Greetings, 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 as we ponder our lives, we seek to understand the meaning of the applications of love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Applications of Love
Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John, Chapter 13, Verses 34-35
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we consider the different applications of love. As love is the desire to do good to others, the requirements of love will vary depending on the needs of a given soul. Consider this material analogy to help us to grasp the differential quality of love that is applied in various conditions of the soul.
Our skin is subject to a variety of afflictions. Sometimes the skin may undergo viral infections such as shingles, bacterial infections such as impetigo, fungal infections, such as ringworm, inflammatory conditions, like eczema, and many others. All of these different kinds of ailments require a different kind of medicine for healing. Sometimes topical medicines will do the trick; other times, medicine must be taken internally or both. Depending on the severity of the problem, the dosage of medicine will vary. In order to correct the condition, the right kind of medicine and right amount must be applied for the correct duration.
So it is with applying love. We must apply the right quality in the right amount for the proper duration for it to be effective. Much of the failure of divine love in accomplishing its mission is the failure of the applicant. Sometimes we are not close enough to the recipient or in intimate contact with him long enough. We must be willing to exceed the first mile of loving service to our brothers and sisters and go on to be second-milers or even third-milers, if so required.
Consider the analogy of a hard and inflexible dried sponge. When water is first applied to the sponge, most of it runs off the surface. But when water is applied for some time, the sponge’’s hardness gives way and begins to absorb the water. Soon the sponge becomes filled to capacity and water begins to leak out. We now have a continuous flow of water through the sponge. Likewise, when love is applied to a hard-hearted soul, initially most of the love will bounce off, but as the love is continuously applied, more and more of it sinks into the soul. As this process continues, the soul soon becomes filled to capacity and love begins to flow through it. At this point, the application of love has been successful. This now redeemed soul is now qualified to soften up another hard-hearted soul.
Now let’’s see how we apply the faith of love. The faith of love is applied to those who lack faith. These brothers and sisters believe that there is no help from God. They believe that they must adjust themselves to the realities of life. The only hope they believe is the hope they see as a result of their own efforts. They try to keep a stiff upper lip and weather the storms of life as best they can, savoring what material gratifications that they can find between the trials and tribulations of life. They don’’t pray because they feel it does no good. They maintain that there is no difference between their life and the life of one who has faith. Their attitude is if God exists, he is irrelevant to their lives.
Analyzing this scenario, it becomes clear that such a one has misinterpreted the meanings of his experiences. He has failed to realize the spiritual values of his life. It is clear that he lacks faith. So the believer must draw close to him, so that he can first see what a faith-filled life looks like. And the believer must stay engaged with him long enough so that he can clearly see the advantage of living a faith-based life. When he looks at the faith-based life, superficially, he sees no difference between the trials and tribulations of the faith-based life and his own life. His attitude might be summarized in this quote from Ecclesiastics: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill: but time and chance happeneth to them all. For men also knoweth not his time: As the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them." But there are subtleties in life that are not apparent to the superficial glance.
He who lacks faith lacks hope, which the faith-based life projects during trials and tribulations. And this hope is justified because it gives power to the soul of man as well as comfort. But more importantly this faith is the passport to the heavenly Father because when it is exercised, especially in the face of trials and tribulations, divine meanings and values are made available to the souls and minds of men. The faith-based life gives tranquility of spirit and mind, and this is based on the truth that a greater reality exists beyond the present suffering and the spirit of that reality can be enjoyed even in this life. The faith of love transports the soul into the presence of the heavenly Father and once the soul receives a vision of the heavenly Father, then temporal realities pale beside the eternal Father, who bathes our souls with love.
Next we see how the goodness of love is applied. The goodness of love is spiritually discerned in the soul. It is the result of the soul experience of the Father’’s love. This goodness reveals to the soul that the Father is absolutely dependable. This goodness of love is to be applied to the soul of an individual who sees nothing but evil in the world. Any goodness that he discerns is short lived and evil often follows in its passage. This individual looks outward at the world, rather than within. So the challenge for this applicator of love is to reveal to skeptics the goodness of God.
The applicator of the goodness of the Father’’s love must again be in intimate contact with the skeptic because it is the observation over time that allows the skeptic to appreciate the goodness of God. The applicator of love is subject to the same trials and tribulations as the skeptic, but the difference is where the skeptic flounders under invigorating stimuli, the applicator of the goodness of the Father’’s love not only survives but thrives. Trials and tribulations stimulate one’’s moral and spiritual character. They stimulate faith and cause him to draw ever closer to the heavenly Father, where he actually feels the impact of the Father’’s faithfulness, trustworthiness, and moral integrity in his soul. He knows from his experience with the Father even as a material child knows with his father, his dependability and reliability. When confronted with the barriers and curves of life, he invariably responds: "I don’’t believe you brought me this far to leave me now." Therefore his final attitude is, "not my will but your will be done." Under this brilliant display of the light of the Father’’s goodness, the shadow of skepticism vanishes, for a shadow cannot exist in the presence of light and the skeptic moves to become a fierce exponent of the Father’’s goodness.
And now we move to the application of the patience of love. This application of love is essential, for in a time-space universe, it requires time for love to do its work. Without patience, love will not be applied long enough to thoroughly saturate the soul of someone who is held in the hypnotic grip of evil. The evil doer must be given time to realize that "the way of the transgressor is hard." He must be given time to realize that his way profited him not. He must be allowed to feast on the bitter herbs of evil. Long suffering is eternal in its manifestations. It will sacrifice any amount of time, provided there is a chance that the evil doer will change his ways; after all, the Father loves the evildoer and would like nothing better than to have him rejoin the folds of righteousness. Now while this application of patience is being supplied, the goodness of God is slowly manifesting itself in the soul of the evil doer, and this goodness causes the evil doer to repent and seek mercy and forgiveness.
After the evil doer repents, mercy and forgiveness of love are applied. This mercy is the inevitable result of God’’s love for his erring children. Mercy is applied love and it reveals the truth of God’’s love for his children, while forgiveness completely obliterates the evil within the evil doer, removing the darkness from the soul that prevents the light of love from completing enveloping it. Such a one when now exposed to the search light of the Father’’s love will not reveal any shadows of evil, for they have been eternally removed. Consider the parable of the Prodigal Son.
This concludes today's message on understanding the application of love. 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