How are you doing today? Hopefully great. First of all, it is my pleasure to be finally getting these words off of my chest—My Love Letter to You! Next, thank you for your time, and I pray that the Lord continues blessing you in all of your endeavors; specifically, the next time you test for your college S.A.T.’s. It grieves my spirit to hear you were only ten points away from reaching your goal. Do not worry, I believe you will get it next time. Moreover, God has His hands on your plans and purpose; He also hears the prayers of His people; and God also is paying attention to the body of diligent work you are doing (Heb. 11:6, KJV).
Recently, we had a conversation about the Lord. Something we were talking about touched my soul. As your father, I must lead you to the truth about who the Lord Jesus is. Although, I do not claim to know everything about Jesus, what I do know, I am willing to share with you. The narrative is this: Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He came from heaven and laid down His life for you. All that He asks is that you willingly accept Him as your savior. However, if you do not accept Him, your body and soul are in jeopardy of being trapped for eternity in this place called Hell., which is a bad place—a place that no one wants to be. With this in mind, please allow me to expound on some of the things that I have learned thus far while attending Seminary about Jesus Christ in the New Testament, the Gospel, and what the Bible proclaims about Street Violence.
Firstly, I am sure that you have heard of the name Jesus Christ. Studies show the name of Jesus is the most popular name ever mentioned (Phil. 2:9, NKJV). One of the reasons that Jesus name is so prevalent is because the New Testament illustrates He was miraculously born in a manger by his virgin mother named Mary (Lk. 2:12). Jesus was also miraculously conceived through the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:20; Lk. 1:35). Yes, this may sound far-fetched; however, it is true. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit that Jesus was conceived through is the same entity that leads and guides you while I am not there to physically protect you (Heb.13:5). There are also other accounts given about Jesus in the New Testament which authenticates who He is. The New Testament also displays how a man born from a woman was just like us. Even though He was and is still fully God. Jesus did not grow up rich, nor was He privileged. He grew up in a simple household where his mother and father both had jobs (Mk. 6:3). For instance, Jesus non-biological father Joseph was a carpenter. Jesus grew up doing carpentry work also. Changing gears, Zy, please don’t be confused about the Trinity (Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) at this moment. I will explain it to you in more detail as we continue our weekly studies together. Jesus had a purpose on earth. The New Testament portrays His purpose as the one who provides “everlasting life.” In other words, if we want to enjoy everlasting life, this can only be achieved by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (Jn. 3:16). Zy, the preceding sentence equates to this theological term that we call grace. Grace is God’s love (favor). Grace is also a gift that we as sinful people do not deserve. However, God’s grace is a demonstration showing us how much that He loves us. He loves so much that He sent His only son Jesus to die on the cross for all of us. In other words, He is our savior. Jesus is also our big brother, and Big brothers always look out for their smaller siblings.
I pray the Holy Spirit continues to scrutinize you for me in my absence and guide you to the truth. When you get a chance please open the Holy Bible that I sent you, and read in the book of Mark. This book provides a good understanding of who Jesus is, and what He stands for. The reason I suggest the book of Mark is because this book is better described as the Action Gospel. It gets straight to the point about who Jesus is. I trust and believe you will accept my advice in this matter. Moreover, that you will accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and grow a relationship with Him.
Secondly, while growing in my Christian faith, I have enjoyed the opportunity, while in Seminary, to learn about the Gospel in its proper context. The books of Matthew-Revelation say that Jesus Christ came into the world to save mankind from the Fall depicted in the first book of the Bible called Genesis. Jesus also came and broke racial barriers that were set by former individuals (Heb. 7:19). Jesus’ primary theme throughout the New Testament is that we are saved by faith (Eph. 2:8; 1 Pt. 1:19), which is through God’s grace (Eph. 2:5). This is one of the primary principles of Christianity that God includes under the rubric of the Good News. The Good News is defined by most as the gospel of Jesus Christ, carried out through His death, burial, and resurrection.
