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Bishop Blake: Pray, and Be Holy

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. teaches us to follow the example of Jesus Christ…and pray.

Prayer was one of the central activities of the life of Jesus Christ. It was the one thing that Jesus never forgot to do. Whether He’d find himself in the midst of victory or in the midst of trials, Jesus always prayed. The idea of the Son of God praying has given rise to questions in the minds of many individuals. But the fact that He is the Son of God qualifies Him above all others to pray and converse with the Father.

Prayer was central in the life of Jesus Christ. Before all the crises of His life, He prayed:

  • He prayed before He embarked upon the Galilean ministry.
  • He prayed as He started to choose His disciples.
  • He prayed before the Sermon on the Mount.
  • He prayed before the Transfiguration.
  • He prayed before He taught the disciples the Prayer of the Ages.
  • And He prayed before the ordeal of his trial and His crucifixion.

But as often as Jesus prayed, He was never the central of focus of his prayers. His prayers were usually concerned with entreating God’s help or aid for someone else; for some person in need, or to prepare Himself to minister to the needs of the people.

So if Jesus had to pray, how much more do we have to pray?

Righteousness: Your Key to Survival

It is God’s will that we live free from sin for His glory. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world; you are the salt of the earth.” He knew that Holiness was essential for our salvation. “Be ye holy for I the lord your God am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). You are God’s example of what His grace can do.

Sanctification is our only evidence of the power of the Gospel. Men are seeking a way out of sin, but they will never hear us or receive our message if we are bound by the same sins they are bound by. They’ll never hear our testimony if we’re doing the same wrong things that they are doing. And if Jesus Christ has made no change in our lives, why should men expect that He’ll make a change in their lives? If you love the Lord, then your life ought to show it; your behavior ought to illustrate it.

Pray, and Be Holy

Our mighty God said, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” So, if you’re wise, you’ll pray to the Lord:

Lord, help me; keep me. Help me to do your will. Lord not my will but Thy will be done. Not my way but, Lord, help me to walk in Your way. I want to serve you, I want to bring glory to your name. I want to live for you.

Jesus prayed that you’d be sanctified, and that you would walk in holiness before the Lord. If you want God’s power, pray, and God will bring you out. Pray, and God will bring you over. Pray, and God will bring you through, and God, the Son, the Holy Ghost, and all the angels will show up to help you make it, and to help you to live for Him. You can live Holy by the power of God.

God can keep you! He is able!

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – John 17:1-17:26, Hebrews 12:14,  Matthew 17, Matthew 5-7, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Proverbs 3:5-6.

Adapted from the sermon, “Christ’s Prayer for the Preservation of His Followers”. Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.; August 3, 2014, at West Angeles Cathedral.  

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JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed. Please CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.

PRESIDING BISHOP CHARLES EDWARD BLAKE, SR. has announced the theme for 2016 for The Church of God In Christ:

“Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World.” 1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold of eternal life.

Please join us as we pray for peace, and for the manifestation of the Kingdom of God.

 

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Evangelist Joyce Rodgers Declares ‘2016 is a New Morning’

COGIC’s International Youth Department leader Evangelist Joyce Rodgers delivered a powerful, prophetic Word to the West Angeles Church of God In Christ congregation at the New Year’s Eve Watch Night Celebration on December 31, 2015.

Watch Night Service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ ushered in 2016 with the cathedral filled to the rafters and pulsating with praise, worship, and song. After opening remarks from Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., an encore performance by the Chosen Vessels Dance Ministry, and several rousing selections by the West Angeles Mass Choir, visiting Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers began to deliver a prophetic Word of God to the congregation in song.

“I can’t sing,” Evangelist Rodgers said humbly, “but we’re going to work it out. The words of this song are part of what we’re going to talk about.”

She then proceeded, in a booming voice which was at once a cross between Candi Staton and Mavis Staples, to belt out chords of Pastor Andrae Crouch’s “Through It All.”

I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
How could I tell you, ‘God can solve them’?
I’d never know what faith in God could do.

Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God;
Through it all, through it all,
I have learned to trust upon His Word.

“The words of the song say, ‘I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions for tomorrow…but through it all I’ve learned to trust in God,’” said Evangelist Rodgers. “Let me just take a poll in this room: how any of you have had tears and sorrows? Questions about tomorrow? And learned to trust in God?

“Mass shootings, spiritual terror attacks, natural disasters come upon the people of God. Many of us have shed tears over what we have seen the enemy do to our loved ones, but weeping time is almost over! Weeping may endure for a night – even Jesus had to weep – but instead of weeping, God is about to release your blessings!”

To see West Angeles Church of God In Christ’s 2015 Watch Night service in its entirety, CLICK HERE for West Angeles Video on Demand. Highlights from the evening follow:

“2016 is a year that we can declare and decree as ‘A New Morning.’ 2016 is a new morning. It’s a new beginning. How many of you need that new beginning?”

“You can always tell when something new is about to happen. There is a war in the element. When the hot air doesn’t want to give way to the cold air, you see a lot of rain.”

“The enemy knows that his time is about to play out.”

“Something different is about to take place…that has never occurred before in your life.”

