November 21, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Thanksgiving

Golden text: Psalms 51:14*

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.

Matthew 14:14-21

When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

21st Century Science and Health**

Physical laws would counteract the supremacy of Spirit and contradict the wisdom of the creator. There is no counteraction in Spirit. God never ordained a mortal law to annul the spiritual law. Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to mortal, physical laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material law.

I knew a person who when quite a child adopted a whole wheat and vegetarian diet to cure indigestion. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid. So, he ate only one meal every twenty-four hours, a meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread. His physician recommended that he should not moisten his parched throat until three hours after eating. The person passed many weary years in hunger and weakness, almost in starvation. The skill of the doctors was exhausted and they kindly informed him that death was indeed his only alternative, so he finally made up his mind to die. Then divine Science saved him and his health was restored without a reminder of the old complaint.

This person learned that suffering and disease were the self-imposed beliefs of mortals and not the facts of being. He recognized that God never decreed dis-ease—never ordained a law that fasting should be a means of health. Hence semi-starvation is not acceptable to wisdom and is equally far from Science, in which being is sustained by God, Mind. These truths opened the sufferer’s eyes, relieved his stomach, and he ate without suffering, “giving God thanks.” Disciplined by self-denial and divine Science, he never enjoyed his food as he imagined he would back in the day when he was constantly hungry.

This new-born understanding that neither food nor the stomach, without the consent of human mind, can make us suffer, brings with it another lesson, that self-indulgence, gluttony, or bulimia, are sensual illusions and can’t give satisfaction. These phantasms disappear as we better understand our spiritual existence and walk the line of a balanced life.

Food affects the body only as fleshly mind has its methods of working, one such method being the belief that proper food supplies nutriment and strength to the human system. Another method is believing we have little or no self-control. The human mind’s methods for health never gets it right, whereas Truth regenerates this fleshly mind and feeds thought with the bread of Life.

Food has less power to help or to hurt us after our thought has transformed to the spiritual. Without the consent of human mind, food and the stomach can’t make you suffer. It is human deception to believe you must eat if you feel hungry. It is another deception to believe purging food will help you stay thin. As for the person mentioned above, taking less thought about what he ought to eat or drink, and consulting the stomach less and God more about the best way to live, he recovered strength and flesh rapidly. All those years, he had been kept alive but wasn’t living. After dropping drugs and his routine of severe dieting, he gave his attention to spiritual health, acted on mental improvement, and was well.

This person also learned that an afflicted person is nowhere close to being the image and likeness of God—nowhere close to being able to “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground,”[1] especially if eating a bit of animal flesh could overpower him. He finally concluded that God never made indigestion, while fear, diet, physiology, and physics did—contrary to God’s order.

In seeking a cure for digestive and food related problems, don’t consult the ever-changing body.

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.

Psalms 147:1-7

Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the humble;
he casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!

21st Century Science and Health

Once it is realized that disorder is illusory, a new perspective comes into light and objects and thoughts are presented as beautiful and substantial. Harmony in us is as real and immortal as in music. Discord is unreal and mortal.

Rhythm is not controlled by musical notes. Numbers don’t regulate the rules of mathematics. Numbers did not originate mathematics, but is manifested through mathematics. In Science, individuals did not originate intelligence, but are manifested through intelligence. The appearance that there is intelligence or soul inside person has no relation to the Life reality.

Science depicts disease as matter versus Mind. Place Mind as all, and the facts of health are witnessed. 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.

Appreciation is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech. In some cases, there is a tendency to thank God for all our blessings, yet not really be grateful for Life, Truth, and Love. Don’t be a hypocrite! You can’t hide the ingratitude of a barren, superficial life.

We, and our Maker have an unbreakable relationship in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God.

Philippians 4:4-6

 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

21st Century Science and Health

A logic based on spirituality improves thought, takes a step out of error and encourages the next step in understanding the situation in divine Science.

Human belief is a liar from the beginning, not deserving power. It says to human beings, “You are disgusting!” and they think they are. Nothing can change this state until the mindset changes. Mortal belief says, “You are happy!” and human beings think so. No circumstance can alter the situation until the thinking on the subject changes. Human belief says to mortals, “You are sick!” and this assertion manifests itself on the body as sickness. A change in either a health-belief or a sick-belief affects the physical condition. Bear in mind, it is as necessary for a health-illusion, as for an illusion of sickness, to be instructed out of itself into the spiritual understanding of what constitutes health.

The acquisition and retention of false beliefs are destroyed by truth. Change the evidence to improve the human consciousness and that which before seemed real to false belief will disappear. As we attain the reality of spiritual evidence, we find our immortality. The only fact concerning any human belief is that it is neither scientific nor eternal but is exposed to unrest and mutation.

Faith is substantial and more advanced than belief. Faith is a chrysalis state of human thought in which metaphysical evidence, contradicting the testimony of physical senses, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, becomes understood. Human thoughts have their degrees of comparison. Some thoughts are better than others. A belief in Truth is better than a belief in error, but no mortal belief is founded on the divine rock. Mortal testimony can be shaken. Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has only a marginal connection to the actual or divine.

We should remember that Life is God and that God is omnipotent. To forget that God is our Life can unconsciously enable suffering. Not understanding divine Science, the sick usually have little faith in it until they feel its altruistic influence. This shows that faith is not the healer in such cases. Instead of admitting the reality of afflictions, deny them any reality. Contradict suffering. We should stand up against the testimony of the deceitful senses, while maintaining our spirituality and ongoing likeness to God.

Christ Jesus was an excellent example. Like him, the healer should speak to disease as having authority over it, leaving Soul to prevail over the false evidence of the physical senses and to assert Spirit’s claims over mortality and disease. The same Principle cures both sin and sickness. When divine Science overcomes faith in a fleshly mind; and faith in God destroys all faith in mortal thinking and methods of healing, then sin, disease, and loss will disappear.

Prayers, in which God is not asked to heal but is asked to take the patient to Himself, do not benefit the sick. An ill-tempered, complaining, or deceitful person should not be a nurse. Health practitioners should be happy, orderly, conscientious, patient, full of faith—receptive to Truth and Love.

We can expect to receive enlightenment as a result of Christ in action. The Christ-spirit comes now as of old, preaching the good news to receptive minds, healing the sick, and destroying that which violates our dignity. Can materiality, human intellect, or any human invention, restore the essential element of spirituality—namely, apostolic, divine healing? No, the Science of Christ is restoring it and is the light shining in darkness, a darkness that does not overcome the light.

The intuitive sense of Mind-power reinforces the glory of Mind. Nearness, not distance, lends delight to this view.

*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] Gen. 1:28

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