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 consider the acquisition of spiritual values and their source. We consider their qualities, how we obtain them, and how we test them and make them part of our characters.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Acquisition of Spiritual Values
Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak. " John, Chapter 16, Verses 13
Brothers and sisters, there is a distinct technique whereby spiritual values are obtained. But before delving into this process, let us consider a material analogy that has certain parallels.
Corporations are organized to produce products that are sold to consumers. Thus you have the management group that is usually presided over by a chief executive offer (CEO). Next are the various subdivisions under this group. These include operations, personnel, finance, marketing, and finally sales. When all of these departments function harmoniously, the result is a product that can be sold to a consumer. When an engineer designs a new product, it is because there is a desire to improve upon the older product or there is a need that the old product does not satisfy. Or there may be an entirely new product altogether.
For example, let’’s consider an automobile. Most of the time, new products follow from the old ones with certain modifications; but in some cases, new designs are created. These new designs are superior to the ones that have just had modifications installed. After this product is materialized, the product then undergoes a rigorous testing process to insure that it has staying power--that it will not break down after a short period of use. After the product is thoroughly tested, it is put on the market and sold.
The prospective consumer, through an advertisement, becomes aware of the product. He wants it because it is superior to the product he owns, or because the old product no longer functions properly, or simply because he desires something new. He assesses his resources to determine if he can afford the product. If he can, he purchases it. One of the first things he does after familiarizing himself with the product is thoroughly test it. If it is not found wanting, he considers the sale to be final and the product remains his. If the product does not pass the test, he returns it for correction or in some cases for a complete exchange.
The source of all spiritual values is the heavenly Father. The heavenly Father, with his associates the Son and the Spirit, reveal these spiritual values in service to their children. These are the personal values of the Father, Son, and Spirit as they interact with each other and with their eternal children. Those of us who have our origin far out in the dark worlds of space must acquire these values. We must first have a moral nature that will allow us to recognize and choose them, and we must have a spiritual nature that provides us with the capacity to appreciate and incorporate them into our souls, in the process moving towards perfection.
This process begins with the first exercise of our moral nature when we--unlike the lower animals-- recognize the difference between two modes of conduct and choose the higher. Selfish values are sponsored by a purely animal nature, whereas unselfish values are sponsored by the divine spirit that lives within our minds. When we make our first moral choice, this act in conjunction with the divine spirit, creates our souls. After the soul is created, we now have the capacity to experience the divine values of the heavenly Father. Moral values are still being acquired, we must still continue to choose right over wrong, good over evil, and truth over error. But now added to these choices is the transcending choice of spiritual values--love.
Love imparts a sense of joy to moral obligations, so that moral obligations are not done out of mere duty but out of love. In serving our brothers and sisters, we recognize that in this way we are serving the heavenly Father, who must function through us on this level of reality if spiritual values are to be manifested in this life. It becomes a privilege and an honor, then, to serve our brothers and sisters.
But moving from the obligations of duty to the privilege of love is not an easy task. The self--not being spiritualized--resents this. But this makes it possible for us to transcend the material bonds of life so that we (or souls) may continue to live on after material dissolution. Because of the overwhelming desire to survive, we begin the long protracted effort to acquire spiritual values.
As mentioned earlier, the source of these values is the Father as he is present in the Spirit that lives within our souls and minds. And these values are manifested in our souls and interpreted by the Son in our interactions. The Spirit spiritualizes our minds so that we can comprehend the meanings of these values. The children of the Spirit, the guardian angels and others, manipulate the moral, social, and even sometimes physical environments so that the process of acquiring spiritual values proceeds efficiently rather than haphazardly.
By choosing to do the Father’’s will, we activate this process and immediately find ourselves in a moral and social environment, where we are called on to display these values. But before we can display them, we must own them. Having made a decision to do the Father’’s will, we desire to display to others the character and nature of the Father. Through prayer and worship we obtain these spiritual values in our souls. But we have not tested them to see if they are really ours.
In interactions with our brothers and sisters, we recognize the need for a certain spiritual value. Let’’s say, for instance, we are in a situation that requires patience. How do we get this patience? There are three factors involved. First, there must be a desire for it, second we must exercise faith that we can acquire it, and third we must exercise our spiritual will and choose it. Finally, we must display the value. By displaying patience, we make it ours. But this means we must continue to practice so that we remove the ““bugs”” out of the process, where sometimes we may display patience and sometimes not. As we consistently display a value, we remove the bugs so that patience is infused into the very fabric of our souls.
The Father constantly supplies these values. The Son constantly interprets them, and the Spirit continues to teach us about them. Due to the constant manipulation of the moral and social arena, the quality of these values grows as our interactions with others call for a higher level of patience. Some situations require a very limited amount of patience, whereas in others a greater amount of patience is required.
When we "pass the test," that is, when we acceptably display the needed quality consistently, when we have no negative emotional component when doing so, then we have acquired the spiritual value in question. When we have acquired all of the spiritual values that are required in any given situation, then we have mastered the technique of acceptably doing the Father’’s will. And this is revealed in the consistent display of the fruits of the spirit and in a personality who is motivated by love and dominated by mercy.
This concludes today's message on understanding how we acquire spiritual 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