VIDEO “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beacon Press
May 19, 2015

Rarely seen footage of Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking to students at Barratt Junior High School in Philadelphia on October 26, 1967, where he delivered his speech “What Is Your Life’s Blueprint?”

Rodges Lawton
Jan 2017

I cannot believe that I found this footage. I am the student cameraman that recorded this speech. I remember this like it was yesterday. I have been telling my boys for years about this and now I can show them. I thought this was lost years ago and am so happy that it survived the years. I was 12 or 13 years old when he can to Barrett and was mesmerized by what he was saying. I can’t wait to share this with my family. Wow I am elated that I found this.

Video used by permission of The School District of Philadelphia. All rights reserved.
Speech reprinted in A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students, part of the King Legacy Series, published by Beacon Press. This is the first time the speech has been published in its entirety.

Knowing and Loving

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so” is the message of one of Christian music’s most enduring songs, particularly for children. Written by Anna B. Warner in the 1800s, this lyric tenderly affirms our relationship with Him—we are loved.

Someone gave my wife a plaque for our home that gives these words a fresh twist by flipping that simple idea. It reads, “Jesus knows me, this I love.” This provides a different perspective on our relationship with Him—we are known.

The wonder of it all—just to think that Jesus loves me!

In ancient Israel, loving and knowing the sheep distinguished a true shepherd from a hired hand. The shepherd spent so much time with his sheep that he developed an abiding care for and a deep knowledge of his lambs. Little wonder then that Jesus tells His own, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. . . . My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:14, 27).

He knows us and He loves us! We can trust Jesus’s purposes for us and rest in the promise of His care because His Father “knows what [we] need before [we] ask him” (Matthew 6:8). As you deal with the ups and downs of life today, be at rest. You are known and loved by the Shepherd of your heart.

Dear Lord, thank You for how You tenderly love and care for me. Help me to trust You in all areas of my life.

The wonder of it all—just to think that Jesus loves me!

By Bill Crowder 


When we experience difficulties, it helps to read about God’s faithfulness to others. Psalms 77 and 78 describe Asaph’s trials that caused him to doubt God’s love for him (77:7–9). Having experienced God’s presence in the past, he yearned to experience that same closeness yet again (vv. 1–6). As he recalled how God had mightily rescued and redeemed His people from slavery in Egypt (vv. 10–20; 78:1–55), he is assured of God’s presence. He confidently speaks of God as the Shepherd who “brought his people out like a flock” and “led them like sheep through the wilderness” (78:52).

How does the image of God as a Shepherd help you as you go through difficult days?

K. T. Sim

We Have a Trustworthy Guide

Psalm 32:8-9

Hanging on my office wall is a print that I’ve had for nearly 60 years. It shows the Lord Jesus standing behind a young man whose eyes are focused in the direction that the Master is pointing. Jesus’ hand is on the man’s shoulder, and I imagine He is saying, “This is the way we’re going. I will get you to the destination.” Although the road will be marked with both joy and suffering, the Lord leads His followers all the way to their eternal home.

Anyone who is honest will admit that he or she is ill-equipped to go through this life alone. Our all-knowing heavenly Father created us with a need for His guidance. In our own strength, knowledge, and reasoning power, we are simply not able to figure out how to make godly, wise decisions. But the Lord’s assuring hand at our shoulder can lead us down right paths to good choices.

The Lord is willing and able to guide us, if we will let Him. It isn’t difficult to fall in step with Him. Acknowledge that you have wandered down paths of life that led to sin and disobedience. Choose to follow His lead instead by reading the Word of God and applying biblical principles to your life. And learn to pray through both large and small decisions as you seek the path He has set for you.

Just beyond our last heartbeat lies eternity. That’s where our Savior is pointing us. The path may not be clear to our eyes, but Jesus is leading us there with a steady and sure hand. Our part is to follow in obedience so that we may reach heaven and hear the Father say, “Well done.”

Heavenly Calling

“As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:48)

In a wonderful sense, Christians are just passing through this world on their way to the permanent home awaiting them in heaven. “For our conversation [or ‘our citizenship’] is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). Christ has prepared a “place” for us there (John 14:2), and it is there that we have “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).

In view of such a glorious future, we ought to live not as those who are “earthy” but, as our verse says, as “they also that are heavenly.” We have, indeed, been made “partakers of the heavenly calling,” and so should always, in all we do, “consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 3:1), for He represents us even now in the heavenly places. He has gone “into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24), and we have, in effect, already been made to “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

We may not appear to be very heavenly now, in these poor bodies made of Earth’s dust, but “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:49). As Paul vividly expresses it, the Lord Jesus Christ “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). “The dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).