“This year will represent a brand new morning for you and your household. It will represent new blessings, new favor, new breakthrough, new joy, new peace, new understanding, new creativity and innovative ideas…I need you to expect a new morning; expect miracles to come from the Lord!”

“I see your season escalating! God is about to break open the heavens, and He’s about to release a legion of Angels that are going to come and hover over you!”

“There’s a new frame of revival that is moving throughout the earth…God is about to shake up the earth!”

“Look at somebody and say, ‘Wake up from your slumbering…this is your year of a New Morning!’”

“Is there anybody here who’s been shedding some tears? Weeping may endure for a night, but this is your year of a New Morning!”

“I smell the coffee brewing: God is up to something!”

“Wake up from your slumbering…this is your year of a New Morning!” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“Just put your hand on yourself and say, ‘Blessings are coming my way!’”

“The next time that tear comes to your sphere, it’s coming as victory, dominion, and power, because the Word of God says, ‘God shall wipe away all your tears.’”

“’Endure!’ That means ‘remain in existence.’”

“”I want to drop in this house, ‘This is your year of delivery and recovery. God is about to give you back everything that the enemy stole from you; Big Mamma, Ma’ Dear, all of you!”

“God is not going to give you back 30, not 60, nor 100-fold, but He said ‘I’m going to give you back seven times greater’ – so everything you’ve lost is about to be returned unrecognizable.”

“This is the year of the morning. Just look at somebody and say, ‘This is my year!’”

“Psalm 30…deals with prosperity and adversity. Like one of my favorite songs…which says, ‘You can’t have one without the other!’”

“When you are prosperous in your way, your adversary is standing ready”

“He let me know my trials come to make me strong” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“It doesn’t matter what the enemy does to you. He cannot get to you without God’s permission.”

“Do I have any people who will say, ‘It doesn’t matter what I am going through and I may have a right to complain, but I am self-sufficient in Christ Jesus?’”

“Somebody scream, ‘Good morning!’”

“In our religion, we teach people that you are to praise Him on the mountain top, but there will be days that you will be operating in the valley.”

“The thing that I like about God? He’s not a church God, but He is the God of the universe.”

“On those days when I can’t make it up there, He lets me praise Him down here. On those days I can’t raise my head, He lets me praise him with my eyes…There are times when you praise Him where you are.”

“No matter what the situation, be thankful and give God praise…We are to praise Him at all times.”

“In the new morning, there is lifetime favor. In the morning time, you wake up with new strength” – Evangelist Joyce L. Rodgers

“If it had not been for the Lord who was on my side, I wouldn’t have made it.”

“They were waiting for me to stumble and fall throw in the towel, but I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m better than I’ve ever been in my life, and God is with me!”

“In the new morning, there is lifetime favor. In the morning time, you wake up with new strength. Look at somebody and say, ‘Wake up!’”

“You can’t have my children! You can’t have my family! You can’t have my breakthrough! You can’t, you can’t, you can’t!”

“This is your year to take back everything the devil has stolen from you. Whatever has happened, God is still with you!”

“It doesn’t matter what you’ve been though…it’s time for you to rejoice!”

“The worst is over! You can make it!”

“Good morning, East Coast! Good morning, Atlanta! Good morning, West Coast! This is your year to give God praise! Somebody scream!”

“It’s morning!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Psalm 30:5, Isaiah 42:9, Psalm 56, Revelation 21:4, Isaiah 59:19, 54:17; Philippians 4:11, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 121:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 23:4-5, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 124, Psalm 40:1, Psalm 5

Evangelist Joyce Rodgers is the founder and CEO of Primary Purpose Ministries, Inc., and serves COGIC on the international level, leading the Youth Department of the Church of God In Christ. The widely respected evangelist and speaker is also author of the book Fatal Distractions, which uncovers the roadblocks which can keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Born and raised in Gladewater, Texas, Evangelist Rodgers is a third generation daughter of the Church Of God In Christ. She is widely recognized as an unusually gifted communicator of the deep truths of God’s Word, which she blends with precision, humor and God’s anointing.

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JANUARY IS CONSECRATION MONTH AT WEST ANGELES! Join us as we purify ourselves for the Lord, and pray for our world to be Blessed.  CLICK HERE for your copy of the January Consecration and Prayer Calendar, where you’ll find daily prayers, eating instructions, and fasting guidelines.

Follow Evangelist Joyce Rodgers on Twitter! https://twitter.com/msjoycelrodgers

Hear Pastor Andrae Crouch sing “Through It All” below:

 

“Through It All”, by Pastor Andrae Crouch. Songwriters: BROWN, GARY VICTOR / HARVEY, STEVE. Publisher: Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group.

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SERMON: When Faith Becomes Frustrated

For the last Sunday Sermon for 2015 at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, visiting Pastor Joseph A. Connor asks us to keep praising God through our frustrations.

Pastor Joseph A. Connor used the story of Jesus’ visit with Mary and Martha in Luke 10 as the basis of his sermon titled, When Faith Becomes Frustrated. 

“The apostle Paul said, ‘I want to know Him,’” said Pastor Connor before the Sunday evening sermon, “and that’s what our objective should be: to know God beyond the limit. The end of the year should be a time to look back and see what God has done, to see how far God has brought us from. And hasn’t God brought us from a mighty long way?”  

