Subject: Loving Our Neighbors ESV, copyright Crossway Bibles
Golden text: Luke 14:12-14
[Jesus] said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. 3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. 4 Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.
5 “When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. 6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire. 7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, 8 and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from his people.
9 “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
21st Century Science and Health
The divine law of loving our neighbor as ourselves unfolds as we realize that there is one Mind. On the flip side, a belief in many ruling minds hinders humanity’s advancement toward the one Mind, one God. The assumption that there are numerous minds takes us down dead end roads where selfishness dominates.
Selfishness pushes the weight of human existence toward the side of error, not toward Truth. Denial of the oneness of Mind causes our energy to veer into the gutter of mortality, rather than stay on track with Spirit, good.
When we fully understand our relation to the Divine, we can have no other Mind—no other Love, wisdom, or Truth. In the divine relationship, there is no other sense of Life and no consciousness of the existence of measurable matter or error.
It is only productive to exercise human will-power in subordination to Truth. Human-will has the tendency to misguide our decisions and bring out inferior tendencies. Mistaken human wills injure our self and others. It is the function of spiritual sense to direct man and woman aright.
If you turn away from people who have fewer advantages, you are not ready to be blessed by our divine Father-Mother who blesses everyone. You confess to having a materialist heart and ask that all negativity be revealed, but don’t you already know more of this heart than you are willing to have your neighbor see?
It is important to examine our inclinations and intentions. Mental examination is the way we learn who we honestly are. If a friend informs us of a fault, do we listen patiently to the criticism and reconsider our attitude? Or, do we react by giving thanks that we are “not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector?” For many years, I have been most grateful for constructive criticism. The misdeed is destructive careless criticism which does no one any good.
The test of prayer is found in the answers to these questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of our prayer? Or, are we satisfied with imploring words and no evidence of living consistently with our prayer? If selfishness has given way to kindness, we will regard our neighbor unselfishly and pray for our enemies; but this great responsibility is never accomplished simply by asking that it may be done. Improvement of mind/body/spirit needs to be tangible before we can experience the achievement of our hope and faith.
Do you “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”? This counsel includes much, even the surrender of all mortal perceptions, habits, and reverences. Loving God with all your heart is the Utopia of Christianity; it involves the Science of Life. The counsel of Love recognizes and respects only the divine control of Spirit, of which Soul is our master and human mindsets have no place.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
21st Century Science and Health
Earth has little light or joy before Life is spiritually learned. Every agony of mortal error helps error to destroy itself and we perceive immortal Truth. This is the new birth going on hourly, by which human beings may entertain angels, the true ideas of God, the unlimited sense of being.
People, who touch the fringe of Christ’s garment and master their illegitimate convictions, their angers, and their fight-or-flight reactions, will rejoice in the proof of healing—in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love.
Divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony. The great miracle to human sense is divine Love, and the grand purpose of life is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in us. This goal is never reached while we hate our neighbor or get hung up on a person whom God has appointed to voice His Word. The message, not the messenger is crucial, and this correct sense allows us to see the highest visible idea and understand its divine Principle.
Material wealth, fame, and social organizations have no authority or influence in the presence of God. We attain clearer views of Principle as we break up cliques, level monetary wealth with honesty, and let worth be judged according to wisdom. We also get better views of humanity as we remove our self from biased personal perceptions.
Wicked human beings are not the rulers of upright neighbors. Let it be understood that success in error is defeat in Truth. The password of divine Science is Scriptural: “Let the wicked abandon their ways and the evil their thoughts.”
To discover our progress, we must learn to what we are attached. What do we acknowledge and obey as power? If divine Love is becoming nearer, dearer, and more real to us, matter is then submitting to Spirit. The goals we pursue and the spirit we manifest reveal our standpoint and show what we are winning.
Question. Does the nervous system think or feel, and does the human mind have intelligence?
Answer. No. not if God is true and humans are liars. The human mind’s assertion that pain or pleasure is in matter is erroneous, therefore unintelligent. Body is most harmonious when its functions are least noticeable. How can intelligence dwell in material atoms, when matter is non-intelligent and brain-lobes can’t think? Human mind can’t perform the functions of Mind. Erroneous human mind says, “I am person;” but this belief lacks actuality. From beginning to end, whatever is mortal is composed of limited human beliefs and of nothing else. Only that which reflects God is real. St. Paul said, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace . . . I conferred not with flesh and blood.” Our body is most harmonious when we don’t fixate on its every function.
Human being is really a self-contradictory phrase, for spiritual being is not a mortal human and has no flesh. Mortality and organic biological bodies “neither can nor will follow his Law.” A human origin designates the offspring of physical sense, not of Soul. The picture of a weak, unbalanced, or mortal person did not come from God. So, why would a mother repeat the Scripture, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord”? We can rejoice rather, in the truth that only the immortal and spiritual can come from God.
Do not let selfishness, suspicion, or bitterness control one another’s activities.
Stay out of the dark beliefs that cheat us and make us involuntary hypocrites. Don’t be induced to believe you are doing good when really you are producing evil, injuring others, and deforming goodness. People who think they are a semi-god will mis-create. In Bible language: “I cannot be good as I desire to be, and I do wrong against my wishes.”
There can be but one creator, who has created all.
Love is the source of might, immortality, and goodness, which shine through all as the blossom shines through the bud. God’s ideas are simple, yet great, and through a sharing process these ideas are strengthened and found to be interconnected, as they have the same Principle, or Parent. Happy is the person who sees the need of others and supplies it, seeking his or her own supply in someone else’s good. All the diverse expressions of God reflect health, holiness, immortality—infinite Life, Truth, and Love.
 Luke 18:11 (NRSV)
 Matt. 5:44
 Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27
 Matt. 9:20
 Isa. 55:7 (REB)
 Gal. 1:15–16 (KJV)
 Rom. 8:7 (Philips NT)
 Gen. 4:1
 Rom. 7:19 (Moffatt)