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 ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the discipline of love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Discipline of Love
My son despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loves he corrects; even as a father, the son in whom he delights. ” Proverbs, Chapter 3, Verses 11 and 12.
Brothers and sisters, in today’s broadcast, we explore the discipline of love. Said Jesus, "If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out". A material minded individual may think that he should literally pluck his eye out of his head if it causes him to do something wrong. For example, he might see a pretty maiden, and respond with lust in his heart. He might further reason within himself saying, if I had not looked upon her, I could not have done evil.
In trying to present truth to a material creature, there are quite a few paradoxes that arise out of the fact of man being a two-fold being, one material, and the other potentially spiritual. In presenting truth to the material mind, it must of necessity be conveyed in a material vehicle. But always remember the river bed is not the river, and neither is the material vehicle the truth that it carries.
In trying to react to his spiritual nature, the material self devises all sorts of rules and regulations to subject the material nature to the spiritual nature. But the law makes nothing perfect. To restrain a person from doing something wrong does nothing to deal with the material forces driving such an act. The force is merely channeled into another area that is more acceptable. And while this may give the appearance of being moral, it is not true morality.
True morality grows out of spiritual insight. It is the recognition of citizenship in the heavenly kingdom and the obligation that such recognition carries. God is supremely loyal to us. There is no wavering or flickering in His attitude towards us. God is supremely righteous and moral, even infinitely and absolutely so. God is just. It is only right that we should be supremely loyal towards Him. There should be no wavering or flickering in our attitude towards God. We should be supremely righteous and supremely moral.
The pursuit of true morality is the pursuit of supreme values, even God the Father. As true and supreme values are pursued, a reflection phenomenon occurs. The potential of our moral nature may be perfect, but the actuality of our moral nature is something other than perfect. Anything short of perfection is potentially evil, may actually be evil. The acquirement of perfection means the recognition of true values, and the choosing of this same values. Evil results from the failure to recognize the true values of things and meanings, and to choose them.
When a man lusts after a woman, it is largely because he fails to discern her true value and purpose. He uses her to satisfy some purely selfish reason that is utterly devoid of any mutual obligation or regard. Such a false relationship is free of any commitment or conviction. True spiritual insight into this state of affairs would reveal that the woman is a daughter of God, and the potential personification of a phase of His absolute truth, and that further, her purpose to is carry out the divine will. Such consciousness leads one to seek the true purpose and function of himself in regard to women. And this is where the reflection process comes in. The quest for true values causes these same value to be reflected out into the moral affairs of man, crowding out the evil of the inferior values.
This is a time process, requiring time to complete. Every new value that is acquired serves as a stepping stone for the acquirement of even greater values, and this process can never come to an end because the source of all values is endless and infinite. Gradually the constant choosing of higher values in the place of choosing the lower and inferior values begins to discipline the will so that it automatically chooses righteousness and truth even when such choosing causes temporal suffering.
The discipline of love requires that one recognize the relative value of the part as compared to the whole. Sacrifices of the self are required for the survival of the whole, and no part could exist without the whole. This is another example of the paradox that he would seek to save his life shall lose it, while he who seek to lose his life shall save it.
The discipline of love requires that all the powers of self, intellectual, and spiritually be unified into a single force and submitted to the great Self even as He has dedicated His all to us. While the worthwhileness of all this discipline may not be apparent, this same discipline requires the development of a faith that serves in the place of sight until such time as true spiritual insight begins to function. And this is just another way of saying, "Not my will, but yours be done."
This concludes today’s message on understanding the meaning of the discipline of love. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about while you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.