September 17, 2014

bible study imageSubject: Love

Golden Text: Zechariah 8:17English Standard Version (ESV)*

17 do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.

Jonah 1:1-4, 14-15, 17, 2:1-2, 7-10

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.

14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.

17 And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

2 Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me;

When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

10 And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

To the physical senses, the strict demands of divine Science seem final. However, humanity is quickly learning that Life is God, faithful good. We also learn that the demand of mortal knowledge is harsh and has in reality no place or power in the human or the divine economy.

We should remember that Life is God, and that God is omnipotent. To forget that God is our Life, is too unconsciously enable suffering instead of contradict it.

We should stand up against the testimony of the deceitful senses, while maintaining our spirituality and ongoing likeness to God.

It is difficult for the narcissistic attitude to accept divine Science, because Science exposes the nonbeing of a separate self. The sooner error is reduced to its native nothingness, the sooner realness appears and our genuine being is understood. The destruction of error is by no means the destruction of Truth or Love, but is the acknowledgment of them.

Judges 8: 4, 10-12, 21-23, 28-29, 32-35

And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor with their army, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the East, for there had fallen 120,000 men who drew the sword. 11 And Gideon went up by the way of the tent dwellers east of Nobah and Jogbehah and attacked the army, for the army felt secure. 12 And Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them and captured the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and he threw all the army into a panic.

21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise yourself and fall upon us, for as the man is, so is his strength.” And Gideon arose and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and he took the crescent ornaments that were on the necks of their camels. 22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” 23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.”

28 So Midian was subdued before the people of Israel, and they raised their heads no more. And the land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon. 29 Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30 Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring,

32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, at Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and whored after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god. 34 And the people of Israel did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side, 35 and they did not show steadfast love to the family of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) in return for all the good that he had done to Israel.

From 21st Century Science and Health

To love our neighbor’s spiritual nature as we love our own spirituality, is a divine idea; but this idea can never be seen, felt, or understood through the physical senses. Excite the organ of admiration or religious faith and a person manifests profound adoration. Excite the feelings of anger or pessimism and the person curses God. These effects, however, do not proceed from spirituality. Idolization and irreverence are both a spin-off of mortal belief.

The counsel of Love recognizes and respects only the divine control of Spirit, of which Soul is our master and mortal human mindsets have no place.

No form or physical organization can adequately represent Love. A materialist’s sense of God leads to narrow-mindedness and formality in which Christianity loses its warmth and sincerity.

I John 2:15-17, 3:1-9, 18

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.

18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Teaching children, at the earliest stages possible, the realities of health and holiness is extremely beneficial. Children are more tractable than adults, and learn more readily to love the simple truths that will make them happy and good. Children can learn that obedience to parents and guardians promotes self-control. Disobedience blights.

Science shows that conflicting convictions and opinions repeatedly transmit mixed signals. The signals symbolize confusion, but we can be safe from confusion when it is promptly and persistently tuned out. As we tune into divine Science, Truth and Love buffer confused mentalities and thereby invigorate and sustain existence. Knowledge picked up by the five senses is disposable.

Improvement comes as mindsets improve. World history illustrates the might of Mind and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking or spiritual clarity. Words and actions, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice and wisdom, are what powerfully break through discrimination, human agendas, and diminishing returns.

The interpretation of God as a Savior of the physical, instead of as the saving Principle or divine Love, triggers us to look for salvation through pardon and not through reform. We then resort to matter instead of Spirit for the cure of the sick. Knowledge of divine Science allows human beings to reach an improved sense of Spirit and seek to learn, not from matter, but from the divine Principle, God, how to demonstrate the Christ, Truth, as the healing and saving power.

*The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

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