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 the meaning of being the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Sons and Daughters of the Father
"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.
"He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.""Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like he is." "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
The sons and daughters of the Father are spiritual since the Father is spiritual. We become the sons and daughters of the Father by being born of the spirit. We have two natures, one material and one spiritual. Our material nature perishes but our spiritual nature is destined for eternal life. Indeed, if we believe in Jesus, he has already given us eternal life.
While we live in the flesh, we must of necessity serve two masters--the kingdom of earth and its king, Caesar, and the Kingdom of Heaven and its King, God. But though we must serve two masters, we need not render spiritual loyalty to any except God. Render unto Caesar those things that belong to Caesar and render to God those things that belong to God. We enter the kingdom of earth by being born of woman; we enter the Kingdom of God by being born of the spirit.
Before Jesus came, it was not possible for us to experience the Kingdom of Heaven while living on earth because we could not be born again. We had to accept by faith that we would experience the Kingdom of God after material death. But the bestowal of God appearing as man in Jesus made it possible for us to experience divine realities while still in the flesh. Faith is still necessary for us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but we soon come to know the reality of that which we believe. Being born of the spirit is essential for us to know the reality of the Father's love and the Son's mercy. Being born of the spirit will certainly produce the fruit of the spirit in our lives.
In the Kingdom of earth, our life's reactions are material and temporal. For example, we experience the sentiment of human love. Usually this affection is reciprocal and actually selfish in its mode of expression. It has a physical basis, begins very quickly and ends very quickly, usually undergoing the transformation of hate and ambivalence when it ends. When we achieve a much desired material goal, our material nature experiences material joy. This joy is short lived, selfish, and disappears as quickly as it appeared, especially when frustrated.
During brief stretches of our material lives, we experience those episodes where everything proceeds according to our desires. We are in tune with our friends and our environment. There are no conflicts, no changes. Everything appears to stand still for a while. This is the state of material peace. It goes without saying that this peace doesn't last long, as it disappears with the sudden appearance of the storm clouds of turmoil.
Patience is another attribute we learn while pursuing goals with definite time frames and end points. Since we can see the end of our striving, we can bide our time; but remove our time frame and endpoints and our patience quickly dissipates because our desires are frustrated. We can enjoy faith and happiness, but our faith is based upon our ability to perform tasks we've already mastered, while our happiness springs from self satisfaction rather than divine satisfaction. The faith and happiness we experience in the Kingdom of Heaven is proof that we are sons and daughters of the Father. This faith and happiness is ever-increasing and is founded on the
supreme delight and righteousness of doing the Father's will "for the kingdom of God is not meat
and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the holy spirit."
In the Kingdom of Heaven, we experience love that springs from the Father and flows through us by the spirit. This is eternal love. This love is continuous in its flow, ever-increasing, always unselfish and seeking to reach those who are unloved or who do not know love. This love never suffers fatigue, never undergoes the transformation of hate or ambivalence, but seeks new ways to manifest itself. This love even loves its enemies and eventually conquers all.
In the Kingdom of Heaven we also experience spiritual joy. This joy is also eternal and comes from the Father. It is not dependent on the achievements of temporal goals. This joy is the revelation of the Father in our souls. There is also undying hope. This hope is the pledge of the Father to our souls that we will eventually overcome all and any barrier that stands in the way of our achieving divine perfection. There is also a peace, a deep abiding peace that passes all understanding. This peace persists in spite of the pain, sorrow, and disappointment that we experience as a part of this material life. This peace is also from the Father, and it brings the knowledge that the Father is changeless and is in absolute control over our eternal lives. Joy, hope and peace maintain our optimism and prevent us from giving up during times of intense struggle. Finally we experience long suffering that is another manifestation of eternal realities. Eternal realities know no time or space. They are without beginning or end.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of being the sons and daughters of God. 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.