Pulling Others Out of the Fire (Letter 7)

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Dear Y.B.M.:

If you have applied what I have shared with you in the previous six letters, you are on the right track to a genuinely successful and fulfilling life. In this letter, I want to talk with you about “pulling others out of the fire.”

Since my first letter to you, God has probably blessed you in some very special ways: you have become a Christian, you have direction in your life, you are communicating with God through prayer and through His Word, and you are seeing things in a different way now. I am sure, even in this short time, that you have realized the value and importance of having God as the center of your life.

Since God has blessed you so, dear friend, He wants you, in turn, to be a blessing to others. Jesus Christ once said to His disciples: “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Look around you and see the devastation in many of our black communities. Many of our people are presently “in the fire,” so to speak. Some are in the fire of living an absolutely purposeless life. Some are in the fire of drugs and alcohol. Many of our young black men are in the fire of jail and prison. Some of our people are suffering from the fire of the consequences of illicit sexual activities like babies having babies, AIDS and other venereal diseases. But, even sadder, is the fact that many of our people are headed to the fires of hell.

With the light and knowledge you have received already, you can be used of God to help pull our people out of the fire. How can you do that? First, you must understand that it will not be done through social programs alone; it will not be done through education alone; and it will not be done through the government alone. The main solution to the problems that we face in the black community is God Himself and the principles made plain in His Word. If we are to help turn our community around in a very real way, it will only be through the gospel of Jesus Christ and the correct teaching and application of His Word.

Before one can solve his own problems of drugs, alcoholism, illicit sexual behaviour, etc., he must deal with the root problem, and his root problem is the same problem faced by every other man: SIN. The only way that we can solve the sin problem is through Jesus Christ. And the way that we can help rescue our people from the fires of eternal punishment, as well as the fires caused by the sin of our lives, is by sharing with them what is called God’s plan of salvation out of the Bible. Here is how:

First, show them from God’s Word that “We are all sinners.”

Saint Paul said in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, show them that there is a great punishment for sin: that is, eternal separation from God in a place called hell.

Saint Paul said in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death…”

Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28, “And fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Third, show them that inspite of their sin, God still loves them and wants to save them.

Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Last, show them that all they have to do to be saved is trust in Jesus Christ.

Saint Paul said in Romans 10:9 & 13, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Of course, after a person trusts Jesus Christ for salvation, that is only the beginning. After that, he should join a good Bible preaching and teaching church, get baptized and be discipled. And with the plain teaching of the Bible by the pastor and you, and with the working of the Holy Spirit of God in the individual’s life, many of the other fires that may be burning in the new convert’s life will begin to be extinguished.

Pulling Folks Out Of The Fire,

Daniel

Power Thoughts

P.T.: Jim Patrick said, “A Christian must keep the faith, but not to himself.”

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The Encouragement Place (Letter Six)

Dear Y.B.M.:

Down through the years in this country, we as a people have been known to be closely connected to the church.

My grandparents and parents are church-going people. They always have been. I am thankful that my elders made sure that I went to church regularly while I was growing up. I must say that I really did not learn much from church during those years. But I am thankful for the experience because it helped to place within me a hunger and desire for the true and living God.

When I became a teenager, I rebelled against going to church. During that time, I did not feel that it had any place in my life. However, when I left home upon graduation from high school, God and the church had a strong pull on me, even though I was a prodigal son. After some time out on my own, I finally came to know the true and living God through Jesus Christ. I believe this grand experience is due partly to my praying grandparents and parents and their dogged resolution to keep their offspring in church. I said all of that to say this: Stay close to the church.

If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you ought to be involved in a good church. Why?

1. Because God wants you to be. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

2. Because going to church regularly will strengthen and build up your faith through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

3. Because it gives you the opportunity and privilege to worship and serve God through hearing His word, public prayers, singing, teaching, ushering, and helping others, etc.

4. It also gives you the joy and privilege to exhort others and to be exhorted yourself. The word “exhort” means to urge and encourage to keep going on strong for God. You will find, in this life, that you will need that encouragement often.

