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 ponder our lives as we seek to understand how we acquire divine values.
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we explore the acquirement of divine values.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Acquirement of Divine Values
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first born among many of his brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: And whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 29 and 30
We have been commanded to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. Our response to this command is the creation of our souls in conjunction with the divine spirit. When the soul comes into existence, it immediately begins to view the outlined image of perfection displayed by the divine spirit. Then begins the arduous process of filling in the outline, of acquiring the image of the Father as revealed in His Son, Jesus. To help us grasp the feel for this process, let us consider this analogy.
A jigsaw puzzle is a picture that has been disassembled by cutting parts into various shapes and sizes. To reconstruct the picture, all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle must be reassembled. We start by looking at all aspects of the picture on the box. For example, if it is a puzzle of barn with animals surrounding it such as cows, chickens, pigs, and etc, we take note of their relationship to each other. We noticed the color of the barn, and how it relates to the other parts of the picture. We look at the sky that hovers over the barn as well as any background information, such as grass, water, mountains and so forth. After we get a good picture of this image in our minds, we are then ready to begin to assemble the puzzle.
But before reassembling, there are other things we need. First, we must desire to complete the puzzle. Without desire, we will probably never get around to starting, and, if we do, we will probably never finish it. Second, we must believe that we can complete the puzzle. Without belief, we will probably not even try to start it, believing it to be impossible to complete. Third, we need to have a firm table upon which to work. Also, we need good lightening so we can readily distinguish the different colors and shapes of the pieces. We also need to have good eyesight for the same reason. If we wear glasses, we should put them on before beginning the work. And we should have determination to stay with the task until it is completed. Having these factors, we are ready to begin.
The first step in this process of reassembling the puzzle is to construct the border, the framework in which all the other pieces will be fitted. Construction is relatively easy when compared with locating and fitting all the other pieces into this framework. Since the borders all have one straight edge, it is relatively easy to locate appropriate pieces and then group them. For example, all of the pieces that constitute the sky are grouped together, and so on. After the pieces are grouped, we again look at the picture and see where on the framework they belong. We begin to find and fit together the various pieces. We begin with the border because this is the framework and will anchor all the other pieces. The border is relatively easy to assemble.
Having completed the border, we begin to fill it in. There are several ways of doing this. We can begin from a point on the border and work our way out or we can look at the picture and decide to work on an object in the picture first. So we isolate the area from which we wish to start and then examine the pieces that agree with the color and the right size, shape, and outline. After close scrutiny, we began assembling the puzzle. Sometimes the shapes have complicated forms, and it requires close scrutiny and some trial and error to get it right. After some time of fitting the pieces together, checking with the picture from time to time, we can begin to see the pattern better, and we can move faster and faster until the puzzle is completed.
Now we can easily see the spiritual parallel between completing a jigsaw puzzle and the supreme command to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. Before we can begin this task of perfecting our souls, we must have a desire to obey the Father’’s eternal command to be perfect even as he is perfect. Without the supreme desire to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect, we will probably never get around to starting the process of acquiring divine perfection, and--if we do start--we will not finish. The obstacles to be overcome will disperse our weak desire like the wind disperses smoke.
Secondly, we must believe that we can obey the Father’’s eternal command. Without believing that we can comply with the Father’’s eternal command, we will not even try, believing it to be impossible. We simply must have faith in order to obey this eternal command of righteousness and mercy. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Third, we must have a solid moral foundation upon which to build the spiritual character of our soul. A shaky foundation will not hold up when the storms of life assault it. The foundation must be grounded in the rock of salvation. This moral foundation must be of such quality that it does not flinch when confronted with difficult and progressive moral choices.
We must have good lighting in order to see the Father’’s image. If the eyes of our souls are not able to make out the image, it has no chance to emulate it. Fortunately the Father provides the light for this image in the form of his Son, Jesus, who is the personal revelation of the Father’’s image. This image of the Son is such that all can see it, no matter what the status of the vision of their soul. It is manifested in such a way that every heart that is true and sincere can see the way of perfection, can clearly discern the image. Under this brilliant light of the Son, we can clearly discern the different qualities of character traits that we need to complete the image. By putting on our glasses of the Spirit of Truth, we can clearly discern the different shades of the colors of truth, and we can discern how they fit together, filling our souls with spiritual beauty. And we can feel the goodness, the righteousness of our quest, to become perfect even as the Father in heaven is perfect.
We must have determination, tenacity, courage, patience, and persistence with our efforts in order to assemble all the different sizes and shapes of the values that go into making us into a perfected image of the Father. It is also helpful if we would project our spiritual consciousness to that day when we have correctly assembled all the pieces of values that go into the finished product; we must have hope. If we allow hope to flourish, we will be sustained with joy and peace. We will not allow the difficulty of finding some of the pieces and placing them in the correct order to discourage us.
Having these factors in place, we are now ready to begin the task of perfecting our characters. The puzzle of spiritual values is before us. As we view our souls, as we view the enormity of the task, we may falter at the thought of so many pieces of character pieces that must be correctly placed. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and so do our journey towards becoming perfect even as the heavenly Father begins with our decision to do the Father’’s will. As we make this decision to do the Father’’s will, we are given further help in the form of our guardian angels, who organize our efforts and direct us to just the right piece of spiritual value that we need at that particular moment. And as we begin this process of placing the pieces in order, by choosing good over evil, and truth over error, and beauty over ugliness, the mosaic of all the moral and spiritual values needed to complete the image of the Father’’s Son, the puzzle (our souls) moves to completion.
This concludes today's message on understanding the acquirement of divine values. 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.