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 seek to understand the Father's character.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Father's Character
"Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip?
He that has seen me hath seen the Father." John, Chapter 14, Verse 9.
Brothers and sisters, we know that the Father has a loving and merciful character, but often times
in our intense material struggles, we overlook his spiritual ministry towards us. We too often forget
that the Father is guiding and directing us as we grow and develop. We too often forget that we
cannot really be free until we achieve spiritual perfection, that is until we have obeyed the eternal
command: To be perfect even as the Heavenly Father is perfect. When the divine Son, Jesus, lived
on earth, he actually revealed the Father's character to mankind and used many illustrations to make
clear to mortals what the Father's character was like. So using the illustration of three parables that
Jesus told while sojourning on earth, we shall illustrate the Father’’s loving and merciful character.
We shall examine the parable of the "Lost Sheep," the "Prodical Son," and the "Lost Coin." Let us
state the parables and see what insight we can derive from them as far as the Father's character is
Jesus said, "If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the
ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountain, and seekth that which is gone astray? And if so be that
he find it, verily I say unto you he rejoiceth more of that sheep than of the ninety and nine which
went not lost." This parable of the lost sheep shows the Father's eternal vigilance for his children.
His children who have not matured enough to stay within the confines of truth, often wander away
unintentionally, but the Father never sleeps and his eyes are always upon his children. Not a single
one is ever lost to the acuteness of the mercy of his eyesight. The parable shows the value that the
Father places upon each of his children. You might think that since He has so many other children
the loss of one would not make that much difference, but even human parents value all of their
children and are not willing that any should be lost, no matter how many other children they may
have. Each of the Father's children is unique in time and eternity, and just as He loves all of them,
He loves each and every one of them.
The Father has given His children free will, within the framework of which he does everything
within his power to make sure that no child of His who is lost and is desirous of being found stays
lost. Whenever the child realizes that the values and meanings he pursues are not those of the Father
but desires them, the Father acts immediately to reveals those divine values and meanings of divine
sonship to the lost child--in fact to bring him back into the spiritual fold. This mercy feature of the
Father's character is inherent but becomes actual when a situation arises when his children stray
unintentionally from divine values and meanings.
Let us see in this parable how the Father's character manifests itself towards his children who
deliberately depart from the way of truth and righteousness. Jesus said, "A certain man had two sons:
and the younger of them said to his father, ‘‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.’’
And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together,
and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when
he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went
and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he
would have fain have filled his belly with the husks that swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
And when he came to himself, he said, ‘‘how many hired servants of my father's house have bread
enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!’’
‘‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him Father, I have sinned against heaven, and
before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of they hired servants.’’
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and
had compassion, and ran, and felt on his neck and kissed him. And the son said unto him, ‘‘Father,
I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called thy son.’’ But the
Father said to his servants bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; put a ring on his hand, and
shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my
son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found,’’ and they began to be merry."
In this parable, we see the Father's attitude towards his rebellious children who deliberately reject
the divine values and meanings. We see how the Father waits patiently for his erring children to
come to their senses. His attitude is always one of forgiveness and mercy. The Father realizes that
it takes time for his erring children to come to their senses, to realize the error of their ways, even
though they may still choose to reject his divine values. The Father waits for the child to reach the
stage of disillusionment. He knows that his imperfect children lack the insight to see that the Father’s
way is the right way and therefore the best way. The heavenly Father ordains His way as the way of
The Father knows that his children lack perfect insight and faith. But he also knows that only divine
values and meanings are satisfying and enduring, and that soon those temporal values and meanings
that his erring children have embraced will soon fail. The erring child has discovered from his own
experience that the Father's way is best. At this junction he can truly repent and seek forgiveness.
Such erring children find that the arms of forgiveness and the hands of mercy are already
outstretched to embrace them. The now repentant child is constrained and compelled within his heart
to cry out that "God is good."
And finally we shall examine the parable of the lost coin. In this parable, we see the Fathers'
consistent monitoring of his children and the unrelenting search for them regardless of the cause of
their loss of divine values and meanings of divine sonship. We see his continuous watch care and
guidance for his children who have temporarily forgotten who they are. The parable unfolds this
way: Jesus said, "What women having ten pieces of silver, if she loses one piece, doth not light a
candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she
calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying rejoice with me; for I have found the piece
which I lost. Likewise I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one
sinner that repenteth." The Father spares no effort to find his children who are lost and who stand
in need of salvation.
The sheep strays away unintentionally, the coin is covered by the dust of time
and obscured by the accumulation of the things of man. These are the children who have allowed the
material life to dominate their spiritual natures. They may have become discouraged by the intensity
of the struggle and have decided that divine values and meanings of divine sonship are just not
practical in their situation. Their faith may have been temporarily set aside as they have mistakenly
judged the purpose of the struggle. Instead of them allowing the struggle to drive them towards the
Father and His divine values and meanings, they have allowed the struggle to drive them away.
These are the ones who have taken a nap spiritually; who are temporarily asleep at the switch of
spiritual growth, and must be awakened. These are the ones who have become temporarily lost in
the eddy currents of time. The Father knows that his children are his children, even though the
children may not realize this. A part of Him is in them and only awaits the appropriate time to gently
awaken them, to remind them of the uselessness of being totally occupied with temporal and material
values and meanings. He is like a gentle but thorough breeze that blows away the dust of material
values and meanings from the enduring spiritual values which have been pulled away by the
temporal motions of time and covered by the darkness of space.
This concludes today's message on understanding the Father's character. 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.