November 22, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Simeon, Jacob’s son

Golden text: I Timothy 4:10

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Gen 42:1-4, 6-8, 13-24

When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him.

Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

13 And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. 15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.

18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.

From 21st Century Science and Health

“Work out your salvation,”[1] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[2] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[3] Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The rewards will come.

When the difficult time has passed, you will experience a fullness of the good you have practiced. You will receive according to your efforts. Love is not in a hurry to rescue us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tested and purified.

The impressive furies of human minds—vented in earthquakes, hurricanes, supernovas, terrorism, famines, etc.—characterizes self-destruction. Calamities are sometimes referred to as “acts of God.” Scriptures go as far as to interpret God literally as saying, “And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey,”[4] but these catastrophes only counterfeit divine justice. Spiritually interpreted, the suicidal furies point to the strength and permanency of Spirit maintaining life. Science brings to light Spirit and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil.

When using the light of divine Science, we see beyond the surface of mortals and detect inverted thoughts and erroneous beliefs so has not to be fooled by them. We also borrow thought from a higher source than human knowledge to look at cause rather than effect, to see celestial Truth replace error. Clothed in Spirit, appearance is “bright as a flash of lightning”[5]―like the garment of Christ. Even in this world, therefore, “always be clothed in white.”[6] “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”

Gen 43:1-2, 14, 23

Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.”

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.”

23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, deficit and depression, sin, sickness, and death, assuming new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error when all disorder will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.

Mortal error will vanish in a moral reaction. The reaction of mental turmoil has begun and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

Spiritual involvement heals, while material attachment interferes with truth. Ritualism and creed stifle spirituality. If we trust materiality, we distrust Spirit.

Spiritual comfort blesses the human family, feeds the unsatisfied, and gives living water to the thirsty.

Improvement and progress come 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 powerful to break the barriers of human ideologies, fear, and caustic practices. Terrorism and oppression won’t go down in blood, and the breath of freedom doesn’t come from the mouth of a Patriot missile-launch battery. Love is the liberator.

Luke 7: 1-10

After [Jesus] had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but Christ-spirit is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the divine idea—the reflection of God—has come with some degree of power and grace to all prepared to receive the Messiah, or Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of Christ, which baptized these insightful people in the nature or essence of Love. The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, Truth.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Physical laws would counteract the supremacy of Spirit and contradict the wisdom of the creator. There is no counteraction in Spirit. God never ordained a mortal law to annul the spiritual law. Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to mortal, physical laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material law.

Science shows that conflicting convictions and opinions repeatedly transmit mixed signals. The signals symbolize chaos, but we can be safe from confusion when false convictions and opinions are promptly and persistently defeated by truth.

I Cor. 2:11-12

11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

From 21st Century Science and Health

God is no more the author of sickness than of sin. You have no law of God to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.

“Agree to disagree” with oncoming symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, diabetes, or coronary artery disease. Meet the initial stages of disease with as powerful mental opposition as a legislator would employ to defeat the passage of an inhuman law. Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the petition of human mind, alias mortal conditions lobbying against the supremacy of Spirit.

If the student stays true to the teachings of Christ’s Science, not daring to break its rules, the person cannot fail to succeed in healing. It is divine Science to do right and nothing short of right-doing has any claim to the name. To talk the right and live the wrong is foolish deceit, doing one’s self the most harm. Captivated by sin yourself, it is difficult to rescue someone else from the prison of disease. If your own wrists are handcuffed it is hard to remove someone else’s handcuffs. A little leaven causes the whole mass to ferment.[7] A grain of divine Science does wonders for human beings, so omnipotent is Truth, but more of Science must be gained in order to continue in well doing.

Christ-like experience teaches faith in the right and doubt in the wrong. We learn the value of working more diligently in times of persecution because that is when the work is really needed. The reward of self-sacrifice is great, although we may never receive it in this world.

*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, 6th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Phil. 2:12

[2] Luke 19:13

[3] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[4] Micah 5:15, ESV

[5] Luke 9:29

[6] Eccl. 9:8

[7] Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21; I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9

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