When I discuss attending church, I am not talking about going to just any church. Everything that has church on its sign is not necessarily a church. But I don’t have to tell you that. When you look for a church, look for these things:

A. Is the pastor a born-again Christian himself? (I know that may sound strange, but you’ll be surprised.)

B. Are the pastor and teachers preaching and teaching from the Bible as it is written?

C. Does the pastor and church believe and stand on the essentials of the Christian faith? (1) The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ (2) The Deity of Jesus Christ (that Jesus Christ is God) (3) The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (4) The Second Coming of Jesus Christ (5) and the Infallibility of the Scriptures (that the Bible is truly God’s Word without error).

D. Is it a church that carries out the “Great Commission”? (i.e., tells others about Jesus Christ):

Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

E. No church will be perfect. (And, as they say, if you find the perfect church, once you join it, it won’t be perfect anymore.) No, there is no such thing as a perfect church. But the leaders and people ought to strive by the grace of God to live according to the Bible.

These are some of the main things to look for in a church before joining it.

Now once you find a good church, go regularly and go with the following:

• Go with the right attitude. Expect God to bless you and meet your needs.
• Go with a humble spirit. Don’t go to be seen.
• Go with a praying heart. Ask God to bless the meeting.
• Go to worship God and give Him the glory.

Clear your schedule for God’s house and God will richly bless you through His church that He has established for your good.

Going to Church,

Daniel

Power Thoughts

P.T.: Bro. Blaine Bartel – National Director of “Oneighty” and author of The Little Black Book series says the following:

FOUR REASONS WHY YOU NEED A GOOD PASTOR

1. A good pastor will protect you from wolves. A good pastor has a shepherd’s heart and will warn you, helping you steer clear of people and situations that could destroy you.

2. A good pastor will feed you. Without spiritual food you will slowly suffer spiritual malnutrition, losing the strength you need to be victorious every day in life. Each time you sit under God’s Word you are feeding on spiritual nutrients.

3. A good pastor will inspire you. God will use your pastor to open your heart and mind to the dreams and vision God has for you.

4. A good pastor will correct you. (2 Tim. 4:2) Good pastors are not afraid to bring rebuke and correction that will keep us from getting in a ditch. God will supernaturally lead them to say things that are exactly what you need to hear each week.

Tap Into Unlimited Power (Letter Five)

Dear Y.B.M.:

I trust that you and yours are doing well.

You may be wondering, once again, why I am writing to you so much on spiritual matters. Well, the reason is, as I said to you earlier, the spiritual aspect of your life is the most important part of your life. It is the very center of your existence. If you get this part of your life in order, everything else will fall into place. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 6: 33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

In this letter, I want to speak to you specifically about the all important matter of prayer. There is great power through prayer to God. And there are great benefits from God in prayer. You will find as you trail through life that you will need God, and prayer invites God to work in, through, and for your life. Notice what God says through His prophet Jeremiah as to what He (God) will do if you pray:

“Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” —Jeremiah 33:2-3

Even though Jesus Christ is God, He still spent quality time in prayer while He was upon planet earth. You may recall that one time He got up a “great while before day” (Mark 1:35) and prayed. On another occasion, He taught His disciples how to pray; and then in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion, He prayed earnestly and fervently. And then at another time, “He spake a parable unto them to this end that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)

As you can see, prayer is highly esteemed in the sight of God. I lovingly urge you to make prayer an integral part of your daily life. Here are some of the great benefits that I have found through prayer:

1. The Almighty God has liberty to work in your life.
2. Through prayer, we invite God to lead us and guide us through the labyrinth of life.
3. Through prayer, we can receive the very wisdom of God.
4. Through prayer, we can gain the power of the Holy Spirit to do that which is right.
5. Through prayer, we can gain peace of heart and mind no matter what we are going through.
6. Through prayer, we can gain the boldness, courage and confidence to help others.
7. Through prayer, we can find favor in the sight of God and man.
8. Through prayer, we can obtain financial, material and physical blessings.

These are just some of the blessings that I have received through prayer unto God. I can say not only in theory, but by experience, that “Prayer changes things.” Prayer has changed my life and it can change yours as well.

