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 perfect love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." First John, Chapter 4, Verse 18
And though he feared neither God nor man,
He did fear the things in the garbage can.
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share insight into perfect love. We know that perfect love casts out fear. We are interested in knowing how this process works, with the goal of eradicating the fear from our souls. How do we obtain this perfect love? What is its secret? We all admit that this is a desirous state, but what areas of life does it refer to? Does it mean that if we meet a hungry tiger, we should be unafraid? Or if we are called upon to lay down our lives, we be unafraid? Or when our mortal journey on earth is completed and we prepare to enter the embrace of mortal death, we should be unafraid?
"The God-conscious mortal is certain of salvation; he is unafraid of life; he is honest and consistent. He knows how bravely to endure unavoidable suffering; he is uncomplaining when faced by inescapable hardship." Jesus promises to always be with us. He says that he will not leave us comfortless but will come to us. The Spirit of Truth dwells within our souls; it promises to go though all of our experiences with us, and that, when trouble does overtake us, we shall not be afraid. We have seen this when those who believe in Jesus have yielded up their lives without fear.
So we begin our analysis. It seems that the first step in eradicating fear from our lives is to accept salvation. The greatest fear that we have is the fear dying. This fear of losing our lives is a part of the survival instinct placed there by our Creator to ensure that we live as long as possible and to make certain that we get the most out of our living before it runs out. So fear is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a powerful stimulus for staying alive. And this fear has admirably served it purpose. It appears that the genesis of all things we are afraid is the possibility or the probability of their causing the loss of our life or causing us suffering or incapacitation. We know that we are subject to ordinary catastrophes of nature or the accidents of time. Inherent in our status as mortals is the inescapable hardship brought on by living in an imperfect environment, having imperfect bodies, as well as making unwise decisions that carry far-ranging consequences for our mortal natures.
Those who believe in Jesus have accepted salvation. At least that is the outward attitude. But what kind of attitude do we display when we are away from the stimulus of relating with one another? What are our secret fears?
For some of us, it may be the fear of additional pain and suffering when our plates are already loaded with pain and suffering, and we shrink from the thought of even more. We feel that we may not be able to endure it. For some of us, it may be the fear of becoming increasingly disabled and the fear that no one will be there for us. We fear that we may be left in some back room, ignored. We fear the loss of our jobs, our social standing. We fear the loss of our loved ones and wonder how in the world we will get through such an ordeal. Some of us have memories of having lost loved ones--and the emotional carnage was and still is horrible. How do we allow this perfect love to saturate every phase of our lives so that it will not only banish all fear but will vanquish even the shadow of fear?
It is a hard thing to surrender all things to the will of the Father, as we have discovered, for there is a constant revelation to our minds and souls of things, values, meanings that have not been submitted to the Father’’s will, things that are only discovered when some cataclysmic event brings them to the surface of our conscious minds. And when this happens, we become filled with fear, leaving us with one or two acute reactions. We either experience anxiety or depression. We experience anxiety when we are confronted with the thought of facing an unpleasant experience that is attached to our deepest fears, or we experience depression at the prospect of losing something or someone very dear to us. And these acute reactions last until the thing that we are afraid of is faced and put behind us.
We know that perfect love is the secret to abolishing all fears. The fear itself is far worse than the actual experience of it, for fear becomes magnified when it is not confronted and dealt with. But how do we confront and deal with these deep-seated fears? "Few persons live up to the faith which they really have. Unreasoned fear is a master intellectual fraud practiced upon the growing mortal soul." It is our faith in the goodness of God that reveals to us that all things work together for our eternal good. It is our faith in the Father’’s love for us that makes us spiritually invincible, and if we are spiritually invincible, there is no need to fear the greatest mortal fear that we have--the fear of mortal death. It is our growing faith that grows to such heights of trust that it becomes free of fear. We trust the Father to resurrect us.
When Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane, he was not prepared for the cruel death on the cross, but when he emerged from the Garden, he was prepared. What happened in the Garden of Gethsemane to prepare Jesus for his unbelievable cruel mortal end? Jesus laid the whole thing before his Father, even acknowledging that the Father had the power to deliver him, and that he wanted to be delivered if there was some way acceptable to the Father. Three times he tried to find a way out his awful dilemma, but his final attitude was "not my will, but your will be done.”” And while this was a supreme moment for Jesus, we can still follow the same principles——submitting to the Father’’s will--as he did with our ongoing fears when we experience supreme moments, when all of our fears, hopes, and dreams are on the line.
We should start our by dedicating our wills to doing the Father’’s will. Submitting to the Father’’s will means submitting to perfect love. Submitting to the Father’’s will means being perfect even as the heavenly father is perfect. Submitting to the Father’’s will is like a slow but powerful acid that gradually eats away all of the impurities of the soul. It vanishes fear while replacing it with love. Whenever we are confronted with fear, we should freely admit it to the Father. We should not attempt to hide it from Him, for all such efforts only result in hiding them from ourselves until some event propels them back into our conscious mind. When we admit these fears to the Father, the Father is able to show us their baselessness. And when we admit them to the Father, we should say to him that we want these fears to be replaced by His love, and we should seek the faith to do this.
But we should not be discouraged if they are not removed immediately because it takes times for our supreme desire to rise to supreme faith levels and overcome them. It takes time for the acid of love to do its work. But if we are persistent in our desire to submit these fears to the Father’’s will, he will replace them with his matchless love, and this matchless love will cast out all fear if we wholeheartedly believe it will.
This perfect love when fully admitted to our souls and minds will yield the consciousness that not only are our souls indestructible, but all those values and meanings that are true, beautiful, and good are also indestructible. And if we keep submitting these fears to the Father’’s will, one morning we will wake up and realize that we are not afraid, and we will realize this when we are confronted with one of those fear-provoking experiences.
This concludes today's message on perfect 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.