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 seek to understand the quality of spiritual growth.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Quality of Spiritual Growth
"... Who will have all men to be saved, and to come into the knowledge of the truth, for there
is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." First Timothy,
Chapter 2, verse 4.
Brothers and sisters, all growth can be measured. Material growth is measured by quantitative
measures. Intellectual growth is measured by acquiring new meanings. Spiritual growth is measured
qualitatively. Quality is measured by how deeply we grasp divine values, meanings, and ultimately
spiritual performance. The growth of these parameters--love, faith, goodness, gentleness, meekness
and temperance, long suffering, peace and joy---are qualitative. And it is the growth of the spiritual
nature that we are interested in measuring.
The growth of the soul emerges from the soil of moral reality. Here the soul becomes aware of
superhuman divine values and meanings emanating from the Father's will, the divine spirit, through
the Spirit of Truth, the spirit of Jesus. During this stage, all powers of self are used to promote the
interests of self. It is at this stage that the earliest conflict appears in our mind, and the battle for
loyalty begins. Now the soul begins its never ending growth and development, responding to the
nourishment of truth, beauty and goodness. Up and down the battle rages and more than a little
uncertainty reigns, but the power to prevail is inherent in the will to believe. And faith joins the fray,
projecting hope and trust.
Even now the soul makes itself felt as it struggles to grasp and comprehend divine values and
meanings in the midst of calls to selfishness. But growth is the order of the day, and though the
quality of spiritual growth during this stage is not consistent, it is significant. Love and mercy are
occasionally given out in response to the urge of the divine spirit. And every response to the divine
spirit most certainly redounds in further spiritual growth. Even now the soul realizes that there are
things that before this level of growth it could not or would not do. It is the march towards ever-
increasing knowledge of truth, the grasp of greater divine values and meanings, and ultimate
performance that are arbiters of spiritual growth. And faith keeps beckoning to the soul for greater
and greater spiritual achievements. Along with grace and mercy, the quality of spiritual growth
increases. During this stage, prayer and worship become a part of the soul's life, as the self begins
to consciously pray and worship, ever seeking to find the Father through the Son, Jesus Christ.
Eventually this seeking propels the soul into the next stage of growth--the will that believes.
During this stage, the quality of spiritual growth as measured by loyalty to divine values and
meanings finds the soul victorious over the battle with doubt, and the soul confesses everlasting
dependency upon the Father's will through His Son. The soul totally dedicates itself to grasping and
mastering divine values and meanings, and displaying these values at all times and under all
circumstances. This is definitely a reach for perfection, an attempt to obey the Father's Eternal
command, to become like Jesus in character. Now the training begins in earnest as additional
spiritual resources are brought to bear upon the problem of achieving perfection.
Personal guardian angels are assigned to help with the need for increased understanding of divine
values and meanings. This is necessary because of the increasing outward stimuli that require
increasing quality of the divine response. Here the growth become consistent as one challenge and
opportunity after another is mastered. The training is progressive and so are the stimuli. Difficult
brothers and sisters are brought within our moral-spiritual contact range to take a look at the Father
through His Son, Jesus.
In addition, the will to believe acquires additional spiritual power in the form of increased faith,
hope, and trust as the soul rises to the occasion of displaying the fruits of the spirit. On the inside the
soul is increasingly raptured with worship and showered with the divine meanings of its
performance. Now matter how furious the attacks from the arrows of evil and the bombs of sin, the
will that believes stands unmoved. Indeed it is standing upon the rock of eternal foundation. Yes!
the will that believes is held securely within the Father's grasp. As Jesus said, "my Father gave them
to me, and no one can pluck them out of my hands."
Eventually the will to believe demonstrates that it has mastered all the values and meanings, and
perfectly displays the divine values and meanings, thus becoming the will that is. It has complied
with the Father's mandate to become perfect even as Jesus is perfect for this level of existence. It has
made the final leap of faith in human experience and has become the will that is: a perfect revelation
of Jesus, and through Him of the Father. The will that is has completed his growth on this level. It
has achieved the standards set for it in the flesh and now keenly awaits for the next level of increased
responsibility and opportunity for growth. It now enjoys a refreshing break from new challenges, as
it effortlessly displays divine values and meanings. It is a time of recuperating lost energies used up
during the previous stages.
And now as it looks back, it is able to appreciate its spiritual growth, which is always unconscious.
It can now see how each stage allowed for greater and greater consistency of performance. It now
basks in the unspeakable joy of one who has mastered the divine values and meanings of this life,
and has become a revelation of the Father through his Son, Jesus, and all truth seekers recognize this
revelation of truth. And the Father smiles, saying through Jesus: "this is a beloved son in whom I am
This concludes today's message on understanding the quality 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.