May 25, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Memorial

Golden text: Hosea 12: 5-6*

The Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord is his memorial name: “So you, by the help of our God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.”

Acts 10: 1-8

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.” When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Angels. God’s thoughts passing to people; spiritual intuitions, pure and perfect; the inspiration of goodness, purity, and immortality, counteracting all evil, brute-like inclinations, and mortality.

Unknown. That which spiritual sense comprehends. The unknown is unknown to the physical senses.

Acting on human hope, we discover spiritual reflection. We discover that we can substantially reflect the eternal substance of Spirit. Our spiritual selfhood reflects the only real and eternal existence, Soul. This reflection seems to mortal sense transcendental, because it transcends human vision and is made known through divine Science.

Some thinkers may believe God is unknowable, but Christian Science makes God known as the All-in-all, forever near.

As God is substance and we are the divine image and likeness, we will wish for and in reality have, only the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not mortality.

Acts 10: 9-16

The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The belief that matter and mind are one—that matter is awake at one time and asleep at another, fluctuating between the mindful and the mindless—is the kind of thinking that culminates in death. When we are asleep, memory and consciousness are lost from the body, and they wander around apparently with their own separate embodiment. Science reveals the fact that mortal personality has nothing to do with our real personhood. We call the human character a personality. Human personality is a dream, and the dream or belief goes on whether our eyes are closed or open. A wicked person may have an attractive personality; therefore, human personality is not the true character of spiritual person.

Oppressive policies or agendas that restrict right thinking can be removed from power. Nelson Mandela wrote, “There was no particular day on which I said, From henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”[1]

The way to extract error from human mind is to pour in truth through flood-waters of Love. Spiritual perfection, including Christian perfection, is won on no other basis.

Acts 10: 17-23

17 Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate 18 and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there. 19 And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you. 20 Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.” 21 And Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?” 22 And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.” 23 So he invited them in to be his guests.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Unspoken thoughts are not unknown to God—our divine Mind. Prayer is desire. No loss can come from trusting God to form and exalt our desires before they are put into words and action.

What are the motives behind prayer? Do we meditate to improve ourselves, or to benefit those around us? Do we pray to tell God, the all-knowing, something important? Do we pray so other people will see us? Is prayer beneficial? Yes, our hunger for righteousness[2] is blessed by our heavenly Parent. The desire for spirituality does not return to us void.

Surely we need to do more than preserve unreliable and useless dogmas, derived from religious traditions and stamped with human approval or authorization.

We cannot fill vessels already full. Vessels full of the impracticable must first be emptied. Let us strip off error and stand in the showers of God and come clean.

The demands of God appeal to thought only; but the claims of mortality and what are termed laws of nature, appertain to matter. Which, then, are we to accept as legitimate and capable of producing the highest human good? We cannot obey both biology and Spirit. We pay attention to one or the other. It is impossible to work from two standpoints. If we attempt it, we will, “be devoted to the one and despise the other.”[3]

We should consecrate existence, not “to an unknown God” whom we “worship as something unknown,”[4] but to the eternal builder, the everlasting Father, to the life which mortal sense or human logic cannot disable or destroy. We must realize the ability of mental might to offset human misconceptions and to replace them with the life which is spiritual, not limited.

In the universe of Truth, unpredictability and error are unknown.

Acts 10:23-35

The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.” 27 And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.”

30 And Cornelius said, “Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”

34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Love is impartial and universal in its spiritualization and generosity.

Women and men are equally capable to succeed in the business world, earn an education, own real estate, and care for the children and home, without interference.

The rights of humanity are being vindicated as people fight for equal rights and remove dictators from office. This pro-action is prophetic of furthering the banishment of world-wide oppression found on higher planes of existence and under subtler and depraving forms.

The voice of God in behalf of the people is reverberating around the world as the spokesperson of the new revolution sounds the keynote of universal mental freedom. A fuller acknowledgement of the rights of man and woman as useful spiritual individuals demands that the terrors of sin and sickness be exterminated from the human mind. Spiritual freedom is gained, not through human warfare, but through spiritual Science.

God has built on divine claims, a higher platform of human rights. These claims are not made through human regulations or creeds, but in demonstration of “Peace upon earth among men of goodwill!”[5] Human policies, scholastic theology, and human health care systems lock our faith and spiritual understanding in hand cuffs. Divine Science rescues us and our birthright of sole allegiance to our Maker asserts itself.

If Christ, Truth, has come to us in demonstration, no other sign of remembrance is requisite. Demonstration is Immanuel or “God with us.”[6] If a friend is with us, why do we need memorials of that friend?

 

*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] Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1994, 1995

[2] Matt. 5:6; Luke 6:21

[3] Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13

[4] Acts 17:23

[5] Luke 2:14 (Phillips NT)

[6] Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:23

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