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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand how Jesus liberates the moral captives.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Liberation of the Moral Captives
"The Spirit of the lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recover sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. I am come that they may have life and that they may have life more abundantly." John, Chapter 10, Verse 10; Luke, Chapter 4, Verse 18.
Jesus said he came to set the captives free. By moral captive, he meant those who labor under the weight of a million and one duties. Moral consciousness--understanding right from wrong--is part of our human nature. We know what our duties are in any given situation. We may not always live up to the spirit of these duties, but nevertheless we know what they are. We are moral beings. Our heavenly Father is moral, and therefore He requires of us, His sons and daughters, to be moral.
When we ignore our moral duties, we lose purpose and become like a kite without a tail--we have no stability. But duty without love is nothing but moral slavery. In the place of all the dos and don’ts, Jesus said, "I require you to love each other as I have loved you." Accepting the command to love each other as Jesus loves us transforms our consciousness of duty into the consciousness of joyous spiritual service, for love is the transcendent force that overrides all duties. If we love others with a Fatherly love, it becomes a joy to carry out our moral responsibilities. Duties no longer become obligations that we must carry out at all costs but rather do they become privileges. Love fills everything with a freshness, a new start. Even the most routine of duties becomes a joy under the transforming power of love. All work is sacred and divine for those who follow Jesus, and anyone of us who labors with the spirit of love knows the reality of this truth.
We must remember, though, that the capacity in each of us to love varies. Therefore the heavenly Father in His infinite and eternal wisdom arranges for those who know how to love to demonstrate it to those who are less experienced. In this way, we all have an opportunity for spiritual growth and development no matter our level of experience. In truth we cannot possess a higher moral and spiritual awareness unless we can demonstrate our ability to share our awareness with others. Sharing is God-like. The Father shares all with Jesus, who in turn shares all with us. Jesus gives us His Spirit of Truth to lead us into all truth.
When we make a decision to follow Jesus, there begins a series of accelerated testing, or learning opportunities, followed by accelerated growth. This testing might show up in daily life as, say, being in a disagreeable situation. Or it may involve having to relate to an unpleasant person, a job experience, or even our health status. Passing these tests means being willing to abide and walk in the shoes of the disagreeable experience. By doing so, we bring forth within us the beautiful and priceless fruits of the spirit, which are love, faith, goodness, gentleness, temperance, meekness, long suffering, peace and joy.
We must be still and know the Lord--know the truth, beauty and goodness of his mercy. We must be still and experience the truth that good overcomes evil, truth over error. During our trials we must allow the spiritual power of love to flow continuously through us, changing us in the process. If we walk in the shoes of a disagreeable experience with an evildoer, we should allow the evildoer to experience the Father's love through us until his soul is saturated with it. We should prove to the evildoer that we really do know the Father by our ceaseless acts of love, endless mercy and utter disregard for the passing of time.
And if the accidents of time and the catastrophes of nature overtake and overwhelm us, we should hold even faster to the Father's love and his mercy by declaring, "Even though He slay me, yet will I serve him." We must stand during fiery trials and tribulations of faith testing. We will know when we have passed the test when we lovingly submit to the experience, for Jesus supplies all that we need to emerge victorious. He supplies us with hope and faith; courage and strength; understanding and wisdom. There is moral stamina and spiritual power; and peace in the midst of pain. But even so we have transcended the moral struggle by grasping the spirit of love and service. Immersed in the Spirit of Jesus, we only see joyful opportunities for loving service. Yes, we, the moral captives, have been liberated by the spirit of the Father's love.
This concludes today's message on understanding how Jesus liberates the moral captives. 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.