As I close this letter, dear friend, I would like to leave you with some suggestions on how to pray and when to pray. First, the best and only pattern to follow that our Lord gave to us is what is commonly called “The Lord’s Prayer,” which is found in Matthew 6: 9-13:

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Now you do not have to pray this same prayer, but you can use it as a guide in your own prayer life. According to Jesus’ pattern of prayer, you should:

1. Praise God first.
2. Put His will before yours.
3. Ask for your daily provisions.
4. Ask for forgiveness of sin.
5. Ask God to keep you from evil.
6. Give God the glory.

Lay everything on your heart and mind before God and enjoy His peace.

As far as when to pray, pray as God leads you, as I mentioned to you in a previous letter. But it is also good to follow the example of David and Daniel of old and pray at appointed times. In other words, schedule your time so that you include special quality periods in your day for nothing else but for prayer unto God. It is good to keep regular times to pray as well as to pray in between those times as God’s Holy Spirit prompts you.

Keep praying, for prayer is truly where the power is.

Prayerfully Yours,

Daniel

P.T.: (Power Thoughts)

E. M. Bounds said, “Prayer succeeds when all else fails.”

John Maxwell said, “We must focus on prayer as the main thrust to accomplish God’s will and purpose on earth. The forces against us have never been greater and this is the only way we can release God’s power to become victorious.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Man is a being of spirit.”

Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not equip us for greater works — prayer is the greater work.”

Jim Cymbala said, “I learned as never before that persistent calling upon the Lord breaks through every stronghold of the devil, for nothing is impossible with God. For Christians in these troubled times, there is simply no other way.”

A. W. Tozer said, “Prayer is never the least we can do.”

Your Road Map to Real and Lasting Success (Letter Four)

Dear Y.B.M.:

I trust that you have been doing well since my last letter. Today, I am writing this letter from the law library at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. By the way, I just had a long and interesting conversation with a young black man who is a law student here.

In this letter, I want to expand on something that I barely touched on in a previous letter: i.e., the importance of the Bible in your life. Frankly, if you desire to be truly successful in life, you will need to read, meditate upon, and obey the Bible. In doing so, God promises good success. Notice what God says in Joshua 1:8:

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Do you want genuine, lasting success? If you do, you will have to make God’s Word a vital part of your daily life. Your doing so, will guarantee success.

How should you read the Bible? Well, read it as often as God leads you to. And here are some additional, well-tested suggestions:

1. Pray, Then Read. Praying and reading the Bible go hand in hand. A good practice is to pray and ask God to open your spiritual eyes before you read so that He can help you understand what you are reading. For you see, the Bible is a spiritual book, and it will take the Holy Spirit of God to teach it to you.

2. Read And Retain so that you can meditate upon what you read. To meditate means to think upon, and you cannot think upon something that you can’t remember. Please don’t be like the man who looked in the mirror and one second after looking in the mirror, forgot how he looked.

3. Read And Obey. You and I will never be perfect this side of Heaven. But God wants us to strive to obey His Word. And, of course, this is for our own good. Don’t just be a hearer of God’s Word, but a doer as well.

If, perhaps, you are just starting out in reading the Bible, may I suggest reading a chapter in the New Testament in the morning before leaving home and then reading a chapter in the Old Testament before going to sleep at night. It is good to have the Bible on your subconscious mind throughout the night. Later, as you grow, you may want to increase that to two chapters in the morning and two at night.

There are many benefits of reading and meditating upon the Bible. Here are just a few:

1. It will make you wise.
2. It will give you direction in life.
3. It will strengthen, fortify and stabilize you.
4. It will help you to help others.
5. It will make you genuinely successful.

As I wrap up this letter, let me leave you with what some successful people have said about the Bible and its greatness over the decades:

Abraham Lincoln said, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book.”

George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Napoleon said, “The Bible is no mere book, but a living creature, with a power that conquers all that oppose it.”

The Gideons said, “The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

“It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.

“Christ is the grand subject, our good the design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened at the judgement, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”

Read, study and love your Bible. It is the road map to true success.

With the Bible in my hand,

Daniel Whyte III

Power Thoughts

Vance Havner said, “The Bible humbles or hardens the human heart. We have to do something about its message, for we cannot leave it alone. We may think we have done nothing about it, but it will do something to us.”

Psalm 119:105 said, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Oswald Chambers said, “The key to my understanding of the Bible is…personal relationship to Jesus Christ.”

C. H. Spurgeon said, “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”