Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series, where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the adventures in divine love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Adventures in Divine Love
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew, Chapter 5, Verses 14-16
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some further insights in the values and meanings of divine love. It is also our desire to further comfort those who are struggling with unremitting difficulties as well as those who have entered upon new experiences. We want to remind them of the purpose of all of this uphill struggle. It is because of the Father’’s command to be perfect even as He is perfect that struggle becomes our way of life. Just as the butterfly must struggle to break free of its cocoon on incarceration, so must we struggle to break free of the cocoon of our material incarceration that confines our souls. It is by and through struggle that we become more than we are; it is only through struggle that we achieve divine perfection.
We know that by dedicating ourselves to doing the Father’’s will, we become perfect even as he is perfect. But we must learn how to do the Father’’s will in perfection in order to achieve divine perfection. And this is where some mechanism must be in place to help us to do that. We are in the process of moving from the animal nature to a divine nature. There must be some stimulus that will help us to transform the animal nature into the spiritual nature. Left to our own device, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. Ordinarily most of us do not voluntarily seek challenging experiences. Indeed, we consider them a plague upon our sense of well being, that is, our animal well-being. But challenging experiences are necessary for a sense of spiritual well-being.
Life is constructed so that it contains certain disciplinary features designed to save us from ourselves. The difficulties of life are inherent. They will come, and so they force us to decide how we respond to them. If we respond to them negatively, then we are penalized with the loss of those very values and meanings whose accumulations equal divine perfection. "The flight from duty is the sacrifice of truth" and the sacrifice of truth is "the escape from the service of light and life can only result in those distressing conflicts with the difficult whales of selfishness which lead eventually to darkness and death unless such God-forsaking Jonahs shall turn their hearts, even when in the very depths of despair, to seek after God and his goodness.””
This is such a distressing experience that the unthinking and ease-seeking soul repents and returns to the present struggle for spiritual perfection, at the place he left it. There are no short cuts to divine perfection. We are not rewarded for disloyalty to truth.
But if we go forward with our struggle, then we are rewarded with an increase in those values and meanings that constitute divine perfection. Inherent in the good life are stimuli for progressive growth; there are also spiritual helpers who assist us in this process. When we recognize the need for struggle and agree to cooperate positively, we come under the direct supervision of our spiritual helpers, whose job is to provide us with even greater opportunities for growth. They do so by guiding our footsteps in paths of new and progressive experiences. And as we climb this mountain of moral and spiritual difficulties, acquiring divine values and meanings on the way, we increase our desire to do the Father’’s will and rely more and more on His guidance as we make our way through this life. As we confront these ever-increasing moral and spiritual challenges, we also seek the Father’’s will more and more. This practice leads to greater and greater consciousness of the Father’’s spirit so that we can begin to cooperate more with our quest for divine perfection. When we do grasp this cosmic insight, we begin to see with the eye of the spirit, and our attitude towards these difficult moral and spiritual problems change.
We now begin to realize that the more difficult the experiences, the greater the meanings and values of divine love--truth, beauty, and goodness--are grasped. Thus, we learn to allow the Father’’s meanings and values to co-exist with the purely material meanings. These, being supreme, transcend material meanings and values, thus imparting spiritual joy to the experience. And as we concentrate on divine values and meanings rather than on the difficulty of the experiences, we receive a new revelation of the Father’’s love unique to that particular experience.
As we learn to master the difficult experience by submitting to it, we conquer it. We realize that the actualization of our supreme desire--to be perfect--can only be actualized by traversing ever-progressive experiences until the full potentials of our moral and spiritual selves are unfolded. By learning to love different and difficult brothers and sisters, these potentials unfold.
The need for the value is what actualizes it. Without a demand for it, they remain potential, and the meanings remain concealed--the growth towards divine perfection is delayed. When we submit to the experience, we also allow the divine values and meanings of this particular experience to emerge. This is what it means to live the Father’’s will, the state of divine oneness.
As we submit to these experiences, the emotional difficulties involved in these moral struggles test our moral resolve. We are tempted to give up, to run away because of the suffering. As moral difficulties increase, our spiritual resolve is tested. It is only through moral choosing that the divine values and meanings of spiritual experience are evolved. Thus, moral difficulties test our spiritual resolve. In this way, we are tried and tested on all points.
Prayer becomes our sustaining link to the Father as we pray for wisdom, courage, and insight.
Prayer reveals the divine values and meanings our souls and spiritualized minds desire, while worship reveals to us our perfected state, how we shall be after we complete the final struggle. Such a realization does not remove our physical or moral difficulties, but it does impart new meanings and new values to the whole experience of mortal life. And as we look back over all of these struggles, we discover that our attitudes towards them has changed, as our spiritualized minds recognize that these were just adventures in divine love, experiences in which we learned how to do the Father’’s will and obeyed the divine command to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect.
This concludes today's message on understanding adventures in divine love. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.