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 meaning of divine love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Meaning of Divine Love
"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." First John, Chapter 3, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, this morning we shall explore the divine meanings of divine love. Of all divine values and meanings, divine love is the greatest and most paramount: from it all others are derived. Divine love is the manifestation of God, for God is love. We, his children, are subject to pain, suffering, and disappointments in this life and would like to know the meaning of this divine love.
First, the Father has given us life, and we should be grateful because life allows us to enjoy, think, plan, act, achieve, and to some degree overcome our environment and develop a soul that can survive mortal death. It may not appear to be so, but a life based on acquiring experience actually is a manifestation of his love. Now, we can think of a thousand and one reasons why this is not an act of love to us, as we contemplate material disasters and the personal disasters that we inflict on one another, and horrendous illnesses that plague us. We are forced to proceed logically and ultimately with partial solutions, building on those that have gone before.
Let us use our faith-reason, and we shall glimpse some of the insight that will allow us to see that being children of experience is evidence of the Father’’s love. The Father is absolute, infinite, and eternal. This status signifies that everything that exists, has existed, or could possibly exist must find existence within him. The love of the Father created and made us in his image, therefore we are incomplete and must become complete. We must grow to become spiritually perfect. Being children, the only way that we can know the Father is through faith, the gift of the Father. Faith illuminates knowledge of him and allows us to partake of his nature——to, in effect, become divine. This faith creates a consciousness of Him in our souls that allows us to enjoy an intimate relationship with him.
Next, the Father, having created us on the lowest level of existence, has provided a way for us to escape our mortal status. He has sent a part of himself, his spirit, to reside with us. The arrival of this spirit in our minds is the creation of our souls, vehicles that allows us to transfer within ourselves all that is worthwhile from our material lives, combined with other qualities (knowing the Father and enjoying the satisfaction of communing with him). And this Father, like earthly fathers, provides, protects, and guides. This Father shares all of the child’’s hardships--her trials and tribulations. The Father, in fact, becomes a part of us and experiences what we experience. All the values and meanings that we experience, the Father experiences with us. And when we stumble, the Father is right there to lovingly pick us up and put us mercifully back on the road of growth and development. This is, indeed, an act of love.
It is difficult to be a child. A child is always growing rapidly. The changes she experiences seem almost incomprehensible. The child is constantly confronted with new challenges to master, and there is not much rest from these unrelenting stimuli that are designed for her development. Physically, emotionally, intellectually, morally and socially, the child is constantly required and restrained to acquire new knowledge and make adjustments. It seems that everything she wants to do is hedged with some restraining barrier. But parents know that these restraints are designed to protect the child as she grows and develops: the child is safe as long as the child abides by these restraints.
Likewise, the soul is a spiritual child and it faces the same challenges--but from a spiritual perspective. The child must acquire spiritual knowledge, the values and meanings of which constitute soul growth. The Father knows that the spiritual child needs to be stimulated, and since values have to be acquired by making spiritual decisions, it requires a mighty and great stimulus for the material mind to act on behalf of the soul, whose continuing existence depends upon the free will choice of the material mind.
Here is the problem: the material mind has no such soul consciousness and must make decisions based on the urges, desires, and impulses with which the Father floods it. It must choose by submitting to the Father’’s will. Learning to choose the Father’’s will is contingent upon the material self having experienced sorrow, disappointment, and suffering attendant on placing eternal hopes on material and temporal reality.
It takes strong and continuous stimuli for the material self, aware of its desire to survive, to abandon ultimately the material standard as a way of achieving survival. The cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, the baffling illnesses and the perfect storm of mortality can only induce the mortal self to abandon its way and choose the Father’’s way. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death."
And the soul continues to grow and develop under this ever-increasing acquirement of values, while it learns that through all the storms of the mortal life it remains indestructible because it resides within the Father’’s spirit and thus is absolutely unassailable. Trials and tribulations, while disturbing to our tranquility, serve the purpose of moving us forward in the very face of these unpleasant stimuli. "The spiritualization of the human soul requires intimate experience with the educational solving of a wide range of real problems. The animal nature and the lower forms of will creatures do not progress favorably in environmental ease. Problematic situations, coupled with exertion stimuli, conspire to produce those activities of mind, soul, and spirit which contribute mightily to the achievement of worthy goals of mortal progression and to the attainment of higher levels of spirit destiny." This is an act of love and mercy for it provides the only way the spiritually young can move forward. Left to her own devices, the spiritual child would wither away and be lost forever.
But the greatest manifestation of this love is the overwhelming sense of spiritual security, the overwhelming assurance that no real harm can befall the soul, along with the irrepressible sense that the self--by submitting to the Father’’s will--has found a way to destroy its greatest fear (death) and survive this mortal life. In survival, the soul has secured all of the worthwhile values and meanings discovered during the material life. The heavenly Father is love, and the meaning of this love is the desire to do good to others.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of divine 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.