January 20, 2021

Subject: Eating

Golden text: John 4:34*

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

Genesis 2:1-17

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

21st Century Science and Health**

Advance spiritually. Constantly turn away from the objects of the human mind and look toward the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, you will be in earnest from the start and joyfully gain a little each day in the right direction. If persistent, you will make the transition from limited substance to the substantial unlimited.

Our moral and spiritual progress is monotonously slow if we constantly bounce back and forth between futile habits and the hope of forgiveness. Selfishness and stupidity cause constant retrogression. We must wake up to Christ’s demand; however, the waking generally causes suffering. We may even feel like we are drowning and struggle to stay above water. Through Christ’s precious love our efforts are rewarded with success.

“Work out your salvation,”[1] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[2] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[3] Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The reward will come.

When the difficult time has passed, you will experience a fullness of the good you have practiced. You will receive according to your efforts. Love is not in a hurry to rescue us from temptation, for Love means that we shall be tested and purified.

Who are we traveling with? If, from Boston, my friends are going to New Zealand while I am headed to California, we obviously are not traveling together. We have separate time-zones to consider, different routes to pursue, and opposite climates to contemplate. Our journeys have diverged from the start and we don’t have much opportunity to help each other. On the other hand, if my friends pursue my direction, we have the same itinerary and interests. If I take up their line of travel, they help me on, and our companionship may continue.

On our spiritual journey, if we sympathize with mortality, we will be at the beck and call of error and follow a zig-zag course getting nowhere. If we travel with the worldly minded, we get sucked into a nasty cycle. A good example of this is randomly walking around the shopping mall, making feel-good purchases and eating junk food with friends. We return home, thinking we had a good time and feeling satisfied. However, when re-thinking the situation, we realize that too much time and money was wasted. So, we repeat the trip to the mall but buy books on time and financial management, or on dieting.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

Matthew 11:1-19

When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way before you.’

11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, 14 and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

17 “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

21st Century Science and Health

Evidence of progress and of spiritualization can definitely be seen in the world. People are realizing the power of mind. We are learning to question drug systems and surgical procedures. We are pursuing less obtrusive drugs, alternative health care treatments, responsible eating, consistent exercise, and homeopathy. The substance of medicine is being transferred from matter to mind.

The key is distinguishing between human mind and divine Mind. The human mind experiences can’t always be attributed to the one divine Mind, although they can lead to more expanded knowledge.

Physiology and genetics are fruits from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”[4] Evil declared that eating this fruit would open our eyes and make us as a god. Instead, it closed the eyes of human beings to our God-given dominion over mortality.

Strength and intelligence are not limited to muscles and brain. Measuring muscles or appraising IQ’s (Intelligence Quotient), or testing people’s cognitive approach to problem solving and decision making are inadequate methods. Strength and intelligence are not at the mercy of non-intelligent matter.

Obedience to the physical laws of health has not diminished sickness. Diseases multiply when theories based on material realities take the place of spiritual truth.

A person may say that indigestion, fatigue, and insomnia cause distressed stomachs and aching heads. They consult their ever-re-wiring brain to remember the troublesome cause when the remedy lies in forgetting the earthbound experiences. Matter has no sensation of its own, and the human mind is all that can produce or feel pain.

As people think, so are they. Mind is all that feels, acts, or interferes with action. Unaware of this or shrinking from its implied responsibility, the healing effort is made on the wrong side and thus the conscious control over the body is lost.

Worshippers more interested in religious ceremonies than in the principles behind the religion, will believe that a ritual, person, place, or thing is necessary for the salvation of their soul. Doctors and pharmacists who believe drugs have power will think their prescription will save life. The belief that ceremonies will save the soul is a delusion. The belief that drugs will save life is a medical mistake.

The human mind is in conflict with itself and therefore produces disordered bodies. To ignore God, the higher Mind, is a mistake. Don’t wait for a strong healthy body before acknowledging God. Learn that God can do all things for us in sickness as in health.

Failing to recover health through treatments based on physiology or gene therapy, the despairing invalid often drops them and as a last resort turns to God. The person would have resorted to Mind first if they had more faith in the divine Mind than in drugs, time, and hygiene. Medical systems grant more power to matter than Spirit, however, when Mind asserts its mastery, we are found harmonious and spiritual.

What would be better? To beg a human-like God to heal the sick out of His free will? Or, would it make more sense to understand the infinite divine Principle which heals? If our thinking is no better than blind faith, the Science of healing is not attained and Soul-existence, in the place of molecular existence, is not comprehended. We understand Life in divine Science only as we let go of limited views and attain spiritual views. The amount of good or of evil admitted determines the harmony of our existence—our health, our longevity, and our spirituality.

The divine demand, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,”[5] is scientific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are requisite. Individuals are consistent, who, watching and praying, can “run and not grow weary…walk and not be faint,”[6] who gain goodness rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement. God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won. To stop eating, drinking, or being clothed materially before the spiritual facts of existence are gained step by step, is not legitimate. When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, Spirit directs our thought and action. Imperfect human beings grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being is doing much.

*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, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.


[1] Phil. 2:12

[2] Luke 19:13

[3] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[4] Gen. 2:9

[5] Matt. 5:48

[6] Isa. 40:31

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