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 will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of the value of the response
to the Father's love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Value of the Response to the Father's Love
Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved
you, that ye also love one another." John, Chapter 13, Verse 34.
Brothers and sisters, it is forever true: divine values have to be loved in order to be known. Faith is
the actuality of the potential of spiritual values. The value of many divine meanings can only be
conceived by faith. There is a time lag before the full realization of divine values, but to live them
is know them.
When some of us decide to follow the way of Jesus, it is because something in our personal
experiences have made the need apparent. It may be the sudden realization that we are mortal--that
the spectacle of impending death has created an intolerable suspense. It may be that the one that we
trusted with our hopes and dreams proved to be untruthful and unfaithful.
These kinds of experiences unvaryingly drive those who are true of purpose and honest of heart to
our knees in search of divine help. And this help is forthcoming: our inner selves (souls) become
strengthened. The power to endure to the end with sublime hope is the response of the Father to our
petitions for help.
Brothers and sisters, as we all can testify, life is very difficult. It is designed to be this way. It
requires a difficult stimulus to cause us to seek the heavenly Father's help. If our lives were not filled
with trials and tribulations, we might wonder about our creator, but we would certainly not seek to
find Him, to know Him, and to become like Him in the process. All this difficulty causes us to
become conscious of the heavenly Father, and thus to seek after Him and His righteousness.
The heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus, reveals Himself to us by making us like He is. He thus
requires us to love unselfishly. Of us, He requires this of us despite our heartbreaks. He requires that
we love in spite of hate. He requires that we show this love in spite of pain, sorrow, and
disappointment. He requires that we love even if we feel that we have no love to give. Divine love
comes from the Father, through us, but not from us.
Brothers and sisters, He requires that we show love in spite of the fact that it may not be returned.
He requires that we love in sickness or in health. No matter what adversity may befall us, the
heavenly Father requires that we allow this love to flow without interruption. There can be no
legitimate reason why this love does not flow through us, for the heavenly Father is the source and
power of this love.
In spite of our personal ambitions and personal goals, the Father requires us to submit and
subordinate them to His eternal and spiritual goal--to be perfect even as His Son, Jesus, is perfect.
No matter how distant or impossible it may appear to accomplish this divine goal, the Father requires
us to patiently wait. Impatience is not apart of the divine plan. Impatience is exercised by those who
have not begun to taste the faith-delight of eternal life. The Father is all powerful and eternal. He
never runs out of time or power, and only His plans will persist in meaning and value. He requires
patience even if all of our personal plans perish.
The Father requires us to show mercy even if we are not shown mercy by our dimly lit and benighted
brothers and sisters. The Father requires mercy in the place of revenge no matter how wrongly we
may have been treated. No matter how unjustly we may have been treated, the Father still requires
one to show mercy, for the Father is mercy. No matter how many times we are wronged or
mistreated, the Father requires us to forgive. Even if we were never guilty of wrongdoing, the Father
still requires us to forgive, for forgiveness is the nature of the Father.
It may seem impossible to manifest these divine attitudes in the face of hate, impatience, revenge,
and unforgiveness, and this is true initially. For initially these attitudes are linked toward our mortal
environments. That is, we practice love because we want to be loved. We want others to love us so
we love them. We exercise patience because we want others to be patience with us. We show mercy
because we want to be shown mercy. And we forgive because we want to be forgiven. We have seen
the devastating effects of hate, the pain of not being forgiven.
And while it is true that there are absolutely beautiful, good, and true effects that result from
practicing these factors of divine goodness, these cannot compare with the true, beautiful, and good
effects that the soul experiences when these values are pursued for their own sake, for the pursuit
of these values is the pursuit of the heavenly Father, and what effects can compare with the effects
of the heavenly Father?
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the value of the response to the
Father's 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.