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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the meaning of the flow of love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Flow of Love
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love even as I have kept my Father’’s commandments and abide in his love." John, Chapter 15, Verse 10
Brothers and sisters, we have a will and the Father has will. He has placed his will in our minds in the form of his spirit. Jesus said that if we love one another as he loves us, then all men will know that we are his disciples. Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches. We exist spiritually to bear only the fruits of the spirit, to love one another as we are loved by Jesus.
In following Jesus, we are fact in doing the Father’’s will because Jesus is the personal revelation of the heavenly Father. So when we seek to do the Father’’s will, we are in fact seeking to become like the Father as demonstrated by Jesus. We are being asked to acquire a moral and spiritual character like Jesus. But how do we do the Father’’s will? Since the Father’’s will resides in our minds and souls, having free will we can choose it, just like we choose our own will. In any given situation, there are always two ways of doing anything--the wrong way and the right way. We are conscious of these choices. When we choose the higher choice as opposed to choosing the lower choice, when we choose the right way rather than the wrong way, then we are choosing the Father’’s will. When we desire to choose the Father’’s will in any given situation, that will is made plain to us. It is ever true that whosoever seeks to know the divine will shall know it. If we sincerely desire to know the divine will, to know the divine character, we shall know it, for we shall become like it.
When we choose to do the Father’’s will, we chose to become Godlike. The manifestation of doing the Father’’s will is the progressive acquirement of a character like his Son, Jesus. This character is actuated by love and dominated by mercy. The fruits of the spirit are in abundant display on the tree of such a spiritual character. This reflects a life of constantly aligning our will to the Father’’s will, of constantly seeking the highest value in any given situation and choosing that value. Although choosing a life that is submitted to the Father’’s will does not deliver us from hardships, the trials and tribulations of material life, it does ensure that we will live on a higher level when the material mechanism fails. The secret to eternal life is the eternal decision to abide by the Father’’s will.
The doing of the Father’’s will is a spiritual transaction, not a material one. Therefore, it does not provide us with unearned knowledge. Instead, it provides insight into the problems of life. It provides us with moral stamina and spiritual power It gives us wisdom that allows us to bravely solve our problems. Doing the Father’’s will sustains us, gives us hope, and evokes the qualities of faith and trust. These are designed to keep us afloat in the face of the uncertainties and vicissitudes of material living. Realizing that we are vulnerable to the material ups and downs of life, we grasp these qualities in our souls that provide us with faith in the goodness of God, trust in his eternal security of our souls, and hope for the sometime acquirement of spiritual status.
Now when we think of will, we automatically think of making a choice. When we exercise our free will, we make a choice (internal attitude), a decision (an action stemming from our internal attitude), and it is natural for us to think that a similar thing happens when we choose the Father’’s will. This is why we wonder if the Father tells us what to do and, if so, how he tells us. Does he tell us how to act? The Father’’s will is spiritual, not material or intellectual. Having free will, we must choose the Father’’s will. But how do we know that we are choosing the Father’’s will rather than our own?
Ponder this: ““The will of God is the way of God, partnership with the choice of God in the face of any potential
alternative. To do the will of God, therefore, is the progressive experience of becoming more and more like God, and God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. The will of man is the way of man, the sum and substance of that which the mortal chooses to be and do. Will is the deliberate choice of a self-conscious being which leads to decision-conduct based on intelligent reflection." As a man thinks within his heart, so does he progressively become that thought, and all of his decisions emerge therefrom. There are always two ways to do a thing--our way and the Father’’s way. When we choose the best way of doing anything, then we are choosing the Father’’s will.
Now it becomes apparent that we need some kind of guidance and direction as we reflect on making a decision that is consonant with the Father’’s will. What is the nature of this guidance and direction? The Father’’s spirit directs the soul towards the values of the heavenly Father. It always points the soul towards the Father, towards living spiritual love. But as the soul moves towards these values, it needs to be guided into them, and this is where the Spirit of Truth plays a pivotal role. It guides the soul into these divine values in ever-increasing perfection. It requires knowledge and wisdom to execute these values. Without wisdom in executing the divine will, much evil will result. Knowledge then becomes a menace. As we seek to serve and love our brothers and sisters, we need to exercise wisdom. Thus, the Spirit of Truth ever guides us in the way (the direction of the Father’’s ideals), the truth (the correct relationship), and the life (eternal life).
As we continue to strive to do the Father’’s will, we acquire values that reflect his character. We become more and more like our Father in heaven, and our lives show forth the fruits of the spirit in the ever-increasing quality of perfection. Which leads to the next question: Is it possible to do the Father’’s will in perfection while living life in the flesh as Jesus demonstrated? Is it possible to choose the Father’’s will in every given moral and spiritual situation?
We must remember that we are growing towards perfection. Consider this: the stages of acquiring this perfection are similar to mastering grades at school. As we master each grade, we are advanced to the next grade until we graduate. In a similar sense, we are presented with ever-increasing moral and spiritual stimuli, and as we pass these stimuli, we are promoted to the next level. This process continues until we reach the supreme level of moral and spiritual stimuli. Once we pass this last crucial test, then we become perfected on this level. We have mastered the technique of allowing the Father’’s will, the flow of love, to flow through us without obstruction and without cessation.
Now all of this magnificent soul progress is occurring within the material mind as we make moral and spiritual decisions. But the quality of our material efforts should show forth the influence of striving to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. And as we get older and our material bodies begin to age, we are filled with hope, knowing that after this life is over, we shall be resurrected on high with a more glorious form in which we can continue our never-ending efforts to do the Father’’s will.
This concludes today's message on the meaning of the flow 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.