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 shared many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we consider the rewards of divine righteousness.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Rewards of Divine Righteousness
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 6
Brothers and sisters, we hear a lot about the promises of God these days. We hear that he delivers material rewards for believing and worshiping him. We hear that when we plant ““seed faith,”” our reward will be a hundred-fold, even a thousand-fold, commensurate with our investments. Having planted this "seed faith," we hear continuous commentary on why there is a delay in the return of our investments. We are given countless examples of the proponents of this "seed faith" who have reaped the benefits of such sowing. What is the truth about seed faith, whose rewards are often greatly delayed? Let’’s see if we can unravel this mystery.
From what we gather, it appears that the rewards of believing in and worshiping God in this life are material in nature. Very little focus is placed on the spiritual aspects of believing in God and worshiping him. Aside from salvation, the whole focus of believing in God seems to be a technique for receiving material blessings and escaping from disagreeable human experiences. But while we know that we can sometimes interpret our experiences in such a way or experience coincidences that appear to coincide with our prayer requests, there is no escaping the problems of life. If we attempt to ignore them, they worsen. We must deal with them one way or another. All the prayers and worship in the world cannot deliver us from this truth.
It is not strange that we should interpret our relationship with God in this manner since we are material creatures. Nevertheless, we should remember that God is spiritual and our relationship with him is also spiritual. We are his spiritual children. While it is true the when the Son of God incarnated in the flesh, he did performed many miracles, but that was not his primary purpose. Jesus came to reveal God to mankind; he came to reveal the Father’’s love to mankind, and to show that God was the Father of each individual, and that we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God."
During the process of this revelation, Jesus performed many acts of mercy for the children of man. He said that whoever had seen him had seen the Father, and that we should love one another as he loves us. He told us that by being born again, we could enter the kingdom of heaven. He said we could experience living the heavenly life while we yet live in the flesh. He taught us that we should do God’’s will as he himself revealed it in his life. Jesus went about doing good. He did say that he came that we might have life and have it more abundantly, but he was talking about improving the quality of life for mankind. Let us see what the rewards of divine righteousness are.
Jesus said that we must be born of the spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven. This will allow us to function in the kingdom. We know that flesh and blood cannot see God. The material mind cannot see God--only the soul can discern him. Salvation is given to the soul, and the soul has no need of material things. The soul thrives on truth, beauty, and goodness and on the Father’’s love and mercy. Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this world. He told Pilate that if his kingdom were of this world, he would never have been delivered up to him. His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and, by faith, mankind could enter into this kingdom.
What is the nature of this kingdom? The kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink, but joy, righteousness, and peace in the spirit. Now it is again plainly stated that his kingdom is not of this world; the material kingdoms are of meat and drink, material things. His kingdom is one of spiritual values. We also know that the joy, righteousness, and peace in the kingdom is not the same thing as the peace, joy and righteousness of the material kingdom. As long as we live in this material world, we are going to have material peace and joy of a temporal nature. And we know that the only kind of righteousness we can have in the material world is self-righteousness.
Spiritual joy and peace in the kingdom is the kind of joy and peace that we experience because of the faith knowledge that at the end of the day, at the end of all trials and tribulations, even during them, we will be fine. It is the joy and peace that results from realizing that we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father and therefore indestructible spiritually. We have eternal life, and this eternal life is manifesting itself through our human nature at this particular junction. Divine righteousness is the result of being partakers of the divine nature. This is received through faith upon entrance into the spiritual kingdom. Self-righteousness is doomed to perish, being a part of the material nature.
Jesus said, "Be perfect even as the heavenly Father is perfect." By doing the Father’’s will as demonstrated by Jesus, we become perfect even as he is perfect. By entering the kingdom of heaven first, we receive everything that is needful to obey this command. We receive mercy and grace, moral, and spiritual power to love each other as Jesus loves us. By dedicating ourselves to doing the Father’’s will, that is, dedicating ourselves to the Father’’s ideals, Jesus’’s Spirit of Truth can guide us into the Father’’s ideals. Jesus said that he is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by him.
By dedicating ourselves to doing the Father’’s will, we receive the power of the Father’’s will to execute that will in perfection. This allows us to differentially love our brothers and sisters as they require. In other words, we have to know what the spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters are in order to effectively love them. And it is the function of this Spirit of Truth to show us what their spiritual needs are, and to show us how to minister those needs. Otherwise without him, we might be able to show some humanistic affection, but this kind of affection is so superficial, so weak, that it crumbles during the protracted storms of life. It simply cannot hold up in duration or in quality. It is not sustaining and does not yield consciousness of the greatest reward of righteousness.
The greatest reward of righteousness is the consequence of doing the Father’’s will. It is the reward of moral and spiritual perfection. Just as the consequence of jumping into a pool of water is getting wet, the consequence of doing the Father’’s will is to be perfect even as he is perfect, to acquire a supreme consciousness of him. And this consciousness is predicated upon the truth that we have become so much like him in character and nature that we recognize him. And this recognition is none other than Jesus Christ, the spiritual——not intellectual--revelation of the Father. Thus, we see that the rewards of divine righteousness are spiritual in nature.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of divine righteousness still. 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