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 mercy of the Lord.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Lord Have Mercy
"Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic and sore vexed: for oft-times he falleth into the fire and oft into the water.”” Matthew, Chapter 17, Verse 15
Brothers and sisters, most of us have uttered at some time ““Lord have mercy.”” These words are not usually uttered lightly. When we call upon the Lord in earnest, it is because we have gone as far as we can go with our own efforts to either resolve a difficulty or alleviate it. The difficulty has grown to the point where it is interfering with our equilibrium and we are under great stress. There are several kinds of mercy that range from the physical through the emotional, up to the moral and finally reaching the spiritual. Jesus used an example of physical mercy to demonstrate who our neighbors are. He used the example of a man who had been robbed on the Jericho road; those who should have gone to his rescue failed to do so. The one individual who would not have been expected to come to his rescue did. The true neighbor of the man was the one who came to his rescue. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves and love God with all of our hearts and souls. This story not only demonstrated the universality of who our neighbors are but it also demonstrated mercy.
We are told that spiritual mercy is applied love as well a technique of growth. We are told that the Father is love and that mercy is applied love. So there are two aspects of the Father’’s love. One is the overall affection that he has for us. And this love surrounds us and is in us regardless of what we do. Applied mercy though is the act of love being administered to us. Often times this applied mercy is not really appreciated. When children are immature, they are not always in a position to appreciate their parents’’ acts of mercy in their sometimes necessary restraint. These restraints are placed upon them because of the parents’’ superior wisdom and their ability to know the consequences of certain acts, consequences which the child is unable to penetrate due to immaturity and lack of wisdom. And while most of the time the child grudgingly accepts the restraints placed on them by parents, the child does not fully begin to appreciate the mercy in the restraints until they assume a parental role themselves. Parents want what is best for their children and will do everything in their power to prevent the children from unwisely harming themselves or unnecessarily becoming handicapped before they have sufficient judgment to know the consequences of their unwise acts.
Being spiritual children, we are not always able to appreciate the acts of love of our heavenly Father. In our immature eyes, we think that what we want or the way that we would like to go is what’’s best for us; but in retrospect, we see that our course of action would not take into account the past-present-future of such a course of action. The Father has commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect. This is a daunting challenge and requires all of the potentials wrapped up in our souls to be actualized to achieve this feat. And because we are starting from an animal origin, our view of how to do this is flawed. We dislike struggle and we dislike challenges that require protracted effort. We seek ease. But this course of action would leave us in a sad predicament. We would not make any progress towards becoming perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect.
And sometimes, even when we are willingly to take on a challenge or to struggle in the face of the challenge, it may be the wrong challenge and the wrong struggle. Thus mercy, the act of love, redirects our challenges and struggles. But even so, when we are in the grasp of the challenge and struggle, when our efforts reach supreme levels, we call out for mercy from the spiritual Father. And the spiritual Father showers us with spiritual mercy, with spiritual acts of love.
There are two aspects to the ministry of spiritual mercy. First, when we have gone as far as we can go and have used all of our energy and preconceived concepts and preconceived directions, then is the Father able to more accurately guide our concepts and directions. We offer less resistance to his guidance and direction. Thus the Father is able to more perfectly attune our minds to his mind and to align our wills with his will. This alignment allows us to better cooperate with his divine plan for our lives. And having more perfectly attuned ourselves, the divine values and meanings can flow without obstruction. The comprehension of divine values and meanings constitute growth.
Secondly the Father floods our souls with spiritual power. As Jesus says, "Come to me all of you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest for your souls." The Father then amplifies the faith and trust already in our souls. This adds stability to our souls, so that our equilibrium is returned which is indicated by tranquility of spirit and that peace that passes all understanding. Then he floods our minds and soul with hope. This hope allows us to exercise patience, which is so essential to following the divine plan. It does this by projecting our consciousness to a future state where the difficulty has been successfully overcome. It has the effect of causing us to hang on just a little bit longer. It tells us that tomorrow will be a better day.
When we call out for mercy, the Father helps to move us forward. He clears the way with the increased revelation of truth, beauty, and goodness. He reminds us that nothing of spiritual value is lost. While spiritual mercy does not remove the material and emotional difficulty, it does transcend them. It allows our souls to continue to make spiritual progress, material and emotional difficulty notwithstanding.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the mercy of the Lord. 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