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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning, we discuss the flavors of the qualities of love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Flavors of Love
"O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Psalms, Chapter 34, Verse 8
Brothers and sisters, a question was raised as to whether love could flow through one person without interacting with another. The answer is no. What about those who live in monasteries? Can love flow through them? The answer is yes but with a qualification. If we interact only with a small group of people, the love that flows through us is also limited. The Father is infinite and so is the quantity and quality of his love. The more brothers and sisters we interact with, the greater the quality of love that flows through us. This is because to each brother or sister we love, we reveal a different quality of the Father’’s love. To help us grasp this great truth, we shall use some material analogies.
There are many perfumes in the commercial market. While they have the same fragrance, when applied to an individual, the quality of the fragrance differs. The chemicals of the perfume are of such a nature that they interact in subtle ways with the chemistry of the wearer. The net result is a difference in smell based on the person wearing the perfume (although she may not be aware of the subtle differences at all). To detect the difference, she must smell the fragrance on another wearer. When she discovers that the fragrance she wears smells different from the smell that another wearer manifests, she is filled with a unique sense of satisfaction and pleasure.
During the Christmas season, each year there are different renditions of Christmas carols. Though we have heard them many times before and are familiar with the lyrics, when artists complete their creativity process, the result is something that is touchingly beautiful and extremely satisfying to our souls. One song that we have listened to this season in particular comes to mind——““O Holy Night.”” This particular rendition is from The Temptations. When they blend their voices in harmony and put their hearts into this music, it is indeed inspiring to worship. It makes real to our souls the greatest advent on earth: The birth of the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
To those who have not heard the Good News, suffice it to say that the Son of God, incarnated in the form of a human being, revealed the Father’’s love, taught that we are sons and daughters of this same heavenly Father, and taught that we could have personal relationships with the heavenly Father. He revealed that the grave was not the end of us but only the beginning of an endless career of Father-discovery. This endless career of Father-discovery is eternal life itself. Jesus showed us how to experience this eternal life here and now--by loving each other as he loves us.
We are social beings and relate differently to each other. We all have different personalities, such that no two exchanges between two different persons are ever the same. Even when two people relate to each other exclusively, the meanings of these interactions are never the same. Contact changes the relationship in some way. When we expand these interactions to a larger social group, we experience a larger degree of meaning, and it requires a greater adjustment on our part to relate to the larger social group. Some of these interactions are pleasant and some are most unpleasant. Whether the social interactions are pleasant or unpleasant, they are never the same.
If we enjoy ice cream, imagine choosing a flavor from thousands upon thousands of flavors in an ice cream parlor. Imagine sampling all these flavors. Notice that the quality of each ice cream differs: the various flavors reflect this phenomenon. Your taste buds have the ability to distinguish these flavors the one from the other, so that it can readily tell say the flavor of vanilla from the flavor of chocolate, as long as the flavors are widely separated, it is easy to tell one from the other. But when the flavors are very closely related so that one melds into the other, it requires greater skill to distinguish the one from the other. But with practice, this skill can be cultivated-- the taster can experience the richness of the difference in quality of the subtle ice cream flavors.
And now that we have a feel for quality and its subtleties, let us consider the quality of the spirit of love. The quality of spirit is also known by its flavor. Just as there are thousands and thousands of ice cream flavors, there can be thousands and thousands, even an infinite number, of flavors of love. Love is an infinite quality and therefore exists without limits. Although the absolute quality of love resides in our souls, the infinite quantity of love does not. The spirit of love is a part of the Father who is infinite and absolute. The Father gives us an absolute part of himself so that we can experience the infinite qualities of love although it will take us an eternity to do so. Never can we exhaust the infinite qualities of love.
In the same way we enjoy different flavors of ice cream, so does the soul enjoy the infinite flavors of love. Each time the soul tastes a different flavor of the Father’’s love, it experiences inexpressible joy. Jesus well said, "If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love even as I kept my Father’’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you."
So we see that by loving one another as Jesus loves us, we experience the joy of the flavor of love. The Father reveals himself differently to each of his sons and daughters, and so as this love flows through us to a different brother or sister, the quality of it changes, and we experience a new and different manifestation of the Father’’s love. Each time we love a different brother or sister, we experience a greater flavor of love in our souls. No wonder Jesus went about doing good. He recognized and understood that each time he interacted with his brothers and sisters, he received a different quality of the Father’’s love and thus an increase in his joy.
And all of these loving and merciful interactions with our brothers and sisters reflect our changing relationship with the heavenly Father until it is perfected. As we allow love to flow through us, the heavenly Father manifests himself more and more in the lives of his children. Yes, brothers and sisters, if we could only understand that love, with its infinite number of flavors, is the greatest and most satisfying, joyous experience, we would truly follow Jesus by loving one another as he loves us. All it takes is the faith commitment to dedicate and consecrate our will to doing the Father’’s will, to consume constantly the divine flavors of love, partaking of the divine nature
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the flavors 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