November 23, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Thanksgiving

Golden text: Psalm 50:14*

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,

Jonah 1:1-3, 4, 7, 17

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.

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.

And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.

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.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

In some cases, there is a tendency to thank God for all our blessings, yet not really be grateful for Life, Truth, and Love. Don’t be a hypocrite! You can’t hide the ingratitude of a barren, superficial life.

The human minds imaginings are not ideas, but illusions. Principle is absolute. It admits of no error, but rests on understanding.

Nothing can hide from spiritual sense the harmony of all things and the might and permanence of Truth.

Love’s discipline is wholesome. As Love corrects us, we advance toward justice, peace, and purity, which are the milestones of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause—wait on God. Then we make every effort to improve for the better. Spiritualized thought feels creative, free, and inspired, touching the divine glory.

Jonah 2: 1-2, 7-10

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;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.

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

For victory over a single sin, we give thanks and magnify the Lord of Hosts. What will we say of the mighty conquest over all that is unspiritual? A louder song, sweeter than has ever before reached high heaven, now rises clearer and nearer to the great heart of Christ; for the accuser is not there, and Love expresses Her primal and everlasting symphony. A rule in Science is to fight against error and negate the human finite self with infinite Truth. This rule clearly interprets God as divine Principle—as Life, epitomized by the Father; as Truth, represented by the Child; as Love, represented by the Mother. Every human being at some point, here or hereafter, must battle with and overcome the mortal belief in a power opposed to God.

Luke 17: 1-10

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.’”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Exposing error is necessary to guarantee not making more mistakes. Why are we reluctant to expose the human mind’s deficiencies? Why are we unwilling to point out wrong-thinking? We hesitate because people like us better when we tell them their virtues than when we tell them their vices. It requires the spirit of Truth and Love to point out miscalculated thinking. We risk human disapproval for the sake of doing right and benefiting humanity. Who is telling humankind of the enemy in ambush? Does the informant see a foe? Listen and be wise. You can escape from error. You can also detect the unfaithful people who saw the danger and gave no warning.

Honesty is spiritual power. Dishonesty is human weakness, which forfeits divine help. You uncover sin, not in order to hurt, but in order to bless the human being; and a right motive has its reward. Hidden sin is spiritual wickedness in high places. The masquerader in this Science thanks God that there is no evil, yet serves evil in the name of good.

Luke 17: 11-19

 On the way to Jerusalem [Jesus] was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The progress of truth confirms its claims and Jesus confirmed his words by his works. His healing power evoked denial, ingratitude, and betrayal, arising from an ignorance of spiritual being. Of the ten lepers whom Jesus healed, only one person returned to give God thanks,[1] to acknowledge the divine Principle which had healed him.

Quoting from science & religion to God***

Prayer is the faith that all things positive and good are possible to God. Fed by selfless love, faith grows into spiritual understanding and reveals remarkable experiences.

God’s work is done. We reflect the doing. The doing is not busy work reacting to our own personal desires or the world’s demands, but a logical, spiritual, helpful, brave response to God’s work—a prayer.

You can test your prayer. Ask: Do I pray a lovely prayer and yet return to my old habits? Do I only give thanks for that which I approve of? Do I give evidence of what I am praying for? Am I loving my enemies?

It is ridiculous to congratulate yourself for loving those who love you, if you aren’t blessing your enemies too. 

I Corinthians 10: 23-33

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Audible prayers can be impressive, even giving instant gratification and awe. But do they produce any lasting advantage?

Appreciation is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.

A fragrance becomes favorable only as it escapes into the surrounding atmosphere. The same is true in regard to our knowledge of Truth. Spiritual understanding, shared, can help waken others who are overrun with negativity. This is similar to waking someone up from a paralyzing nightmare. If the awakened person does not argue, they will not resist Truth, but be helped.

Quoting from science & religion to God

Gratitude for honesty, humility, and hard work, while we live the honesty, humility, and perseverance is powerful.

*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.

***Text taken from Cheryl Petersen’s book, from science & religion to God, copyrighted 2016

[1] Luke 17:18

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