Zy, did you know that being reconciled into direct fellowship with God is the best thing smoking (Col. 20:23)? Furthermore, it allows us to look forward to the things to come (Heb.11:1, NKJV). At the same time, the gospel of Jesus Christ is based on love. God is love; and because God is love, we should love as well (1 Jn. 4:7, KJV). We derive our character from God. As people living in a broken world, we can easily be influenced by our friends to do inappropriate things. Things that are not necessarily Christ-like—ungodly character traits such as drugs, profanity, fornication, and a multitude of other things that the Bible and Jesus forbid (Rm. 15:33, NKJV). I encourage you to not be fooled by the things you hear or see. As the Gospel declares, search the Word of God for yourself, so that when someone attempts to mislead you, you will know better (2 Tim. 2:15, KJV).
After Jesus’ resurrection, He authorized us to Go make disciples. This task involves making sure the gospel of Jesus Christ is spread to all ends of the globe (Mk. 16:15, NKJV). The end goal is to save souls. This idea makes Christianity the most sought-after way of life on earth. In our fallen state, we can once again live free through Jesus Christ. Additionally, living a Christian life is not easy. We face many hardships and persecutions, but we must keep our eyes on what lies ahead—eternity (Jn. 3:15). The Holy Spirit provides the strength we need to stay in the race. This is no more than the power of God working in your life (Heb. 13:6). As you continue to grow in your walk with the Lord, you will get a better understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lastly, there is something that bothers me that we spoke about. . . Street Violence. When I think about the biblical account of Street Violence, the first thing that comes to mind is the death of Jesus Christ. See, a violent gang of men (Sanhedrin Council) was the ones who put Jesus to death. It must be noted that the (Sanhedrin Council) were from Jesus own community. Similarly, I also think about the atrocities that I once afflicted on our communities because of the adoration that I once had in leading a gang of drug dealers; all for the love of money (1 Tim. 6:10, NLT). Admittedly, my lenses were foggy. I was uneducated, morally wrong, and my worldview was set on destruction. I believe it’s fair to say that mayhem was my focus (1 Cor. 13:12, KJV). This chaos lasted for twenty-five years. I once thought that it was impossible for me to rise out of the mess I was in. Then, I met the man Jesus Christ and my perspective on Street Life changed. As I continued to grow in my walk with the Lord and my experiences in Seminary, I came to love what God loves—People.
I confess I am afraid you may get caught up in the same mess that I was once involved in. However, I am trusting and believing that the Lord will keep you covered by his grace and mercy (Jn. 14:13, NKJV). A few years ago we lost a family member (Jermaine, AKA Fat-Fat) to street violence. As you may know, our cousin Jermaine was caught up in gang activity. A multitude of family members tried to talk to Jermaine, but he would not listen (Col. 3:20 KJV). Consequently, because he would not listen, he was murdered by a rival gang member while holding his son in his arms. This incident affected our entire family. It also set off a gang war in our communities that still presides to this very day. Zy, it tore me apart to hear you crying behind this incident; it also tore me apart because I was not physically there to comfort you during this tragic loss. I was incarcerated because of my prior act of drug dealing. I thank God that our family managed to get through this tough period; although the effects still linger. As bad as that event was, I hope it was a lesson for us all. I hope and pray you to avoid such behavior because disobedience to a parent’s advice is not the way the Lord created children to be (Eph. 6:1). I trust that you are maturing and learning at a very high level. Zy, please be aware, because you are not immune from perilous acts of Street Violence. I hear that the streets are very bad with it these days. Hopefully, I will be released soon to help with this ongoing problem. Additionally, here is a nugget that I want to leave you with—listening to the Word of God (Bible) will minimize Street Violence from ever again occurring in our family (Jms. 1:23, NJKV). The message is clear—living by the Word of God keeps you safe.
In summation, I pray and hope that this Love Letter inspires you. I believe that it will bless your mind, body, and soul. Furthermore, I also hope that it provides a clear understanding of Christ in the New Testament, the Gospel, and the vehement activity of Street Violence that plague our urban communities, which you are exposed to daily. As soon as time permits, please write me back and let me know what you think about these truths that the ink of my pen has spilled on these sheets of paper. Baby girl, I love and miss you so much. Be encouraged! Next time you take your S.A.T.’s for college—Knock it out of the park. You can do it. I believe in you. Peace, blessings, and may the Lord continue to be with you.
Your Father Dwayne