August 21, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Fearless light

Golden text: John 3:20-21*

 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

Judges 9:1-6, 22-24

Now Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s relatives and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother’s family, “Say in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you, that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal rule over you, or that one rule over you?’ Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh.” And his mother’s relatives spoke all these words on his behalf in the ears of all the leaders of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, “He is our brother.” And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith with which Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows, who followed him. And he went to his father’s house at Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. And all the leaders of Shechem came together, and all Beth-millo, and they went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar at Shechem.

22Abimelech ruled over Israel three years. 23 And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem, and the leaders of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.

21st Century Science and Health**

Since God is All, there is no dimension for something unlike Spirit. God alone designed all and called it good.[1] Therefore evil, being contrary to good, is unreal and can’t be the product of God. A limited, contradictory mindset can receive no encouragement from the fact that Science demonstrates the unreality of limitation and sin, for the contradictor would make a reality of that which opposes Life, Truth, and Love; would make that real which is unreal, and store up “wrath and indignation.”[2] Do not join in a conspiracy against yourself. Continue to recognize the awful unreality by which the human mind is deceived. Repent, think differently, abandon the unnatural and you can fully understand the unreality of that which argues against the infinite.

Christian Science requires us to improve our intentions. Hatred is made extinct through kindness. Lust is conquered with purity. Revenge is triumphed over with charity, and deceit is defeated with honesty. Starve errors in their early stages if you would not cherish an army of conspirators against health, happiness, and success. Mental traitors will deliver you to the judge, the arbiter of truth against error. The judge will deliver you to justice, and the sentence of the moral law will be executed upon human mind and body.

Matthew 12:1-15

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. 15 Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there.

21st Century Science and Health

Measuring life by solar years steals from our prime and gives ugliness to age. The radiant sun of virtue and truth coexists with being. Manhood and womanhood is its eternal noon, undimmed by a declining sun. As the physical and material—the transient sense of beauty fades—the radiance of Spirit illumines spiritual sense with bright and imperishable glories.

Don’t keep records of the aging process. Chronological data is no part of the vast forever. Charts of births, stages, and deaths are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. Measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful is an age-old habit. If not for that routine, we would enjoy our advanced years and still be vigorous, light-hearted, and full of promise. Governed by spiritual Mind, we are always graceful and noble. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.

Life is eternal. We should find this out and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are spiritual. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, renewal, and consistency, rather than into debility and loss.

Acute and chronic beliefs reproduce their own types. Acute beliefs of physical life come later and are not as disastrous as chronic beliefs.

It’s not impossible to regain sight and hearing or even teeth. I knew a sixty-year old man who had retained his full set of upper and lower teeth without a decaying cavity.

Beauty, as well as truth, is undying. The beauty of material things passes away—fades and vanishes as mortal beliefs. Tradition, education, and fashion form the illusive standards of human beings. Spirituality, exempt from decline or decay, has a glory of its own—the radiance of Soul. We can be models of spiritual sense. Our spirituality is designed by complete Mind and reflects those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all false conceptions.

Good looks and poise are independent of physique. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly. Beauty is a thing of life. It dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the living God in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with countless hues. It is Love that pours in warm sunbeams, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers the earth with loveliness.

Cosmetic surgery, Botox, and tattoos are inadequate substitutes for the attractiveness of spirituality. Our spiritual nature is stunning and substantial. It outperforms the aging process.

The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul. Retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in body and advance into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

Acts 23:12-13, 16-24

 When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy.

16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him.” 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, “Paul the prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20 And he said, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent.” 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.” 23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, “Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.[a] 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to Felix the governor.”

21st Century Science and Health

The harmful effect of lousy friendships is less seen than felt. The inoculation of negative human thoughts ought to be understood and guarded against. The first impression made on a mind, whether good or bad, is a capable detective of individual character. Certain minds meet only to separate through simultaneous repulsion. They are enemies without the preliminary offence. The impure are at peace with the impure. Only virtue is a rebuke to vice. A proper teacher of divine Science improves the health and morals of the student if the student practices what is taught, and unless this result follows, the teacher is a Scientist only in name.

There is a large class of thinkers whose excessive prejudice and conceit twist every fact to suit themselves. Their creed teaches belief in a mysterious, supernatural God and a natural, all-powerful devil. Another class, still more unfortunate, are so depraved that they appear to be innocent. They repeat empty talk while looking you placidly in the face, and they never fail to stab their benefactor in the back. A third class of thinkers build with steel beams. They are honest, generous, noble, and open to the approach and recognition of Truth. Teaching Christian Science to this mindset is not a chore. Pure thought does not incline longingly to error, whine over the demands of Truth, nor play the traitor for place and power.

Some people respond slowly to the touch of Truth. Some people feel Truth’s touch without a struggle. Many people are reluctant to admit that they have responded to Truth; however, if they don’t admit their improvement, the boastings of evil will shout over good. The Mind scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death. The Scientist will prove the nonbeing of all that opposed good by understanding the allness of Spirit. Sickness is no less a temptation than is sin and they are both healed by understanding God’s power over them. The Christ-like Scientist knows that sickness and sin are errors of belief, which Truth can and will destroy.

Who, that has felt the perilous beliefs in life, substance, and intelligence separated from God, can say that there is no error of belief? The beliefs of isolatable powers, the fight-and-flight nature, or morphing substances are flimsy propaganda, yet mesmerizing. So we ask, who will deny that these are the errors which Truth must and will annihilate?

Every conscientious student and teacher of the Science of Mind-healing knows that human-will is not divine Science. This fact must be recognized and lived to maintain immunity against this infectious human-willfulness. Teachers are morally obligated to open the eyes of students that they may perceive the nature and methods of error of every sort, especially any subtle degree of evil, deceived and deceiving. All mental malpractice surfaces from ignorant or malicious intent. Malpractice is the injurious action of one human mind controlling another from wrong motives, and it is practiced either with a mistaken or a wicked purpose.

Right is revolutionary. Teachers must know the truth themselves; they must live it and love it or they cannot impart it to others. We dirty our garments with conservatism and afterward we must wash them clean. When the spiritual sense of Truth unfolds its harmonies, you take no risks in the policy of error. Expect to heal simply by repeating my words, by right talking and wrong acting, and you will be disappointed. Such a practice does not demonstrate the Science by which divine Mind heals the sick.

Teachers who understand in a sufficient degree the Principle of Mind-healing, point out error as well as truth. They point out the wrong as well as the right practice. Love for God and humanity is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives elevate thought, which gives strength and freedom to speech and action. Love is priestess at the altar of Truth. Wait patiently for divine Love to move the human mind and form the perfect concept. “Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”[3]

*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. 1:31

[2] Rom. 2:5 (Amplified)

[3] James 1:4

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