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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the test of
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Test of the Love
"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans do the
same?" Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 46.
There are fair weather friends and cloudy day enemies. The flowers blossom in spring and die in
winter. Joy brings a smile to the face and betrayal brings tears to the eyes, and sorrow to the heart.
Truth brings happiness, and error results in unhappiness.
The Father's love is the greatest reality in existence and brings the greatest joy, but this love must be
bestowed on others in an unselfish manner. It must be individualized and made real by actually giving
it away. It is easy to love someone who returns your affection with equal fervor. It is easy to love
someone who does not irritate or antagonize us. It is very easy to love someone whose actions do not
determine your earthly fate. It is very easy to love someone whom you perceive as only wanting for
you that which is true, beautiful, and good. But though this may signify love's sweetness, it is not the
test of love.
Brothers and sisters, always remember that water runs down hill seeking the lowest level. Likewise,
the Father's love flows where it is needed the most. The inequalities of life constitute an opportunity
to reveal the Father's matchless love and create the fertile soil for the unfolding of the potential of
good. Inequalities of life insure that in any given relationship, there will be an imbalance in the
content of the Father's love between both parties.
Brothers and sisters, are we able to love unselfishly, even when it is not returned? Are we able to love
in the cruel arms of abuse and manipulation? Are we able to forgive in spite of the natural tendency
to seek revenge? Are we able to suffer along with others compassionately, even if their decisions may
have caused the suffering? Are we able to love when dishonesty and treachery may be constant
companions? Are we able to penetrate through all the evil and discern a loveless person who is
literally starving to death spiritually for want of the Father's love? If we are able to do all these things,
then we have passed the test of love. If we cannot do these things, then we have work to do.
Brothers and sisters, to pass the test of love, we must penetrate the darkness of evil. We must discern
the motive--the goal--and we must discern the degree of loyalty to that goal. If the goal is a purely
selfish one, then we should understand that the person will use all means at his disposal to satisfy his
selfishness. But we should also discern that the tools he uses to satisfy himself in fact devalues the
very goal that he is trying to reach. In this case, we are required to be patient while the laws of cause
and effect complete their work. That is, we reap what we sow.
If a distasteful-acting brother or sister has been deceived so badly that he or she is skeptical of any
sort of affection, we should discern here the true issue here is fear and lack of trust. Again, patience
is required while the Father's love brings about a transformation. If we are consistent, persistent, and
sincere with this person, truth will stand firm while love destroys all fear and faith replaces distrust.
And when the loveless soul contemplates having fallen from grace, we may help to reinstate this soul
by showing forgiveness.
But how do we overcome the handicap of not being able to show the Father's love satisfactorily to
one who we think lacks it? How can we master those evil impulses that are provoked by the loveless
person when injuries persist? The truth, beauty and goodness of the Father's love is the secret. It is
the goodness of the Father's love that brings about the transformation in a loveless person. To
understand why this so, we must look at the factors that make up divine goodness. The experience
of loving is directly related to being loved. The person who allows love to flow through him has been
loved, albeit often not as much as he would have liked, but certainly more than the person he is trying
to learn how to love. Patience results from having been shown patience and realizing the folly of
trying to escape the delays and handicaps of living in this world. If we have ever experienced being
delivered from the just consequence of an error riddled decision, then we know the value of mercy.
If we have ever been forgiven and reinstated, then we know the value of forgiveness. These are the
values of goodness that must be pursued in order to penetrate the armor of evil and vanquish the
darkness of hate. But all of this is just another way of saying, "Not my will, but your will be done."
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the test of the love. 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.