January 10, 2018

bible study imageSubject: Rationality

Golden text: Philippians 4:5*

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;

Act 26:1-8

So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

“My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

From 21st Century Science and Health**

The belief and dream of mortal being is entirely separate from the Life divine. Immortal Life reveals spiritual understanding. Life reveals the consciousness of our dominion over that which is earthbound. Life reveals our ability to overcome error and heal the sick. God reveals the understanding to speak “as one who had authority.”[1]

Limitless Mind will not be known through limited human mind, but through divine reason and revelation. Finiteness can’t present the idea or the vastness of infinity. A mind which came from a limited source will be limited. Infinite Mind is the creator and creation is the infinite image or idea emanating from this Mind. If Mind is within and without all things, then all is Mind, and this definition is demonstrable.

Are attitudes, spirituality, or consciousness, limited to effects? It’s irrational to say that Mind is infinite cause but dwells in finite effects, or that human mind is eternal and the medium of Mind.

God has no limiting factor. Spirit is not confined to individuals. Mind isn’t corporeal, and doesn’t grow from a limited chromosome. Infinite Mind can have no starting-point and can’t return to a limit. Spirit can never be bound. Spirit can’t be fully manifested through the physical.

No form or physical organization can adequately represent Love. God can’t be owned. An ownership sense of God leads to narrow-mindedness and formality, in which Christianity loses its warmth and sincerity.

Acts 26:9-12

[Paul said,] I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.

12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Physical laws would counteract the supremacy of Spirit and contradict the wisdom of the creator. There is no counteraction in Spirit. God never ordained a mortal law to annul the spiritual law.

Material things, modifiable knowledge, and medical science have never made human beings whole, harmonious, and spiritual. Humanity is harmonious when governed by Soul. This is why it is so important to understand the truth of being which reveals the laws of spiritual existence.

Mistaken theories and philosophies as to what really constitutes life, so detracts from God’s character and nature that the true sense of Spirit’s power is lost to all who embrace those falsities.

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.”[2]

We must receive the divine Principle in understanding and live it in daily life; otherwise, we can no more verify Science than we can teach and illustrate geometry by calling a curve a straight line or a straight line a sphere.

The ordinary doctor examines the body, tells the patient they are sick, and treats the case according to the physical diagnosis. This naturally induces the very disease imposed by human mind. Such unconscious mistakes would not occur if this old class of philanthropists looked as deeply for cause and effect in mind as they do in matter. The physician agrees with the “adversary quickly,”[3] but on different terms than the metaphysician. The physical-physician agrees with disease, while the metaphysician agrees with health and challenges disease.

Divine Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as a medicinal, neutralizing error with Truth. It balances the hormonal reactions, expels harmful fluids, dissolves tumors, rehabilitates degenerated or injured muscles, and restores bones to wellness. The effect of this Science is to adapt the human mind to an improved attitude from which it may yield to the peace and order of divine Mind.

Act 26:13-18

At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

From 21st Century Science and Health

Immortal Mind heals what eye has not seen.

God is infinite, the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including person. Mortal eye has not seen Spirit or God’s image and likeness. God and the complete individual can’t be discerned by the physical senses. The individuality of infinite Spirit is unknown, consequently, knowledge of it is left either to human conjecture or to the revelation of divine Science.

Divine Science reverses the false testimony of the physical senses and tears away the precarious foundations of unreliable conclusions. Hence the enmity between Science based on Spirit and sciences based on the physical senses; hence the impossibility of attaining accurate, useful understanding, until mistaken senses are eliminated.

Fear of punishment never made a person truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong behavior and proclaim the right. But how is the person, who has more animal courage than moral courage, reformed? How do we help a person who doesn’t have the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the person it is a mistake to look for power and happiness through material means. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let rational thought guide the person’s feelings and awaken their dormant sense of moral obligation. By degrees, they will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the greatness and happiness of spiritual sense. This silences the corporeal and the person will not only be saved, but is saved.

