, God has a way of showing up and giving us the help that we need.
  2. Enhance your spiritual desires. The best way to overcome one desire is with a stronger desire.
  3. Pray. Prayer is spiritual therapy. Pray until you feel the power and the presence of Almighty God; pray until the Holy Ghost shows up and takes over the prayer. When God shows up, He gives you power and strength, and every problem is resolved. “Praying through” will help you to go through!
  4. Find the joy in what you have to do. God’s presence can bring you joy. When you know you’re pleasing God; when you know that God will bring you through: even though it might be painful or unpleasant, joy begins to come into your heart, and you’re able to say, “Hallelujah, anyhow!”
  5. You’ll be better than when you started. Job looked at his situation and said, “God knows the way that I take, and when He’s tried me, I shall come forth shining like gold.” Your blessing is in doing what you don’t want to do. God will bless you if you obey Him.

JESUS: OUR EXAMPLE, OUR MESSIAH

If you’re going through something tough, God may be getting you ready for something that’s more than you ever imagined you would do. Every trial takes us higher; every challenge takes us higher.

Jesus had to do what He did not want to do. He did not want to have nails driven into His hands and feet. He did not want to be pierced in His side. But because of God’s love for the world, Jesus died so that we might have life. This is the mortar that holds all the other factors together and thank God Jesus loved us!

After Jesus was buried, God raised Him up again, and exalted Him above all men. If God could raise Jesus up, there’s nothing He cannot do.

When you have to do what you don’t want to do, remember Jesus.

Adapted from the sermon, “When You Have To Do What You Don’t Want To Do,” by Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, 4/9/2017. To hear this entire sermon and more, please CLICK HERE for the West Angeles Legacy Broadcast.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Hebrews 9:22, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23, 33, 8:28; Matthew 16:24, Jude 20, Proverbs 21:15, 16:9, Psalm 16:11, Job 23:1, Philippians 2:5.

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NEED MORE INSPIRATION? Come home to West Angeles! Join us each Sunday at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Cathedral, 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

(Featured photo, courtesy, Wiki Commons).

Give to the West Angeles Sponsorship Fund

ATTENTION, WEST ANGELES FAMILY: IT’S TIME TO GIVE!

 

April is West Angeles Sponsorship Month!  – We all know how challenging it can be to meet rising college expenses. To be a blessing to the West Angeles scholars who have qualified for a sponsorship, please give to the West Angeles Sponsorship Fund Organization (WASFO).

Last year, you gave over $83,000 to help deserving students achieve a quality education. Please feel free to mail your donations to the address below, or to pay online now, please click the image below. You can also use the yellow envelopes provided in the pews during our annual fundraising drive; however, tax-deductible donations are accepted on a continuous basis.

To give to the Sponsorship Fund, please make checks payable to:

WEST ANGELES CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST (in the memo area, please write “WASFO”).

Our West Angeles Church of God In Christ address is:

3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Education and EnrichmentDeacon John Wilson, (323) 733-8300 x2628, or Le’Nese Burks, x2629 for further details.

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CLICK HERE TO GIVE!

The West Angeles Sponsorship Fund Organization (WASFO) was created to assist in furthering the development of our high school graduates and current college students, by way of providing sponsorship for their college education. Since its creation, WASFO has distributed over 200 scholarships to qualified applicants who are active members of West Angeles Church. Our youth and young adults are some of the brightest in the country and for this reason we want to help them succeed in their pursuit of higher learning, as we help to alleviate some of their financial pressures.

Visit WESTA.ORG for timely information and articles from our Office of Education and Enrichment.  For more information on financial aid, application deadlines and more, please click HERE to read more.

World Missions Spreads the Gospel Worldwide

 

 

 

The World Missions Organization is spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide.

West Angeles’ and COGIC World Missions make an impact around the world.

Each year, the World Missions Organization travels to various parts of the world, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and doing God’s work. We would love for you to join us!

We’ve ministered in countries such as:

  • Brazil
  • Panama
  • India
  • Haiti
  • Israel
  • And various countries on the continent of Africa

Today there are more than 6,000 unreached groups in the world. These are peoples among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with the adequate resources to evangelize within the group.

The World Missions Organization has two goals:

  1. To deliver the message of the gospel in the appropriate way; providing the members of that group historic access to the Good News.
  2. To invest in resources and leadership training strategies which empower indigenous leaders with the ability to reach their own people.

