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 meaning of climbing the ladder of spiritual love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Climbing the Ladder of Spiritual Love
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we shall be called the sons of God." First John, Chapter 3, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we shall share some insight into the growth of divine values and meanings. The comprehension of divine values and meanings constitute the growth of our souls in divine sonship. This increase in divine values and meanings is the sure proof of our ever-increasing growth in the knowledge of truth. It is the ever-increasing consciousness of the truth, consciousness of the values and meanings of the relationship that exists between us and the heavenly Father.
As we live our lives, the Father lives within our souls and minds and maintains a personal relationship with us. There have been many errors associated with our relationship to the Father. The most prominent error is the association of material values with the spiritual Father. We know that this erroneous association prevents us from enjoying the full fellowship with the Father. It also prevents us from trusting him completely. Let’’s face it: if we think that our relationship with the Father is material, and he does not intervene in the material aspects of our lives by him, then it is very difficult for us to trust him completely. And this places a tremendous strain on our faith in him.
It then becomes paramount to our spiritual growth as well as our peace of mind that we reduce this error and ultimately eliminate it from the concept of our relationship with the heavenly Father. This error prevents us from discovering the supreme heights of his love for us, which caused him to make us sons and daughters.
And though we can expect the heavenly Father to guide and direct us through this life, this guidance and direction is of a spiritual nature. The Father guides and directs us through the spiritual values of life, selecting for emphasis the ones that are appropriate for a given experience. And these spiritual values govern how we interact with each other. These are the values of love, truth, beauty, and goodness.
In our prayers, we are often so preoccupied with our difficult material status and so focused upon getting material help from the Father, that we utterly miss the Father’’s spiritual answers to our prayers, the only answers that he gives to his children. We miss the values of love and mercy that he so willingly reveals to our souls.
We must remember that the value system of the soul is different from the value system of the material mind. The soul thrives on spiritual values; the mind on material values. Even though the soul is created within the material mind, it does not follow that the Father has a personal relationship with the material mind. The Father’’s relationship is with the spiritual aspects of ourselves--the soul. And the soul has no need of material values. It is the growing spiritual self that will survive the dissolution of the material self. The soul cannot be satisfied by material means; it is only satisfied with communion with its Father.
When the divine Son, Jesus, took on the form of a human being, he demonstrated his relationship to the heavenly Father. He lived his life just as all other men lived theirs. He received no special consideration apart from other men; he received no interventions in his material life by spiritual beings. He revealed the Father to us through loving service, and his relationship with the Father was purely spiritual. His faith was applied to this spiritual relationship. And because he believed, his prayers were effective. His prayer and worship life allowed divine values and meanings to continually flow. He constantly grew in the values and meanings of divine love. And this growth eventually was reflected in the perfection of his character. By maintaining constant communion and subjecting himself to the Father’’s will--the wholehearted desire to be Godlike--he achieved spiritual perfection of his character. This growth progress of divine values and meanings we want to illustrate using a material analogy.
A ladder is a marvelous tool. It helps us to move from a lower position to a higher one. A ladder is composed of two rails, one on each side. These rails are connected to each other by way of rungs. The rungs are made of the same material but are placed on the rails with an intervening space between them. The space between a rung is bridged by the rung above it, and is of such a size so that the person climbing the ladder can easily step on the rung above it and move to a higher level. Depending on the size of the ladder, the person who is climbing it can reach great heights. He is only limited by his ability to climb the stairs and by the length of the ladder.
We may conceive of the growth of divine values and meanings in our souls and minds as symbolized by such a leader——a spiritual ladder. The rails of this ladder are composed of eternal values but there is no end to them. The rungs on the ladder are divine meanings. The space between the ladders are the experiences of the soul. The ever-increasing heights of the rungs symbolize the ever-increasing divine meanings made available from experience. Each experience allows the soul to climb to a higher level on the ladder of love. While in the material analogy the wherewithal to climb this ladder resides in the power of the individual and in his decision to climb the ladder, in climbing the spiritual ladder the power to climb this ladder is our faith and our willingness to submit our will to the Father’’s will. In this way we experience a constant increase in new meanings out of old ones. And the ever-increasing revelations of the meanings of truth, beauty, and goodness and comprehension constitute soul growth. As we experience and seek to understand the spiritual meanings and values of our experiences by communing with the Father, we comprehend these values and meanings and grow in our divine sonship with the Father.
This ladder of love has no end; it stretches across infinity and eternity so we can expect an eternity of unfolding divine values and meanings as we continue our growth and development. But unless we learn to appreciate divine values and meanings by loving service to our brothers and sisters, we will not climb very far on this ladder of love and will remain immature. And neither should we stumble over the material difficulties of our lives, the very difficulties from which the Father is extracting divine values and meanings. We should allow our faith to see for us and thus avoid spiritual blindness.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of climbing the ladder of 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.