Added Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., “Martha’s faith was frustrated, but she said to Mary, ‘Jesus is talking. That’s more important than anything on the face of the earth…and He might not be here tomorrow.  I just want to worship Him and praise Him.’”

“Praise Jesus for who He is,” said Bishop. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve come here to praise Him!  I want God to move in my life; I want to know  Him beyond the limit! Take the limit off God. My God can do anything but fail!”

This entire sermon and many others are available HERE, on West Angeles Gospel On Demand.  Highlights from the sermon follow:

“No matter how much we love Jesus, or how sincere we are in our service to others, there are times – if we’re honest – when our faith becomes frustrated.”

“It has been said that everybody needs a friend.”

“Could any of us truly have gone through what Jesus went through?”

“Life in the spotlight…can be a lonely road. Living under the constant scrutiny of the public is a demanding and sometimes demeaning lifestyle.”

“We need companions with whom we can be ourselves…friends who have no hidden agenda.”

“Even Jesus needed human friends: and so do the rest of us” – Pastor Joseph A. Connor

“Most of us don’t have real friends. We have friendly enemies.”

“A friend loveth at all times. A friend can disagree without being disagreeable.”

“Even Jesus needed human friends, and so do the rest of us.”

“It’s nice to be with somebody with whom you can be yourself.”

“Whatever we as God’s children do, we should do it with pride and with style.”

“Whether pushing a broom or serving a table: whatever we do represents not only us, but the God who made us.”

“The God I serve is first class!”

“Whatever we do, others should be aware that they are in the presence of one of God’s redeemed children.”

“Some of the biggest arguments in the church occur around the kitchen!”

“A friend can disagree without being disagreeable” – Pastor Joseph A. Connor

“All of us at times become frustrated in our service.”

“Frustrated faith is faith that is out of character – and all of us can act out of character at times.”

“When faith becomes frustrated, we lose the joy of serving and and even living for God.”

“I have a difficult time understanding how you can speak in tongues and not speak to me.”

“Faith can become frustration when we feel that, while we do the work, others receive the recognition.”

“When you are frustrated, you may work your fingers to the bone.”

“Some of us have come to the end of 2015…not able to accept the different ways that others serve Jesus.”

“Jesus’ heart is big enough that there is room in the Kingdom of God and in the church for both the Marys and the Marthas”

“We need Marthas to teach us to speak the truth, and we need Marys to remind us to hold our peace.”

“Jesus calls on us to be Mary and Martha”  – Pastor Joseph A. Connor

“Jesus not only points us to Calvary, but also to Gethsemane.”

“Don’t let your frustration keep you from praising God.”

“He’s done too much  for me to let my frustrations quench my spirit.”

“When faith loses it’s hope, do what David says, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!’”

“I think we ought to give God some praise! We ought to make some noise in here!”

“My high school teacher told my mother I was not college material. But because my mother said to me ‘You are college material’…I got a Bachelor’s Degree….I got a Master’s Degree…I got a Doctorate…I’ve got reason to give God praise. If you’re really thankful for what God has done for you, thank Him for everything and shout Hallelujah!

“Give Him the glory!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Luke 10:38-42, Psalm 23:5-6, Psalm 100:1-4.

Pastor Joseph A. Conner is the pastor of New Beginnings Sanctuary of Praise Church of God in Christ in West Philadelphia. He is the chief adjutant and personal secretary to Bishop Benjamin J. Ravened, Sr. of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.  Pastor Connor founded a successful after-school program for boys which has served as a model for similar programs in the West Philadelphia area. He is also employed as a social worker for the Philadelphia Prison System. A graduate of Antioch University of Pennsylvania, Conner also attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia He holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree.

Conner is the proud husband to June Conner and the father of Jasmin and Joseph, Jr.

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Praise the New Year in with West Angeles! Please join Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr, dynamic Evangelist Missionary Joyce Rodgers, the West Angeles Mass Choir, and other special guests for Watch Night Service at the West Angeles at the Cathedral, December 31 at 10 p.m. 3600 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90016.

Please join us for the Afterglow Breakfast! We’re having breakfast in the Crystal Room immediately following Watch Night Service, 12:30-2:30 a.m. on January 1, 2016.  Cost: $10 per person. West Angeles North Campus, 3045 Crenshaw Boulevard, LA 90016. See you then!

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Why Did God Choose the Shepherds?

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”.

See the entire sermon HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand.  Highlights from the sermon follow:

“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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EXCITING CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY EVENTS ARE UNDERWAY AT WEST ANGELES! Please click HERE for more information on CHRISTMAS AT THE CATHEDRAL, WATCH NIGHT SERVICE and more.

SHOP THE WEST ANGELES CHRISTIAN EMPORIUM for all of your Christmas shopping needs.

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Bishop Blake Shares the Biblical Principles of Money

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake shares the biblical principles surrounding money, and God’s requirement that we be good stewards of our time, money and resources.

“I have a very unusual sermon for you today,” Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. began, regarding his November 22, 2015 sermon. The sermon was rooted in Luke 16, The Parable of the Unjust Steward, where a worker had been accused of wasting the goods of the wealthy man he worked for.