Find out more by calling the number below. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to change the lives of others around the world. Call Deacon Jon Randall, Chairman, at 323-733-8300 ext. 2760.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO GIVE TODAY:

 

JOIN US ON OUR NEXT MISSIONS TRIP TO ISRAEL! Please CLICK HERE to learn more.

SERMON: Bishop Blake says, “Encourage Yourself”

1 Samuel 30:6 (NKJV) – Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. took inspiration from the magnificent life of King David, and his power to overcome in 1 Samuel 30 in his sermon titled, “Encourage Yourself.” In the scripture, David’s town had been burned and his family and possessions taken away by his enemies, but he strengthened himself, praying to God for guidance.

“He was the least likely son, in the least likely family, from the least likely tribe in all of the kingdom,” said Bishop Blake. “Yet God commanded His prophet Samuel to anoint David as the future King of the Jews.

“The devil will tell you what is not going to happen, and what can’t happen. But God lets us know that all things are possible.”

Please CLICK HERE to see this sermon in its entirety at West Angeles’ Gospel-On-Demand. Highlights from the sermon follow:

“The life of David is one of the most spectacular adventure stories ever recorded in the annals of history.”

“David ascended from the care of his father’s flock to the rulership of the flock of almighty God – Israel and Judah.”

“There are many elders who dislike young people just because they’re young…So many young people have no use for their elders and think that they know more than their elders do.”

“David was aware that promotion comes neither from the east or the west, or from the north or the south. It’s God that takes down one, and puts up another.”

“Those who take things into their own hands soon find out how weak their hands really are.”

“Put yourself in God’s hands and you’ll find no better place to be in all of the universe.”

“The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord…He had lost everything: he had lost his wives. He had lost the loyalty and support of his men. But when folk let you down, you can still turn to God” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“David had to be discouraged. He had to be sick at heart. David had to be depressed but these are feelings that are common in our day.”

“There are very few people who are genuinely happy in the world today.”

“Men today respond in many different ways when they’re faced with trouble. Some people resign themselves to trouble…Some people blame other people for their distress.”

“When everything is going wrong, when everything is too hard to handle, too much to deal with, don’t just sit there in your predicament. Have a talk with Jesus!”

“Each of us has a battle with ourselves.”

“How many of you know that you would not have made it this far without the goodness of the Lord? How many of you know that you would not be here if God had not taken care of you?”

“Our God is a God of power. Our God is a God of might.”

“David reminded himself, ‘My God is a mighty God, and if He is a mighty God, there’s nothing He cannot do, nothing that He cannot overcome, nothing that he cannot deal with.'”

“You need to remind yourself that your God is not a weak God, your God is a mighty God. Taught the wind to blow. Taught the birds to fly. Come on, say, ‘Our God is a mighty God!’”

“As long as God has something for me to do, I can’t die until I get it done…As long as God has a purpose for my life, I’m going to live on.”

“Child of God, when you’re feeling low, just remember that God is in your life. He’s a mighty God. He’s a wise God. He’s a loving God. He cares about you.”

“The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord…He had lost everything. He had lost his wives. He had lost the loyalty and support of his men. But when folk let you down, you can still turn to God.”

“The Lord will not let you down. He’ll be with you through thick and through thin.”

“You might have lost your relationship with God. You might have lost your fellowship with God. But God did not leave you.”

“There are things that we as believers ought to make up our minds that we don’t want to lose.”

“If you’ve lost anything, there’s a determination on God’s heart to restore that unto you. Halleluiah!”

“Don’t let good things slip away.”

“Spiritual health and vitality can be lost if it’s not nourished by prayer.”

“We can lose our fervor and become lukewarm if we don’t stay in love and in contact with Almighty God.”

“If you wake up in the morning with your mind… on Jesus, you can make it throughout the day, and He’ll stand guard over your mind and over your mind.”

“Take back your determination. Stop letting the devil push you around!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“The devil and the Holy Ghost cannot coexist in the same space. When the Holy Ghost shows up, the devil has got to go!”

“Whatever the Lord says is Yes, and Amen! I’ll say yes to Him, because He keeps on saying yes to me.’”

“You can still catch them; you can still overtake them. They may have a head start, but don’t you give up! Don’t you wave the white flag. Run after them! Pursue them! Halleluiah!”

