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. In today’’s broadcast, we consider how we live in a constant state of grace.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Living in a Constant State of Grace
"My grace is sufficient unto thee. For my strength is made perfect in weakness." Second Corinthians, Chapter 12, Verse 9
Brothers and sisters, what does it mean to be in a constant state of grace? How do we achieve and maintain this state? In our training journey through this life, we are constantly confronted by moral and spiritual challenges, and some of these challenges are overwhelming, and we often find ourselves crushed under their weight. We wonder where we can get power to bear and even overcome them. We must understand that all challenges are overcome spiritually by our going through them and subsequently mastering them.
To give us a better understanding of how this constant state of grace works, let us consider the analogy of a car on cruise control. Cruise control is designed to maintain a vehicle’’s speed. Thus, if we want to maintain a speed of 65 miles per hour, we set the cruise control for 65 miles per hour. This speed is maintained unless the brakes or gas pedal are pressed. When the vehicle begins to climb an elevation in the road, the cruise control furnishes power, just enough to keep the vehicle moving at 65 miles per hours. When the vehicle starts down an incline, the cruise control brakes the vehicle so it does not exceed the set limit. In this way the vehicle is maintained at a constant speed.
In our moral and spiritual struggles, grace (assistance from God) is supplied as needed. Grace is the power differential between what we are able to do and what the Father requires us to do. We receive grace from God automatically, but like cruise control, it must be turned on by our faith. This cruise control of grace remains on as long as we believe it is on. Thus, like all spiritual gifts from God, we must believe in order to receive. In short, divine things have to be loved in order to be known. They must be desired before they can become real in our experience.
When we are involved in one of our interminable moral and spiritual struggles, we sometimes feel that we don’’t have what it takes to get through the experience, and we lose our tranquility of spirit and our personal dignity. When we are struggling, we should look to Jesus and take note of his performance on the cross. He never complained about his suffering, even though he was in excruciating pain. In his agonizing ordeal, he forgave one of the thieves who had asked for forgiveness and gave him eternal life. His emotional state was superb, and his spirit remained undaunted. Sometimes we forget that Jesus went through this experience as a human being. And because he did, he is able to empower us to follow after him. We can meet all human contingencies through Jesus. This is why when we complain about anything, he says, "My grace is sufficient." Must of our emotional responses to an unpleasant, even painful experience is due to fear. The fear of the experience is far worse than the experience itself. If we eliminate the fear of the experience, we find the experience has shrunk in size and has become manageable. Jesus admonished us to ““fear not," and "be of good cheer."
When we are confronted with a disagreeable experience, whether it be physical, moral, or spiritual, there is no escaping it. The only thing that we can decide is how we will behave during it. We understand this from the physical perspective, but we fail to understand that this also happens on the moral and spiritual levels. When we are confronted with a moral or spiritual experience, we are forced to choose. When we make a positive choice, we enjoy the positive consequences of that choice; if we make a negative choice then we experience the negative consequences of that choice.
When we make positive choices when confronted with moral and spiritual choices, we increase in moral and spiritual status; when we make negative moral and spiritual choices, we decrease in moral and spiritual status.
But the Father loves us, and he has a plan for the further growth of his children or for their rehabilitation if needed. If we make positive moral and spiritual choices, then the Father provides us with further growth opportunities (increasingly difficult moral and spiritual experiences). These experience are of such a nature that they transcend our natural power; thus the need for grace. If we need rehabilitation, having failed to make a positive moral or spiritual decision, the Father presents us with another moral and spiritual experience designed to get us back on track. These experiences contain remedial instructions and are designed to show us the folly of trying to avoid the merciful plan of growth he has provided. And the Father continues to supply these remedial instructions of mercy to the moral and spiritual slacker until he either responds or loses the capacity to respond.
The criteria for qualifying for grace is inherent in its definition. Recall that we defined grace as the power differential between what we are able to do and what is required. To qualify for the bestowal of grace, we must do our best; we must do everything to the best of our ability. This activates the cruise control of grace so that we master eventually the moral and spiritual challenge before us. All this equals growth.
We want to maintain this state of grace at all times, not just intermittently. We wish to avoid ruinous emotional consequences and moral and spiritual failure caused by not availing ourselves of grace. In other words, we must do our best intellectually, morally, and spiritually. These attitudes are demonstrated further as:
““1. You must qualify as a potent prayer by sincerely and courageously facing the problems of universe reality. You must possess cosmic stamina.
2. You must have honestly exhausted the human capacity for human adjustment. You must have been industrious.
3. You must surrender every wish of mind and every craving of soul to the transforming embrace of spiritual growth. You must have experienced an enhancement of meanings and an elevation of values.
4. You must make a wholehearted choice of the divine will. You must obliterate the dead center of indecision.
5. You not only recognize the Father’’s will and choose to do it, but you have effected an unqualified consecration, and a dynamic dedication, to the actual doing of the Father’’s will.
6. Your prayer will be directed exclusively for divine wisdom to solve the specific human problems encountered in the Paradise ascension —— the attainment of divine perfection.
7. And you must have faith —— living faith.””
This concludes today's message on how to live in a constant state of grace. 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