Elder Charles E. Blake II Says ‘Our Purpose Lies in Our Hands’

Assistant Pastor Charles Edward Blake II cites Ecclesiastes 9:10, and the secret to God’s purpose for our lives which lies in our hands.

In Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake’s absence on Sunday, February 21, 2016, Assistant Pastor Charles Edward Blake II presented an inspired sermon based on a verse in the book of Ecclesiastes:

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might – Ecclesiastes 9:10

“He brought us this far because God has a purpose for our lives,” said Elder Blake. “That is my prayer: that He will use me.”

In his introduction of Elder Blake, Elder John Patton said, “God can use anybody. He’ll use a donkey. He’ll use rocks. But the one He uses best is the one who tells God, ‘Yes.’”

Highlights from the sermon follow:

“One of the defining physical characteristics that has separated humankind from the animal world, and has called us to reach such high levels of technical advancement, is the way in which we use our hands.”

“You can observe the world around you with your eyes and ears, but it is with your hands that you interact with the world.”

“We touch, grab, push, pull, feel, caress…pick up, put down, build up, tear down, hurt, help, heal, and kill, literally with our hands.”

“Human hands can paint the Sistine chapel…they can sculpt a David. They can forge steel. They can mold clay; write poetry. Our hands are extremely expressive. They can pray and praise, and sign for the deaf. They can help tell a story or reveal our innermost thoughts.”

“You can say you love your wife, but you show your wife with what you do – or don’t do – with your hands.”

“Everything you do in life is going to begin with, and end with, your hands.”

“In every period of time in history, there had to be someone on earth with these hands.”

“In the time of slavery, in the early days of America, in the 16, 17, and 1800s, I think of someone with these hands working in the fields and towns helping to build this country.”

“When Paul was knocked off his donkey on the road to Damascus, there was someone here with these hands.”

“The song says, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord.’ While I was not there myself, there was someone there with these hands when Jesus hung on that tree.”

“In every period of time in history, there had to be someone on earth with these hands.” –  Elder Charles Edward Blake II

“When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry land and God made a promise to brother Abram, someone with these hands, the same hands that I am now looking at, was here.”

“These are your hands. Look at them. In fact, these hands have been here since the beginning, since before God formed them in your mother’s womb, He knew these hands. He sanctified and ordained these hands, and if this were not true, you would not be here this day with these hands.”

“Go on praise the Lord! It’s the truth!”

“I think that over time we’ve come to a point where, unless we lose or injure our hands, we’ve come to take them for granted.”

“Our whole cultural psychology has produced a mindset in us that now wants something for nothing.”

“We think that we should not have to struggle or work to get anything nowadays. Technology has brought us to the point where we almost don’t have to use our hands for anything.”

“Preparing something as simple as a meal used to be an all-day affair. We used to get up early in the morning but now we use someone else’s hands to raise and slaughter and grow and harvest our food for us, and they deliver it nicely packaged to our supermarkets or fast-food restaurants.”

“We use someone else’s hands to build our houses and make the clothes that we wear now. We’re used to everything being done for us these days.”

“In comparison to past times, there’s very little that we have to do with our hands anymore.”

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that we have those who are trained to do what they do, it’s good to have a level of specialization. But what I’m talking about now is an aversion to toil and travail.”

“That’s the way some of us have seen God. We want Him to just bless us with whatever we think we want in life, or at the time.”

“This building is not the church. We must be reminded that we are the church.” – Elder Charles Edward Blake II

“As believers in this time and culture, we have to battle within ourselves what Bishop calls ‘An erroneous, narcissistic sense of entitlement.’ And we have to wonder not if, but how much we as the church have been affected – or infected – with this mindset and world view.”

“We all must continue to question and ponder who we are as the church.”

“At West Angeles, we worship the Lord, and the spirit of the Lord is here…We see the love and concern in the heart of our pastor for the least of these in our midst…But most of us don’t focus on it long enough or let it transform us to what God would actually have us to be.”

“Is this a better church because I’m a part of it, or am I just sitting around to see what the world and West Angeles can do for me?”

“There are some of us who come to service week after week with the same attitude as we’d have to go to a movie or a ballgame; like this is just another form of weekend entertainment.”

“I’ve seen Bishop give of himself preaching until there is nothing left, and at the most critical time, when we are trying to get souls to walk in the direction of Christ and the altar, we will dissuade them by walking in the opposite direction – toward the door.”

“Why would someone want to come forward when it seems that others are trying so hard to get out?”

“The opposite of loving your neighbor isn’t hate. The opposite of loving your neighbor is apathy.” – Elder Charles Edward Blake II

“We have the power to impact nations transform cities, yet most of us haven’t truly let ourselves be transformed by this Gospel into something new that God can use to help someone else.”

“This building is not the church. We must be reminded that we are the church.”

“We worship Christ, but we are also called to truly follow Him.”

“We are blessed with wealth so we can help others.”

“You doing your job with integrity brings glory to God, in whatever it is that you do”

“The opposite of loving your neighbor isn’t hating your neighbor. That’s too easy. The opposite of loving your neighbor is apathy and indifference.”

“One guy is a fan…the other guy is a follower. I don’t want to be a fan of Jesus…I want to be a follower of Jesus. Somebody offer the lord some praise this morning!”

“We have to remember that only what we do for Christ, for each other with these hands will last.”

“Everything that Christ did with His hands, he did in service to those who He loved.”

“Your life in God’s hands can change the world.” – Elder Charles Edward Blake II

“I think of the hands of our Savior; hands that reached out and healed the land. Hands that mixed spittle and dirt and put clay on a blind man’s eyes and gave him sight. Hands that prayed and divided five loaves of bread and two fish and fed 5000 men, and twice as many women and children. Hands that touched the dead and made them live again. Hands gripped tightly in prayer; crying, ‘Not my will but thy will be done.’”

“A slingshot in my hands is just something that’ll break a window. But a slingshot in David’s hands made him a giant killer; a conqueror. Fish and loaves in my hands is just a sandwich! But fish and loaves in Jesus’ hands…”

“Your life in your hands is just another one of the many lives that come and go on earth which will come and go in obscurity. But your life in God’s hands can change the world.”

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES – Ecclesiastes 9:10,  Mark 10:43-45, John 13:1-17, Acts 9, Matthew 27:32-56, Exodus 14, Mark 14:50, John 20:24-29, Nehemiah 2:12-17, Job 36:32, Psalm 102:25, 37:24, 95:4-7.


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