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 journey of the Father's Love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Journey of the Father's Love
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be. But we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 1 John, Chapter 3, Verse 2.
Brothers and sisters, a traveler begins a long journey along with others. Some of them have no idea what is involved in making this journey and no real commitment. Still others pursue the same journey but halfheartedly. A few travelers are wholeheartedly committed to making the journey. In time, some become weary and fall away; others when they discern that this journey is not to their liking drift away. A few discern the value and meet every requirement. It matters not what the original purpose may have been for beginning the journey. If the traveler is true of heart though ignorant of mind, he will be eventually lovingly guided into the journey's real purpose.
The directions for this journey are very simple: follow the guidance provided when and as you are able to discern it. This seems vague and indefinite but these are the instructions. In the process of learning to follow these instructions, there are bound to be mistakes, errors of judgement, and sometimes frank willfulness. The first difficult benchmark along the journey is the realization that the instructions are concealed and revealed in direct proportion to the growth of the person trying to decipher them.
There is a guide to help us. This guide is posted at every turn or junction in the road where a decision is required, whether to go left or go right. This guide is the encouragement and comfort for the journey. It is the reassurance that the traveler is heading in the correct direction. So the instructions, given internally, are validated externally by the guide who ever so gently and mercifully cries, "this is the way." This guide is in fact the conviction of truth--the Spirit of Truth.
The Spirit of Truth always cries that love is the way to the Father. No one obtains the Father without the guidance of the Spirit of Truth. The traveler who first begins the journey is deficient in wisdom and knowledge. Both of these must be acquired from experience. As the traveler progresses in the journey by choosing right from wrong, he is bound to make errors, not having adequate knowledge. He is also bound to act unwisely, not having sufficient wisdom.
The traveler's companions, evil and error, fall away as the traveler makes progress on the journey. This is because error and evil create the stimulus for the good and wise. As the traveler continues, displaying loving acts of mercy and love along with the way, spiritual values and meanings accumulate that lead to a level of understanding that signifies real progress. As the way becomes progressively difficult, the potentials concealed within the traveler transmute to actuals. The complete transmutation of all potentials into actuals means the journey has come to an end. But there can be no real end to the journey because it is endless. The potentials are actually infinite. There are well-defined benchmarks along the way, but the end of one phase can only signify the beginning of another.
There is no end to love, for love is the manifestation that the Father reveals of Himself. There are many manifestations of this love, sometimes subtle, sometimes difficult of comprehension, but the growth process validates the realization of love. At times when spiritual insight is inadequate to give us conscious assurance, then faith and trust become even more important. When the way is not clear, the traveler must rely even more on faith and trust. There are times when the stretch of the road is clear, where the role of faith and trust may not be so obvious.
The Father loves his children and provides for their spiritual welfare, constantly urging the child to love, to exercise more and more faith and trust. And though there are many times when the clouds of uncertainty and storms of doubt seem to prevail, they cannot prevail over the soul of the child of the Father. Emotional anguish is unavoidable in an immature and imperfect child as he traverses the rapidly changing states of reality. But it is the attitude of the child that determines the quality of the decision that a child makes during these challenges. The child of the Father learns that emotional states should not determine his decisions. The child of the Father learns to seek for the best solution regardless of how he feels.
Such a decision may well bring about suffering in the short term, but time will disclose the wisdom of making the right choice. All who are not completely dedicated to making the journey will not be able to withstand the flood tides of adversity. The Father gives his children a spirit of tranquility in the midst of every storm. When the storm of ambiguity bursts upon the scene, the child of the Father may count upon the Spirit of Truth to speak, saying "this is the way." And this is done even when the conscious mind cannot fathom the voice of truth. Again, during such times faith and trust are absolutely essential for the well being of such a child.
In the final analysis the Father is a loving person who loves each and every one of His children. What Father would send His child on an infinite and eternal journey and not provide guidance and direction for them, and everything else that is needful for making the journey?
Somewhere along the way, the traveler begins to discern that the journey itself is the reason for the journey. The means of the journey are an end in themselves. The journey itself is an endless search and revelation of the Father's love and the Son's mercy. As the traveler yields to the urge of love, he finds more and more of the Father of love. As the meanings and the values accumulate within the mind and soul of such a child, he is constrained to worship such a wonderful and incomparable Father and to show ever increasing praise for his ever heightening consciousness of the Father of all mercies. And when the traveler reaches the supreme benchmark of the journey of love, he will find that he has become perfect in the process. He will recognize the Father through His Son, because he will be just like him.
This concludes today's message on the journey 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.