September 26, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Money

Golden text: Hebrews 13:5*

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Jeremiah 32:1-15

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah.

Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. “And I bought the field at Anathoth from Hanamel my cousin, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. 11 Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions and the open copy. 12 And I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my cousin, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. 13 I charged Baruch in their presence, saying, 14 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware vessel, that they may last for a long time. 15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.’

21st Century Science and Health**

To forecast your future according to the world infringes on spiritual law and misguides hopes. We are sustained under all circumstances only as we have faith in the divine Principle of health and as we spiritually understand God. The ordinary appeal to have faith in the world’s ways and means must yield to faith in the all-might of infinite Spirit.

I do not insist that anyone can exist in the flesh without food and clothes; but I do believe that individuals are image, idea, and live with Mind, not in human mind. Divine Science must be accepted at this period by induction. We admit the whole, because a part is proved and that part illustrates and proves the entire Principle. Divine Science can be taught only by those who are morally advanced and spiritually invested, for it is not artificial, nor is it discerned from the standpoint of human convictions. Only as spiritual perception is illumined can the light of understanding shine on this Science that reverses the evidence before the physical perceptions and furnishes the eternal interpretation of God and spiritual being.

We cannot deny that Life is self-sustained and we should never deny the everlasting order of Soul, simply because to physical sense there is seeming disorder. It is a disregard of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent imbalance, while a correct regard of God restores balance. Truth will ultimately compel us all to exchange the pleasures and pains of fleshly sensations for the joys of Soul.

When the first symptoms of disease appear, resist the assertions of the fleshly impressions with divine Science. Let your higher sense of justice destroy the false process of human opinions which you name law and then you will not be confined to a hospital room or checked into a hospice facility to suffer paying the last penalty demanded by error. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.”[1] Do not let your thought become a captive audience to the demands of sin or sickness. Turn away from that which falsely pressures us, with the enduring conviction that those pressures are illegitimate. God is no more the author of sickness than of sin. You have no law of God to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.

Luke 3:7-14

[Jesus] said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

21st Century Science and Health

The Teacher refrained from speaking the whole truth. Jesus declared precisely what would destroy sickness, sin, and death. His teachings caused conflict and brought to material beliefs not peace, but a sword.

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.

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.

John 2:13-16

 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

21st Century Science and Health

Jesus showed us a whip[2] is needed to drive tyranny and arrogant self-deception out of church. The strong cords of scientific demonstration, as twisted and wielded by Jesus, are still needed to purge churches of their vain traffic in worldly worship. Church should be made “a house of prayer for all nations,”[3] where humility and divine Science are welcome.

There is great danger in teaching Mind-healing indiscriminately, thus disregarding the morals of the student and caring only for the payments. Recall words that have been credited to Thomas Jefferson concerning slavery, “I tremble, when I remember that God is just.”[4] I tremble whenever I see a person, for the petty reward of money, teaching his or her slight knowledge of Mind-power—increasing the probability of communicating the teacher’s own bad morals. This sad state deals pitilessly with a community unprepared for self-defense.

Jesus’ pursuits were different from the conventional pursuits of human beings. His master was Spirit, versus the world’s master of material energy. Jesus served God, as opposed to the world serving money.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.

21st Century Science and Health

Our desires and aspirations ache to be fulfilled and we only feel rewarded when we stop limiting infinite Mind to finite resources. Infinite Mind can’t lose its character as inexhaustible Love, eternal Life, omnipotent 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.

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.

The “man of sorrows”[5] was in no danger because he lacked salary or popularity.

Jesus brought to humanity’s attention things, “hidden since the creation of the world”[6]—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.

You must control evil thoughts in the first instance or they will control you in the second. Jesus declared that to look with desire on forbidden objects was to break a moral precept. He laid great stress on watching the action of the human mind, unseen to the senses.

Evil thoughts and aims reach no further and do no more harm than one’s thinking permits. Lusts and malicious purposes can’t move around like wandering pollen from one human mind to another if virtue and truth build a strong defense. It is important to be aware of your mental environment so as not to be a naive receptor of evil thoughts. You would rather choose a doctor who has the flu to treat you than be treated mentally by a metaphysician who isn’t obeying the requirements of divine Science.

Material wealth, fame, and social organizations have no authority or influence in the presence of God. We attain clearer views of Principle as we break up cliques, level monetary wealth with honesty, and let worth be judged according to wisdom. We also get better views of humanity as we remove ourselves from biased personal perceptions.

As we value spiritual perceptions, we can feel the pleasure of loving unselfishly, working patiently, and conquering all that is unlike God. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”[7]

*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 5:25

[2] John 2:15

[3] Isa. 56:7; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46

[4] Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826) Political philosopher. Founding Father. Principal author of Declaration of Independence. The third President of the United States.

[5] Isa. 53:3

[6] Matt. 13:35

[7] Matt. 6:21; Luke 12:34

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