The Challenge of Love
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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the
challenge of love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Challenge of Love
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love for one another." John,
Chapter 13, Verse 34.
The experience of living many times can be disagreeable. We have experiences that are painful,
disheartening, heartbreaking, and even death causing. We stand in the midst of all this vulnerable
and bewildered at times by crises that blight our lives. Sometimes it seems that living on this earth
is incompatible with that which we consider to be good, true, and beautiful. It seems that the burden
of living gets heavier, ever weighing us down with a load that pulls us closer to the ground with each
step that we take. No wonder our souls cry out, "Why the test when we try to do our best?" This is
the struggle of evil.
In our personal lives, we hunger for material ease; we yearn for material peace. Our ease-seeking
souls thirst for the comforts of self. We try to satisfy our emotional longings in other people and are
almost without exception disappointed and frustrated. We are blown willy nilly through life like
leaves falling off the trees during fall. In our moral lives, we struggles under the weight of a thousand
and one duties that seem to constantly increase in magnitude. Sometimes there are even conflicts
between the various duties that we are obliged to carry out. Sometimes we seem to be caught
between a rock and a hard place. Sometimes there just does not seem to be any place of comfort to
which we can turn. As we try to get our needs met, we invariably find that we break some moral law
in doing so. And we often find ourselves in that predicament of robbing Peter to pay Paul. This is
the struggle of evil.
In our spiritual life, we try to do good but end up doing evil. It seems that whenever we try to do
what is right, someone or something comes along to make us do wrong. We think we would be fine
if no one would bother us, so we subsequently seek revenge. When we try to exact an eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth, we are bewildered at the increase in more evil. This is the struggle of evil,
which is the lot of those who live exclusively in the flesh. Those who live exclusively in the spirit
are ever lured upward and forward by the challenge of love.
The challenge of love is the most fascinating and rewarding experience of all time and eternity.
Perfect love casts out all fear. The mastery of this challenge of love ends in perfection and eternal
life, and ever progressive spiritual achievement. The challenge of love requires that we recognize
the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father's love regardless of what transpires in our material lives.
We are commanded to love one another if we want to be true to our calling of discipleship. The
challenge of love requires that we recognize that our lives in the flesh are subject to the laws of the
flesh, while our lives in the spirit are subject to the liberating laws of the spirit. Render to Caesar the
things of Caesar and render to God the things of God. The challenge of love requires that we
recognize our sometime victory over all material and earthly reality, even as Jesus overcame the
The challenge of love requires that we focus on emerging goodness rather than on submerging evil.
It requires that we view spiritual reality from the spiritual eye rather than the material eye. It requires
us to recognize that the essential problems in the world indicate a deficit of Fatherly love. It requires
that we seek the solution to all moral and spiritual problems in the spiritual realm rather than the
The challenge of love requires that we make all decisions in the active presence of the spiritual
Father. It requires that we subject our slightest whim to the spiritualizing effect of the Father's will.
The challenge of love requires a lot, but the same challenge gives us the power to overcome all
barriers and obstacles that stand in the way of pursuing this all-embracing lure. The challenge of love
requires us to use each disagreeable experience as a stepping stone to higher and higher spiritual
achievements, ever following the beckoning light of joy, peace, and happiness in the spirit. This is
the difference between a life of hope and a life of despair.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the challenge 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.