“John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church, spoke from this text and said, ‘Gain all you can, save all you can, give all you can.’” Bishop Blake used these three points as the outline of the sermon. “Today,” said Bishop, “I’m going to talk about money.”

The entire sermon and more are available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from this sermon follow:

“Money is a medium of exchange; it’s a standard of value. Paper money itself has no value except the value we attribute to it.”

“There is a vast world of values that cannot be described in terms of dollars and cents, values like friendship, health, emotional well-being, knowing God, having salvation.”

“Our entrance into heaven is affected by our attitude toward money while we’re on the earth.”

“Wicked people are more shrewd when dealing with their own kind than are righteous people.”

“The Lord was talking about spiritual principles, that we should use our time, our energy, our strength, our resources, to bless God’s work and to bless God. So that when we’re going to eternity, God will be our friend and look well upon us.”

“Knowing God has tremendously high value” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Jesus said, ‘Make friends with money, because with our correct use of it, and by our right attitude toward it, we’ll be welcomed into heaven when you leave this earth.”

“If Jesus talked about money, then I suppose I can give one sermon the title of money…Don’t be afraid. This is not a hold-up!”

“His teachings and His parables are filled worth references toward money, toward stewardship, and the proper conduct of our financial affairs.”

“The Bible does not say that money is the root of all evil. In 1 Timothy 6:10, it says that the love of money is the root of all evil; that while some have coveted after, they erred from the faith.”

“It’s certain that those who live successfully on this earth are going to have to have a wise and systematic approach to money.”

“Money…is used to corrupt the ideas of the young. It’s used to destroy and devastate lives, and to oppress people. It can be used to build empires of wickedness and sin.”

“Money can be used for evil, but it can also be used for good” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Money can be used to build orphanages and care for the poor, to care for the sick, and care for children who have no one to care for them. It can be used for the under-girding of family life, for building strong families on the earth.”

“Make all you can, but don’t lose your soul. Don’t lose your relationship with the Lord.”

“It’s alright to make money, but don’t make money selling drugs and alcohol, and corrupting the morals of the young and twisting the lives of others.”

“How many of you know that if you’re a child of God, you need to seek God to find out what your quest for life should be?”

“If you’re too busy for God, then you are certainly too busy.”

“Wealth can do many wonderful things in our lives, but there are many things that wealth simply cannot do.”

“We read every day about celebrities, investors and business persons who, frustrated by their predicament or dissatisfied with their lives, are driven to drugs or to literally end their lives. How many of you know that money is not equal to happiness?”

“It takes more than just hard work to succeed.”

“Have good ideas. Let your good ideas work for you.”

“Be the best you can be. If you’re a child of God, if you’re a saint, then everything you do ought to be excellent.”

“It’s not too late to go back to school. It’s not too late to improve yourself. It’s not too late to enhance your skills, to study or learn something new.”

“The Bible says that if a man won’t work, don’t let him eat!”

“The reason some people are not doing well financially is because they are not excellent in their performance.”

“Work hard. Don’t expect someone to come along and put you on top.”

“The world will beat a pathway to your door if you’ve got the right stuff going for you.”

“God gives wealth.”

“1 Samuel 2:7 says, ‘The Lord makes poor, and the Lord makes rich’” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“You ought to give God tremendous amounts of your attention; tremendous amounts of your praise; tremendous amounts of your Thanksgiving.”

“If God ain’t in it, work yourself to death, and you’ll still be broke; and if God Blesses you, money will just follow you and overtake you and come into your life.”

“Provide for your needs. Provide for the needs of your family, your loved-ones and yourself, and then provide for the work of the Lord; for those things that are necessary for the doing of God’s Will.”

“The value of money is the use you put it to.”

“God gives you wealth to uplift the life on the face of the earth.”

“There’s an obsession today with the accumulation of things and gadgets and objects; things that will enhance your reputation in the eyes of men.”

“If God ain’t in it, work yourself to death, and you’ll still be broke” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“It’s not that you don’t have enough; it’s just sometimes that you’re spending too much.”

“Wanting all you see and getting all you want is not the way to go.”

“The Japanese save about 25% of their income. The Europeans save about 20%. Americans on the average save about 7% of their income. And Blacks? Well, you just tell me, I don’t know…”

“Watch out for pride…Pride will make you go beyond your capacity.”

“Save all you can. Save – God has Blessed you.”

“Save for a rainy day. How many of you have had rainy days that you were not prepared for?”

“Don’t spend to impress others. Save to be independent. ”

“Save all you can, because it’s a good spiritual discipline which smothers pride.”

“God gives us power to gain wealth, but God as He Blesses us want to use us to accomplish His goals.”

“When you are changed and Jesus comes into your life, it impacts every area and every part of your life.”

“Love will make you maximize, not minimize.”

“Child of God, there’s no Blessing like the Blessing that the Lord can give.”

“If you trust Him, God will take care of you.”

“I’ve been talking about money, but I’ve really been talking about your soul, your relationship to God, your life in Him.”

