February 13, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Forgiveness

Golden text: Psalm 86:5*

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.

Jeremiah 18:1-8, 18-23

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it

18 Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah, for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not pay attention to any of his words.”

19 Hear me, O Lord,
and listen to the voice of my adversaries.
20 Should good be repaid with evil?
Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before you
to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them.
21 Therefore deliver up their children to famine;
give them over to the power of the sword;
let their wives become childless and widowed.
May their men meet death by pestilence,
their youths be struck down by the sword in battle.
22 May a cry be heard from their houses,
when you bring the plunderer suddenly upon them!
For they have dug a pit to take me
and laid snares for my feet.
23 Yet you, O Lord, know
all their plotting to kill me.
Forgive not their iniquity,
nor blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be overthrown before you;
deal with them in the time of your anger.

21st Century Science and Health**

Supposing that the potter is subject to the clay is like saying the genetic engineer is subject to, or constrained by, the genetically altered organism. When God isn’t understood as our source, attempts are made to reduce truth to the level of error where the sensible is required to be made manifest through the insensible.

Resisting evil, you overcome it and prove its nothingness. Not human clichés, but divine beatitudes reflect the spiritual light and might which heal the sick. To insist on exercising the human will is to bring on a mesmerized attitude, detrimental to the health and integrity of thought. So, be observant and guard against strong mortal mindedness. Do not protect or cover up iniquity because it only prevents prosperity and the ultimate triumph of any cause. If you are unaware of the error to be eradicated, it will sometimes abuse you.

Good must dominate in the thoughts of healers or their demonstrations are prolonged, perilous, and impossible in Science. A wrong motive involves defeat. In the Science of Mind-healing, it is imperative to be honest for victory rests on the side of immutable right. To understand God strengthens hope, advances faith in Truth, and verifies Jesus’ word: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[1]

A sinner is afraid to throw the first stone. Some sinners say as a subterfuge, that evil is unreal, but to know it, they must demonstrate the statement. To assume that there are no claims of evil and yet to indulge them, is a moral offence. Close-mindedness and self-righteousness clamp onto iniquity.

Human mind is the worst enemy of the body, while divine Mind is its best friend.

The heavenly law is broken by trespassing on our neighbor’s individual rights of self-government. We have no authority in divine Science and no moral right to attempt to influence the thoughts of others except to benefit them. In mental practice, you must not forget that erring human opinions, conflicting selfish motives, and ignorant attempts to do good may render you incapable of knowing or judging accurately the real need of those who you are helping. Therefore, the rule is to heal the sick when called on and save the victims of the mental assassins.

To say that there is no sickness, does not heal the sick. You have to know there is no sickness. Ignorance, subtlety, or false charity does not forever conceal error; evil will in time uncover and punish itself. A balanced system and mind, mentally sustained by Truth, goes on naturally. When sin or sickness—the reverse of harmony—seems real to fleshly sense, calmly and honestly encourage the patient with truth and spiritual understanding, which destroy disease. Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them. Sinners are not reformed merely by assuring them that they cannot be sinners because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the disguise, point out the deception, and thus get the victory over sin and prove its unreality.

Should all cases of fleshly disease be treated by a doctor, and the Christian Scientist use truth only in cases of hysteria, hypochondria, and hallucination? One disease is no more real than another. All disease is the result of education, and disease can carry its ill-effects no farther than mortal mind plots out. It is the human mind, not matter that supposedly feels, suffers, and enjoys. Hence decided types of acute disease are quite as ready to yield to Truth as the less distinct types and chronic forms of disease. Truth deals with the most malignant contagion with assurance.

Divine Science doesn’t get caught up in worldly evidence. If you haven’t advanced past sin yourself, don’t congratulate yourself for being blind to evil or for not living the good you claim to know. A two-faced attitude is far from Christianly scientific.

Matthew 6:7-15

[Jesus said] “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

21st Century Science and Health

Do we have empty thoughts of Deity? We admit theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, and yet, we try to give information to this infinite Mind. We may even ask for undeserved forgiveness or benefits

Calling on Mind to forgive our unfinished or negligent work is useless. To repeatedly ask for forgiveness, yet repeat lousy behavior, is unreasonable.

Suffering is a means of destroying limited thinking and wrongdoing. Every material pleasure will come with a measure of pain until spiritual life is taken on. To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the Principle of being.

“God is love.”[2] We cannot ask for more than infinite Love, we cannot go farther, and we cannot look deeper. To think that God forgives or punishes, whether we pray or not, is to misunderstand Love. Prayer is not a loophole for wrongdoing.

We can rather ask, “Do we really appreciate the good we’ve already received?” If so, then we will put to good use the blessings we have and be prepared to receive more.

The website designer is not in the website. The website is the designer’s thought objectified. Human beings fancy themselves able to actualize limited things and images because they believe they are creators. These things are nothing more than human mind-force, vulnerable to mistakes and crashes. The divine potter is not in the clay[3] to mistake or crack. We can understand and see the form, substance, and color of spiritual thoughts, without material objectifications, because God is self-acknowledged Mind and expresses all.

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.

People shouldn’t die young because they occupy the most important positions and perform the most vital functions in society. Think of Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackelton[4] and his expedition crew, all who survived overwhelming adversity in their 1914–1916 Antarctic expedition. Persons who act on integrity and goodness do not pay severe penalties. By adhering to the realities of spirituality—instead of reading studies on the inconsistent assumption that death comes in obedience to the law of life and that God punishes people for doing good—one cannot suffer as the result of any labor of love, but grows stronger because of it. It is a mental law in so-called human mind, misnamed matter, which causes all things discordant.

The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on us by our heavenly Father-Mother. Omnipotent Mind gives us faith and understanding whereby to safeguard our self, not only from temptation, but also from bodily suffering.

Study metaphysics and look deep into realism, instead of only accepting the superficial, illusive sense of things. Be elevated in thought in every situation. Can we gather peaches from a pine tree or learn from disorder the order of being? Continue to recognize the nothingness of illusions—stay on the path Science is walking—and the ingrained illusions of human beings will be replaced with reality.

The complicated mis-creations must finally give place to the glorious forms which we sometimes glimpse through the eye of divine Mind when the mental picture is spiritual and eternal. Take the time to look past the fading, sensational pictures. Gain the true sense of life. Rest your gaze on the unsearchable realm of Mind. Look ahead and act as possessing all power from Truth and Love in whom you have your being.

*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. 28:20

[2] I John 4:8

[3] Isa 29:16; Isa 64:8; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 9:26

[4] Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) Irish explorer.

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