July 25, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Love

Golden text: Psalms 36:5-6*

God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks.

Zechariah 7: 1, 4-14

On the fourth day of the ninth month, in the fourth year of the reign of King Darius, God’s Message again came to Zechariah.

4-6 God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave me this Message for them, for all the people and for the priests: “When you held days of fasting every fifth and seventh month all these seventy years, were you doing it for me? And when you held feasts, was that for me? Hardly. You’re interested in religion, I’m interested in people. 7-10 “There’s nothing new to say on the subject. Don’t you still have the message of the earlier prophets from the time when Jerusalem was still a thriving, bustling city and the outlying countryside, the Negev and Shephelah, was populated? [This is the message that God gave Zechariah.] Well, the message hasn’t changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: “‘Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don’t plot and scheme against one another—that’s evil.’ 11-13 “But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God’s revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn’t listen to a word he said. 13-14 “So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won’t listen to me, I won’t listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were. Their ‘promised land’ became a vacant lot—weeds and tin cans and thistles. Not a sign of life. They turned a dreamland into a wasteland.”

21st Century Science and Health**

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. The forbidden fruit of knowledge, against which wisdom warns us, is the testimony of physical senses declaring existence to be at the mercy of death, and good and evil to be capable of intertwining. This is signified in Scripture concerning the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” the energy of temporal belief, of which it is said: “When you eat of it you will surely die.”[1] Human hypotheses first assume the reality of sickness, sin, and death, and then assume the necessity of these evils because of their admitted actuality, when in fact these assumptions are the procurers of all disorder.

Self-worship is denser than a solid body. In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the clotted mass of error. Let us work to bankrupt self-will, self-justification, and self-worship. Don’t invest in mortality with its errors that compete against spirituality.

Fundamental errors project falsities into all human doctrines and conclusions, and fail to credit infinity to Spirit. It’s only error that tills material theories and they are destructive to happiness.

There is a large class of thinkers whose excessive prejudice and conceit twist every fact to suit themselves. Their creed teaches belief in a mysterious, supernatural God and a natural, all-powerful devil. Another class, still more unfortunate, are so depraved that they appear to be innocent. They repeat empty talk while looking you placidly in the face, and they never fail to stab their benefactor in the back. A third class of thinkers build with steel beams. They are honest, generous, noble, and open to the approach and recognition of Truth.

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

At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know yourself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Love is a protective covering. Wear it! Wrapped in love, human hatred can’t reach you. The confirmation of a higher humanity will unite all interests in the one divinity.

Zechariah 8:18-19

18-19 Again I received a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“The days of mourning set for the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months will be turned into days of feasting for Judah—celebration and holiday. Embrace truth! Love peace!”

21st Century Science and Health

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.

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.

When being is understood, Life will be recognized as not material or finite but as infinite—as God, universal good—and the belief that life or mind was ever in a finite form, or that good is in evil, will vanish. Then it will be understood that Spirit never entered matter and therefore never came from unconscious elements. When advanced to spiritual being and the understanding of God, we can no longer commune with limited conditions or return to an outgrown state, just as a frog can’t return to a tadpole. Spiritual advancement matures into the already established view of individual consciousness, characterized by the divine Spirit as idea, not a physical unit.

Luke 11:10-13

10-13 [Jesus said,]“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”

21st Century Science and Health

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.

From divine and scientific points of view, Jesus proved God is Love. The opposite insistence that God is a mighty potentate who loves and hates is the theology of a dualistic God, which gives no hint of the unchanging love of God.

Doctrines that earmark our harmony as governed by physical conditions all our earthly days are fading. Matter, as mass or energy, is not superior to the law of Mind.

The god of human-made medicines is flooding the world with diseases. It treats the sick person as if the body is the only factor in the case. But, the spiritual thinker becomes aware that the human mind and body are myths. They realize that infinite Mind could not possibly create a remedy outside of itself, let alone a remedy that is unsustainable. The human mind has an absolute need of something beyond itself for redemption and healing, and gratefully we are spiritual.

Great respect is due to the motives and philanthropy of the higher class of scientists and physicians. As they understand the Science of Mind-healing and its power to benefit all people, physically and spiritually, they will rejoice with us. Even this one reform in medicine would ultimately deliver humankind from the awful and oppressive burdens now enforced by false theories, and from which multitudes would gladly escape.

Do you “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”?[2] This counsel includes much, even the surrender of all mortal perceptions, habits, and reverences. Loving God with all your heart is the utopia of Christianity; it involves the Science of Life. The counsel of Love recognizes and respects only the divine control of Spirit, of which Soul is our master and human mindsets have no place.

There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Truth in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality—to have no other consciousness of life—than good, God and Spirit’s reflection. Spiritual harmony, happiness, or Christ-likeness includes ascendancy over physical pain and pleasure.

Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the answers we ask for in prayer. Some misunderstanding as to the source and means of all goodness and blessedness keeps us from receiving credible answers. The Scriptures say: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”[3] What we desire and what we ask for is not always the best to receive; however, infinite Love knows what to grant. Do you ask Soul to remove sin’s self-punishment? Then “you ask in quite the wrong spirit.”[4] Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus’ prayer, “Forgive us our debts,” specified the condition of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman, he said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”[5]

Christ was proclaimed to say, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”[6] The Teacher exclaimed, “No one comes to the Father [the divine Principle of being] except through me,” signifying the way of Christ, Life, Truth, Love. A human or physical lifestyle is not the way. Jesus put aside himself and physical causes. He pointed to the divine Principle, Love, as revealing and governing all that is real.

When human beings realize they no longer want to believe in physical suffering, they turn from the body to Spirit and call on divine sources outside themselves.

The Bible contains the recipe for healing. “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”[7] Sin and sickness are healed by the same Principle. The tree symbolizes our divine Principle which is equal to every emergency. Love offers full salvation from sin, sickness, and death. Sin will submit to the Science of Christ when, in place of customs and routines, the power of God is understood and demonstrated in the healing of human beings both mind and body. “Perfect Love casts out fear.”[8]

*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

 

[1] Gen. 2:17

[2] Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27

[3] James 4:3

[4] James 4:3 (Phillips NT)

[5] John 8:11

[6] John 14:6

[7] Rev. 22:2

[8] I John 4:18 (ESV)

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