“Make all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can. And if you do, the Lord will reward you in the name of Jesus! Hallelujah!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Luke 16:8 – scorned him; Luke 16-1 Proverbs 11:28; (Prov23:4)NIV, ps37:16, Matthew 13:22, Ecclesiastes5:10, Proverbs 10:4, 1Samuel 2:7-8, Proverbs 11:24-25, Haggai 1:5-10, Leviticus 27:30, Malachi 3:8-11, Deuteronomy 8:18, John 15:8, Luke 12:15 Proverbs 10:5, Matthew 19:16-22, Luke 19:8, 2 Corinthians 5:14, Ephesians 3:20-21, Philippians 4:19, Luke 6:38, John 3:16.

WEST ANGELES NEEDS YOU – West Angeles has over 80 departments and auxiliaries where you can share your time and resources. CLICK HERE to get involved.

 

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Bishop Blake: The Story of Scheherazade

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr. discusses the myth of Scheherazade, and the story of a loving God who enhances the lives of those who please Him.

Let me tell you about a fascinating myth from Ancient Eastern literature. There was an insanely enraged King in Central Asia, around the 9th century AD, named King Shahryār. King Shahryār hated women because the first woman he married was unfaithful to him every time he left the royal city. To dissuade his anger, he had her put to death. He then married a new woman every day, immediately sentencing her to death, and executing her shortly thereafter.

All the single women in the kingdom were overwhelmed with fear and terror, because each of them felt their day was soon to come. But there was one young lady, the daughter of a Chief Executive Officer; her name was Scheherazade. Scheherazade felt that she had a strategy that would not only save her life, but would also save the lives of all the rest of the women in the kingdom. But in order to execute her strategy, she would have to marry the King. She begged her father to permit her to do so, and finally her father, feeling that she was a creative young lady, consented to the marriage.

After the wedding, everyone was depressed about what they knew would happen next. But to their amazement, the King and Scheherazade went into the chamber, came out the next day, and Scheherazade was still alive! As a matter of fact, the following day, and the day after that, and the day after that she was still alive.

The people were overjoyed, but they still had questions about Scheherazade’s survival. It was then discovered that on their wedding night, she began to tell the King a fascinating story. And just at the most dramatic moment of the story, she said, “I can’t go any further tonight. I’ll finish the story tomorrow night.”

The King was enthralled. He was so interested in the next part of the story that he allowed her to live another day. Again, when she came to the end of the story, she immediately started another story, and again, paused at the most dramatic moment. So she lived on, night after night, until the King abandoned his plan, and ended the destruction of the women of the Kingdom. He enjoyed a lifetime full of stories, such as “Alibaba” and “Aladdin.” Those stories came to be collectively known as “The 1001 Arabian Nights Entertainment.”

Scheherazade preserved the lives of others. She was allowed to live because she created and fulfilled a King’s positive anticipation. She stimulated and satisfied all expectations, and was allowed to remain Queen because she touched a very special place where the goals and aspirations of a King resided.

CHRIST, OUR REDEEMER

This story bears striking resemblance to the story of man’s redemption. The first unfaithful wife reminds us of Adam and Eve, who, rather than trust and be faithful to God who provided everything for them, chose to trust and obey the devil. Because of this, they were at odds with God, and the disease of sin became embedded in their natures, and in the natures of all their descendants.

But along came a man called Jesus, who like Scheherazade, had the capacity to initiate a strategy that would result in His victory over sin and over death, victory not only for Himself, but also for all who would believe in Him. God the Son came to earth to reverse the effects of sin. He loves you too much to allow you to be destroyed. If you give God something to look forward to, God will keep you alive.

God loves a good story and he’s writing a good story about you.

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Genesis 3, Matthew 28, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 16:7, Psalm 121:7.

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SERMON: Give The Lord Something to Look Forward To

“If we give Him thanks and praise, then that’s indicative to Him of what we’ll do for the rest of our lives…It’s not about fun and Holidays, it’s about thanking God.” Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

Presiding Bishop Blake’s November 26 sermon for Thanksgiving drew inspiration from the book of Joshua chapter 14, where Caleb, who “had wholly followed the Lord” (v.8), came to Joshua to request the inheritance promised him.

But Bishop first told the story of Scheherazade, who saved the women of her Kingdom from destruction by entertaining her King with the “1001 Arabian Nights” stories.

“Christmas is on the way,” said Bishop Blake. “Maybe your heart is feeling heavy and you don’t know how you’re going to endure. I just came by to tell you that God loves you too much to allow you to be destroyed. If you’ll trust Him, God will bring you out.”

This entire sermon and many others are available HERE, at West Angeles Gospel On Demand. Highlights from Bishop Blake’s sermon “Give The Lord Something to Look Forward To” follow:

“Adam and Eve were blessed to be in the Garden of Eden…but rather than trusting and being faithful to God who loved them and who provided everything for them, they chose to trust and to obey the devil. And because of this, Adam and Eve lost the garden.”

“Along came a man called Jesus, who had the capacity to initiate a strategy that would result in His victory over sin and over death, and that victory would not only be for Him, but for all who believe in Him.”

“Jesus was a unique man because He was the Son of God…He pleased God, and he gave God something to look forward to.”

“Jesus not only died but He arose from the dead, and He made it possible for all those who believe in him to also rise from the dead.”

“The story that Jesus told was so good that it outweighs all the bad stories that characterize our lives.”

“Your bad story is not the end of the story” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Are there any free people in the house?”

