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 process of spiritual growth.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Process of Spiritual Growth
Jesus said, “ Be ye therefore perfect even your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew Chapter 5 Verse 48
Brothers and sisters, in today’s broadcast, we discuss the process of spiritual growth. The heavenly Father has commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect, but how are we to obey that command? Starting out as we are, obeying that command seems impossible to comply. But that which is impossible for man is possible with God. With the heavenly Father all things are possible. He does all things equally well. Now before we begin to consciously respond to this command there are certain truths that are helpful to keep in mind. First of all this perfection refers to moral and spiritual perfection, the perfection of our character, and the spiritualization of our minds. Secondly, we must remember that Jesus demonstrated the righteousness of this command, and is the inspiration and the power for our spiritual aspiration as well as the perfect image of God. Thirdly, we must remember that the spirit of the Father, the Father’s will, resides in our souls and minds, and is the secret of our spiritual growth. By dedicating ourselves to doing the Father’s will as demonstrated in his Son, we pattern our growth along the lines of this Image of the Father.
The Father is the source and cause of our growth; he is the reason why we can become perfect even as he is perfect. Even in material growth, we know that a child moves from infancy to toddler, to young childhood, adolescence, and on to adulthood apparently of its own accord. And as this growth proceeds, so does the competency of the child increases. Normally, in the environment in which the material growth takes place, there are physical challenges and intellectual challenges, the meeting of which keeps the body strong, and the intellect sharp.
Spiritually, our growth begins with the first moral decision that we make. This making of a moral decision in conjunction with the Father’s spirit conceives the soul. And since the Father is the Father of this soul, the potentials locked up in it, are limitless. Now just as some human beings become retarded in intellectual growth and physical development by the failure to meet the challenges in the material and intellectual life, so does the soul become retarded in its growth, when the self refused to meet the moral and spiritual challenges in its environment.
The Father does not use magic in our growth, but has put into place certain laws that cause our growth if we do not prevent it. Moral decisions are the fabrics which the Father uses to grow the soul. Every time the moral will makes a moral decision, choosing good over evil, the Father’s spirit invades the substance of the soul just a little bit more, thus spiritualizing it. Just as the material self needs nourishment to grow, so does the soul need nourishment to develop and grow. In the human, the embryo receives all of its nourishment from its mother. During this developmental state, the human embryo receives the necessary nourishment without any conscious action upon its part. During the embryonic state of development of the soul, the soul receives all of the necessary nourishment that it needs to grow.
When the human embryo is born into the world, it then begins to participate in its own grow, and it soon reaches the point where it can consciously assist in its own growth. When the soul is born of the Spirit of Truth, it becomes conscious of spiritual reality, becomes conscious of divine love, truth, beauty, and goodness. Up to this point the soul has been subsiding strictly on the substance of moral decisions, but after it has been born again, in addition to the moral nourishments, it begins to subsist on the more excellent and satisfying spiritual nourishments of truth, beauty, and goodness, and divine love. This appetite for these spiritual foods are in response to the stimulus initiated in the soul by the Father’s spirit to hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness.
Prior to Jesus coming to earth, all souls slept on in the embryonic phase, existing only on moral food, but since the incarnation of Jesus on earth, souls now have the potential to be born while still living in the material mind. When the Son of God incarnated in the flesh subject to the will of God, new potentials were actualized. With the Son of God living the heavenly life while simultaneously living the earthly life, he created the way for us to do the same thing. To all who accept him as the revelation of the Father, and thus agreeing to abide by the Father’s will, to love one another as he loves us, he offers the bread of life, eternal life to ease and satisfies the hunger pains for truth, and offers living waters for all who thirst for righteousness, for divine perfection. Thus Jesus offers eternal life to those who hunger for truth, and divine perfection to those who thirst for righteousness. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the light of the world.
By dedicating ourselves to doing the Father’s will, as demonstrated by Jesus, we enter the Kingdom of heaven where we enter a world of divine values and meanings. These are the divine values and meanings that are concealed in the activities of loving service and loving each other as Jesus loves us. And as continue in these loving acts of service and loving one another as Jesus loves us, the divine values deepen, thus yielding increased meanings. And this process of ever increasing divine values and meanings constitute spiritual growth.
This concludes today’s message on understanding the process of spiritual growth. 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