August 8, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Beauty

Golden text: Psalm 96:4-7*

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

Esther 1:10-12

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Psalms 27:4-6

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The same power which heals sin also heals sickness. The “beauty of holiness,”[1] is Truth healing the sick, casting out evils, even the evil of disease.

Become committed, “pray continually,”[2] 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.

You can rejoice in secret beauty and abundance, hidden from worldliness but known to God. Constant prayer spiritualizes thoughts and causes the mortal selfhood to be less demanding and distracting. 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.

Although we have goodness and beauty to cheer the heart, the hypotheses of mortal perceptions, unexplained by divine Science, make us believe we are mere wandering comets—or as Maya Angelou wrote:

Manless and friendless
No cave my home
This is my torture
My long nights, lone.[3]

Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests on its object. Isn’t it amazing that a loyal friend is always beautiful!

Isaiah 28:1-6

Ah, the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
which is on the head of the rich valley of those overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters,
he casts down to the earth with his hand.
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.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Measuring life by solar years steals from our prime and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood and womanhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material—the transient sense of beauty fades—the radiance of Spirit illumines spiritual sense with bright and imperishable glories.

Beauty, as well as truth, is undying. The beauty of material things passes away—fades and vanishes as mortal beliefs. Tradition, education, and fashion form the illusive standards of human beings. Spirituality, exempt from decline or decay, has a glory of its own—the radiance of Soul. We can be models of spiritual sense. Our spirituality is designed by complete Mind and reflects those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all false conceptions.

Good looks and poise are independent of physique. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life. It dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the living God in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with countless hues. It is Love that pours in warm sunbeams, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers the earth with loveliness.

Cosmetic surgery, Botox, and tattoos are inadequate substitutes for the attractiveness of spirituality. Our spiritual nature is stunning and substantial. It outperforms the aging process.

The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul. Retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in body and advance into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

James 1:1-18

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Mind is not necessarily dependent on the education process. Mind possesses of itself all eloquence, beauty, and poetry. Mind has the power to express prose. Spirit, God, is heard when the human mind’s noise is silent. We are all capable of more than we do. The action of Soul confers the freedom that explains excellent impromptu speeches, admirable movie scripts, or meaningful texts.

It is recorded that Mahatma Gandhi[4] said, “When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the

beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator.” Spirit would be a nonentity if it was separated from spiritual being. Similarly, people would lose their entity if divorced from Spirit, however there is, there can be, no such separation for real being is coexistent with God.

Suffering, self-destructive, dying beliefs are unreal. When divine Science is universally understood, the negative consciousness will have no power over us, for we are spiritual and live by divine authority.

The sinless joy is the perfect harmony and immortality of Life, possessing unlimited divine beauty and goodness without a single bodily pleasure or pain. Our real being embodies sinless joy. This state of being is scientific and intact. It is a state of conscious completion discernible only by those who have the final understanding of God’s idea in divine Science. Death can never produce immortality or spirituality for death must be overcome, not submitted to, before immortality appears.

The recognition of Spirit and of infinity does not come all at once but throughout eternity. Haba na haba, a Swahili phrase for little by little, or step by step, has relevance. Human beings do not change from error to truth in an instant.

Existence continues to be a perception of divided body energies until the Science of being is reached. Erroneous methodologies and belief systems bring their own self-destruction both here and hereafter because mortal mind creates its own mortal conditions.

The testimony of Spirit, Soul, maintains: I am Spirit. Individuals, whose perceptions are spiritual are my likeness, reflecting the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the completion of being, and imperishable glory—all are Mine, for I am God. I give spirituality, for I am Truth. I include and impart all happiness, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme. I am the unlimited source of good ideas, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because “I AM WHO I AM.”[5]

All things are fashioned by, and after, God’s own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness. They impart their own peace and permanence. Love, fragrant with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, “Happy are those who claim nothing, for the whole earth will belong to them!”[6] The modest lilac sends her sweet breath to heaven. The great rock gives shadow and shelter. The sunlight flows into the church and prison cell, glides into the sick room, brightens the earth, beautifies the landscape and blesses the galaxy. Children of God, made in Soul’s likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion to bless the environment. We are coexistent and eternal with God and forever reflect in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.

*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] Ps. 29:2, 96:9 (NKJV)

[2] I Thess. 5:17

[3] The Traveler. from “And Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

[4] Gandhi, Mahatma, (1869–1948) Political and religious leader of India.

[5] Ex. 3:14

[6] Matt. 5:5 (Phillips NT)

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