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 meaning of the vice of the Father's love.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Vice of the Father's Love
" . . .Pray one for another. . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
James, Chapter 5, Verse 16.
After washing dishes, a woman takes the dish cloth and before hanging it to dry squeezes all of the
water out of it. She does this because this helps the cloth to dry before the next use. A dish cloth that
stays damp will soon become filled with mildew, becoming useless.
And likewise, brothers and sisters, does the Father's spirit of love gradually and progressively wrings
and squeezes the water of selfishness out of the fabrics of the slothful soul. The slothful soul
naturally drifts towards selfishness, even though if the waters of selfishness were allowed to remain
in the fabrics of the soul, they would rot the soul. "If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness,
how great is that darkness."
Brothers and sisters, the slothful soul tends to drift towards selfishness because it dislikes struggle--
the rigorous progressive growth towards perfection demanded by the spirit of the heavenly Father.
The slothful soul consistently tries to reduce the inconveniences of the life struggle by increasing the
inconveniences of the life struggle of some other soul, usually the very soul that is trying to help it.
We are familiar with the phrase, "he bit the very hand that was feeding him."
The slothful soul never pauses to consider what is the best and right thing to do, but speeds down
the road of what is easier and expedient for itself. It fails to realize that it has a cross to bear and
thinks that it can pick up the crown of life along the way. It is slow to discern that without a cross
of unselfish struggle to bear, there is no crown of eternal life to wear.
The slothful soul also tends to drift toward the material aspects of reality. And even though the soul
is the creation of the heavenly Father, its immediate environment is material, and it must live its first
life in the flesh. It thus initially identifies with material reality, placing all of its hopes and desires
on material things, meanings, and values. And when the soul first learns of God, it dares to pray to
the spirit Father of eternal values to protect, safeguard, retrieve, and return temporal and material
things, meanings, and values.
But when the slothful soul is born again, it ceases to pray to the Father for purely selfish requests.
The vise of love has squeezed all of the selfishness out of the soul by revealing the truth of the
Father's love and the goodness of His love. The soul now embarks on the quest for divine perfection
in earnest now. Jesus has become the soul's ideal for living.
Now the soul recognizes the foolishness of placing all its hopes in temporal things and all its desires
in material reality. It has learned through trials and tribulations to place its hopes and dreams in
eternal things--in the Father's love. It has learned that divine love with its unselfish manifestation is
the greatest reality that exists, while goodness is the greatest statement that can be made after
experiencing this reality, while truth is the greatest display of this reality.
Before rebirth the soul prays exclusively for itself. This selfish orientation sustains it in its struggles
for survival. But after being born again the soul prays less for self and more for other selves. This
transformation occurs under the gradual tightening of the vice of love. Praying for self indeed gives
strength to endure and carry on, but praying for others is the bridge that connects the highway of
thanksgiving to worship.
Brothers and sisters, when we pray for self, it is true that this empowers us remain unmoved by the
forces of evil and error, but were we to continue with purely selfish prayers our souls would not
grow. Praying for self all the time is like a worker who works in a very large business at the same
job but never receives a promotion. Worship causes us to be promoted, causes us to become more
and more like Jesus. Praying for others is like training for a higher job, while we pursue the current
one. Worship is the higher job--the ever increasing transformation into the image of the Father's Son,
Jesus. Worship not only allows our souls to stand unmoved in the face of evil and error, but allows
our souls to overcome evil and error.
Praying for others causes our souls to focus on other souls. Praying for others causes our souls to
think about others, and the more our souls thinks about others unselfishly, the more we will think
about their problems. And the more we think about another's problem, the more we will desire to
help them find suitable solutions.
The more we pray for others, the more we will grow to love them, and the more that we love them,
the more we will be patient with them. And the more of patience we display, the more we will extend
the hand of mercy. If we extend the hand of mercy, we will forgive those who have wronged us. And
the more that we live these factors of divine goodness, the more will we be promoted to the
indescribable delight of true worship.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the vice of 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.