Greetings, 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 what it means to pursue divine goodness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Pursuit of Divine Goodness
Jesus said, "A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as
soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, but joy that a man
is born into the world." John Chapter 16, Verse 21.
Who can silence the sorrow of the still voice that lies buried under the crushing weight of betrayal
and deception? Who can heal the fractured soul and confused mind? Who can repair irreplaceable
loss or bear overwhelming sorrow? Only the pursuit of divine goodness can remedy these evils.
Divine goodness is the force and power that the Father uses for overcoming all sorts of evil, sin, and
iniquity. It is an irresistible force, the essential background on which truth functions. It is the
goodness of the Lord that causes repentance. Truth is to goodness what an automobile is to a
highway. In our world there are many potholes of evil on this highway, but they can all be smoothed
or erased by goodness.
We have only one life, which is material. But as we choose good over evil by submitting to the
Father's will, we begin to recognize another life growing within us. This soul, created by the
Heavenly Father, allows us to perceive a life of unselfish love. We still live our material lives, but
we can choose to live spiritually as well. We can pursue the truth, the beauty and the goodness of
His love. The more we choose to live this way, the greater is our awareness of good surrounding us.
The Father reveals this goodness to our hungry souls for divine righteousness. As we pursue our
moral obligations, now clothed in the raiment of divine love in the face of evil, and as we pursue our
moral obligation in the face of hardship, pain, sorrow, and disappointment, the desire for divine
goodness increases. We try to discern the underlying values, the divine purpose. As we view the
remnants of the evil within and surrounding us, we seek to conquer this evil with divine goodness.
The continuous effort on our part transforms our souls into the image of His Son.
After our souls develop to the point where it is born again the soul now perceives a different kind
of reality, a spiritual reality. This reality is called Truth. Prior to this event, our souls have been
pursuing selfish goals, material and temporal. We have been primarily concerned with quantity
rather than quality. We have been locked in evil's embrace, only learning good by trial and error.
Evil is a reflection of immaturity. To be delivered from evil, our souls must be born again. After
rebirth, our souls are concerned with quality. How a moral task is carried out is of supreme
importance. We are primarily concerned with divine righteousness and truth. We seek to make
personal our experiences with truth. And we accomplish all of this by submitting to the Father's
will, by pursuing divine goodness--love, patience, mercy, and forgiveness.
It is God's purpose that divine love be contrasted with human selfishness; this is how we discern
the difference between our will and the Father's. Love is the model. It softly invites us to enter its
embrace of increasing happiness, pleasure, joy, and success. The next phase of divine goodness is
patience. It requires time for us to experience the devastating consequences of evil. Patience
signifies a period of waiting until final choices are made. After we master patience, next follows
mercy. Mercy signifies the growth of the soul away from evil and involves increasing our desire
to do good. Finally there is forgiveness. Forgiveness is more than pardoning, more than simply
setting aside wrongs. Forgiveness means that actual or potential evil is destroyed. And when we
completed our pursuit of goodness, we will stand in the Father's embrace without any shadows of
evil being cast. We will have obeyed that mandate to be perfect even as the heavenly Father is
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of what it means to pursue divine
goodness. 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.