In a world where we often find ourselves in need, the manner in which we go in seeking help can greatly influence the outcomes we receive. Today, I want to reflect on the profound lesson I learned at Greater Grace Temple, listening to Bishop Charles H. Ellis III’s sermon titled “Replace Begging with Thanksgiving,” based on Philippians 4:6. This message resonated deeply with me, bringing back memories of my spiritual journey and the pivotal role this church has played in it.

My Journey to Greater Grace Temple: Seeking Help

My introduction to Greater Grace Temple came in 1998, thanks to my good friend, LaShawn Myers. As a young man working nights in a gas station, I was hungry for more than just physical sustenance—I yearned for spiritual nourishment. I did not know at that time that LaShawn’s invitation was a lifeline. It is interesting how one’s journey is formed and shaped by seemingly little gestures and decisions. From the moment I stepped into the church, I was entranced by the gospel music, which I had always loved, having listened to Kirk Franklin while in Nigeria. However, experiencing it live was a transformative experience. The music at Greater Grace Temple felt like “God’s Spell,” casting a divine enchantment over me. In that sacred space, I found myself alone yet connected with the Almighty, the music singing to my soul and reminding me of the greatness that resides within.

Gratitude vs. Begging: A Lesson in Faith

Bishop Ellis’s sermon was a powerful reminder that when we desire something, be it material or spiritual, it is within our reach if we can envision it. He emphasized that there is no need to beg God for what is inherently ours. We lower ourselves and our power by begging. Instead, we should approach life with gratitude and thankfulness, acting as if our desires are already fulfilled. This mindset shifts us from a position of lack to one of abundance, aligning our actions with our beliefs.

Shola Salako with Bishop Charles Ellis III at the Greater Grace Temple, Detroit.

The Impact of Bishop Charles H. Ellis III

Bishop Charles H. Ellis III is a stalwart figure in Detroit, known not only for his powerful sermons but also for his contributions to the community. Under his leadership, Greater Grace Temple has become a beacon of hope and faith. Bishop Ellis is not only an eloquent speaker but also has a powerful singing voice. His musical renditions add a special dimension to the worship experience, and I would wholeheartedly recommend that he sings more often. His ability to connect with the congregation through both word and song is truly a gift.

Embracing Gratitude while Seeking Help

Reflecting on the lesson from Philippians 4:6, which encourages us to present our requests to God with thanksgiving, I realize that gratitude is a powerful force. It shifts our focus from what we lack to what we already possess, opening the door for more blessings to flow into our lives. When you desire something, visualize it clearly in your mind, and act as if it is already yours. Whether it’s driving that car, living in that house, or walking in healing, approach life with the confidence that what you seek is already within your grasp. Not only is my belief in the power of gratitude reaffirmed, but I also see that it transforms our desires from mere hopes into tangible realities, increasing our confidence in achieving what we seek.

A Heartfelt Thanks

I am profoundly grateful to LaShawn Myers and the entire Myers family for that life-changing invitation. It led me to an experience of a lifetime, one that continues to shape my spiritual journey. Greater Grace Temple is not only a place where I have found solace, but a place where I am nothing in order to recognize all things within and without. It is a place where I can connect with the divine and understand the power of gratitude.

Ultimately, seeking help with gratitude rather than begging is a transformative approach. It aligns us with the abundant nature of the universe and the divine, ensuring that our desires are met with grace and fulfillment. As I continue to visit Greater Grace Temple and listen to Bishop Ellis, I am reminded of the power of thanksgiving and the greatness that resides within each of us.