Dear Y.B.M. (Young Black Man):
At this writing, I am sitting in my vehicle in front of a United Parcel Service office in Hamden, Connecticut, waiting for them to open so that I can pick up an important package.
By the way, so that you will know, due to the nature of my work, I travel a lot, so I will be writing these letters from all over the United States. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, mostly raised in New Bern, North Carolina, and at this writing I reside in Atlanta, Georgia.
I trust that you have come to know your Creator, God, by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ as your Saviour. That is, indeed, the most important thing that you will ever do in your life. Congratulations, if you have made that all important decision. If perhaps you have not done so, please do not procrastinate, for tomorrow, as they say, is not promised you.
Now, in this letter, I would like to share with you how it is that you can obtain the coveted blessings of God in this life. Those who are genuinely happy and successful in this life are those who have been blessed by God. You may ask, “well, what is a blessing, anyway?” I’ve heard older folks in my family use the term often, and I myself used to wonder, “What is a blessing?” Well, according to Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, it means:
To make happy: give good fortune or satisfaction to; confer prosperity upon…
According to the Nelson Bible Dictionary blessed means:
God blesses people by granting prosperity or well-being in the form of both physical and spiritual grace.
And according to the New Westminister Dictionary of the Bible, blessed or blessing means:
To bestow divine favor and confer divine benefits. Favors, advantages, conferred by God, and bringing pleasure or happiness in their lives.
From these definitions, friend, we see that blessings from God are very important in this life if we are to be truly happy and prosperous. How can we as young black men obtain these needed blessings for our lives?
First of all, we must have the right attitude toward our parents. Regardless of your home situation, those who are considered your parents and/or guardians, are deserving of your love, respect and honor. Even after you are grown and out on your own, you ought to respect and honor your parents even though you may disagree with them and travel your own path. And no matter what your age, if you are still under your parents’ roof and authority, you ought to obey them as the Bible states:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: For this is right. Honour thy father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” —Ephesians 6: 1-3
Second, in order to receive God’s blessings upon your life, you must choose to live a life that is obedient to God’s Word. This does not mean that you will be perfect, and it does not mean you will never sin again. It means that you will strive, with God’s help, to be obedient to Him and when you sin, or make a mistake, you will quickly confess your sin and forsake it. Probably the most important lesson that I have learned since I have become a Christian is that GOD BLESSES OBEDIENCE, AND HE DOES NOT BLESS DISOBEDIENCE. HE NEVER HAS AND HE NEVER WILL! I have learned this from the Holy Scriptures as well as from painful personal experience. Hear God’s Word on it:
“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day. And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” —Deuteronomy 11: 26-28
Third, we must spend quality time in prayer if we want God’s blessings upon our lives. Notice what Jesus Christ said on this matter of prayer:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth, and He that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” —Matthew 7: 7-11
Prayer is where you will find great power for life and great blessings from God. May I kindly encourage you to pray often? God will hear and answer your prayers and bless you.
Fourth, if we want to be blessed, we must have faith in God.
As you go through this life as a young black man, it will behoove you to have strong faith in God. No matter what you face in this life, or what you may go through, always remember that God has all power in His hands and He is able to work it out. You may ask, “well, how can I build up and strengthen my faith?” Notice these words from the Bible:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” —Romans 10:17
For a stronger faith, for a more dynamic faith, spend some quality time each day reading the Bible.
Last, but certainly not least, let me encourage you to get into the habit of giving. God blesses giving. Give to God through your local church. Give to others in need as you are led. Now, we do not give to get, but the simple fact is that when you give to God and others, God gives back to you. Like the old preachers used to say and still say, “You can’t beat God giving, no matter how hard you try.” And that is so true. Listen to what Jesus says about giving:
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” —Luke 6:38
It is a fact: the more you give, the more God gives to you in so many different ways.
Friend, I apologize for this rather “long-winded” letter this time around. I just want you to obtain the blessings of God on your life.
P.T.: “The way each day will look to you all starts with who you’re looking to.” —Selected
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” —Psalm 121: 1
“Every work of God can be traced to some kneeling form.” —D. L. Moody