April 11, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Go with God

Golden text: Mark 8:35*

[Christ Jesus said] For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Genesis 24:1-4

Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh, that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

By attributing more and more intelligence to spirituality, and giving less and less power to physical laws and human beings, we promote wisdom and health. The divine Mind which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human body even as it clothes the lily.[1] Do not let mortals interfere with God’s natural order of existence by thrusting in laws of mistaken human perceptions.

Until it is learned that God is Father-Mother, marriage will continue. Let not mortals permit a disregard of law which might lead to a worse state of society than now exists. Sincerity and virtue ensure the stability of the marriage promise. Spirit will ultimately claim its own, and all that really is, as the voices of physical sense are forever silenced.

Learn from experience. Learn virtue, respect, self-control, patience, and a reliable happiness that comes from spiritual growth. May Christ, Truth, be present at every bridal altar to turn the water into wine[2] and inspire your life with the vision of a serene and immortal existence.

Genesis 24:10-18

 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Human minds have not completely outgrown their superstitions. Human mindsets embody ghostly beliefs and time is required before reaching eternity, spirituality, or complete reality. All the real is eternal. Rightness underlies reality. Without rightness, nothing is completely real. Wrongness will continue to be outgrown until spiritual fulfillment appears and reality is reached. Old-wives-tales, even new old-wives-tales, need to become a thing of the past. We must not continue to be impressed by superstitious thinking, but we must be wise and let go of all misdirected reverences. When we learn that error is not real, we are ready for progress, “forgetting what is behind.”[3]

Science reveals infinity and the fatherhood and motherhood of Love, therefore, the ideas of God in universal being are complete and forever expressed. Human ability is slow to perceive and realize God’s creation and the divine power and presence which go with it, demonstrating its spiritual origin. Mortals can never know the infinite until they throw off the old self and reach the spiritual image and likeness. What can fathom infinity! How can we describe God, Life, “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”?[6]

Materialism never helps human beings understand Spirit. Through spiritual sense only, we comprehend and love the Almighty. Physical sense convolutes the Science of Mind, however, the unseen, intact Truth remains unchanged.

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

Genesis 24:53-58

53 And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55 Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56 But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.” 57 They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” 58 And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the Principle of being.

If human transgressions, vulnerabilities, and losses were understood as nonbeing, they would disappear to the reality of good which naturally banishes evil, just as acts of kindness make self-pity go away. One must hide the other. How important, then, to choose good as the reality! We are secured by God, Spirit, and by nothing else. God’s being is infinity, freedom, balance, and boundless happiness. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”[4] Like the archpriests of long ago, we are free “to enter the Most Holy Place”[5]—the realm of God.

Matthew 8:18-22

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

A genuine sacrifice of the temporal must precede advanced spiritual understanding. The highest prayer is not just faith, but faith and demonstration. Such prayer heals sickness and overcomes sin and death.

On our spiritual journey, if we sympathize with mortality, we will be at the beck and call of error and follow a zig-zag course getting nowhere. If we travel with the worldly minded, we get sucked into a nasty cycle. A good example of this is randomly walking around the shopping mall, making feel-good purchases and eating junk food with friends. We return home, thinking we had a good time and feeling satisfied. However, when re-thinking the situation, we realize that too much time and money was wasted. So, we repeat the trip to the mall but buy books on time and financial management or on dieting.

As for sickness and unprogressive mindsets, divine Science says in the language of the Teacher, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”[7] In other words, let disorder of every name and nature be heard no more, and let the harmonious and true sense of Life and being occupy human consciousness.

Our moral and spiritual progress is monotonously slow if we constantly bounce back and forth between futile habits and the hope of forgiveness. Selfishness and stupidity cause constant retrogression. We must wake up to Christ’s demand; however, the waking generally causes suffering. We may even feel like we are drowning and struggling to stay above water. Through Christ’s precious love our efforts are rewarded with success.

“Work out your salvation,”[8] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[9] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[10] 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.

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.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

Although the great Teacher proved his control over sin and disease, he didn’t relieve others from proving their own spiritual power. Jesus worked as a guide, that people might also demonstrate the power of divine Principle. Smothering Jesus with emotional affection, or claiming to be his devoted follower, will never alone make you like him. You must “go and do likewise,”[11] or you are not improving the great blessings that he worked and suffered to offer. The spirituality of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.

We may revere Jesus and our heart may overflow with gratitude for what he did; however, our demonstration of love must be comparable to Jesus’ until all are redeemed through divine Love. Jesus reached his glory alone, in speechless agony. He explored the way and we all have the same cup of poignant effort to drink. We are not spared a single experience if we follow faithfully.

A mindful practice has the ear and right hand of omnipotence and assuredly calls upon infinite blessings. Trustworthiness is the foundation of enlightened faith. Without a fitness for holiness, we can’t receive holiness.

Become committed, “pray continually,”[12] and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. Such prayer is answered insofar as you put your spiritual desires into practice. Christ Jesus’ guidance is that we pray in secret and let our lives confirm our sincerity.

*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] Matt. 6:28; Luke 12:27

[2] John 2:9

[3] Phil. 3:13

[4] II Cor. 3:17

[5] Heb. 10:19

[6] Eph. 4:13

[7] Matt. 8:22; Luke 9:60

[8] Phil. 2:12

[9] Luke 19:13

[10] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[11] Luke 10:37

[12] I Thess. 5:17

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