“Those who have many friends are those who please people…those who become friends with God are the ones who give God something to look forward to.”

“God loves good stories.”

“God looks forward to productivity.”

“The more God does for you, the more God expects from you.”

“Bishop Ira Hilliard says, ‘Until you make an uncommon contribution in the earth, your existence is unnecessary.’”

“Obey God!”

“If you get involved with God’s purpose, if you obey God, then God goes into every area of your life and causes everything to work out for your good and for your benefit.”

“Obedience is essential to answered prayer.”

“Obedience to God will cause success and prosperity” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Giving is a way of showing we’re thankful to God.”

“If you don’t give, you’re not really thankful.”

“Without faith it’s impossible to please God.”

“We have to make up our minds to believe God and trust God.”

“God is still healing sick bodies and meeting needs feeding hungry folk. God is still opening doors”

“If God can’t do it, it can’t be done.”

“Jesus gave God something to look forward to” – Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake

“Praise is the way we articulate our faith.”

“Say ‘Hallelujah,’ anyhow!”

“God is looking for somebody who will praise Him…when we thank Him and praise Him, God pours our Blessings in our lives.”

“If you want a Blessing, don’t wait until you get it. Praise God anyhow.”

“Do you have a different spirit?”

“You can’t die until the story that God has written has come to pass.”

“The greatest Being deserves the greatest praise.”

“Praise your way out of it! Praise your way through it!”

“Tell three people, ‘The Lord’s been good to me!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Joshua 14:10, John 8:28, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 8:36, Luke 12:48, Luke 13:69, Matthew 21:18, John 15:15, Proverbs 16:25, 1 John2:21, Proverbs 16:7, Romans 8:28, Philippians4:15-19, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 11:6, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Matthew 6:25-34, John 4:23-23, Numbers 13, Jeremiah 29:11

LIFT YOUR SPIRITS WITH AN EVENING OF CHRISTMAS CHEER!  Please join us for “Christmas At The Cathedral” on Sunday, December 13th at 7PM, featuring Anthony Brown and Group Therapy. Please click HERE for more information on all of our Holiday events.  This event is FREE!

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Spend the Holidays at WestA!

You are cordially invited to celebrate The Holiday Season with Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake & The West Angeles Church of God in Christ at the following events:

Sunday, December 13 – Christmas At The Cathedral
The West Angeles Mass Choir will be featured with special guest Tasha Cobbs, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy. This evening of music will be hosted by George Wallace at 7 p.m. at the West Angeles Cathedral.

Sunday, December 20 – Christmas Sunday
The Music and Worship Arts Ministry will bless our hearts with joyful music in preparation for a powerful Word from our pastor as we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Services at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Wednesday, December 23 – Candlelight Service
Come and experience the richness of this timeless presentation by Bishop Charles E. Blake. There will be sacred music from the West Angeles Music and Worship Arts Ministry along with special guests. This inspirational service will be held at the West Angeles North Campus at 7 p.m.

Thursday, December 31 – “Watch Night” New Year’s Eve Service
A time to reflect and praise our way into the New Year at the West Angeles Cathedral. Prayer begins at 9:00 p.m. and worship at 10 p.m.

Sunday, January 3, 2016 – New Year’s Day Service
Start the New Year right by coming to church. Special music, an anointed Word from Bishop Blake, Communion, and distribution of The Consecration Calendar will help you enter the New Year revived, refreshed, and ready!

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108th CONVOCATION: Bishop Blake Officiates the Lord’s Day Worship Celebration

Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr. gave a compelling, inspirational sermon to bless the saints in attendance for The Lord’s Day Worship Celebration.

Second Assistant Presiding Bishop Jerry W. Macklin led the Sunday morning Convocation program at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO, on the final day of the 108th Annual COGIC Convocation on Sunday, November 8, 2015. Bishop Macklin declared, “Everything the devil has planned, God cancelled it right now!”

After the Affirmation of Faith and Scripture readings of the day were presented by COGIC General Board members, International Supervisor of Women Mother Willie Mae Rivers gave a wonderful greeting and recap of the week’s Convocation events. General Secretary Bishop J.H. Lyles presented the announcements for the Holy Communion Celebration and other remaining events later that evening, and for the General Assembly session scheduled for Monday, November 9.

Sunday’s musical selections included the C.H. Mason Memorial Choir’s powerful rendition of “What A Mighty God We Serve” led by Psalmist Sharon Jackson, the Sermonic selection, “My Help,” delivered with grace and elegance by operatic soprano Lady Audrey Dubois Harris, and the mighty COGIC anthem, sung by the Choir and the entire Convocation delegation, accompanied by the blowing of the shofar.

Bishop P.A. Brooks, First Vice President of the Church of God In Christ, gave a wonderful, insightful introduction and biography of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.:

“Spiritual and political crises,” Bishop Brooks began, “have functioned to produce new leadership for a given generation. During such periods, God raises up leaders to be sources of inspiration and witness…God anoints someone to be the voice of conscience for the voiceless, the widows, and the orphans…Thus, it is, in the strictest sense of the word, ‘a Calling,’ one that requires exceptional integrity, courage, and a wisdom that comes from above. In our time, we, the members of the Church of God In Christ, recognize and appreciate that God has raised up, from among us, Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, a leader that the times demand.”

