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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the nature of spiritual joy.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of Spiritual Joy
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it
again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Matthew, Chapter
13, Verse 44.
Said Jesus, "I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly. I have
come to free the moral captives, and so that you may be complete."
Material happiness is the satisfaction that results from successful undertakings. In all of us there are
certain material urges and drives. When these urge and drives are satisfied, happiness is the result.
In the material world there are many things that bring happiness, but it is a truism that in the material
world the things that bring us joy also bring us pain.
Brothers and sisters, being material, we may experience joy from the achievements of ourselves or
of our loved ones. We may experience joy from satisfying relationships; we may experience joy from
sensual gratifications. But these gratifications are short lived. Material gratifications are temporal
in nature. But even these must be pursued in order to be enjoyed. Always must we act.
Prior to the bestowal of Jesus, material gratifications were the only gratifications experienced by
humans. After the bestowal of Jesus, our spiritual natures were expanded so that we could experience
spiritual gratification. And even though we still react to our material natures, we now have the
capacity to react to our spiritual natures as well.
But in order for us to consciously experience our spiritual natures, our souls must be born again. This
is not an insurmountable problem. By dedicating our wills to the Father's will, through Jesus we
become born again. Prior to being born again, our material minds must exist on material energies--
the meanings and values that satisfy the material mind are material in nature. After we are born
again, our souls receive the supreme satisfaction of existing on spiritual energies--spiritual meanings
and values. From our material mind points of view, spiritual realities are nonexistent and this is
because, while material things have to be known to be loved, spiritual realities must be loved in order
to be known. They must be embraced by faith. Thus it is seen that the material point of view can
never comprehend the spiritual point of view.
By seeking to do the Father's will, this wholehearted seeking to do the divine will sooner or later will
lead to the new birth, the birth that makes real the realities of the spiritual world. We become a new
creature, and this new creature loves divine things, meanings, and values even before it knows them.
It is the love of these spiritual realities that make them knowable and ushers in the unspeakable joy
of the spirit.
The pursuit of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father's love is spiritual joy. And just as the
material selves pursue those material realities that bring material happiness, our born again souls
pursue spiritual activities. These spiritual activities have none of the handicaps of the temporal and
the material, for they are spiritual and eternal. They are not handicapped by space or delayed by time.
There are no limitations to the enjoyment of these spiritual realities except the limitation imposed
by us--the failure to wholeheartedly do the Father's will.
As we pursue the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Father's love, only success after success crowns
our efforts. There are never any failures and we are literally amazed and joyfully refreshed as we
discover new meanings and values being resurrected out of the old meanings and values, and often
out of the same activities. And though we still experience the ups and downs of material life, these
same ups and downs reveal ever increasing spiritual joys. To love them is to know them.
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature of spiritual joy. 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.