Progress removes restraints. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher plane of action, consciousness moves from the limited sense to the unlimited, from the scholastic to the inspirational, and from the mortal to the immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not isolatable energy, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is Father-Mother of the universe and us.

The everlasting I AM isn’t bound or compressed within the narrow limits of physical humanity, nor can Spirit be correctly understood through mortal concepts. The precise form of God must be of small importance in comparison with the sublime questions: What is infinite Mind? What is divine Love? What is metaphysical Truth?

Who is it that requires our obedience? God, who “controls the stars in the sky and everyone on this earth. When God does something, we cannot change it or even ask why.”[4]

Acts 26:24-25, 30-31

 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.

 Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

When false human beliefs learn even a little of their own falsity they begin to disappear. Knowledge of error and how it operates must precede the understanding of Truth. Spiritual understanding destroys error. The eternal verity is Spirit’s creation. We can understand and recognize the true likeness of our Maker.

Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Sickness is neither imaginary nor unreal, that is, to the patient’s frightened perception. Disorders and problems are more than fancy, they are solid convictions of fear or unawareness and therefore need to be dealt with through an accurate comprehension of the truth of being. If Soul-healing is abused by those who boast in their own pious conceit, their treatment becomes an irksome trouble maker. Instead of scientifically affecting a cure, these posers in Science start petty crossfires over those who are disabled and sick. Humanity should not be knocked around with superficial and heartless remarks like: It’s all in your head; matter is not real; be more spiritual; you really are perfect.

The illusive evidence of physical sense certainly differs from the testimony of Spirit. Physical sense lifts its voice with the arrogance of reality and boasts: I am completely dishonest and people don’t know it. I can commit adultery, cheat, lie, steal, and murder. I evade detection by pretending to be a victim. My tendency is irrational, my feelings are deceitful, and my purpose is fraudulent, but I aim to make my short span of life one big fling. Resistance to spirituality is fantastic! How it succeeds where the good purpose waits! The world is my territory. I am popular, surrounded by materialism and consumerism. However, a reality check, an accident, or the law of God may at any moment annihilate my peace, for all my fancied joys are fatal. Like bursting lava, I increase but to my own despair because the over-rated mortal life is a consuming fire.

The testimony of Spirit, Soul, maintains: I am Spirit. Individuals, whose perceptions are spiritual are my likeness, reflecting the infinite understanding, for I am Infinity. The beauty of holiness, the completion of being, and imperishable glory—all are Mine, for I am God. I give spirituality, for I am Truth. I include and impart all happiness, for I am Love. I give life, without beginning and without end, for I am Life. I am supreme. I am the unlimited source of good ideas, for I am Mind. I am the substance of all, because “I AM WHO I AM.”[5]

*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] Matt. 7:29

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

[3] Matt. 5:25 (NKJV)

[4] Dan. 4:35 (CEV)

[5] Ex. 3:14

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November 22, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Simeon, Jacob’s son

Golden text: I Timothy 4:10

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Gen 42:1-4, 6-8, 13-24

When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?” And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.” So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him.

Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

13 And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” 14 But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. 15 By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” 17 And he put them all together in custody for three days.

18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, 20 and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. 21 Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” 22 And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. 24 Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.

From 21st Century Science and Health

“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 rewards 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.

The impressive furies of human minds—vented in earthquakes, hurricanes, supernovas, terrorism, famines, etc.—characterizes self-destruction. Calamities are sometimes referred to as “acts of God.” Scriptures go as far as to interpret God literally as saying, “And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey,”[4] but these catastrophes only counterfeit divine justice. Spiritually interpreted, the suicidal furies point to the strength and permanency of Spirit maintaining life. Science brings to light Spirit and its supremacy, universal harmony, the entireness of God, good, and the nothingness of evil.

When using the light of divine Science, we see beyond the surface of mortals and detect inverted thoughts and erroneous beliefs so has not to be fooled by them. We also borrow thought from a higher source than human knowledge to look at cause rather than effect, to see celestial Truth replace error. Clothed in Spirit, appearance is “bright as a flash of lightning”[5]―like the garment of Christ. Even in this world, therefore, “always be clothed in white.”[6] “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.”

