June 20, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Summer

Golden text: Isaiah 28:3-6*

The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim will be trodden underfoot; and the fading flower of its glorious beauty, which is on the head of the rich valley,
will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer: when someone sees it, he swallows it as soon as it is in his hand. In that day the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people, and a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

Genesis 8:20-22

 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Mind creates the likeness of ideas and the substance of an idea is polar opposite to the substance of non-intelligent matter. God did not create a physical universe as described through materialist views. Materialist views confuse spiritual ideas with human concepts and lean toward anthropomorphism. God is not anthropomorphic, but is divine Principle―divine Love―and brings “forth the constellations in their seasons,”[1] and leads “out the Bear with its cubs.”[2]

Minerals, vegetables, and animal substances are no more contingent now on time or material structure than they were “while the morning stars sang together.”[3] Mind made the “plant of the field”[4] before it appeared on the earth. The events of spiritual ascension are the days and seasons of Mind’s revelation, in which beauty, magnificence, purity, and holiness (the divine nature) appear in spiritual beings and the universe, never to disappear.

We may hear a sweet melody and yet misunderstand the science that governs it. Those who are healed through metaphysical Science may not understand the Principle of the cure. They may even credit their recovery to change of air or diet, not rendering to God the honor due to Spirit alone. Entire immunity from the belief in sin and suffering may not be reached at this level, but we may expect a decrease in these evils and this scientific beginning is in the right direction.

We hear it said: “I exercise every day and take vitamin C so I won’t catch a cold. Yet, I always get a cold, have a runny nose, and cough non-stop.” Admitting this is a first step to opening the mind to the futility of constantly paying attention to the material body. Futility often nudges us to look in other more effective directions for cause and cure.

Instinct is better than misguided reason, even as nature declares. The violet lifts her blue eye to greet the early spring. Tree leaves clap their hands in the wind. The snowbird sings while securing a summer residence, never minding wet cold feet. Human beings on the other hand, overlook instinct and make things difficult. Earth’s atmosphere is kinder than the atmosphere of human mind—kinder than the milieu crowded with thoughts of perfectionisms, flus, and allergies. Sun spots, contagion, and sickness are produced solely by human theories.

Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer, or ruler,
she prepares her bread in summer
and gathers her food in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.

From 21st Century Science and Health

People shouldn’t die young because they occupy the most important positions and perform the most vital functions in society. Think of Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackelton[5] and his expedition crew, all who survived overwhelming adversity in their 1914–1916 Antarctic expedition. Persons who act on integrity and goodness do not pay severe penalties. By adhering to the realities of spirituality—instead of reading studies on the inconsistent assumption that death comes in obedience to the law of life and that God punishes people for doing good—one cannot suffer as the result of any labor of love, but grows stronger because of it. It is a mental law in so-called human mind, misnamed matter, which causes all things discordant.

If human mind is kept active, must it pay a penalty by having a headache or becoming exhausted? Who dares to say that actual Mind can be overworked? When we reach our limits of mental endurance, we conclude that intellectual labor has been carried sufficiently far. But we can realize that immortal Mind is ever active and we are able to rest in Truth. When we understand that our God-given spiritual energies and resources can’t wear out or be trespassed upon by mortal laws, we are refreshed by the assurances of immortality, opposed to mortality.

The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on us by our heavenly Father-Mother. Omnipotent Mind gives us faith and understanding whereby to safeguard our self, not only from temptation, but also from bodily suffering.

Luke 21:29-36

 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

When human beings yield their thoughts to the existence of the spiritual and work only as Truth and Love works, they will taste heaven and stop groping in the dark and clinging to the world. In his book, The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle says, “You can still be active and enjoy manifesting and creating new forms, and circumstances, but you won’t be identified with them. You do not need them to give you a sense of self. They are not your life―only your life situation.”[6] Stay out of dark beliefs that cheat us and make us involuntary hypocrites. Don’t be induced to believe you are doing good when really you are producing evil, injuring others, and deforming goodness. People who think they are a semi-god will mis-create.

I have revised Science and Health only to give a clearer and fuller expression of its original meaning. Spiritual ideas unfold as we advance. A human perception of divine Science, however limited, must be correct in order to be Science and subject to demonstration. 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. That which when sown produces immortal fruit, perfects humanity only when it is understood—consequently, the many readings given the Scriptures, and the requisite revisions of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Micah 7:1, 5-7

Woe is me! For I have become
as when the summer fruit has been gathered,
as when the grapes have been gleaned:
there is no cluster to eat,
no first-ripe fig that my soul desires.

Put no trust in a neighbor;
have no confidence in a friend;
guard the doors of your mouth
from her who lies in your arms;
for the son treats the father with contempt,
the daughter rises up against her mother,
the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.
But as for me, I will look to the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation;
my God will hear me.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Humanity advances slowly out of old thought patterns. The unwillingness to learn all things correctly, binds spiritual understanding in chains.

Love will finally mark the hour of harmony, and spiritualization will follow for Love is Spirit. Before error is wholly destroyed there will be interruptions of the general human routine. Earth will become dreary and desolate, but summer and winter, seedtime and harvest (though in changed forms) will continue to the end—until the final spiritualization of all things.

Sickness, sin, and destruction must at length recoil before the divine rights of intelligence, and then the power of Mind over the entire functions and organs of the human system will be acknowledged. It is proverbial that Mother Teresa,[7] and other philanthropists engaged in humanitarian work, have been able to undergo without weariness and danger, that which ordinary people could not endure. The explanation lies in the support which they derived from the divine law, supreme to the human law. The spiritual demand crushes the material demand and supplies not only energy but also endurance

The interpretation of God as a physical Savior, instead of as the saving Principle or divine Love, triggers us to look for salvation through pardon and not through reform. We then resort to that which is unreliable, instead of to Spirit, for the cure of the sick. Knowledge of divine Science allows human beings to reach an improved sense of Spirit and to seek to learn, not from capricious knowledge, but from divine Principle, how to demonstrate Christ, Truth as the healing and saving power.

*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] Job 38:32

[2] ibid

[3] Job 38:7

[4] Gen. 2:5 (NASB)

[5] Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) Irish explorer.

[6] The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Copyright 1999 by Eckhart Tolle. Reprinted with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA www.NewWorldLibrary.com

[7] Mother Teresa (1910–1997) Albanian Roman Catholic nun.

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