January 9, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Courage

Golden text: Psalms 31:24*

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

II Chronicles 15:1-9

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

21st Century Science and Health**

Universal facts naturally trigger anything false to work against its self, bringing error out from under cover. It requires courage to voice truth. The higher Truth’s voice is lifted, the louder error will scream until its inarticulate noise is forever silenced in oblivion.

Human beings assume that they can live without goodness, when God is good and the only real Life. What is the result? They understand little about the divine Principle which saves and heals, and they get rid of sin, sickness, and death only in the temporal imagination. These errors thereby are not really destroyed. All that is unlike God will taint and taunt mortals until here or hereafter they gain the true understanding of God in the Science which destroys human delusions, and reveals the grand realities of Spirit’s allness.

Spirituality is again demonstrating the Life that is Truth, and the Truth that is Life by the apostolic work of defeating error and healing the sick. Earth has no repayment for the persecutions which attend a new step in Christianity. The spiritual recompense of the persecuted is assured in the elevation of existence above the disorder, and in the gift of divine Love.

We learn that the demands of mortal knowledge are harsh, and have in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.

Fear of punishment never made a person truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong behavior and proclaim the right. But how is the person, who has more animal courage than moral courage, reformed? How do we help a person who doesn’t have the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the person it is a mistake to look for power and happiness through material means. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let rational thought guide the person’s feelings and awaken their dormant sense of moral obligation. By degrees, they will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the greatness and happiness of spiritual sense. This silences the corporeal and the person will not only be saved, but is saved.

Mark 8:22-26

 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to [Jesus] a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

21st Century Science and Health

As the individual ideal of Truth, Christ Jesus came to help us unlearn false teachings and destructive behaviors. The purpose of Jesus’ earthly career was to point out and demonstrate the way of Truth and Life. Jesus showed the difference between the offspring of Soul and of fleshly sense, of Truth and of error.

As we triumph over erroneous views and allow Soul to hold the control, we shall detest and correct wrongdoing under all its disguises. Only in this way can we bless our enemies, though they won’t take it as a blessing. We can’t choose for ourselves but must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught. With humility and spiritual courage, Jesus was found preaching the good news to the spiritually responsive. Arrogance and fear are unprepared to hold up the standard of Truth and God will never place it in such hands.

There is too much animal courage in society and not enough moral courage. Christians must take up arms against limited mindsets at home and abroad. They must wrestle with selfish and incomplete views in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished the course. If they keep the faith, they will receive the honor of rejoicing.

Christ-like experience teaches faith in the right and doubt in the wrong. We learn the value of working more diligently in times of persecution because that is when the work is really needed. The reward of self-sacrifice is great, although we may never receive it in this world.

Acts 28:11-16

 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the island, a ship of Alexandria, with the twin gods as a figurehead. 12 Putting in at Syracuse, we stayed there for three days. 13 And from there we made a circuit and arrived at Rhegium. And after one day a south wind sprang up, and on the second day we came to Puteoli. 14 There we found brothers and were invited to stay with them for seven days. And so we came to Rome. 15 And the brothers there, when they heard about us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns to meet us. On seeing them, Paul thanked God and took courage. 16 And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.

21st Century Science and Health

The fear of disease and the love of sin are the sources of people’s troubles.

Dis-ease is also caused by the fear that Mind is not only helpless to defend our life, but also incompetent to control it.

If you think weather harms health, your Mind-remedy is safe and sure.

Not understanding the cause or approach of disease is no argument against the mental origin of disease. You confess to an ignorance of the future and an inability to preserve your own existence, and as a result, this thinking helps rather than hinders disease. Such a mindset induces sickness. It is like walking in the darkness on a high narrow ledge. You cannot stop suspecting danger, so your steps are insecure because of fear. We must be aware of mental cause and effect.

Heat and cold are products of the human mind. Human mind produces bodily heat and then expels it by abandoning the thinking that caused it. Sometimes, human thinking is so extreme that it increases bodily heat to the point of self-destruction and calls the body dead. When the body is deprived of human mind, the body cools and then breaks down into simple atom structures. However, those very atom particles isolated from the body don’t produce heat or cold because it is human mind, not material atoms, which says, “I am hot,” or “I am dying.” Heat and cold would pass through the body as painlessly as they pass through a rock, if there was no belief that inflammation and pain must accompany the movement.

Chills and heat are often the form in which fever materializes itself. When treating fever, people may cover the body, take a pill, or change their diet. This produces a change in the mental state and the chills and fever may disappear. The patient says, “I am better,” but the patient believes changing matter, not mind, brought the relief. All unscientific mental practice is erroneous and powerless, and should be understood and so rendered fruitless. The treatment of Truth demonstrates that divine Mind heals, while a hypnotist deprives people of their individuality in order to control them. No person is benefited by yielding their mentality to any mental authoritarianism or control. The genuine practitioner is adding to patients mental, moral, and spiritual power, while restoring them physically through divine Love.

Paralysis is a belief that biological functions or brain controls human beings and can palsy the body, making certain portions of it motionless. Destroy the belief and find a cure by showing human mind that muscles have no power to be lost. Understand that divine Mind is supreme.

Cancer or tuberculosis patients often show great hopefulness and courage even when they are supposed to be in hopeless danger. This state of mind seems extraordinary except to the expert in divine Science. The attitude is misunderstood simply because it is a stage of fear so excessive that it amounts to fortitude or strength. The expectation of a horrific physical condition presents to human thought an image more terrifying than that of most other diseases. The patient turns unintentionally from the contemplation of the situation and is unaware that the concealed fear and despair of recovery remain in thought.

Along the same line, the greatest sin is subtle and does its work almost self-deceived. The diseases considered dangerous sometimes come from the most hidden, undefined, and insidious thinking. The anemic invalid, whom you declare to be wasting away with a blood deficiency, should be told that blood never gave life and can never take it away. Understand and say: Life is Spirit, and there is more life and immortality in one good motive and act than in all the blood which ever flowed through those mortal veins mimicking life.

If the body is organized dust, it cannot for that very reason suffer with a fever. But because the physical body is a mental concept and governed by human mind, it manifests only what that so-called mind expresses. Efficient remedies come about when defeating the patient’s misleading thought process by silently and audibly arguing the true facts of harmonious being—representing the individual as healthy instead of diseased. Show that it is impossible for material atoms to suffer, to feel pain or heat, to be thirsty or sick.

The truth and harmony of being are regarded as superior to error and disorder, and the metaphysician is rendered strong instead of weak to cope with the case. The mental scientist proportionately strengthens the patient with the stimulus of courage and conscious power. Both Science and consciousness are now at work in the economy of being according to the law of Mind, which ultimately asserts its absolute power and presence.

Give sick people credit for sometimes knowing more than their doctors. Always support the patient’s trust in the power of Mind to support the body. Never tell the sick that they have more courage than strength. Tell them rather that their strength is in proportion to their courage.

Moral courage is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,”[1] the king of the mental realm. Free and fearless it roams the forest. Undisturbed it rests in open fields, in “green pastures…beside quiet waters.”[2] In the figurative passage of divine thought to human, diligence, promptness, and perseverance are likened to “the cattle on a thousand hills.”[3] They carry the baggage of stern resolve and keep pace with the highest purpose.

*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] Rev. 5:5

[2] Ps. 23:2

[3] Ps. 50:10

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