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 consummation of worship.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Consummation of Worship
Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." John, Chapter 4, Verse 24
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we explore the consummation of worship. The divine spirit resides in our minds and souls. We know that because, Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. The Father and his Son are one. This divine spirit manifests itself in and through us. We would like to identify these manifestations and then follow the threads to their source in order to recognize this source, the Father’’s spirit, and join with it through the Spirit of Truth. This is a difficult thing to accomplish, but we know with the heavenly Father that all things are possible. The Father’’s spirit, the Son’’s Spirit, and the Holy Spirit dwells with us. We have the guardian angels who work tirelessly to assist us. And we have our God-given faith, our supreme desire, and supreme dedication to doing the Father’’s will. The seamless interplay of all these factors help us to recognize and worship the divine spirit.
The divine spirit in our minds and souls is real. It is the most real of all realities. There is no reality greater than this spirit for this spirit is absolute, and we are finite. So how do we overcome the problem of consciously recognizing an absolute spirit as a finite soul? In dealing with spiritual realities, there are four essential qualities that we must use in order to conceive, acquire, know, exercise, and realize. The first of these qualities is faith. Without faith it is impossible to even conceive of the values and meanings of the Father. Being material creatures, we would be powerless to access any spiritual values or meanings because we would be unaware of them. In the material world, we use our material eyes to see material things. In the spiritual world, faith is the quality that we use to "see" spiritual realities. Faith is a quality of our spiritual natures, our souls. We must always remember that any spiritual value has to be discovered through our faith. So faith, then, takes a potential reality and makes it real to our consciousness.
The first operation of this faith is the creation of our souls along with the acceptance of the truth that we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. Once we faith accept this truth, we begin a conscious relationship with the Father, begin to communicate with him. In the material world, when our eyes see something we want, our hands retrieve it for us. In the spiritual world when we faith-view some spiritual value that we want, we use the hands of our desire to retrieve it for us. All spiritual values that our faith recognizes come into possession by our spiritual desire.
This is so because of the Father’’s law that states whatever spiritual value the true son desires, and the Father wills, is. It is obvious that the Father wants us to partake of his divine nature. Our faith allows us to see this divine nature, the image of his Son. With our desire to possess this divine nature, it becomes ours, even as our material hands retrieve the material things that our material eyes have identified. Since the Father is ever present within our souls and is not subject to delays or handicaps when it comes to the revelation of spiritual values in our minds and souls, faith is the proof that spiritual values are real while our supreme desire is proof that we have received these same spiritual values.
Having perceived and received spiritual values, we now must begin to know them. In the material world, when we have identified a thing with our material eyes and have retrieved it with our hands, we must take time to get to know it. Without getting to know it, there is no good chance that we will be able to use it effectively or efficiently. Thus, we must exercise trust in the Father’’s goodness. This quality of trust is the means by which we come to know the divine value, in effect to make it a part of our souls. "Always will we know him, become like him, because we trust him." Without trust, we will not keep our faith-eyes on spiritual values, nor keep it in the hands of our desire until such time as it becomes incorporated into our very being. It takes time for us to realize that we have conceived, acquired, known, and realized spiritual values. This realization comes from our efforts of loving service to our brothers and sisters. As we continue to lovingly serve them, we gradually realize that the spiritual values that we faith conceived and recognized, that we desired and trusted have indeed become a part of our souls. Such a realization fills us with unspeakable joy and satisfaction.
During the process of realization, the process of weaving the divine value into the very fabric of our souls, we must have some quality to stabilize us as our souls function within the material mind with its doubts and its subjection to the trials and tribulations of our material existence. This quality is hope. As our exercise of faith, conceives of the spiritual value and brings it into existence, and our desires retrieves it for us, and our trust allows us to gain knowledge of the value, and service provides realization, so does hope provide stabilization while the whole process unwinds. By its untiring patience, and by its vision and expectation of the completed process, hope literally pulls us through the inertia of the material drag upon our faith. It strengthens us for the long haul until that day we actually realize that which we have faith-conceived and trust-grasped.
Now let’’s consider these analogies:
Sometimes when people go camping out in the wilderness, especially during the wintertime, they may build a fire. Someone not in range of the fire will not feel its heat at all, but as he moves closer and closer to the fire, the intensity of the heat becomes greater. Although this heat is intense, it would be even hotter if someone accidently fell into the fire.
During the summer months, when a light is left burning on the outside, moths are able to detect this light from afar. As they get closer to the light, it becomes brighter. Finally some moths get so close to the light that they plunge in and are fried to a crisp.
This concept of getting closer to the divine presence and eventually becoming one with it is analogous to the material examples above. We approach and finally merge with the divine spirit by this process of moving closer and closer to it. And as we move closer to it, we become like it. This is done by subjecting our will to the Father’’s will. When we began, the instruments of our journey were not pure; they were contaminated by materialistic impurities. But as we continue to make use of these instruments in our spiritual journey, the materialistic contaminations are gradually removed. This is signaled by our faith, desire, trust, and hope reaching supreme levels.
As our instruments of the spiritual journey reach supreme levels, our relationship with the Father through his Son, Jesus becomes perfected. We are now in conscious contact with him, and are in active partnership with him, as we do his divine will in perfection. We know when we are doing his divine will in perfection, because in every moral and spiritual choice, we always choose his will. The fact that we choose his divine will indicates that we are consciously spiritually aware of his divine presence. Having perfected this relationship, there only remains one more step-the consummation of worship, and that is the step whereby we jump into the fire of his love or dive into the light of his love––become truly one with him.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the consummation of worship. 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.