Greeting, 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 nature of the spiritual response to the Father's Love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of the Spiritual Response
Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
John, Chapter 13, Verse 35.
Brothers and sisters, not once can I recall being satisfied with the response that I received when I
returned evil for evil, but often I have been satisfied with the response that I received when I returned
good for evil. And while it is true that oftentimes there is a lot of emotional agitation within us
initially, when we choose good over evil there follows the supreme satisfaction in our souls that soon
spills over into our minds. We are glad we chose the correct response.
It is the natural and human response to respond to evil with evil. The agitation we experience initially
when we choose good over evil is our resentment at being cheated out of our natural responses. The
basic urges of the self cannot be modified. They are fixed. And though these urges cannot be
changed, the emotional responses to these urges can be changed. We can decide under what
circumstances and to what degree we will satisfy these inborn urges. We can even decide not to
respond to the urge of self preservation.
Basically there are three ways by which we can respond to basic urges. First, we can respond in a
purely emotional way. That is, as soon as the urge appears in our minds, we can seek to satisfy the
urge without thinking. For example, the urge for food appears in our minds on a periodic basis. The
emotional response disregards all and any factors that stand in the way of satisfying the immediate
desire for food. It does not matter what else may be going on, for the emotional self does not
recognize any higher priority. The desire for food is the highest priority in a purely emotional
response. This can best be observed in an infant child and some adults who have not developed any
On the other hand, we can respond intellectually to the urges of the flesh. We can consider all of the
factors involved and set priorities. We can determine when, where, how and to what extent we will
respond. We can modify our response. We can use wisdom in response to the urge.
But there is still yet a third way that we can respond to basic urges, and this is the way of the
heavenly Father. We are all indwelt by the spirit of the heavenly Father. This and the Spirit of Truth
ever strives to teach our minds and souls the better way. Through a process of experience and
revelation, the spirit progressively teaches and leads our souls. In this way our souls becomes
progressively spiritual as the barriers of spiritual growth--ignorance and prejudice--are overcome.
Ignorance prevents us from doing the will of the Father, while prejudice prevents us from learning
the will of the Father. Ignorance of the Father's will is evil, while prejudice towards the divine will
is error. They both fall before the irresistible force of goodness and the everlasting way of truth.
In our prayer and worship lives, as our souls reflect over the activities of the day, the spirit elevates
and transforms the thoughts and the emotions of our minds and souls, and further combine these into
a unified whole so that we progressively learn the divine will. The values of the spirit are different
from the values of the material self.
Our material selves are conscious of their temporal existence and their rapidly approaching death,
and are naturally concerned with self preservation and getting as much as they can get before time
and life run out. The spirit has no self conscious, and being an eternal value is not concerned with
self preservation but only with the propagation of divine values which are eternal.
Divine values are unselfish. The values of our material selves are selfish. The divine spirit causes
our souls to respond to the basic urges of the self the way the Father does; that is, our purely selfish
responses are transformed to respond divinely, unselfishly, and does this with ever decreasing
resentments and ever heightening reactions of love, patience, mercy, and forgiveness.
And this process occurs because our souls are increasingly empowered by the spirit to grasp the
reality of eternal life that is based upon our souls' willingness to pursue the divine values of goodness
as well as the superb peace and the sublime consciousness of the heavenly Father that our minds and
our souls increasingly experience.
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature of the spiritual response to 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.