Christians, indeed, constitute a heavenly people with a heavenly calling, even while still on Earth. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). HMM

The wrath of man shall praise thee

Hezekiah had prayed, and Isaiah had been sent with a message in which Sennacherib’s overthrow was promised: the king had not long to wait to see what he desired. God’s actions are prompt, for his preparations for war are always made; his arsenal is well stored. It was a word and a blow, and Assyria was smitten never to trouble Hezekiah again.

2 Kings 19:35-37

2 Kings 19:35

The few who survived looked upon the myriads of dead, lying “like the leaves of the forest when autumn has blown.”

2 Kings 19:36

Now that this terrible robber was no longer able to roam abroad with his marauding host, there was some rest to the surrounding nations, who thus profited by Hezekiah’s prayer.

2 Kings 19:37

Thus at the feet of his own idol he poured out his heart’s blood, and his blasphemies were heard no more.

Psalm 76

That jubilant Psalm, the seventy-sixth, was probably written at the time of the destruction of Sennacherib’s army; at any rate it is singularly descriptive of it. Let us sympathise in the holy joy of the writer as he triumphs in the triumph of his God.

Psalm 76:1

If unknown in all the world beside he is famous among his people. Because the world knows him not, it blasphemes as Rabshakeh did, but the Lord’s people delight to sound forth his praises to the world’s end.

Psalm 76:3

Without leaving his peaceful abode in the temple, he sent forth his word and snapped the arrows of his enemies before they could fit them upon the string, he ended the fight ere they could begin it. They did not cast up a bank nor shoot an arrow there. And shall not the Lord defend his church? Assuredly! She is safe, come what may.

Psalm 76:4

Heaps upon heaps, Assyria had stowed away her plunder, and the fame thereof went abroad, but Israel’s God eclipsed the mighty deeds of the destroying invader. Glory be to his name!

Psalm 76:5

They came to spoil, and were spoiled themselves,

Psalm 76:5

they have slept their sleep their last sleep, the sleep of death

Psalm 76:5

Their arms were palsied, the rigour of death stiffened their fingers.

Psalm 76:6

Never to neigh or rattle again; still were the trampings of the horses and the crash of the cars.

Psalm 76:7, 8

So complete a destruction was evidently a judgment from heaven, and those who heard of it cried out, “This is the finger of God!” Such a blow will yet be struck at the Papacy, for fall it must, to the astonishment of all mankind.

Psalm 76:9-10

Enemies are held in by God’s will, and when allowed to rage, God’s glory will be enhanced by their overthrow. Let us never yield to fear.

The Lord of hosts is mightier than the mightiest foes of his church.

Psalm 76:12

As men slip off a tender shoot from a plant, so can the Lord remove the proudest monarchs; be it ours to worship, love, and serve the King of kings. To his name be endless praises.


Wonder of Redemption

For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)

My brethren in the Christian faith, stand with me in defense of this basic doctrine: The living God did not degrade Himself in the Incarnation. When the Word was made flesh, there was no compromise on God’s part!

It is plain in the ancient Athanasian Creed that the early church fathers were cautious at this point of doctrine. They would not allow us to believe that God, in the Incarnation, became flesh by a coming down of the Deity into flesh, but rather by the taking of mankind into God. That is the wonder of redemption!

In the past, the mythical gods of the nations were not strangers to compromise. But the holy God who is God, our heavenly Father, could never compromise Himself!

He remained ever God and everything else remained not God. That gulf still existed even after Jesus Christ had become man and dwelt among us. This much, then, we can know about the acts of God—He will never back out of His bargain. This amazing union of man with God is effected unto perpetuity!


Rest Is a Gift

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

We who are saved find rest in Jesus. Those who are not saved will receive rest if they come to Him, for here He promises to ‘give” it. Nothing can be freer than a gift; let us gladly accept what He gladly gives. You are not to buy it, nor to borrow it; but to receive it as a gift. You labor under the lash of ambition, covetousness, lust, or anxiety: He will set you free from this iron bondage, and give you rest. You are “laden” — yes, “heavy laden” with sin, fear, care, remorse, fear of death; but if you come to Him, He will unload you. He carried the crushing mass of our sin, that we might no longer carry it. He made Himself the great Burden-bearer, that every heavy laden one might cease from bowing down under the enormous pressure.

Jesus gives rest. It is so. Will you believe it? Will you put it to the test? Will you do so at once? Come to Jesus, by quitting every other hope, by thinking of Him, believing God’s testimony about Him, and trusting everything with Him. If you thus come to Him, the rest which He will give you will be deep, safe, holy, and everlasting. He gives a rest which develops into heaven, and He gives it this day to all who come to Him.


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