October 10, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Harvest

Golden text: Proverbs 6:6-8*

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.

I Samuel 6:1-3, 10-16

The ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us with what we shall send it to its place.” They said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty, but by all means return him a guilt offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why his hand does not turn away from you.”

10 The men did so, and took two milk cows and yoked them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. 11 And they put the ark of the Lord on the cart and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. 12 And the cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went. They turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. 13 Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. 14 The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there. A great stone was there. And they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord. 15 And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden figures, and set them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the Lord. 16 And when the five lords of the Philistines saw it, they returned that day to Ekron.

21st Century Science and Health**

Mortal mind accepts the erroneous, material conception of life and joy, but the true idea is gained from the immortal side. Humanity may ask: What on earth do we gain through this toil, struggle, and sorrow? We gain by giving up our belief in perishable life and happiness. We gain when false beliefs return to dust and the immortal is reached.

Are we irreverent toward sin, or assigning too much power to God when we ascribe to Deity almighty Life and Love? I deny God’s cooperation with evil and I desire to have no faith in evil or in any power but God, good. Isn’t it better to eliminate from so-called human mind that which will show itself in forms of sin, sickness, and death? Why complain of suffering while at the same time tenaciously defending the rights of disease? Wouldn’t it be better to abandon the defense of dis-ease, especially when by doing so, our own condition can be improved and that of other persons as well?

I have never supposed the world would immediately leave everything for divine Science, or that people would instantly stop believing in sin, disease, and death. However, I do state that, as a result of teaching Christian Science in the late 19th century and early 20th century, ethics and moderation have received a stimulus, health has been restored, and people are living longer. If that was the fruit, then what will the harvest be when this Science is more generally understood?

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. C. S. Lewis illustrates the idea of Spirit’s force in his novel, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[1] Main character, Aslan, was killed in lieu of Edmonds. His sisters, Susan and Lucy, saw the dead Aslan and felt miserable, as if life had stopped. Until Lucy noticed light appearing in the horizon revealing lively modest activity going on around Aslan, eventually to prove that Life and Love never end.

This material world is becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be disorder and disappointment; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, deficit and depression, sin, sickness, and death, assuming new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error when all disorder will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.

Mortal error will vanish in a moral reaction. The reaction of mental turmoil has begun and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

Matthew 9:35-38

 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

21st Century Science and Health

We can earnestly seek the immortal status of person, which is outside the illusion of mortal human men and women.

Unimproved opportunities will rebuke us when we attempt to claim the benefits of an experience we have not made our own or try to reap the harvest we have not sown.

Since the divine light of Christian Science first dawned on me, I have never used this newly discovered power in any direction which I feared to have fairly understood. Since entering this field of labor, the prime object has been to prevent suffering, not to produce it. That we cannot scientifically both cure and cause disease is self-evident. Suffering and mental malpractice always come up short, while Science prevails. A folktale from India tells of the day Akbar drew a line on the floor and told everyone to make it shorter without erasing any part of it. Everyone was stumped except Raja Birbal, who “at once drew a longer line next to the first line. He didn’t touch the first line.”[2]

Bear in mind, people who adopt New Age techniques, mysticism, or hypnotism, may be more spiritual than individuals who shun or avoid their practices. Therefore, my contest is not with those practitioners, but with the false systems. I love humanity, and will continue to labor and to endure.

Divine Science is not an exception to the general rule that there is no excellence without labor in a direct line.

The lack of spiritual power in today’s demonstrations of popular Christianity does not put to silence the labor of the centuries. Spiritual, not material consciousness is needed. Individuals, delivered from conflict, disease, and destruction will epitomize the true likeness of God’s image.

II Corinthians 9:6-11

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

21st Century Science and Health

“You reap whatever you sow.”[3] Sin is its own punishment. Error excludes itself from harmony. Error cultivates its own barren soil and buries itself in the ground, since ground and dust stand for nothingness.

The constant thinking of something other than Spirit can inadvertently sow seeds of reliance on matter. Don’t become so captivated by a remedy, that every itch, twinge, or burp is noticed and treated. Clients may reap the effect of this mistaken reliance if healers impulsively endorse drugs, homeopathic powders, acupuncture needles, or magnets as cure-alls.

The spiritual sense of truth must be gained before Truth can be understood. This sense is assimilated only as we are honest, unselfish, loving, and humble. In the soil of a “noble and good heart”[4] the seed must be sown, otherwise, the piggish element in human nature uproots the seed making immortal progress negligible.

It may seem vain to share our love with someone who doesn’t give it back, but it isn’t a waste as long as we allow spiritual Love to enlarge, purify, and elevate the circumstance.

Spiritual understanding shared, can help waken others who are overrun with negativity.

James 3:18

And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

21st Century Science and Health

Balance and peace are supported by nature and divine law, even when everything else says otherwise.

We ask, can we eat and live without natural laws and agriculture? The answer is no, and yet the Scriptures inform us that sin or error, first caused the condemnation of humankind to till the ground.[5] Can obedience to God remove the necessity to rely on material food, air, or technology? Truth never made error necessary nor devised a law to perpetuate error.

The supposed laws which result in weariness and disease are not God’s laws. The legitimate and only possible action of Truth is the production of harmony. Laws of nature are laws of Spirit; but human beings commonly recognize as law that which hides the power of Spirit. Divine Mind rightly demands our entire obedience, affection, and strength.

Whatever resembles an idea governed by Principle, furnishes food for thought. Through astronomy, art, natural history, chemistry, music, and mathematics, thought passes naturally from effect back to cause.

Academics of the right sort are requisite. Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive. They should promote the advancement of human mind out of itself to a consciousness that escapes mortality and finds peace.

Sensationalized education is deplorable. The mere dogma, the frightening speculations, and the nauseous fiction can be filtered out. Novels and movies remarkable only for their exaggerated pictures, unrealistic ideals, and models of rudeness, fill the viewer and reader with wrong tastes and attitudes. Commercialism is lowering the intellectual standard to accommodate the bank account and to meet a foolish demand for entertainment instead of for improvement. Incorrect views lower the standard of truth.

Spiritual healing is the good news constantly appearing and its main purpose isn’t physical healing but “on earth peace among those whom he favors!”[6]

*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] C. S. Lewis. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins

[2] Folktales From India: A Selection of Oral Takes from Twenty-two Languages, Make it Shorter. Edited by A. K. Ramanujan. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991.

[3] Gal. 6:7 (NRSV)

[4] Luke 8:15

[5] Gen. 3:17

[6] Luke 2:14 (NRSV)

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