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 seek to understand the realization of spiritual beauty.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Realization of Spiritual Beauty
"For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty?" Zachariah, Chapter 9, Verse 17.
Brothers and sisters, in the previous discussion we examined the perception of spiritual beauty, and
today we would like to complete that discussion. As is our habit, we shall look at the material
example for illustration purposes to help us grasp spiritual reality. We know that the material is a
shadow of the spiritual, and being the material shadow, we shall like to grasp the more firmer object
of spiritual value. There are four phases of realization of spiritual beauty: perception, recognition,
appreciation and finally realization. There are three stages of material realization.
Perception: Once there was a man who lived on a farm. Because of the low quality of his soil, the
farmer had great difficulty growing his crops. The soil seemed to have some kind of greasy texture
to it, and it was constantly coating his shoes as he walked upon it. His wife would give him a very
hard time as he tracked this greasy soil into their house. Time and time again she would advise him
to sell the farm and start over again in some other endeavor, or at least get some new land. But the
farm had been in his family for quite a few generations, and he was reluctant to sell it. He felt that
his great grandparents who had originally owned the land would turn over in their graves. One of the
stipulations in the will was that the land contained some unknown hidden treasure and that one day
the family would enjoy it. They were therefore forbidden to sell this property until the treasure was
He studied this greasy soil to try to find out what it was. He finally took some of the soil and put it
in a glass with water and shook it up so that the soil fell to the bottom of the glass and the water and
the greasy stuff dissolved in the soil, separated out into two layers--the water on the bottom layer and
the greasy material on the top layer. He would shake this combination together, and watch it separate
again and again. He was fascinated by this phenomenon but had no idea what--if any--value that it
had. As far as he could tell this was a worthless substance interfering with his farming efforts. Time
passed, and one day a man from one of the large cities came by and examined his greasy field. It so
happens that this man was out looking for this very kind of material.
Recognition/appreciation. This man happened to be employed by one of the large oil companies and
it was his job to locate prospective oil fields. After making some preliminary tests, he told the farmer
that this greasy stuff was oil. He explained to him that this oil was what made the modern world go
round. It was the energy that drove the industrial processes for the most part, and that if his
expectations held, the farmer would be a very very rich man. Now the farmer could hardly believe
what he was hearing. For years he had considered this greasy stuff nothing but a nuisance, but now
right before his eyes, his opinion began to change. He was suddenly filled with a new appreciation
of this oily stuff that seemed to saturate his farm. He was grasping a new meaning and recognizing
the value of what had appeared to him formerly as valueless and meaningless.
Realization. It appeared almost to good to be true. He remembered the admonition that had been
passed down from generation to generation: if something appeared to good to be true, it probably
was. But in the days that followed, he was confronted with the reality of the situation. First of all,
his farm was overrun by all of these city folks, who kept asking him all of kinds of questions. And
he was interviewed on the television, and people just appeared out of nowhere seeking to meet him.
His life became a major tour deforce. Then there were the lawyers from the oil companies, and then
his own lawyers which he had obtained to advise him to secure and protect his interests. And the
lawyers began negotiating with each other, and this seemed to have gone on for a long time.
But finally after all the negotiation was done, it was agreed that the terms of the will had been
fulfilled, and he could sell the property. But when he saw the huge amount of money that the
property was sold for, he was dumbfounded. He had to have some time to himself, and he went for
a walk over his previous farm. He looked at the greasy soil that for so long had been just an irritant
to his efforts at making a living. Now he was filled with happiness over his good fortune, and saw
this greasy soil as the greatest of all his material blessings. He had finally completed the process of
realization. He now fully understood what he had, the value of it and the meaning of it, and he was
indeed very happy.
And now having given the material analogy, let us now turn to the spiritual reality of beauty. What
we want to grasp is the goodness of eternal truth--the ultimate beauty. We have been told that we are
children of God, and this is reflected in our prayers: "Our Father who art in heaven...." This is a
factual statement and is similar to the farmer who was troubled by the greasy soil. Like the farmer
we can expect some time to pass before we can appreciate this statement for its worth. Now let us
penetrate this truth of "Our Father."
We want to embark on the meaning of this statement, to grasp its significance like the farmer who
wanted to grasp the significance of the greasy soil. And like the farmer who experimented with the
greasy soil to gain as much from the study of it as possible, we shall study (reflect and meditate on)
this concept of "Our Father." The first conclusion that we come to in our reflections and meditations
is that if God is our Father, then we must be his children. To make this personal, we arrive at the
conclusion that not only are we his children, but that we are his sons and daughters. This separates
us out of the group relationship to the individual relationship, whereby we can enjoy the individual
relationship with our heavenly Father. This is truth. And as we experience this relationship, we
experience the qualities of it, and the quality of it is known as goodness.
Now these two aspects of the relationship--truth and goodness--are experienced in our souls. This
authorizes us to declare our oneness with him and to represent him. This goodness that we
experience in our soul assures us that he is trustworthy, that we can trust him, that we can depend
upon him. Now when we look at this eternal truth, we see goodness in it, which in turn evokes
reactions of beauty in our souls and minds. In the material analogy the farmer had to have another
person to help him appreciate that the greasy soil in his yard was not a nuisance but a very valuable
resource. Now we also must have something to cause us to appreciate our status, and this something
is none other than spiritual faith. This spiritual faith verifies our kinship with the heavenly Father.
And like the person who assisted the farmer to appreciate the value of his farm and who also caused
him to realize the value of his farm by giving him a large sum of money for it, faith is our assistant,
helping us to realize the value of our relationship with the Father. This relationship with the father,
then, is the realization of ultimate beauty, for in it we see the goodness and the truth of it.
Finally, we must take some practical steps now to grasp this realization of our relationship with the
Father. We must acknowledge our divine sonship through Jesus. We must acknowledge that we are
evolving spirits manifesting through a material body, as opposed to our previous understanding of
a material body trying its best to manifest spirit. We must not hesitate to acknowledge our divine
oneness. "The Father and I are one." And as we live this relationship of divine oneness, then does
unification of God and Man and man and God take place. This living union is the realization of
spiritual beauty for one, and at the same time it is true and it is good.
This concludes today's message on understanding the realization of spiritual beauty. 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.