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 more on the nature of the Father’’s love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
More on the Nature of the Father’’s Love
““Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons
of God." First John, Chapter 3, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, today’s broadcast we continue our discussion on the nature of the Father’’ love.
We shall again attempt to gain further insight into this affection that the Father has for us, his mortal
children. Last week, we started out by comparing the love of the human father to the love of the
heavenly Father as a way of trying to intellectually understand it. We know that there is a vast
difference between the intellectual knowing of the Father’’s love and the soul’’s experiencing of this
essential reality. When Jesus came to the home of Lazarus after Lazarus had died, many of his
enemies were also present at this sad occasion and criticized him, saying "Could not this man, which
opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" And they have
not been the last to utter such criticism of the Father’’s love for his mortal children. Although it may
not appear so, during these kinds of adversities and reversals the Father’’s love is revealed. When
Jesus was dying on the cross, he depicted the greatest revelation of the Father’’s love in the flesh.
When he said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do," he demonstrated the Father’’s
affection for his children even as these same children were in the process of destroying him
(materially). Such acts of mercy could not have been possible unless he truly loved his children with
a fatherly affection.
To gain greater insight into the Father’’s love, we turn to examining adversity. Adversity allows the
intellect to understand the difference between divine love and human love. When things are going
smoothly for us in this life, we feel a sense of well-being, a sense that things are in order. We feel
a sense of love. But it is difficult to separate this sense of well being from its spiritual component
when things are going well. And when this sense of well-being disappears due to a storm cloud of
human existence, we are hard pressed intellectually to describe the Father’’s affection in positive
Yes, we know that our human associates still love and care for us, but at such times are we not
tempted as Jesus’’ enemies were to ask, "Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind,
have caused that even this man should not have died?" When we see our loved ones afflicted with
some baffling illness, deteriorating in front of our eyes from the diseases of intellectual degeneration
(such as Alzheimer’’s), or we watch our loved ones being born with some birth defect that will
prevent them from living a normal life, or when we bury our children rather than the other way
around, are we not tempted to ask why the heavenly Father who loves us does not intervene and
make things right?
But why does the loving Father refuse to intervene? Surely with his creative power he could make
things right. This is true, for we know that when Jesus was living in the flesh he healed mortals, even
raised one from the dead. But the healing that Jesus did while on earth was for spiritual purposes and
not to alleviate difficulties caused by material things, though we may not comprehend or fully
appreciate these spiritual reasons. We are experiential beings and must grow intellectually, morally,
and spiritually. And we know by simply studying Jesus’’ life that no amount of material evidence
will convince the mortal mind to believe in the reality of the Father’’s love. The material mind will
remain skeptical. Only faith can bridge the gap of material skepticism; only the faith forecasts of the
soul can know the Father and his love.
Faith is the spiritual tool that the Father gives to us while we still live in the flesh. It allows us to
experience and know spiritual reality, including the greatest spiritual reality of all--the Father’’s love.
It is the Father’’s love for us that prevents him from sabotaging the intellectual, moral and spiritual
growth of his mortal children: the circumstances of life are part of his plan for salvaging the souls
of his children. Would it be kind or loving for us to attempt to help the struggling butterfly emerge
from its cocoon?
We should not view life as an enemy. Even a wise human father would not prevent his offspring
from the essential experiences necessary for their growth and development, though the experiences
may be trying emotionally. Despite the tribulations of afflictions and suffering, the net result is
growth. Thus it appears that pain and suffering are essential for progressive growth, and since they
are necessary the Father in his wisdom allows them. Jesus said that we would have tribulation in this
world but to be of good cheer, for he had overcome the world. Consider this significant quote: "It
is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes." Therefore, "The greatest
affliction of the cosmos is never to have been afflicted. Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing
tribulation." It requires faith and trust in the goodness of the Father to discern his hand of love and
mercy in this process.
When Jesus, the Father incarnate, lived on earth, he went about proclaiming the good news that God
was the Father of human beings, and these human beings were his children. Jesus’’ interaction with
them, his caring attitude, his willingness to listen to their difficulties, his unselfish attitude towards
them, his desire to do everything humanly possible to assist them in the solution of their problems
were all manifestations of Fatherly love. Fatherly love is for its own sake. No reward or reciprocation
is expected in return. He only asks that we pass this affection on to our brothers and sisters: "A new
commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you. By this shall all men
know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one to another." This affection is unselfish, but more
importantly, it is a spiritual affection. A spiritual affection is experienced in the soul, not the mind.
And this is where the difficulty comes in, in terms of intellectually comprehending the Father’’s love.
The material mind has no way to consciously comprehend the Father’’s love, but the soul of man
does experience and responds to this affection.
This spiritual affection is present at all times in the souls of men. It remains there during the sunshine
and midnight of life. It literally bathes man’’s souls. Divine love has been defined as the desire to
do good to others. So our understanding of this divine affection can best be approached as to how
this desire causes the soul to manifest its effects. When once the soul is awakened to the force of
divine affection, it immediately begins to display hope, faith, and trust. Regardless of the ups and
downs of material life, regardless of the inexplicable vicissitudes of life, or the unexplained
suffering, the soul goes right on trusting, exercising faith and hope, daring to declare that "even
though He slay me, yet will I serve Him."
The soul is comforted by this divine affection, its response to it resulting in an inexplicable poise,
a peace that passes all understanding. And when the soul experiences the divine affection, it
expresses spiritual joy. Spiritual joy is not the emotional joy that usually accompanies material joy.
Rather, spiritual joy remains at all times; it does not come and go. Jesus said, ““And ye now
therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your joy no man taketh from you." A person who
was deeply satisfied, so deep that words could not fathom it, would be experiencing spiritual joy.
The Father’’s love is such that it causes the human to stand up and bravely confront his enemies, to
boldly pursue the task of mastering himself and his environment, forever banishing fear and
replacing it with love. "Perfect love casts out all fear." The person who possess love, who allows it
to control all aspects of his life, responds to his moral environment with love. "Hate is the shadow
of fear," the reflection of fear blocking out the light of the Father’’s love. And it is here in the
shadow of fear that one may--by contrast--behold the Father’’s love, for when you behold a fear-
ridden mortal, you are beholding a person who lacks the experience of love. One who does not
experience the Father’’s love is afraid, hopeless in the face of adversity, faithless in the face of doubt,
and trustless in the face of uncertainty.
The Father’’s love is always present in his mortal children; only as it flows through us does it
become activated. We are bathed with it and experience the thrill of the Father’’s love. Those who
have related to others unselfishly and in a caring way, and have responded to the spiritual cries for
mercy, have experienced this divine love many, many times. In fact, in our daily interactions, we
experience this divine love in our souls countless times as we translate the desire to do good to others
by acts of spiritual service. To this one, we give a smile or a word of encouragement; to another, we
display hope and trust in the face of uncertainty. Still to another we display the divine patience as
we await the unfolding of the Father’’s plan. Still to another we extend the hand of mercy as a
sympathetic ear. A friendly sincere greeting of good morning recognizes the brotherhood and
sisterhood of man. We may have difficulty finding words to express this spiritual affection, but no
such difficulties exist in experiencing it.
This concludes today's message on understanding more of the nature of the Father’’s 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.