Presiding Bishop Blake presented awards, acknowledgements, and praises for every leader in the denomination, as well as Bishops and Ministers from other denominations who were in attendance. He shared with the delegation, “A battle is going on in this place today. The devil and all of his allies are joining together to try to stop you from receiving the Blessing that the Lord has in store for you, to stop you from receiving your miracle, to stop you from getting your healing…But I proclaim that you shall have victory over the enemy. This I going to be a time of healing! A time of Blessing! Clap your hands and give praise for what God is going to do in your life! Give Him Praise!”

Selections from Bishop Blake’s sermon titled, “God Has Your Back” follow:

”Isn’t it strange how when something we really depend on disappears, it almost seems that God Himself has disappeared?”

“At every point along the way, God gave the people a visible symbol of His presence, of His favor.”

“When God chooses a provision for His people or for an individual, it is, in a very special way, just what they need.”

“We don’t know what’s best for us. We need to learn how to allow God to lead, and let God do the choosing for us. The best prayer we can pray is, ‘Lord, Thy will be done.’ Any way You Bless me, I’ll be satisfied.”

“Some of us become filled with doubt and apprehension when God moves on us. We wonder, ‘Has God moved because I’ve committed some kind of sin? Has God moved because He’s angry? Am I being punished because of something I’ve done in the past?’ God has not moved because He’s angry. He’s not moved to punish you. God is a creative God. God is a God of infinite wisdom. There are times when God will do new things just because He’s God.”

“The greater the level to which He’s going to carry you, the greater the trial that the Lord is going to carry you through, to get you to that level He has in mind for you.”

“The further you intend to shoot the arrow, the more pressure you put on the bow” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“The Lord knows our capacity. He knows how much we can bear. When God stretches us back …and back, and back, then releases us, we go further than we’ve ever been able to go.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘You can bear it! You can take it!’”

“Sometimes God moves because we’re too manifestation-focused. We’ve got to learn to have faith in God and trust in God, even when there is no manifestation.”

“He’s God everywhere, and He’s God at all times.”

“When you see no signs of God’s presence, that sometimes means He’s nearer than He’s ever been before” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Is there anybody in here who sometimes wished they had somebody to watch their back?”

“If our enemies knew our past, they would use our past to destroy our future. God works behind us. He’s straightening it out in the name of Jesus.”

“This is my Bible. It is the Word of God. I am what it says I am. I’ve got what it says I’ve got. I can do what it says I can do. And my Bible says, ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me!’”

“God also goes behind us to show us some of the good things that He’s done for us in the past.”

“Tell your neighbor, ‘I can do it in the name of Jesus!’”

“Sometimes what we’re reaching for is the very thing we don’t need. God will snatch it away, that He might give us something better.”

“Sometimes our plans conflict with the plans of God” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake

“Hold on until morning time!”

“Jesus humbled Himself. He humbled Himself unto death. Now God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name that’s above every name. When you humble yourself and obey God, God will take you higher than you’ve ever gone before.”

“Neighbor, you may have to go through it, but I see you coming out in victory!”

“Don’t cry. If you cry, that’s a sign of unbelief!”

“When God moves behind you, keep on obeying the Word of God. Keep living holy, hold on unto the Lord!”

“Go forward! God does not want us to stop, just because our circumstances change. Things may change, but hold on to God.”

“As Bishop Jakes said, ‘It may be rough, but just keep on walking. It may be tough, but just keep on walking!”

“When God moves behind you, your past cannot destroy your future” – Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

“’I’ve seen the lightning flashing, I’ve heard the thunder roll, I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing, trying to conquer my soul. But I heard the voice of my Savior, telling me still to fight on, He promised, oh, He promised, never to leave me, never to leave me alone’ [1]. Tell two people, ‘Never, never alone! God has your back!”

“Your God is fighting for you!”

“God has your back! God is all around you! God will take care of you! It’s alright!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Exodus 14:15-21, 12:37, 13:20; Isaiah 52:12, 43:19; Job 23:3, Micah 7:19, Psalm 34:19, 2 Timothy 3:12, Psalm 30:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13, Isaiah 40:31, Isaiah 54:17, Deuteronomy 28:2-3, Psalm 23:6.

[1] Hymn, “Never Alone”, Anonymous/Unknown, pub.1892. Copyright, public domain.

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SERMON: Bishop T.D. Jakes on the Pain of Recovery

“This is God’s Word for somebody tonight. You wonder, ‘Should I fight this fight? Should I stand up to it should I go after it?’ God said, ‘Pursue! For thou shalt surely overtake them’ and without fail, there’s no way you can lose. You will recover all.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

On Friday evening, November 6, 2015, Evangelist Joyce Rodgers led the saints in rousing praise, welcoming Bishop T.D. Jakes to the 108th Annual Church of God In Christ Holy Convocation, and sharing with the saints that this is the most wonderful time of the year for God to do something supernatural, something miraculous.

“If you believe ‘big’ is coming to your house,” shouted Evangelist Rodgers, “just scream, ‘Big!’ If you believe your children are about to do something big, just scream, ‘Big!’ The acronym BIG stands for ‘Believe In God.’ If you believe in God, scream ‘It’s already done!’”

