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. In today’’s broadcast we explore the nature of the attitudes of the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Spiritual Attitudes of the Sons and Daughters of God
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." First John, Chapter 3, Verses 2 and 3
Brothers and sisters, it is both a glorious and daunting faith-challenge to accept our birthright of being sons of the heavenly Father. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God." As hard as it is for the material mind to understand, we are the spiritual sons of the heavenly Father, having been created in the image of his Son. This realization can be achieved by faith acceptance and by submitting our will to the Father’’s will. If we accept this birthright by faith and submit our will to the Father’’s will, we soon realize that regardless of the skepticism of the material mind, we are spiritual sons and daughters of the Father. This is true because the Father’’s spirit has recreated us in his spiritual image. And this new creation grows and develops within our material minds.
But some are unwilling or unable to accept their birthright as sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. As long as we insist on realizing this status with our material mind, we will be unable to do so. We must use our faith to accept and realize this status. The divine Son, Jesus, took on the form of a human being and demonstrated what the sons and daughters of the Father looked like in the flesh. He becomes our ideal example, then, of the Father’’s sons and daughters living in the flesh. And in addition to this example, he left his Spirit of Truth behind to provide a living example for all who desire to accept and realize their sonship with the heavenly Father through Him.
How do we get past the doubts of the material mind? How do we think, act, and feel like sons and daughters of the heavenly Father? Let us consider this material analogy: The other day, I was watching a movie. The drill sergeant was training marines, and their performance was sub-optimal. It was the sergeant’’s job to prepare them for their combat mission, and they were not progressing very well. They were not acting in the tradition of the countless marines that had gone before them. He realized that even though they were marines, they did not see themselves as marines. He said to them, "When you start thinking like marines, you will begin to act and feel like marines." All the training that recruits go through is designed to make them realize this truth. And when they finish the training process, they think, act, and feel like marines. They are ready to carry out their mission.
In becoming marines, we note some characteristics that are essential for success. First, there must be a desire, followed by a bonafide decision to enlist in the Marine Corps. This bonafide agreement makes it possible for the marine recruit to submit to the training process. Next he must really believe that he can successfully complete the training that will transform him from a civilian into a marine. The training is difficult and progressive, and, almost at every turn, there are barriers that seem to be insurmountable. He must possess that tenacity of purpose that will drive him forward. And having all of these qualities, he is now ready to accept the challenge to become a marine. When he emerges from this process, he emerges not as a civilian but as a motivated full-fledged marine.
In becoming sons and daughters of the heavenly Father, there are similar though not exact parallels. We qualify to recreate ourselves spiritually by having a moral nature. This is the contract that allows the heavenly Father to cooperate with us in our recreation. We sign this agreement, by making our first moral decision, which result in the creation of our souls, our recreated selves. Each moral decision thereafter contributes to our growth and development. But we must remember that though these transactions occur in the material mind, the material mind is not conscious of them. We have always been sons and daughters of the heavenly Father, but this truth was not consciously experienced by mankind until the divine Son, Jesus, incarnated in the flesh. Prior to Jesus’’ incarnation, all souls remained in embryonic form, not being born until they were resurrected on the mansion worlds. But after his incarnation in the flesh, Jesus empowered the soul to be born within the material mind and thus be able to consciously realize the status of sonship with God. Thus, the sons and daughters of God may now consciously experience the heavenly life while still living the life in the flesh.
This advanced status occurs in response to two forces--namely desire and faith. Faith is a gift given to us in the flesh by our heavenly Father in response to our desire to effect potential spiritual transactions. When we exercise this faith, it mobilizes all of the powers of the self, and a change is brought about in our spiritual status. Desire is necessary to be born again, where the qualities of the heavenly life can be experienced while still living the life in the flesh. It is the Father’’s will that we are spiritually born again while living in the flesh. But since we have free moral will, we must supply the desire. We then fall within the great spiritual law: What the true son desires, and the Father wills, is. And this can best be summed up by stating that when we submit our will to the Father’’s will, we immediately begin to take on the image of his Son, Jesus.
Having exercised desire and faith, our thoughts must ascend to the heavenly Father. We must focus our thoughts upon him, seeking to know his will. We must consider our relationship with him one of Father and son/daughter. This reflection on who the Father is and who we are spiritually makes an impression on our minds and souls, providing insight that we indeed are the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father.
When we allow the truth that God is our heavenly Father and we are his sons and daughters to take hold in our souls, we begin to act as if we truly are. The Father is living spiritual love; thus we are the sons and daughters of spiritual love. And as we begin to be true to our nature, this spiritual love flows in and through us. It enlarges the capacity to receive this love and deepen the channel of its flow, so that we increasingly take on the image of his Son, who is the personal revelation of this spiritual love of the heavenly Father.
Our characters are transformed; and when we realize that we are being transformed into the image of his Son, by the ceaseless fruits of the spirit that fall upon the ground of our brothers and sisters, we become convicted that we are indeed the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father and are consumed with spiritual emotions of joy that imparts a mood of spiritual happiness.
This concludes today's message on understanding the spiritual attitudes of the sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. 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.