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 love of the heavenly Father.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Love of the Heavenly Father
"Behold what manner of love the heavenly Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God." First John, Chapter 3, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, the Psalmist raises the question: "What is man, that thou are mindful of him? and what is the son of man that thou visitest [sends his spirit to live in us]
him?" We know that the heavenly Father loves us, that he is in us and is going through these experiences with us and as us. But we must also acknowledge that at times this love transcends our comprehension, and we become like stranded sailors out in the ocean surrounded by water but with not a drop to drink.
The far-seeing intelligent parental affection of the heavenly Father, functioning in consonant with wisdom, means that we, his immature children, are not always able to see his hand of love under certain adverse circumstances. We want to cast some spiritual illumination and understanding on this most human experience so that we can be better comforted by this love, better encouraged by it, and enjoy the sublime soul consciousness and confidence of this divine affection.
Let us consider this scenario of the heavenly Father in relationship to his mortal son. The heavenly Father--having come to live in the mind and soul of his young son--watches his young son develop. This son has just turned five, and the Father has begun to implement his plan for the child’’s development. Because of the child’’s age and immaturity, the Father is not able to impart very much of this plan to the child; instead he tells his son that he loves him very much and will always be there for him. Because he loves his son so much, he has developed a plan of progressive growth especially for him. He tells his son that he must trust and have faith——that trust and faith are compensations for his inability to understand his Father’’s plan.
The Father tells his child that he will journey through many and varying experiences that are necessary for him to realize his full potential. There will be joyful experiences and sorrowful experiences. The child understands the joyful experiences, as he has had several birthday parties that he enjoyed enormously, but he cannot comprehend the need for the sorrowful experiences. The Father tries to explain the reason for the sorrowful experiences, but the child cannot grasp it all. He is not mature enough yet to understand the two sides of life--the ups and the downs.
And the same thing happens when the Father tries to explain to his son that just as he will have successful experiences, he will also have some unsuccessful ones. The child simply cannot grasp the reason for these unpleasant setbacks. The Father also explains to his son that his emotions will follow the same pattern as his experiences. There will be many sleepless nights and fits of anxiety and depression. He tells the child that his emotions at times will be like a roller coaster--at least until he gains a measure of emotional maturity.
The Father also explains to him that there are going to be times when it will appear that his path is blocked and he cannot proceed any further. At this time, he should wait and be patient until a door opens for him to pass through. The child cannot grasp this concept either. Why should his path become blocked when he is trying his best to become all that he can be? The Father tries to tell him about the need for the son to develop such qualities as discipline, restraint, patience, courage, hope, faith, and trust. But again, these are just words to the ears of the young child. At this stage of his development, he only knows what he wants and what he doesn’’t want. He wants what is pleasant, not unpleasant.
The Father goes on to explain to his son that in the course of becoming all that he can be, he may have trouble with his body and mind. There may be times when his body will become ill, and he will be derailed temporarily; in some cases, he may be derailed permanently. This is just too much for the young child, who has just begun to explore the wonders of his body and his mind. The thought of anything happening to his body and mind is just overwhelming. He quickly banishes such thoughts from his mind. He can’’t even begin to comprehend the supreme insult to his mind and body--mortal death.
The Father goes on to express his love for his child. He constantly reiterates that he will always be there for the child. He says to him, ““I will always be here for counsel, even though you probably will not avail yourself of it until you find that life has some twists and turns that you don’’t know how to negotiate. There will be others along this path of life who will give up. They will grow weary and lose faith in the eventual victory of this life. When you watch how they have become, let this be a lesson for you. You will be tempted to give up but don’’t yield to that temptation. When you lose hope, you give up and then experience true defeat.”” Then the Father says to his son, ““you may follow this path of true defeat if you choose, and I will grieve deeply; when it comes to this plan of life, you have a free will choice to participate in it or not.””
““There will be times when you will beg me, cajole, attempt to bargain with me, say that I don’’t care about you, that you hate me, refuse to fellowship with me, and refuse to talk with me. And you will do this because I will not take you out of your difficult struggles. You can quit, but I will never be the cause of your downfall by preventing you from having essential experiences. The only way you can be successful in becoming all you can is to be willing to continue to struggle until the last obstacle has been overcome. I will rejoice with your victories and sorrow over your temporary defeats. I will go through every experience with and as you. You will never be alone. I will provide every quality that is necessary for your success.””
““As you grow older, you will understand all of this a lot clearer. My son, never allow your emotional reactions or your physical status to cloud my love for you. I only want what is best for you, and my plan for your life is designed to do just that if you will follow it. You follow the plan by always doing your best in whatever circumstance you happen to be in. You must allow your faith to maintain an attitude of trust in me. I will never let you down; I will never bring you to a dead end in meaning and value. While you live this material life, you also live the spiritual life.””
““This material life is just the first of many other lives that will grow increasingly spiritual. I am not only concerned with this life but all the other lives as well. I am preparing you for these other lives, even as you live this one.””
““From your perspective, you may think that you are most unfortunate, having to start at the bottom, with many disappointments and suffering. And you may envy my other sons who have begun their careers at a higher level. But my son, you are below them spiritually now, but the proverb--the last shall be the first--is not without merit. While I love all of my children, I have given you a specialized portion of my love. I live within you. I am one with you; my living within you and being one with you is the guarantee that you are really indestructible, that nothing can really harm you. The expression of my love for you is seen in the glorious plan that I have for you now and in the ages to come. We are going to be together for a long time, eternally long. And you will enjoy my affection forever. As you grow in the appreciation of the values of my love, increasingly will you experience the meanings of my affection for you. And you will be constantly surprised when you discover a new manifestation of my love for you.””
““But, my son, in order to appreciate all of this love that I have for you, you need to go through adverse experiences. In and through these adverse experiences, you gain those essential qualities necessary to appreciate my love for you.””
““I am mindful that you are human and must contend with your mortal status. But always remember I am going through this with you and as you. I am one with you in the long but eventful struggle, and together we will prevail. You are only a thought, an impulse, an urge, a desire away from me. You can talk to me at any time, and I will answer you. When it is time to be patient, I will display patience in your mind. When it is time to act, I will urge you to act. When you need courage, I will impart it to you. When you need mercy, I will give that to you in the form of grace and the increasing revelations of truth, beauty, and goodness. I will tell you of my love for you. I will comfort you and encourage you. I will give you wisdom, strength, tranquility of spirit and mind if you only trust me and the plan I have for your life.””
““There is absolutely no experience that you will ever be called on to undergo that will be beyond my reach to give you help when it is truly needed. Allow my hope--the vision of a better day--to pull you through even the most difficult of human experiences. And, my son, not only is this love confined to the inside where it infuses your soul, but it radiates out from your soul, giving hope and courage to all who bathe in its merciful rays. Again, just trust me, son; just have faith in me.””
““If there was another way of your becoming complete from where you are starting, I would have done it that way. This is the only way and therefore the best way. Just trust me. I will complete what I started. I love you, my son.””
This concludes today's message on understanding the love of the heavenly Father. 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.