October 12, 2022

Subject: Daily devotion

Golden Text: Ezekiel 17:11-14, The Message, copyright by Eugene Peterson

God’s Message came to me: “Tell this house of rebels, ‘Do you get it? Do you know what this means?’ “Tell them, ‘The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took its king and its leaders back to Babylon. He took one of the royal family and made a covenant with him, making him swear his loyalty. The king of Babylon took all the top leaders into exile to make sure that this kingdom stayed weak—didn’t get any big ideas of itself—and kept the covenant with him so that it would have a future.

Mark 4:21-34

 Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a bucket or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open. 23 “Are you listening to this? Really listening? 24-25 “Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.”

26-29 Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time! 30-32 “How can we picture God’s kingdom? What kind of story can we use? It’s like an acorn. When it lands on the ground it is quite small as seeds go, yet once it is planted it grows into a huge oak tree with thick branches. Eagles nest in it.” 33-34 With many stories like these, he presented his message to them, fitting the stories to their experience and maturity. He was never without a story when he spoke. When he was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots.

21st Century Science and Health, copyright by Cheryl Petersen

The devotion to Spirit is the soul of spirituality. Worshipping through the medium of matter is not productive. Human-made rituals are but types and shadows of true worship.

It is physical emotionalism, and not Soul, that triggers a nervous passion for God. Allow spiritual sense to guide your higher experiences, because fanaticism and self-satisfied devotion do not promote spirituality. God is not influenced by human beings. The divine ear is not an auditory nerve. The Divine is all-hearing and all-knowing Mind, recognizing and supplying our every need.

Prayer can be dangerous if it tempts us to voice desires that aren’t real or to assume we are more spiritual than we really are.

Jesus presented the ideal of God better than any person whose origin was less spiritual. By his obedience to God, Jesus demonstrated the Principle of being. Notice the force of Jesus’ counsel, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”[1]

Although the great Teacher proved his control over sin and disease, he didn’t relieve others from proving their own spiritual power. Jesus worked as a guide, that people might also demonstrate the power of divine Principle. Smothering Jesus with emotional affection, or claiming to be a devoted follower, will never alone make you like him. You must “go and do likewise,”[2] or you are not improving the great blessings that he worked and suffered to offer. The spirituality of the Christ was made manifest in the humanity of Jesus.

We may revere Jesus and our heart may overflow with gratitude for what he did; however, our demonstration of love must be comparable to Jesus’ until all are redeemed through divine Love.

The tribal Yahweh was a human-projected God, liable to wrath, repentance, and human moodiness. The Christian Science God is unchanging, universal, eternal, divine Love, a God who does not cause evil, disease or death. In the beginning, God created children in God’s image; but human beings would procreate man and woman, and make God in their own mortal image. It’s depressing when Scripture is flip-flopped. What is the god of a human, but a human magnified?

A reversal of Scripture shows the distinction between theological and ritualistic religion. The truth preached by Jesus was more than just talk and robotic behavior. A life of spirituality is requisite. Few understand or adhere to Jesus’ divine precepts for living and healing. Why? We don’t emulate Jesus, because we don’t want to set aside personal agendas, human beliefs, habits, and learned information.

Psalms 81:8-16

“Listen, dear ones—get this straight;
    O Israel, don’t take this lightly.
Don’t take up with strange gods,
    don’t worship the popular gods.
I’m God, your God, the very God
    who rescued you from doom in Egypt,
Then fed you all you could eat,
    filled your hungry stomachs.

11-12 “But my people didn’t listen,
    Israel paid no attention;
So I let go of the reins and told them, ‘Run!
    Do it your own way!’

13-16 “Oh, dear people, will you listen to me now?
    Israel, will you follow my map?
I’ll make short work of your enemies,
    give your foes the back of my hand.
I’ll send the God-haters cringing like dogs,
    never to be heard from again.
You’ll feast on my fresh-baked bread
    spread with butter and rock-pure honey.”

21st Century Science and Health

Generally, people who haven’t been immersed in physical health laws are more receptive to spiritual power and faith in one God, compared to people who are devoted to those laws and who think they need to teach them to others. Would it be better to consider physical laws “more honored in the breach than the observance”?[3] A patient thoroughly booked in medical theories is more difficult to heal through Mind than one who is not.

Not materially, but spiritually we know God as divine Mind, as Life, Truth, and Love. We become more respectful and caring as we get to know the divine nature better and love Soul understandingly. The struggle over physicality will be replaced by a rejoicing in the affluence of our God. Religion will then be of the heart and not of the head. Humankind will no longer be tyrannical from lack of love—straining out gnats and swallowing camels.[4]

First in the list of divine responsibilities, Jesus taught his followers the healing power of Truth and Love. He attached no importance to dead ceremonies.

The tradition of telling people that if they take one doctrine and have total faith in it, they will be filled with the Holy Spirit, receives a strong rebuttal in the Scripture, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”[5] Faith, at the level of belief, is like a motor piston shifting between nothing and something, having no fixity. Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, gains evidence of Spirit. Spiritual evidence rebukes groundless beliefs of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

In Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and English, the word faith and its corresponding words have these two definitions: trustfulness and trustworthiness. One kind of faith trusts one’s well-being to others. Another kind of faith understands divine Love and how to “work all the more strenuously at your salvation with reverence and trembling.”[6] “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”[7] This expresses the helplessness of blind faith; whereas the directive, “Believe…and you will be saved,”[8] demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.

The Hebrew verb to believe means also to be firm or to be constant. This certainly applies to Truth and Love understood and practiced. Rigidity in mistaken mindsets will never save us.

We need to become familiar with original Bible texts and be willing to give up mistaken beliefs and interpretations established by hierarchies or instigated by the worst human passions. Familiarity with texts opens the way for divine Science to be understood and makes the Bible the map of life where the healing steps of Truth are pointed out.

Health insurance companies are recognizing the power of thought. Not only are the costs of psychiatry or counseling covered, but some policies also cover alternative health care costs. These examples of liberating the practice of medicine are in harmony with our Constitution and Bill of Rights, with that immortal sentiment of the Declaration, “Man is endowed by his Maker with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Oppressive policies or agendas that restrict right thinking can be removed from power. Nelson Mandela wrote, “There was no particular day on which I said, From henceforth I will devote myself to the liberation of my people; instead, I simply found myself doing so, and could not do otherwise.”[9]

The demands of God appeal to thought only; but the claims of mortality and what are termed laws of nature, appertain to matter. Which, then, are we to accept as legitimate and capable of producing the highest human good? We cannot obey both biology and Spirit. We pay attention to one or the other. It is impossible to work from two standpoints. If we attempt it, we will, “be devoted to the one and despise the other.”[10]

When mistaken human minds felt the power of Truth, betrayal and terror were ready to attack the great Teacher. Yet Jesus did not change direction, knowing very well that obeying the divine order and trusting God saves from backtracking and re-healing the same problems again.

Human belief is slow to acknowledge what the spiritual fact implies. Paul wrote, “Let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”[11] In other words, let us put aside the materialist self and its imperfect perceptions. Let us pursue the divine Principle and Science of all healing. Truth compels sure entrance into the realm of Love.


[1] John 14:15 (JB)

[2] Luke 10:37

[3] Shakespeare, William (1564–1616) Hamlet, Act 1, iv.

[4] Matt. 23:24

[5] James 2:17

[6] Phil. 2:12 (Moffatt)

[7] Mark 9:24

[8] Acts 16:31

[9] Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1994, 1995

[10] Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13

[11] Heb. 12:1 (NRSV)

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s