Class 3: The Main Thing (Part 3)
As we begin, here are some more quick “Just Do It” action points that you can apply to your life today and that will help you stay alive as a young black man in America. These tips from the National Black Police Association offer you some simple do’s and don’ts that you should take heed to if you are ever stopped by law enforcement.:
– Keep your hands where the police can see them
– Please…do not run!
– Do not touch a police officer.
– Do not resist – even if you believe you are innocent.
– Do not complain too strongly on the scene or tell the police they’re wrong or that you’re going to file a complaint.
– Ask for a lawyer immediately when arrested.
– Record officers’ badge numbers and patrol car numbers and write down everything you remember – as soon as possible.
– Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers
We will continue with more of these practical action points in our next class.
Today, we are going to continue with study one from Letters to Young Black Men titled, The Main Thing.
Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
As we begin this class, also consider these words from Joseph Lowery: “America has abandoned the strong woman of spirituality and is shacking up with the harlot of materialism.”
Let’s begin by reading a portion from Letters to Young Black Men:
Your spiritual life, your relationship with God, should be your number one priority in this life. No, it is not your health, your wealth, or even your education. It is God and God alone! There was a time that we as a race of people put more of an emphasis on the spiritual life than we do now. Today, however, we place more of an emphasis on the body, material things and money. And we wonder why we have the murder, mayhem and madness in our community!
Young man, you can be a part of turning things around for your people. But you must put God first and make your spiritual life priority number one.
Jesus Christ said in Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Now, please pull out your printed book study guide or your digital study guide as we pick up where we left off in our first class.
Please make sure you understand the following principles:
- How does the world determine who is successful? How does God determine who is successful? Who would you rather please?
Even though the world judges success by how many toys are in your garage, the Father determines who is successful by noting those lives that reflect righteousness.
Please listen as I read these verses and note the relationship between education and spirituality.
- Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.”
While education is extremely important, the source of true and ultimate wisdom is God. He is the very Creator of knowledge. Thus, as we strive to learn more and understand truth, all these efforts should be grounded in God’s Word and for the purposes of bringing Him glory.
- 2 Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
The most important area to seek more instruction in, is in the understanding of Jesus Christ. If we desire other areas of knowledge above this, we should question our priorities.
- In what ways can pursuing higher education positively contribute to our spiritual lives?
A love and fear of God produces a desire to know Him more intimately. As we grow in our knowledge and faith in Him, we will eventually seek to understand the world better, for He created the world and is the King and Judge over it. Thus, all education is meaningful because all truth is God’s truth. As we learn, we must constantly realize we do so to bring God glory.
As we close out study one — “The Main Thing” — please complete this Just Do It activity.
Take some time to reflect on your spiritual life. Do you strive for health, wealth, or education more than you strive for godliness? In which areas of your life are you living to please this world more than God (i.e. in which areas are you placing more emphasis on your physical existence than your spiritual existence)? Write a letter to God asking for His help and guidance, so that you may begin to focus on your life’s eternal significance. After you finish writing your letter to God, pray your letter to God.
In closing, as I shared with you earlier, Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win the Super Bowl and the host of NBC’s Sunday Night Football said, “You are never going to get anywhere in sports or in life until you become convinced of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You may become a professional athlete or have fame and nice cars and nice houses and a lot of money, but what you’ll find is that all of that stuff goes away pretty quickly. You have to understand that Christ died for our sins, and that He died not just to be our Savior but so that He could be the center of our lives.”
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “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.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will. Romans 10:9-13 says, “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.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
If the Lord tarries His coming and we live, I’ll see you for our next class.