“Child of God, you may have said, ‘It’s useless. It’s hopeless. I’m too old. It’s too late.’ But you’ve got to make up your mind that it’s never too late as long as God is involved.”

“There’s not a devil in Hell that can run fast enough to outrun God.”

“Overtake; walk in, in the name of Jesus!”

“Pursue! Overtake! You shall recover all!”

“Whatever it is, God can turn it around! It’s turn-around time!”

“God is going to give you more than you ever had before! Tell two people, ‘God is going to give you double for your trouble!’”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: 1 Samuel 30; Matthew 18:11; Luke 15:4-8, 11; Hebrews 2:1; Philippians 4:4-8; Jude 20; Psalm 46:1; Luke 10:19; 2 Timothy 1:7, Isaiah 40:31; Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:20; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 30:5

Elder William Hampton: God’s Purpose for Our Thoughts

Elder William Hampton explores God’s power and purpose of our thoughts in the second of a 3-part series on the Elders’ Corner.

The World Book Dictionary defines a thought as “the power or process of thinking.” It is a mental activity; the characteristic thinking of a particular person, group, time and/or place.

The average human brain contains around 100 billion cells. The cells can live for an entire lifetime, frequently making them the oldest living cells in the human body. The brain weighs about three pounds, and continues to grow from conception until around 18 years of age.

The left side of the human brain has considerably more neurons than the right side, and the forebrain, which controls intellectual function, is far larger in humans than in other animal species.

The thoughts of the human brain are powered by neurotransmitters, which in turn are powered by copious quantities of blood flowing through the brain every minute.

According to scientific research, it is said that we have approximately 48.6 thoughts per minute which translates into 2,916 thoughts per hour and 69,984 thoughts throughout the day. We are literally thinking the entire day.

Even as we sleep, our brains continue to process thoughts. A different set of neurotransmitters controls our thoughts while we sleep, which is why our dreams can seem so different from our waking thoughts.

 

KNOWING OUR THOUGHTS: 7 QUESTIONS ANSWERED 

As we can see, our brain processes a lot of thoughts. We have good thoughts and bad thoughts, and out of them come the decisions of life. How can thoughts affect our lives? Who, or what, determines our thoughts? And does God know our thoughts?

Here are 7 questions to ask in understanding God’s purpose for our thoughts:

  1. Does God know our thoughts? In 1 Chronicles 28:9, David gives advice to his son because he has experienced first-hand the power of God. David’s thoughts at times were not pure; therefore, they led him into various sins. He’s telling Solomon not to do as he did because God knows his thoughts. In Isaiah 66:18, God tells the prophet that He knows the thoughts of the people, and the ones with pure hearts and thoughts will be taken as priests and Levites. Other scriptures about thoughts include, Psalm 94:11-“The Lord knows the thoughts of man that they are futile/vanity.” Matthew 9:4-“But Jesus knowing their thoughts said ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’” From these and many other scriptures, we can infer that our thought patterns are known by God.
  2. Who should determine our thoughts? Amos 4:13-“For behold He who forms mountains, and creates the wind. Who declares to man what his thought is and makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth…The Lord of hosts is His name.” Amos is saying, “Let God determine your thought pattern.” God is the Sustainer and Creator of everything. If He can form the mountains and wind, He can definitely form our thoughts.
  3. How can we develop our thoughts? Proverbs 16:3-“Commit thy works to the Lord and your thoughts will be established.” If we turn over to the Lord what we plan to do, our life’s purpose will come to fruition. As the song says, “Turn it over to Jesus, and you can smile the rest of your day.” Saints of God, please give your lives over to JESUS!
  4. What are God’s thoughts? Psalm 92:5 says, “O Lord, how great are your works, Your thoughts are very deep” We cannot even begin to fathom the deep thoughts of God. God’s thoughts are beyond our conception; beyond our expression. His thoughts are the products of great power and wisdom, of great consequence and importance! Our works are nothing to Him. Isaiah 55:8-“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways  higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”  We cannot comprehend the greatness of God’s works. We can only reverently and gracefully wonder at them, and even stand dumbfounded at the magnificence of them. Our works are small and our thoughts are shallow; but God’s thoughts and works are great and cannot be measured or comprehended.
  5. Now that we know God’s thoughts, what about man’s? Isaiah 59:7 – “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity…” This is the thought of man. Romans 1:21 – “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Some of us know people in this state: but again, these are the thoughts of man.
  6. How can thoughts affect our lives?
    When inner desires respond to outward enticement, sin is spawned. In James 1:14-15, James does not mention Satan’s role in temptation. His purpose is not to discuss the origin of sin, but to explain that enticement to evil is not from God. In stressing the inward nature of temptation, James leaves sinners no excuse. Satan is indeed the external source of temptation, but no one can blame him for the roots of sinful deeds. Sin starts with a thought which becomes a very prevalent mindset. This leads us to trouble; then, our thoughts can become uncontrollable. Negative thoughts can begin to take root deep within our being, and those thoughts are fulfilled when the desire is satisfied. This is what is known as a spiritual death: but thoughts can also lead to physical death. For example: ingesting a foreign substance into your system, making the decision flee from the police, or sharing intimate relations with someone and contracting a deadly disease can all lead to demonic transfer or a tragic ending. This is why God tells us in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Paul is telling us to exercise our minds. If we keep the mind of Christ, we can simply stay out of trouble.
  7. How do we keep our minds focused on good thoughts in life? All of us can testify that we thought of something bad – or good – and it actually happened. We, as saints, must understand one thing: every time we sin, we become more bound by that particular sin. That is how sin can become a part of us and we are unaware of its presence. Our bad thoughts are the same.  They can become a part of our thought process, and can begin to lead and to guide our lives until we get pleasure from thinking them. We feed off of them as if they were a narcotic substance in our bodies, then, when God saves us, we think everything will be alright. What God will do is begin to bring months, years and even decades of wrong thoughts to our remembrance, and allow us to see them for what they really are. Acknowledging that we have these negative thoughts, however, can be difficult.

