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 meanings of spiritual sweetness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good: Blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Psalms,
Chapter 34, Verse 8.
Brothers and sisters, when referring to the relationship with Jesus, religionists often comment as to
how sweet he is. "Taste and see the Lord is Good." Sweetness is a quality that we are all familiar
with, and its breadth encompasses physical, emotional, intellectual, moral, and spiritual realms. As
is our custom, we shall examine the physical, emotional, intellectual, moral concepts of sweetness
before proceeding to the more daunting challenge of exploring spiritual sweetness.
In the physical arena, sweetness is perceived as a taste. The contrast with bitterness allows us to
differentiate it sweetness. Without bitterness, we would not have anything to compare sweetness to
and therefore would not be able to appreciate it. This is similar to the differentiation of good from
evil. It is done by contrast. Sweetness gives a physical pleasure that is satisfying and gratifying. The
more we consume something that is sweet, the more we desire it. This can be a problem in the
physical world because sweet foods are often high in calories. Sweet foods usually contain a quick
source of energy as well. When this desire for sweetness is not balanced, it often leads to
accumulating extra calories which get stored in the form of excess weight.
We can experience sweetness In the emotional arena as well. This is best seen in the explosion of
feelings that accompanies romantic passion. Here the new lovers experience a dazzling height of
sweetness, though it is temporary. Romantic passion is so endowed with sweetness that most spend
their lives trying to either prolong or recapture it. And we have to admit that this sweetness has a
wonderful taste; it is extremely gratifying and satisfying. This sweetness is also contrasted with
bitterness. And most of us have experienced the bitterness of romantic relations gone awry. It is a
very difficult and painful experience to cope with and to get over. But romantic love has a purpose,
and the sweetness associated with it is an inducement to fulfill that purpose. There are other essential
functions associated with the romantic phase of relationships. And when these other essential
functions are ignored tragedy walks in. Balance is needed; the sweetness of romantic relationships
cannot be a thing unto itself. It must be integrated with other aspects of life.
In the intellectual level, sweetness can be found. It is a pleasurable satisfaction to the mind when a
challenging intellectual problem is solved. It is an overflowing sense of gratification, which
reinforces the desire and will to solve other difficult problems. And this sweetness is best appreciated
when compared with the spectacle of ignorance. It has been said that you can't miss what you don't
know, but you can wish and desire for a solution to pressing problems. Ignorance assumes that the
way things are, are the way things are. It is only with intellectual progress that the horror of
ignorance reveals itself. But intellectual sweetness when exclusively pursued to the neglect of other
activities of life also present problems that bring bitterness with them. A vainglorious intellect that
ignores moral and spiritual responsibilities is inherently defective.
Moral sweetness is a little more difficult to comprehend because it does not excite the physical
senses, the emotions, nor the intellect. It is perceived in the moral nature of man. Moral sweetness
is a quality that is more often experienced with the mature moral individual. Moral responsibilities
exert a severe discipline upon the self by diverting the purely selfish energies towards moral
obligations that make claims upon the individual sense of duty. Most immature individuals resent
this claim because it interferes with the more immature inclinations of the individual. But once moral
responsibilities are embraced, there is a certain satisfaction and gratification that is perceived as
pleasurable. This pleasure is better known through loyalty. Loyalty is the sweetness of the moral
nature. When you have become loyal to your responsibilities, then you are rewarded with the fruit
of loyalty--sweetness. Every mature moral individual experiences this. We now elevate to the final
level: spiritual sweetness.
The spiritual level of sweetness is a quality that is associated with spiritual living. The values of the
spirit exude a certain satisfaction, gratification, a certain uprising in the soul of a quality that can only
be described as sweetness. "Taste and see that the Lord is Good." This sweetness is the realization
that the unspeakable longings and desires of the soul are being satisfied. The sweetness is the joy of
discovering the love of the Father and His mercy, the joy of discovering who we really are--sons of
the infinite, absolute, and eternal Father. The joy of discovering eternal life, of discovering the
realities of truth, beauty, and goodness, causes sweetness to bubble up in the soul. The escape from
the consciousness of evil and error and the banishment of sin and iniquity is a pleasure that is sweet
to savor. This spiritual sweetness unlike the others does not have any side effects or drawback. Not
only does it include moral sweetness but also the sweetness of triumphing glory that results from
discovering that the privilege of loving service is superior to the duties of morality.
The sweetness of the spirit infiltrates all activities, imparting its pleasurable aroma. It can even
infiltrate sickness as well, as observed in invalids who normally would have no reason to be sweet.
But this is purely a physical assessment. When we observe these individuals with the eye of the spirit
and discern their demeanor, we exclaim with startling surprise, "That is a sweet person." Only
spiritual sweetness can permeate all levels of human existence. After all spiritual sweetness is the
flavor and taste of the Father's love. When it is embraced entirely, as contrasted against potential
evil, it is balanced materially, emotionally, intellectually, and morally. Such a balanced individual
is perceived as a "sweet person."
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of spiritual sweetness. 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.