Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel, refused to sing in night clubs. She rejected offers of up $25,000 a night. She grew up poor singing in church choirs, making music that drew people to Christ. God honored her dedication to Him and she eventually became known globally for her spiritual music and testimony for Christ. Like Mahalia, King David dedicated his life to God as a boy, praising God with the harp as he took care of his sheep. One day he relied on God to help him defeat Goliath. God refined his skills and character as he evaded jealous King Saul who wanted to kill him. After Saul’s death he became king and won many battles to stabilize his nation. Once settled in his own palace, he desired to build a Temple where God would be worshiped. We read in 2 Samuel CH 7 that God rejected that idea and promised instead to build a legacy for David–the man after his own heart. God elevated him from the life of a shepherd to become first in a dynasty of kings from which the Messiah, our Savior, would emerge. Today, when we choose to offer ourselves totally to God, like Mahalia Jackson and the boy David, don’t be surprised when God chooses to elevate us or use us for His highest purpose.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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