Greetings, 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 meaning of the fire of the Father's love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Fire of the Father's Love
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier
than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with Holy Spirit and with
fire." Matthew, Chapter 3, Verse 11.
A house burns down to the ground, the inhabitants barely escaping with their lives. All of their
possessions are lost. It looks like an unqualified disaster. Prior to the house burning down, there were
a lot of things wrong with it, things that could not be corrected because they were apart of the basic
structure of the house. Still they had done what they could do to improve the house. And after doing
that, they resigned themselves to the house's imperfections and even grew to love the place.
But now that the house was destroyed with all its inherent limitations, they were now free to build
the house according to their wishes. They were not stuck with the old concept, but were now free to
embrace new concepts. Using their creative imaginations, they built a house that exceeded anything
prior to the fire that they had dared hope for. Gone is the memory of anguish and uncertainty. Now
present is the satisfaction of having snatched victory out of the jaws of defeat. "Painful may be the
night, but joy comes in the morning."
Brothers and sisters, in an analogous way we are similar to an old house that burns down in the fire
but is rebuilt again. We who decide to do the Father's will are like an old, imperfect house. As we
walk in the divine fire of love, we are eventually burned down and resurrected in a new and better
form--one that is more serviceable. The fires of disappointment begin burning bright when we realize
that doing the Father's will does not protect us from sustaining material losses. The fire burns us
when we realize that we are just as vulnerable to material losses as our unbelieving friends.
At this point we sometimes wonder why we should do the Father's will if there is no difference
between the kinds of losses we suffer and the kinds of losses unbelievers suffer. The fire burns a
little hotter when we identify material things that we think may be the Father's will, only to find that
they too are destroyed just like the things the believers have. The fire burns hotter still and even more
consuming when we finally discover the values of the spirit Father and try to tell everybody about
them, only to suffer disappointment when these values are received and discarded, or completely
ignored, just like in the unbelievers. Finally the fires of disappointment consume us when we
discover that divine values are to be lived and fostered by their display in our lives.
The fires of pain burn brightly and deeply when we realize that we have misunderstood the will of
the Father as we suffer further loss. The fires of pain burn still brighter and deeper when we feel the
sting of failure as we try to tell about the values of the Father. And finally we suffer the consuming
fire of pain when we realize the agony that we must suffer in order to become like the Father's will,
like His Son, Jesus.
Soon we are burned to a crisp as we are left out of the limelight as no one seems too interested in
hearing our speech about divine values. How we miss the accolades of the crowd. Ultimately we are
consumed by the fires of sorrow and grief as we realize that we have lost everything, and cannot find
any way to lift our grief except to become the divine values that we have been espousing.
But still the fires of love burn and burn, and slowly the remaining ashes of our old selves began to
take on new forms. Our new forms begin to take a shape that have different loyalties and priorities.
Our new forms are emerging true, beautiful, and good. Our new forms are concerned only with the
personification of true spiritual meanings, good spiritual values, and the beautiful unification of the
two. Our new forms always declare, "not my will but Your will be done." Our new forms are
concerned with being helpful to our brothers and sisters. Our new forms focus only on the true, the
beautiful, and the good in others.
As the divine fires of love burn, our new forms grow more gracefully. Our new forms are saturated
with love, permeated with faith, and filled with divine goodness. Our new forms are exquisitely
temperate, exceedingly gentle, and unassumingly meek. And our new forms are eternally long-
suffering, immensely peaceful, and unbelievably joyful. Our new forms have no need to prove the
Father's reality since they are a personal manifestation of that divine reality, just like Jesus.
This concludes today's message on the fire of the Father's 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.