September 18, 2019

bible study imageSubject: Productive petitions

Golden text: Luke 6:35*

Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

I Samuel 1:9-20

Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 [Eli watched Hannah, who] was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”

12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”

21st Century Science and Health**

We lend our self to limited assumptions and entertain restricted thoughts of God the same way unbelievers lend themselves to their expectations and authorities. Human beings are inclined to fear and to obey what they consider a material body more than they cherish and obey a spiritual God. All knowledge based on illusive substance, like the original “tree of knowledge,”[1] multiplies our pains. Material knowledge and mortal illusions would rob God, kill us, and meanwhile set their tables with cannibal tidbits and give thanks.

Nothing can hide from spiritual sense the harmony of all things and the might and permanence of Truth. There is no oblivion for Soul and its faculties.

If Soul can sin or be lost, then being and immortality would be lost along with all the faculties of Mind; but being cannot be lost while Spirit exists.

I Samuel 1 :24-28

 And when [Hannah] had weaned [the child], she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”

21st Century Science and Health

The sharp experiences of mortality, as well as our disappointments and constant troubles, turn us like tired children to the arms of divine Love. Then we begin to learn Life in divine Science. Without this process of weaning, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?”[2] It is easier to desire Truth than it is to stop our dead end thinking and habits. Human beings may seek the understanding of divine Science, but they will not be able to profit from Christian Science without applying the spiritual facts in their daily life. This endeavor consists of forsaking error of every kind and possessing no other consciousness but good.

The recognition of Spirit and of infinity does not come all at once but throughout eternity. Haba na haba, a Swahili phrase for little by little, or step by step, has relevance. Human beings do not change from error to truth in an instant.

Love’s discipline is nourishing. As Love corrects us we advance toward justice, peace, and purity, which are milestones of Science. Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause—wait on God. Then we make every effort to improve for the better. Spiritualized thought feels creative, free, and inspired, as if touching divine glory.

I Samuel 2:1-2

And Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.

“There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.

21st Century Science and Health

To human perception, divine Science seems at first obscure, abstract, and dim, but a bright promise crowns its brow. Divine Science understood, is the prism and praise of Truth.

One moment of divine consciousness, or the spiritual understanding of Life and Love, is a foretaste of eternity. This exalted view, obtained and retained when the Science of being is understood, would bridge over with life discerned spiritually the interval of death, and humanity would be in the full consciousness of our spirituality and eternal harmony, where sin, sickness, and death are unknown. Time is a human thought, the divisor of which is the solar year. Eternity is God’s measurement of Soul-filled years.

Prayer is desire. No loss can come from trusting God to form and exalt our desires before they are put into words and action.

Luke 11:5-10

And [Jesus] said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

21st Century Science and Health

It is absurd to suppose that a contained force called mater can both cause and cure disease or that Spirit produces disease and leaves the remedy to come contained matter.

Joyce Meyer wrote in her book The Battlefield of the Mind, “The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions.”[3]  Statements such as this are as a “voice of one calling in the desert,”[4] preparing humanity for the real and eternal. Our thoughts are being led to look past the superficial. We can know the way of divine Science. Let us prepare for the supremacy of Spirit, the kingdom of heaven—the government and law of universal harmony, which cannot be lost or remain forever unseen.

Mind, not mechanical energy, is causation. A material body only expresses a temporal and human mind. Human beings possess this body and make it harmonious or discordant according to the images of thoughts imprinted upon it. You embrace your body in your thought. Be sure to outline on the body thoughts of health, not of sickness. Make the effort to banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs connected to mortality. Our spirituality has an indestructible life. It is the mortal thinking which makes the body disordered and diseased in proportion as spiritual unawareness, fear, or human-will governs us.

Mind, supreme over all its formations and governing them all, is the central sun of its own system of ideas. God is the life and light of its own incalculable creation. We acknowledge divine Mind. The measurable human body or mind is not God’s child.

The world would collapse without Mind, without the intelligence which holds the “winds”[5] in its grasp. Neither philosophy nor skepticism can hinder the movement of Science which is ever revealing the supremacy of Mind. The intuitive sense of Mind-power reinforces the glory of Mind. Nearness, not distance, lends delight to this view.

Quantum mechanics; molecular reactions; electronic bionics; the patterns and relationships between masses and forces; and so on, are of no real importance when we remember that they all must give place to spiritual truths by the translation of the universe and us back into Spirit. As this transformation occurs, our true selfhood and the universe will be found harmonious and spiritual.

Genome sequences, radiometric dating, seismic surveys, data from satellites and space stations, the paradigms of speculative theories, will all vanish in the presence of the infinite calculus of Spirit. Anything based on the hypothesis of physical law or material life and intelligence ultimately fades away.

Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God. Spiritual sense shows the supremacy of faith “accompanied by action”[6] over faith in words. Spiritual ideas are expressed in “new tongues,[7] and interpreted by the translation of the spiritual original into the language which human thought can comprehend.

Spiritual sense discerns the Principle and proof of the manifestation of God. Jesus was instrumental in setting forth Principle. His Christ-like proofs showed—by healing the sick, driving out evils, and defying death—his disregard of human mind and its fragmented laws.

Knowing that the attributes of Soul are forever manifested through individuals, the Master gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, feet to the lame, and health to the sick. Christ Jesus brought to light the scientific action of the divine Mind on human minds and bodies. He gave a better understanding of Soul and salvation.

*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. 2:9

[2] Job 11:7

[3] Meyer, Joyce. Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind.  New York: Warner, 1995.

[4] Isa. 40:3; Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4

[5] Rev. 7:1

[6] James 2:17

[7] Mark 16:17

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