August 30, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Discipline

Golden text: Psalm 94:12-14*

Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law,
13 to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;

Deuteronomy 4:1-10

“And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you. Your eyes have seen what the Lord did at Baal-peor, for the Lord your God destroyed from among you all the men who followed the Baal of Peor. But you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today. See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Listen and be wise. You can escape from error. You can also detect the unfaithful people who saw the danger and gave no warning.

Deuteronomy 4:35-40

35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, 39 know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for all time.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Hard work, deprivations, exposures, and all troublesome conditions, if without sin, can be experienced without suffering. Your true responsibility can be fulfilled without harm to yourself. If you sprain the muscles or wound the flesh, your remedy is at hand. Mind decides whether or not the flesh will be discolored, painful, and inflamed.

You say that you have not slept well or you have no self-discipline. You are a law to yourself. Saying this and believing it, you will suffer in proportion to your certainty and fear. Your sufferings are not the penalty for having broken a law of matter, for it is a law of human mind which you have disobeyed. You say or think, because you have eaten salty food, that you must be thirsty, and you are thirsty accordingly, while the opposite thought would produce the opposite result.

Hosea 7:8-16

Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples; Ephraim is a cake not turned. Strangers devour his strength, and he knows it not; gray hairs are sprinkled upon him, and he knows it not. 10 The pride of Israel testifies to his face; yet they do not return to the Lord their God, nor seek him, for all this. 11 Ephraim is like a dove, silly and without sense, calling to Egypt, going to Assyria. 12 As they go, I will spread over them my net; I will bring them down like birds of the heavens; I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation. 13 Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me! I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me. 14 They do not cry to me from the heart, but they wail upon their beds; for grain and wine they gash themselves; they rebel against me. 15 Although I trained and strengthened their arms, yet they devise evil against me. 16 They return, but not upward; they are like a treacherous bow; their princes shall fall by the sword because of the insolence of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

From 21st Century Science and Health

With due respect, here are some statements to think about.

“The materials we need to reach a new level of discourse are in our grasp; we have only to abandon outmoded approaches/disciplines to achieve an enlightening beginning for a new science.” From The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition.[1]

“The Starting Point of Biblical Theology: We have already observed that every scholarly endeavor inevitably is based upon presuppositions.”[2] HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.

“We physicians often pay lip service to the importance of the mind in health and illness, yet in practice we equate it with the brain. This is obvious in our reliance on drugs when mental problems arise…A refreshing contrast is alternative or complementary medicine, which has emerged as a major social force shaping medical care in the United States.” From Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind/Body to a New Era of Healing.[3]

“Both The Social Theory and The New Genetics have proved in their different ways to be blind alleys, quite unable to deliver on their promise. Their failure is ‘The Fall’ of modern medicine.”[4] James Le Fanu, M.D., medical columnist, London.

Hebrews 12:1-13 (The Message)

1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

12-13 So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

From 21st Century Science and Health

As we shift our faith and attention from the pains and pleasures of temporal sense to the study of the Science of divine Mind, we get better instead of worse. Suffering, imprisonment, and death are not natural disciplinarians. The whole human family can be redeemed through the excellence of Christ—through the perception and acceptance of Truth. For this magnificent result, Christian Science lights the torch of spiritual understanding.

Outside of divine Science all is relative. Earthly experience exposes the relativity of error, indirectly leading to the infinite capacities of Truth. Spiritual beings agree with the absolute and harmonious Principle of being. Immortality does not sin, suffer, or die and our spiritual experiences will multiply instead of diminish as God’s kingdom comes on earth. The spiritual way leads to Life instead of to death and we realize our God-given dominion to overcome temporal limitations.

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.

In order to understand more, we must put into practice what we already know. Truth is provable when understood, and good is not understood until proven. If “faithful with a few things,”[5] we will be put in charge of many things. However, the neglected or unused talent rots or is lost. When the sick or the sinning realize their need of what they don’t have, they will be a receptor to divine Science. The human mind then thinks on things better than disease or negativity. Thought is attracted toward Soul and as a result, superficial perceptions and the body do not become distractions. The true idea of God gives the true understanding of Life and Love. Spiritual fact softens the hardness of death. Spiritual fact removes perversity and the delusion that there are other minds. Spiritual fact destroys mortality.

The effects of spiritual Science are not so much seen as felt. It is the “gentle whisper”[6] of Truth expressing itself. We are either neglecting this expression or we are attentive to it and being improved by it. Willingness to become as little children[7] and to leave the old for the new, prepares thought to receive the advanced idea. To cheerfully leave behind the false imprints, and contentedly let them disappear, is the attitude that helps to precipitate the ultimate harmony. The purification of feelings and intent is a proof of progress. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”[8]

*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. Unless otherwise noted.

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

 

[1] The Anthropology of Medicine: From Culture to Method, Third Edition. Edited by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, Laurence R. Tancredi. Copyright © 1997 by Lola Romanucci-Ross, Daniel E. Moerman, and Laurence R. Tancredi. Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.

[2] HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Paul J. Achtemeier, General Editor, With the Society of Biblical Literature (HaperCollins Publishes, New York: 1996)

[3] Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind/Body To a New Era of Healing, by Larry Dossey, M.D. (HarperCollins, NY:1999)

[4] Le Fanu, James. The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2000.

[5] Matt. 25:23; Luke 19:17

[6] I Kings 19:12

[7] Matt. 18:3–4

[8] Matt. 5:8

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