I hope that you have taken heed to the advice I gave in my first two series of letters to you. In doing so, I trust that by this time you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and that you are growing in your relationship with God through prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, and sharing the Gospel with others in your community.
I trust also that you are making headway on the road of education and that you are learning and growing in knowledge and understanding. Most importantly, I hope that you have prayed for and received God’s wisdom.
I hope that your relationship with your family members, friends, and acquaintances are strong and healthy, and that you have taken seriously the Biblical directives given regarding dealing with your parents, grandparents, siblings, wife, children, or what have you.
In the over twenty years since I wrote Letters to Young Black Men, a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. Honestly, I still have to say that our community is in a bad away generally speaking. But there are pockets of hope amid the decay, light amid the darkness. And, through this third volume of letters, I hope to nurture the light, feed it, and help it grow so that young black men in America may rise and lift their communities out of the mire by the power of God.
In this volume, we will discuss three very important topics:
1. Living a life that matters: Everybody wants to (or should want to) do something of significance with their life. I will show you how to find your purpose and pursue it with all your might.
2. Character and leadership: Our community needs people who are leaders rather than followers, but a good leader is not just one who can inspire, but one who has the character to do the right thing and lead others to do the right thing even when the odds are against them.
3. Finances and business: Like it or not, money is very important in this life. In this section, I will teach you how to get some and keep some. I will also show you how to live a life of freedom by working for yourself by doing a job that you love.
As always, everything that I share will be based upon Biblical principles and proven wisdom.
I hope that you are ready for this leg of journey that will change your life and benefit your family and your community.
Over the years, the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, has helped me with many practical things in this life. May I encourage you to read this book at least twice a year. The Book of Proverbs has thirty-one chapters. Why not get into the habit of reading one chapter a day? The truths contained therein will help you greatly in your life. Here are just some of the key verses that have been a great help to me over the years:
Proverbs 1:5: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning, and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.”
Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Proverbs 4:23: “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Proverbs 5:16: “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
Proverbs 6:6: “Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
Proverbs 6:27: “Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?”
Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.”
Proverbs 18:22: “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”
Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”
Proverbs 16:7: “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”
Proverbs 15:16: “Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.”
Proverbs 16:16: “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”
Dear brother, just read the book of Proverbs, and be blessed. There are hundreds of other Proverbs that can help make you a grand success in life.
Yours from Proverbsville,
P.T. (Power Thoughts):
Lord Tennyson said, “Bible reading is an education in itself.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!”
Someone said, “Reading the Bible without meditating on it is like trying to eat without swallowing.”
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
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.”