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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast we explore the nature of the divine values and meanings that are needful in our desire to obey the Father’’s eternal command to be perfect even as he is perfect. We are particularly interested in those values and meanings that are a part of our relationship with the heavenly Father.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Pursuit of Divine Values and Meanings
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians, Chapter 3, Verse 14
Brothers and sisters, as we explore and appropriate divine values and meanings, we assume that our sincerity and our desire are supreme. We have no space left in our souls for "procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking." Our rate of success depends on shedding these animalistic traits before entering the kingdom of divine values and meanings.
We are the heavenly Father’’s mortal children and are the farthest removed from his actual personality on Paradise. Because we are growing in our spiritual status and because God is our spiritual Father and we are his spiritual children, there are certain values of this relationship that we must acquire as we journey towards him. The Father has commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect. Starting out as material creatures, we must progress to perfected spirits. We begin this journey in our souls even as we live the material life, extracting moral and spiritual values from all experiences in this life.
What are these values necessary to begin the journey, make progress during it, and ultimately to conquer those values that are required to master this life spiritually, to achieve those levels of Godlikeness? We are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. This statement makes no sense to a mind locked in a material existence. Though the material mind may embark upon an intellectual quest to attempt to make sense out of this stupendous truth, it utterly fails to experience this grand and glorious truth of its own. The Father spiritually has recreated us by giving us a soul-vehicle that will transcend the mortal life and progress onward, never stopping until we find Him on Paradise. The material mind cannot discover this soul because the soul is not material.
But the Father has given us something that we can use to experience this great truth: the divine value of faith. This faith erupts in our hearts and minds at the time of our creation. It empowers us to believe and to know that we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. The nature of this faith is such that it creates a spiritual consciousness that allows us to proceed with the sure knowledge of our sonship with him. Faith transmutes potentials to actuals and becomes real to our consciousness. Although the material mind cannot fathom this, we act as if it were a fact. Then it becomes eternally real, and we initiate a conscious relationship with the heavenly Father, even though initially our petitions may be material in nature. This two-way communication eventually leads to knowing the Father.
"Religion is designed to find those values in the universe which call forth faith, trust, and assurance; religion culminates in worship. Religion (the exercise of spiritual faith) discovers for the soul those supreme values which are in contrast with the relative values discovered by the mind. Such superhuman insight can be had only through genuine religious experience." As we live in a friendly universe, we need to exercise faith, trust, and assurance. In the universe, compared to the material life we live, instead of selfishness there is unselfishness; instead of hatred, there is love; instead of greed, there is temperance.
In the universe, there is cooperation not antagonism; all the parts work together. There is brotherhood rather than every man for himself. In the universe there is no need to fear anything. The universe is saturated with the Father’’s love for all of his children; there, everything is designed to help us become all that we can be, to become perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect. When we reach for these values, this is an act of faith. When we reach out for God, this is an act of faith. When we abandon our castle of selfishness and move into the spiritual mansion of unselfishness, this is an act of faith. When we accept these divine values and their corresponding meanings, this is an act of faith. It goes without saying that it requires courage as well as loyalty to pursue these spiritual ideals and live them.
Because we live in a time-space universe, and we are growing towards divine perfection, it is essential to exercise patience. Our growth is delayed by time and handicapped by space. No amount of impatience can add anything to our growth process. This patience is essential for peace of mind and tranquility of spirit. The exercise of patience in the face of imperfection is the exercise of faith. And thus as we submit to patience, our faith grows; as our faith grows, so does our capacity to acquire divine values and meanings.
Prayer and worship are helpful in that they teach us how to cooperate with and do the Father’’s will. Prayer and worship are direct means of communicating with the heavenly Father. As we maintain these practices, we flourish in the face of adversity. These practices endow us with courage, tenacity, hope, trust, inspiration, and even more faith. We must always remember that adversity causes immature creatures to eventually reach out to God, after having exhausted their own limited resources. Divine values and meanings are acquired in response to seeking God’’s help. He responds with grace and mercy. The flood gates of the Father’’s tender mercies open to immerse us in his infinite love, in revelations of truth, beauty, and goodness.
Because of the dichotomy between the material values and the spiritual values, often confusion may arise as the self tries to sort out the two. It must learn to render to Caesar the things of Caesar and to render to God the things of God. It takes a while for the self to recognize that its relationship to the Father is purely spiritual. During this phase, the soul needs to have hope. Hope is what keeps the soul afloat as it tries to identify with spiritual values. It prevents the soul from collapsing in the arms of despair.
In addition to hope, trust is needed. For the soul never knows what to expect from day to day; it is making a journey it has not made before and is very unfamiliar with the scenery. The soul must learn to trust in the goodness of the Father. This trust allows the soul to increasingly know the Father as it follows his leading and is guided by the Son through the pathway of truth, trusting each step of the way despite doubts of the material mind. The soul grows into the image of the Son. And the display of this image is best seen in action by the fruit of the spirit.
The fruit of the spirit are love, faith, goodness, gentleness, temperance, meekness, long suffering, peace, and joy. And these values are acquired when we cooperate with the plan for our spiritual advancement, the decision to abide by the Father’’s will in all our moral and spiritual interactions.
This concludes today's message on understanding what it means to pursue divine values and meanings. 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.