March 14, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Expectations

Golden text: Proverbs 20:28*

The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Luke 6:27-36

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

If we wish to follow Christ, Truth, it must be in God’s way. Jesus said, “The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things.”[1] Whoever would reach the source and find the divine remedy for every disorder must not try to climb the hill of Science by some other road. All nature teaches God’s love to us, but we can’t love God supremely and set our whole affections on spiritual things while loving the material or trusting in it more than in the spiritual.

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

The purpose and motive to live spiritually can be achieved now. Getting off to the right start, you have taken the preliminary steps in divine Science and nothing but wrong intention can obstruct your advancement. Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way. “Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”[2]

Jesus of Nazareth taught and demonstrated oneness with Spirit. Jesus’ accomplishments are worthy of respect. His lifework was done in justice to himself and in mercy to humanity; however, Jesus did not do our work for us. He showed us how to be responsible for our own thoughts and actions. Jesus acted boldly against human perceptions, transitory evidence, and self-righteous dogma and practices. With healing power, Jesus proved the powerlessness of all that opposed goodness.

Jesus brought to humanity’s attention things, “hidden since the creation of the world”[3]—things hidden since material knowledge overstepped the creative divine Principle. We learn from him that we don’t have to buy into knowledge which insists on an earth-bound truth and the anthropomorphism of God.

Luke 12:41-48

41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus’ reputation differed from his character. Why? Because his divine Principle and practice were misunderstood. Jesus’ words and works were alien to the world’s expectations and contrary to the popular religious views. Mortals believed in God as humanly mighty, rather than as divine infinite Love.

The human mind must struggle to interpret correctly the discomfort that Jesus inspired and the spiritual blessings that might flow from this type of discomfort that oftentimes produces a shock. Science shows the shock is produced because of a great distance between the individual and Truth.

The path of divine Science is less difficult to follow when the high goal is always before the thoughts. It’s bothersome to count every single little footstep while endeavoring to reach the better goal. When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress.

God is more to an individual than the individual’s belief, and the less we acknowledge human mind and its laws, the more spirituality we possess. Consciousness constructs a better body when faith in limited perceptions is conquered. Correct human mortal convictions by spiritual understanding and Spirit will form you anew. You will never fear again except to offend God, and you will never believe that hormones, cells, the heart, central nervous system, or any portion of the body can destroy you.

If you want your colon, uterus, lymphatic system, or lungs to stay healthy, with excellent capacity, be always ready mentally to protest against unhealthy beliefs. Dismiss all notions about tumors, inherited diseases, weak lungs, or suffering, arising from any circumstance. You will find that human mind, when instructed by Truth, allows the body to be guided into health by means of divine power.

II Corinthians 8:1-5

We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Critics who attack faith should be careful not to confuse spiritual faith with blind faith. Faith is necessary in science, medicine, and religion. Consider the researcher or scientist who is trying to find a cure for cancer; they obviously have faith that a cure exists; otherwise they would not even try. People who cannot distinguish between blind (ritualistic) faith and that of spiritual faith are easily misinformed. They can make unfortunate statements such as: “If your beliefs are those of a Christian Scientist, obliging you to forgo all medical interventions, you may even have collaborated with God by refusing to give your child antibiotics.”[4] Christian Science does not “oblige” any particular human action as if people are androids.  A student of Christian Science does not collaborate with God as if God is a separate mind. In Science, there is no attitude of give-and-take; there is no human element that says, “If you do this, I’ll do that.” Do physicists collaborate with the law of gravity in order to go to the moon? No. Scientists study the principles of physics, they have the faith those rules will work, they apply the principles, and they go to the moon. Comments and criticisms based on a lack of research obscure any good points being made.

Opponents should consider that the mortal human being is not the reality of God’s child, and this consideration will allow the mind to receive new ideas that lead to progress and well-being. We can expect to receive enlightenment as a result of Christ in action. The Christ-spirit comes now as of old, preaching the good news to receptive minds, healing the sick, and destroying that which violates our dignity. Can materiality, human intellect, or any human invention, restore the essential element of spirituality—namely, apostolic, divine healing? No, the Science of Christ is restoring it and is the light shining in darkness, a darkness that does not overcome the light.

A germ of infinite Truth, though least in the realm of heaven, is the higher hope on earth, but it will be rejected and hated until God prepares the soil for the seed.

Psalms 33:22

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

From 21st Century Science and Health

God is Love. Can we ask the Infinite to be more? Love is intelligence, Mind. So, what could we possibly tell the all-knowing infinite Mind? Do we expect to change perfection? Will we plead for more at the open fountain which is pouring forth more than we accept? Unspoken heartfelt desires bring us closer to the source of all existence and blessedness.

Common opinion admits that a human being may catch a cold in the act of doing a good deed. Some people even fear and expect the cold to develop into a fatal pulmonary disease. Evil cannot overpower the law of Love and stop the reward for doing good deeds. In the Science of spirituality, Mind—omnipotence—has all-power. Divine Mind, God assigns sure rewards to spiritual righteousness and shows that changeable matter cannot heal or make sick, create or destroy.

We lend our self to limited assumptions and entertain restricted thoughts of God the same way unbelievers lend themselves to their expectations and authorities. Human beings are inclined to fear and to obey what they consider a material body more than they cherish and obey a spiritual God. All knowledge based on illusive substance, like the original “tree of knowledge,”[5] multiplies our pains. Material knowledge and mortal illusions would rob God, kill us, and meanwhile set their tables with cannibal tidbits and give thanks.

When the curse of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and Spirit’s idea. Allow nothing but Soul’s likeness to prevail in your thought. Do not let fear or doubt eclipse your clear sense and calm trust in Truth. The recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let divine Science instead of fleshly sense support your understanding of being and this understanding will exchange error for Truth, replace physicality with spirituality, and silence complaint with harmony.

In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may profit from God, as “ready to help when we need him.”[6] Love is impartial and universal in its spiritualization and generosity.

*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] John 14:12 (The Message)

[2] Gal. 5:7

[3] Matt. 13:35

[4] Harris, Sam. The End of Faith. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.

[5] Gen. 2:9

[6] Ps. 46:1 (NASB)

 

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