Class 57: Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Twelve (Part 2)
Welcome to Class 57 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young men. I am Daniel Whyte III, chairman of the National Association to Save Young Black Men in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men”. We are using that book as the text and its study guide to guide you through the course. The study guide was developed with the help of Jamie McCallum (M.Div, Truett Theological Seminary) and Charles Garrett (M.Div, Southwestern Theological Seminary). This course is for all young men, but especially for young black men and young men of color who oftentimes have a “difficult journey” in this great country called America. I call this class “the Ramp” to the Highway of Success because my goal is to get you on “the Ramp”. As a man, you ought to be able to make it from there. Out of respect for you as a young man, my job is to get you on the ramp and point you in the right direction, not to tell you all the details once you get onto the highway of success. With God, you can do great things.
— Let’s Pray —
Today, we are continuing our study titled, “Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Twelve”.
As we begin this lesson, consider these words from Confucius. He said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Let’s begin by reading the portion from Letters to Young Black Men which our lesson is based on:
Third, I wish someone had forcibly told me to avoid having sex until after I was married. And I wish they had told me the Biblical reasons why. I know that it sounds weird and foreign, but Y.B.M., avoid having sex of any kind until after you are married.
Here is just one verse from God’s Word that gives you a reason why:
First Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”
Fourth, I wish someone had taught me about the proverbial “value of a dollar.” In other words, I wish someone had taught me how to manage money better, and how to save and invest it as well.
Money is not everything, but money is important. In fact the Bible says, “Money answereth all things” (Ecclesiastes 10:9). And the way you handle it will be one of the keys to your success. So if you don’t know how to handle your money, get with a good businessman and learn all that you can about how to make, handle, and invest money. I will write you another letter about money in the near future.
Now, please pull out your printed study guide or your digital study guide as we continue our review of these topics.
We touched on the topic of sexual morality in letter 16. In that lesson we discovered that the Bible clearly lays out specific expectations concerning the way a Christian man deals with the many sexual temptations society throws at him. Romans 12:1 says, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
From First Corinthians 6:18-20 we learned God’s expectations regarding this area of life. Your body should be worthy of being offered as a sacrifice to God, and you are to live in a way that is holy and pleasing to God. Flee from sexual immorality. Honor God with your body.
The Bible does not leave the issue of sex up to interpretation. It clearly says that engaging in sexual activities outside of marriage defiles your body which is to be set apart as the acceptable dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Now the choice is yours. Will you choose to use your body to honor God or your own fleshly temptations?
Regarding how a believer should handle the blessing of wealth, Matthew 25:14-29 tells us of the servants who were given “talents” or money their employer. Two of the servants invested wisely, received a profitable return, and were rewarded when their employer returned. The third servant did not invest his money at all and was punished.
Our material possessions are given to us by the Lord. He does not merely put money in our hands and leave us to satisfy any desire we may have. Rather, God entrusts his followers with a piece of His treasure, so that we may use it to better His kingdom. Thus, it is honorable to respect every financial blessing you have received from the Lord and attempt to make the most of it. This does not mean you become so caught up with multiplying your material worth that you lose sight of why you possess the money in the first place.
When you realize that everything you own ultimately belongs to the Lord and is to be used for His purposes, then you will desire to practice incredible responsibility with your wealth. You will find it necessary to learn how to best manage your money, not for your own gain, but in order to partake in the work of God’s kingdom. If you prove trustworthy in fulfilling your responsibility with your possessions, then God will be able to trust you with even greater responsibilities.
In closing, 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 the church people I grew up around said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, 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.