Greetings, 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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we discuss how we remain forever young.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John, Chapter 3, Verse 16
Brothers and sisters, remain young may sound like a paradox. We all witness how we come into the world as helpless infants and begin the aging process. Dutifully we mark off each year in the form of birthdays, even celebrating each year. As our birthdays begin to add up, we begin to feel the weight of these accumulating years. Relatively soon, the years of youth fly away from us seemingly at the speed of light when we reflect back. We state, ““My, time sure seems to fly." While time itself is proceeding on its inexorable pace, as it always has and always will, seconds, becoming minutes, minutes becoming hours, hours becoming days, days becoming weeks, weeks becoming, months and months becoming years, our subjective perception of its passing changes as the years accumulate. The older we become, the quicker time seems to pass.
As youth gives way to middle age, we notice the effects of aging more and more. Our energy levels begin to fall and increasingly we become subject to disease. Our youthful bodies which before have been vibrant slowly lose that youthful appearance. It is here that we begin to take our mortality seriously. Soon the reparative functions of our body are exceeded by the destructive process of wear and tear. As we enter old age, this process accelerates, and it becomes obvious that we are really declining. This process continues on at its deadly, unremitting pace until one day vital organs are impaired and death soon intervenes. At such a time we reflect on the meaning of our lives. It seems that we have been living a life that is cruel and indifferent to our welfare, and we wonder at all the suffering and pain that we have experienced in this short life, why we were even born into such a farce.
At such times many may identify with this: "To the unbelieving materialist, man is simply an evolutionary accident. His hopes of survival are strung on a figment of mortal imagination; his fears, loves, longings, and beliefs are but the reaction of the incidental juxtaposition of certain lifeless atoms of matter. No display of energy nor expression of trust can carry him beyond the grave. The devotional labors and inspirational genius of the best of men are doomed to be extinguished by death, the long and lonely night of eternal oblivion and soul extinction. Nameless despair is man’’s only reward for living and toiling under the temporal sun of mortal existence. Each day of life slowly and surely tightens the grasp of a pitiless doom which a hostile and relentless universe of matter has decreed shall be the crowning insult to everything in human desire which is beautiful, noble, lofty, and good."
But there is another aspect to the story. It is true that the material life is doomed to perish, but there is also new life being generated even as the old life winds down. What appears to be an unqualified disaster from the material point of view is an unqualified success from the spiritual point of view. Being mortal is a blessing that the material mind cannot grasp, but it can be grasped by the faith of the soul. Children, not to mention infants, are not able to appreciate all the ways their parents are dedicated to them. They must await a greater development and maturity before they can appreciate the tremendous love their parents have for them.
The heavenly Father has a grand and glorious plan for all mortal children, and this grand and glorious plan depends on our mortality. It is a plan that is especially designed for us and was initiated by eternity when the Father proposed to his Son: "let us make mortal man in our image." This proposal was then followed by the command: "Be you perfect even as I am perfect." These two injunctions set the whole universe astir, as all the heavenly hosts were mobilized to make it happen.
The mortal human is no more than a transitory stage; it can be likened to the uterus carrying an infant. It serves adequately for this stage of the infant’’s life. But though the infant may not be aware that he is in a transitory stage, we are aware of it and look forward to its end when the infant will be ejected from this temporary stage. Having completed this stage, it now becomes possible for him to experience all of the possibilities of being human, a situation made possible only by being ejected from the womb.
Likewise, the Father has conceived us in conjunction with our minds. This conception is the soul. The soul grows in the material mind as we make moral and spiritual decisions. And this soul represents the real us, the value transfer of all our worthwhile human experiences. As the mortal self winds down, the soul winds up. And it becomes possible to transfer our identity from the mortal self to the soul, the immortal self. Unlike the mortal self, the soul is forever young. It is possible for us to transfer our identity to this soul and experience the values and meaning of this new self that is forever young.
We no longer have to be limited to material values and meanings derived from interacting with our material environment. These are temporal values and are doomed to extinction with the demise of the material mind. We can experience celestial levels of values and meanings. The divine values and meanings have as their source the divine spirit, which fathered the soul. Unselfish and altruistic values and meanings are placed in the soul and mind. This divine spirit also reveals the values of divine love truth, beauty, and goodness. These are the values and meanings that inspire us to take an unselfish interest in others and causes us to love each other the way the Jesus does.
But how do we achieve this transfer of identity so that we can be forever young?
Two thousand years ago God in the form of His Son, Jesus, took on the form of a mortal and demonstrated to us the technique whereby we can achieve the transfer of our identity to our souls. He demonstrated that by dedicating and consecrating our will to doing the Father’’s will, we can live the heavenly life even while we live the earthly life. We can make the transfer to our souls while living the material life. Jesus went about doing good. His life was characterized by the display of the fruits of the spirit. He revealed to us that we were the sons of God and that we could experience this great truth by exercising our faith and submitting our wills to the Father’’s will. He left his Spirit of Truth to show each truth-seeking individual how to achieve this transfer. Such a life is characterized by faith, trust, and hope. This hope is irrepressible. No matter the material ups and downs of this material life, hope always dissolves them with the far-seeing attitude of "it won’’t always be this way.”” Such a life is illuminated by worship on the inside and by loving service on the outside to our brothers and sisters.
As we make moral and spiritual decisions, our souls increasingly take on the image of his Son, Jesus. And ever-increasing values yield ever-increasing meanings. And these meanings are delightful and never grow old but are constantly renewed and expanded. And as we identify with these eternal values, we become like them--eternal. We remain forever young. As our aging material bodies wind down, we experience emotional turmoil, especially if we are physically suffering. Our minds urge us to do something. But we finally realize that nothing can be done. And so we wait patiently with our faith, trust, and hope.
We finally make the adjustment and accept our mortal fate. We are no longer seriously disturbed and increasingly look forward to the day when our souls are delivered from the womb of the material mind. On resurrection morning, we will actually see with our spiritual eyes this new self just as we see now with our material eyes the material self. We will burst forth with praise and thanksgiving and worship as we realize that our faith, trust, and hope in God has been justified. And there will be no more dying once we make this transition, for indeed we will be forever young.
This concludes today's message on how we remain forever young. 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