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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we explore the call to service. What is the nature of this call that compels us to want to do the Father’’s will? What determines the accuracy of the call? How can we tell if we are mistaken or are following a true spiritual call?
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Call to Service
"And he [Jesus] said to them, ‘‘follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’’. And they straightway left their nets and followed him." Matthew, Chapter 4, Verses 19 and 20
Brothers and sisters, we know there are many who say they were called but then proceeded to produce evil fruit rather than good fruit.
We have a divine spirit living within our souls that calls us to service. The divine spirit urges us to unselfishly serve one another, but it requires the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Jesus, to interpret this urge to us. The Spirit of Truth functions in all religions that recognize God. Intellectual religious interpretations prevent no barrier to the Spirit of Truth. All religions recognize that we ought to love one another. When we desire to commune with the Father, this proves that we are communing with him already. What is required is that the desire be pure. The Father is unselfish and divinely loving. Therefore our efforts to commune with him must be motivated by unselfishness and divine love.
The divine spirit is constantly communicating with our souls, constantly transmitting the values of love. It is not difficult for us to know the Father’’s will; it may be difficult for us to reach the attitude of mind and desire of soul to actually begin to do that will. It is the Father’’s will that we submit to his will. Whatever the Father’’s will is for us, if we desire it, it is. Such a truth may be impossible of comprehension by the purely material mind, but the spiritualized mind has no difficulty comprehending the meanings of this value, as the consciousness of these meanings flood the spiritualized mind and the fruits of the spirit flow through the character of the soul. You simply cannot swim in the pool of divine values and meanings without getting wet by them.
At some point in our lives we hear the small, still voice (become aware of these spiritual urges). This still voice of divine values is placed in our souls, and they begin to make their presence known. We become dissatisfied with the material values of life because we treat them as if they are supreme values. Something deep inside of us wants more. We crave for something that will continually satisfy. And so we begin to search for the means to quench this thirst for truth and to satisfy this hunger for righteousness because this is what the craving is. Through various means and trial and error, we finally come to understand that the Father is the source of this thirst for truth and hunger for righteousness. After exhausting the temporal dead ends, most of us turn to some form of religion, or if we are already religious, seek a deeper experience, a more personal relationship with the Father through his Son, Jesus.
How do we distinguish this call from our own selfish desires? We have two sets of values within us: material and selfish and spiritual and unselfish. The call to service is an unselfish desire. Since our desires are selfish, we can recognize the unselfish desires of the Father. We can recognize the motive of love behind these urges, for they always urge us to be lovingly concerned about others. If we desire to be of service to the Father, we can rest assured that this desire is sponsored by the Father. First we are called to salvation, then we are called to service. We have a vast reserve of inactive brothers and sisters who have not moved beyond the call for salvation. They have stumbled upon the rock of selfishness and material expectation, waiting for their ship of good fortune to come in. They have not yet felt the increasing pressure of the divine urges in their soul. More precisely they do not recognize the divine urges as divine. But eventually the germ of divine values incubating in their soul will be born. There is a growth process occurring, and this process if not consciously interfered with will produce fruit.
The form of service that we provide depends on our talents as well as our locations. Some people desire to serve by preaching the good news; others serve by teaching. We call these ministers. A minister remains true to his calling when what he teaches is consistent with Jesus’’ command to love one another and he loves us. His call is a call to righteousness.
Others not having this particular talent to speak to groups adapt an attitude of unselfishness in the work they do. Thus, the will of God can be done in any vocation. All work is sacred for those who do the Father’’s will. If we love one another, if our motive is pure, than we can be sure that we are following in the Spirit of Truth. As we respond to this call for service, we begin to respond to the Fathers’’ command to be perfect even as he is perfect. In the process of responding to the call for service, we enter the moral and spiritual arenas of life, where we are confronted with increased moral and spiritual stimuli in our effort to serve. As we do this, we grow morally and spiritually.
And now we can see why some ministers go astray. They may start off sincere, but some allow selfish ambition to turn them away from the Spirit of Truth, which constantly urges them to preach the goodness of God, which leads to repentance, and to preach the love of God, which leads to salvation. The desire to do the Father’’s will as revealed by his Son, Jesus, must always remain uppermost in the soul. When through selfishness the message becomes corrupted and is replaced by something that is material and selfish, the message is falsified. It becomes something material notwithstanding it may be proclaimed in the name of God. The Father is truth, and whenever we do something that is not in the Spirit of Truth, we have drifted into error.
The call to service is the most important call we can heed in this life, and as it does not interfere with any other obligations, being spiritual, there is no reason not to respond to it. This call to service is not without its rewards. When we serve our brothers and sisters, we are at the same time serving the Father who at such times works through us. And when we serve as Jesus taught us, we also receive his joy. The call to service is the invitation to an endless exploration of eternity and infinity, ever delving deeper and deeper into the values and meanings of the Father’’s love and his Son’’s mercy.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the call to service. 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