January 27, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Love

Golden text: Psalm 52:8*

I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Joshua 22:1-6, 10-12

At that time Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said to them, “You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you and have obeyed my voice in all that I have commanded you. You have not forsaken your brothers these many days, down to this day, but have been careful to keep the charge of the Lord your God. And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as he promised them. Therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan. Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

10 And when they came to the region of the Jordan that is in the land of Canaan, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by the Jordan, an altar of imposing size. 11 And the people of Israel heard it said, “Behold, the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built the altar at the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region about the Jordan, on the side that belongs to the people of Israel.” 12 And when the people of Israel heard of it, the whole assembly of the people of Israel gathered at Shiloh to make war against them.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Do you “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”?[1] This counsel includes much, even the surrender of all mortal perceptions, restricted intentions, and materialistic worship. Loving God with all your heart is the Utopia of Christianity; it involves the Science of Life. 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.

We must continue to work our way out of human systems and theories, whether time-honored or not, if we would gain the Christ, Truth, as our only Savior. Not in part, but totally, the great healer of human mind is the healer of the body.

When overstepping some supposed law, you say that there is danger. This fear is the danger and induces the physical effects. We cannot in reality suffer from breaking anything except a moral or spiritual law. The supposed laws of mortal thinking are destroyed by the understanding that the law of Soul is immortal, and that human mind cannot legislate the times, periods, and types of disease with which humans die. God is the lawmaker, but God is not the author of ruthless rules. In infinite Life and Love there is no sickness, no twisted good, no death, and Scriptures declare that in the infinite God “we live and move and have our being.”

The approach of divine Science is to recognize the spiritual identity of people and to see and understand God’s creation―all the glories of earth and heaven and its inhabitants.

Spiritual living and blessedness are the only evidences, by which we can recognize true existence and feel the unspeakable peace which comes from an all-engaging spiritual love.

Are you willing to leave all for Truth, and be treated like a criminal?

Joshua 22: 21-25, 30-33

21 Then the people of Reuben, the people of Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22 “The Mighty One, God, the Lord! The Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith against the Lord, do not spare us today 23 for building an altar to turn away from following the Lord. Or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or peace offerings on it, may the Lord himself take vengeance. 24 No, but we did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25 For the Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you people of Reuben and people of Gad. You have no portion in the Lord.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the Lord.

30 When Phinehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh spoke, it was good in their eyes. 31 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is in our midst, because you have not committed this breach of faith against the Lord. Now you have delivered the people of Israel from the hand of the Lord.”

32 Then Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the chiefs, returned from the people of Reuben and the people of Gad in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the people of Israel, and brought back word to them. 33 And the report was good in the eyes of the people of Israel. And the people of Israel blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them to destroy the land where the people of Reuben and the people of Gad were settled.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The healing Truth and spiritual idea of being are often disregarded at the pulpit, over the air, or through the internet. The curative mission (presenting the Savior in a clearer light than mere words), can’t be omitted from our spiritual education, even if it is ruled out of the church or temple.

When practicing Christian Science and educating your own offspring spiritually, know that you can educate others spiritually and not conflict with the scientific sense of God’s creation. One day, a child will ask, “Do you keep the First Commandment? Do you have one God and creator, or are human beings creators?” If you answer, “God creates human beings through human beings,” the child may retort, “Do you teach that Spirit creates materially, or do you teach that Spirit is infinite and creates spiritually?”

A scientific sense of being reveals a clearer distinct individuality, a wider sphere of thought and action, a more expansive inclusive love, and a more permanent peace.

Love for God and humanity is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives elevate thought, giving strength and freedom to speech and action. Love is priestess at the altar of Truth.

Matthew 22:34-40

[W]hen the Pharisees heard that [Jesus] had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is no hypocrisy in Science. Principle is imperative. You can’t mock it by human will. Science is a divine demand, not human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claims of Truth by quenching error. Divine mercy pardons a mistake when the error is destroyed. If people understood the blessedness of their real spiritual source, they would struggle to return to it and be at peace. However, the more entrenched human mind is in error, the more intense its resistance to spirituality, until error yields to Truth.

The physician who lacks empathy for humanity is deficient in goodwill. The public then has the apostolic warrant for repeating: “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”[2] Not having spiritual goodwill, the physician lacks faith in the divine Mind, and can’t recognize infinite Love which alone confers the healing power. Such a so-called Scientist will “strain out a gnat”[3] while they swallow the camels of bigoted pompous learning.

Simply asking that we may love God will never make us love Spirit. Every day, our thoughts and actions need alignment with the divine character. An honest, intense effort to assimilate the divine character will format and design us anew until we awake in Love’s likeness.

Matthew 18:1-4, 10-14

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We cannot serve two masters, nor perceive divine Science with the physical senses. The basis of all health, purity, and spirituality is the great fact that God is the only Mind; and this Mind must be not merely believed, but it must be understood. To get rid of anything that opposes Love is to deprive the opposition of any supposed mind or reality, and never to admit the competitor can have intelligence or power, pain or pleasure. You conquer error by denying it validity. Our various theories will never lose their imaginary power for good or evil until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.

A text in the book of Ecclesiastes conveys the scientific mental thought, especially when the word duty is omitted. Quoting from Moffatt, “Stand in awe of God, obey his orders: that is everything, for every man.”[4] In other words, love God and keep Mind’s commandments: for this is the whole of man and woman in Soul’s image and likeness. Divine Love is infinite. Therefore, all that really exists is in and of God and manifests Truth’s love.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health,5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27

[2] I John 4:20 (NRSV)

[3] Matt. 23:24

[4] Ecc. 12:13 (Moffatt)

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