As a prelude to Christmas, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. looks at the many ways in which God chooses those He blesses.
“We’re approaching Christmas, and we’re excited about all the wonderful things which are taking place here at West Angeles. I hope you’ll be involved in all of them,” said Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr., in regard to upcoming Holiday events including Christmas at the Cathedral. “But as we approach Christmas, I want to look at an aspect of the story of our Savior’s birth (in Luke 2). Of all the people who God might have invited, the only group He informed was a group of lowly shepherds, keeping watch over their flocks by night.
“Now, you might say, ‘What about the wise Men?’, said Bishop, “and I would agree with you to a degree, but the Wise Men were not chosen like the shepherds were chosen.”
In this sermon, Bishop Blake gives us several reasons which explain why God invited the shepherds to witness the arrival of Jesus Christ to the world, and reveals the ways in which we can get God to choose us too. “If God can choose shepherds, he can choose anyone: and God has chosen you”.
“Earth was about to receive a visitor from outer space. Never before had such a visit taken place…This was a visit from the Lord of the universe, to a remote solar system, in a single galaxy, on a single speck in the universe called the earth.”
“Over the centuries, divine proclamations, prophetic predictions, and the whole flow of earthly affairs all pointed to the moment when this visit would take place.”
“The significance of the moment cannot be overstated or over emphasized.”
“The time of His coming had long since been determined but the issue before the divine council was, ‘Who was to be told of the birth of the Christ child? Upon whom should we place the honor of being the first recipients of that wonderful news?’”
“This was a choice that people did not get to make. This was a choice that God Himself made. Some choices God reserves for Himself. Some choices people don’t get to make.”
“I’m glad that God doesn’t leave the important decisions about me up to people, because people can love you today and hate you tomorrow.”
“People have their own agendas. They have their own inner conflicts their own dilemmas. What they decide about you doesn’t always have anything to do with you.”
“I’m glad God chooses”– Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“The Bible lets me know what kind of God he is. He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, He’s wise, He’s Holy, He’s just, He’s unchanging, and He’s merciful and forgiving.”
“You might not agree, but God loves me!”
“Before the story started, God has already written the script of my life from the beginning to the ending. All I have to do now is play my role.”
“God will bring it to pass.”
“Romans 8:28 tells us how it turns out for folks that are chosen by God.”
“Your only memory of elementary school might be the memory of not being chosen to play on the team or to be involved in the activity…but if God chooses you, you win.”
“According to my reading in the Word of God, the only individuals who received a direct heavenly announcement about the birth of Jesus Christ…an invitation to come and worship Him was a group of shepherds.”
“Wise men always seek Jesus” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“’Pursue’ was the key word for the wise men. No mention is made of any heavenly vision that came to the wise men…but they were sensitive to the Divine, and they were hungry for God.”
“They were wise men, not according to the wisdom of the world, but according to true wisdom. Wise men always seek Jesus.”
“God had chosen the Jews to be the vehicles of his revelation. The Old Testament was given to the Jews; Jesus was sent to the Jews…but these wise men were not Jews.”
“The wise men had a sincere respect for the things of God, so they diligently pursued Biblical knowledge and wisdom, and studied the heavens and acted upon their discoveries. But the shepherds had a heavenly vision, a divine visitation.”
“It may not be your turn. It may not be your time, but if you seek God with all your heart, God can move you to the front of the line.”
“Child of God, hold on ‘til you get your blessing; hold on to your miracle. You might have to go out of your way, you might have to travel along distances, you might have to travel beyond yourself to get what God has in store for you. But if you press on, God will hear your prayer.’
“I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, and before I leave here today, I shall be filled.”
“If you don’t get an invitation to the Holy Ghost party, show up anyhow and get your miracle!” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“God said, ‘If I choose the rich folk, if I choose the highly educated folk, if I choose the folk that everybody expects me to choose, I won’t get the glory for what I do in their lives. They’ll get the glory.”
“It was not me, it was God who did the work!”
“God reaches for humble people.”
“God loves to go ‘outside the box’ to make His choices.”
“God was on a roll; He was in the groove, He had it going on!”
“Don’t let anybody make you feel bad because you don’t have what other folks have. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad because you don’t have a PhD or a Masters. Don’t let anybody make you feel bad because you’re not in their crowd. This might be the day that God has chosen to Bless your crowd!”
“Even if it’s not your day, prayer and faith can move you to the front of the line”
“God will not share His glory. God will not share His praise.”
“The more He does for you, the more you ought to praise Him.”
“God chose shepherds because He wanted everybody to know that they are important unto Him.”
“If everybody’s important to God, everybody ought to be important to you” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Men look on the outer appearance, but God looks on the heart! Hallelujah!”
“I know there’s a $500 suit on his back, I know there’s a $700 pair of shoes on his feet, a $100,000 car in his driveway…but don’t look at all that. You’d better look at the heart.”
“If you’re not careful, you might find somebody who’ll say, ‘Play Misty For Me.’ Uh huh.”
“Everything that looks good is not good.”
“There are too many people that want folk to give to them, rather than giving to folk. There are too many people that want people to serve them, rather than serving people. But it’s what you do for Christ that’s going to last.”
“God chose the shepherds because he knew what kind of people they were. He knew they would obey and go. He knew that they would testify and give Him praise.”
“If you want God to bless you, you’ve got to be willing to go when God says ‘Go!’”
“I don’t know about you, but wherever God is working, I want to be in on it.”
“If you don’t have time for Jesus, you don’t have time to be Blessed by Almighty God.”
“If God can choose shepherds, He can chose anyone” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
“Praise Him because He walked by a millionaire, a King, and a ‘high and mighty,’ and reached way down and got you!”
“I’m glad that the Lord saved me!”
“God loves for us to testify and tell men about Jesus.”
“Let’s lift Jesus up. He chose you to be a witness. He chose you to serve Him to do His will. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to tell everyone about my savior!”
“Stand up in this place and give God praise!”
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Luke 2:7-20, John 1:1-14, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:1-17, Romans 8:28, Numbers 24:17, Matthew 15:22-28, 1 Corinthians 1:26-28, 1 Samuel 16, Mark 16:15, Psalm 34:1-3, Psalm 100:2-4, Matthew 5:6.
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