Also on hand were Nate Miles, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Eli Lilly and Company, who thanked COGIC for years of partnership in helping the needy worldwide. He presented a check for $50,000 from the company toward those initiatives.

Prior to Bishop Jakes’ sermon, Superintendent Michiah James Young, Sr. preached the opening Word inspired by Genesis 32: 24. He gave a miraculous praise report about His mother who had heart attack last year, resulting in surgery. He and his family prayed for her before the surgery, and were subsequently told by the surgeon, “I don’t know what happened, whatever you did, but it worked. The [heart] damage we saw wasn’t there when we went in!”

Present to perform the sermonic selection was Minister Melonie Daniels-Walker, who sang a beautiful rendition of “There’s Something About That Name.”

Bishop T. D. Jakes also gave a miraculous testimony about recovering from back surgery, intense pain, and paralysis in the same week he was to speak to the delegation at the COGIC Convocation. But God explained his pain, telling him, “The enemy is trying to shut you down, because I’m going to send you to St. Louis to tell my servants that everything that the devil held up, everything that’s been under attack…without fail, you will recover all!”

The Friday evening Holy Convocation service was broadcast live on The Word Network, sending the services around the world.

Highlights from Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon, “The Pain Of Recovery”, follow:

“This is God’s Word for somebody tonight. You wonder, ‘Should I fight this fight? Should I stand up to it should I go after it?’ God said, “Pursue! For thou shalt surely overtake them’ and without fail, there’s no way you can lose. You will recover all.”

“There’s too much Holy Ghost in here not to bind the devil in this place tonight!”

“If you have no sense of destiny, you have no sense of God.”

“When all Hell is raging, God has a plan. And if you know that plan and walk in that plan, you don’t have to worry about what people say. You don’t have to worry about the winds blowing or the storms coming because if God be for you…Somebody shout, ‘Amen!’”

“I have learned that the attacks that come against you are indicative of the fact that you have an appointment with destiny.”

“Satan doesn’t fight you until you get ready to do what God wants you to do.”

“It’s going to cost you something to win this fight.”

“Satan doesn’t fight you until you get ready to do what God wants you to do” – Bishop T.D. Jakes

“The more anointed, the more gifted, the more you are a child of destiny, the more you will be attacked privately for what God wants to do in your life.”

“The more God uses you publicly, the more the enemy will attack you privately, because he knows that you’re headed somewhere.”

“It’s one thing to fight your enemy when you’re fresh, but it’s another thing to fight him when you’re tired.”

“Isn’t it funny how you can be mighty in one area and vulnerable in another?”

”Is there anybody in here who’s been knocked to their knees?”

”It is possible to be a public success and still come home and be a private failure.”

“Somewhere, before you get your credentials, you’ve got to go through some smoke. I wish I had some ‘smoky folks’ in here, folk who had been through some fires, some tests, some trials!”

“The same people who fought with him are now ready to fight against him, because when people get hurt, they love to hurt others.”

“I want to talk to some people who have gone through something that shocked you. Knocked the wind out of you…and you wondered how you were going to make it through this.”

“God told David, ‘Without fail, you shall recover all,’ but he still had to fight. He had a Promise from God that he would get the victory, but not without a fight. Not without pain.”

“The devil doesn’t want you to praise Him. He doesn’t want you to believe Him…Hell is nervous and demons are trembling, but open your mouth and say, ‘I’m going to get it back!’”

“God told David, ‘Without fail, you shall recover all,’ but he still had to fight”Bishop T.D. Jakes

“You will recover all; that means your money, that means your house, that means your focus, that means your dignity! You shall recover ALL!”

“Your glory is coming back. Your anointing is coming back. Your church is coming back. Your faith is coming back. Everything that the devil has been attacking is coming back, and the Lord wanted you to hear it!”

“The devil is fighting against you, but recover it! The house is divided, but recover it! Wake up! Recover all!”

“Look at your neighbor and say, ‘Neighbor, excuse me; you go ahead and be cute, but I’ve got to give God some praise! I’ve got a devil to fight!”

“I’ve gone from survival to success, but I’m coming back. I may not see it I may not feel it but I want the devil to know I’m going to get it back…TONIGHT! Somebody shout ‘Yeah!”

“Lose yourself in the Holy Ghost and give God praise!”

“Take it!”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES -1 Samuel 30:1-8.

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Ministerial and business visionary, entrepreneurial trailblazer, altruistic philanthropist, and spiritual shepherd to millions around the globe, Bishop Thomas Dexter (T.D.) Jakes, Sr., founded Greater Emmanuel Temple of Faith, his first pastorate, in 1979.  He now pastors The Potter’s House, a multiracial, nondenominational church with 50-plus active outreach ministries, which has grown to more than 30,000 members. The Potter’s House as a nonprofit organization has produced four major national conferences – The Pastors’ and Leadership Conference, ManPower, Woman, Thou Art Loosed (WTAL), and MegaFest. Bishop Jakes is also the founder of TDJ Enterprises through which he employs his other aptitudes as author, songwriter, filmmaker and playwright. Bishop Jakes lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with his wife Serita and their five children.