The bible says in Proverbs 23:7 “ For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Saints of God, your thoughts are the gateway, portal and doorkeeper to your heart. When we allow thoughts to fester in our minds, they become embedded within our spirits.

This is why God has given us the provision to think upon His goodness. We must learn the art of “letting go and letting God.” Please keep your mind as pure as possible, and watch your life drastically change for the better.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – 1 Chronicles 28:9, Isaiah 66:18, Psalm 94:11, Matthew 9:4, Amos 4:13, Proverbs 16:3, Psalm 92:5, Isaiah 55:8, Isaiah 59:7, Romans 1:21, James 1:14-15, Philippians 2:5, Proverbs 23:7.

Elder F. William Hampton is a long-time member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Born in Houston, Texas, he received his High School Diploma from Hinds Agricultural High School,  his Associates of Arts Degree from Utica Junior College, his BA from Texas Southern University and his MFA from Loyola Marymount University. Elder Hampton joined West Angeles Church in 1985 and was ordained as an Elder in June of 2008.  He has worked with the West Angeles Sunday School and Youth Ministries, and is currently a member of the Web Team.  

Fast, Pray, Be Filled: 2017 Pilgrimage to Pentecost

Acts 2:4 (KJV) – And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What is the Pilgrimage to Pentecost? This “50 Days of Prayer” was established by our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. in order to empower the saints of the Church Of God In Christ to fervently seek the Power of God in a 50-day period of consecration and sanctification, from Easter (or “Resurrection Sunday”), through the Day of Pentecost.

The purpose of this consecration is for the Church Of God In Christ to petition God for continuance of the Pentecostal revival and outpouring. The aim is for all of the saints, in this changing world, to hold onto our unchanging faith; and as always, to fight for salvation and righteousness in a violent and immoral world.

What is every member of the Church Of God In Christ requested to do?  For the next 50 days, we are asked by our Presiding Bishop to take 11 minutes out of our daily prayer time to focus on the prayer requests provided in the prayer guide.

 

The dates for the 2017 Pilgrimage are:

SUNDAY, APRIL 16 – SUNDAY, JUNE 4, 2017

It is our hope and prayer that:

(1) every member of the Church Of God In Christ who has not been filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit would be filled, according to Acts 2:4; and that

(2) every believer who is already filled would receive a “refilling” of the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 4:31 and Ephesians 5:18.

We pray that this event impacts your life, and that praying for empowerment in the Spirit becomes a lifetime endeavor.

 

 

Please CLICK HERE to download your free prayer guide (PDF).

 

 

 

 

 

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