Gen 43:1-2, 14, 23

Now the famine was severe in the land. And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.”

16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.”

23 He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, deficit and depression, sin, sickness, and death, assuming new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error when all disorder will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.

Mortal error will vanish in a moral reaction. The reaction of mental turmoil has begun and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding. Belief is changeable, but spiritual understanding is changeless.

Spiritual involvement heals, while material attachment interferes with truth. Ritualism and creed stifle spirituality. If we trust materiality, we distrust Spirit.

Spiritual comfort blesses the human family, feeds the unsatisfied, and gives living water to the thirsty.

Improvement and progress come as mindsets improve. World history illustrates the might of Mind and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking or spiritual clarity. Words and actions breathing the omnipotence of divine justice and wisdom, are powerful to break the barriers of human ideologies, fear, and caustic practices. Terrorism and oppression won’t go down in blood, and the breath of freedom doesn’t come from the mouth of a Patriot missile-launch battery. Love is the liberator.

Luke 7: 1-10

After [Jesus] had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

From 21st Century Science and Health

The advent of Jesus of Nazareth marked the first century of the Christian era, but Christ-spirit is without beginning of years or end of days. Throughout all generations both before and after the Christian era, the Christ, as the divine idea—the reflection of God—has come with some degree of power and grace to all prepared to receive the Messiah, or Truth. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets caught glorious glimpses of Christ, which baptized these insightful people in the nature or essence of Love. The divine image, idea, or Christ was, is, and ever will be inseparable from the divine Principle, Truth.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Physical laws would counteract the supremacy of Spirit and contradict the wisdom of the creator. There is no counteraction in Spirit. God never ordained a mortal law to annul the spiritual law. Jesus walked on the waves, fed the multitude, healed the sick, and raised the dead in direct opposition to mortal, physical laws. His acts were the demonstration of Science, overcoming the false claims of material law.

Science shows that conflicting convictions and opinions repeatedly transmit mixed signals. The signals symbolize chaos, but we can be safe from confusion when false convictions and opinions are promptly and persistently defeated by truth.

I Cor. 2:11-12

11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

From 21st Century Science and Health

God is no more the author of sickness than of sin. You have no law of God to support the necessity either of sin or sickness, but you have divine authority for denying that necessity and healing the sick.

“Agree to disagree” with oncoming symptoms of chronic or acute disease, whether it is cancer, diabetes, or coronary artery disease. Meet the initial stages of disease with as powerful mental opposition as a legislator would employ to defeat the passage of an inhuman law. Rise in the conscious strength of the spirit of Truth to overthrow the petition of human mind, alias mortal conditions lobbying against the supremacy of Spirit.

If the student stays true to the teachings of Christ’s Science, not daring to break its rules, the person cannot fail to succeed in healing. It is divine Science to do right and nothing short of right-doing has any claim to the name. To talk the right and live the wrong is foolish deceit, doing one’s self the most harm. Captivated by sin yourself, it is difficult to rescue someone else from the prison of disease. If your own wrists are handcuffed it is hard to remove someone else’s handcuffs. A little leaven causes the whole mass to ferment.[7] A grain of divine Science does wonders for human beings, so omnipotent is Truth, but more of Science must be gained in order to continue in well doing.

Christ-like experience teaches faith in the right and doubt in the wrong. We learn the value of working more diligently in times of persecution because that is when the work is really needed. The reward of self-sacrifice is great, although we may never receive it in this world.

*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] Phil. 2:12

[2] Luke 19:13

[3] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

[4] Micah 5:15, ESV

[5] Luke 9:29

[6] Eccl. 9:8

[7] Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:21; I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9

July 12, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Ego

Golden text: I Peter 2:11-12*

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.

Isaiah 2:6-11

God, you’ve walked out on your family Jacob
because their world is full of hokey religion,
Philistine witchcraft, and pagan hocus-pocus,
a world rolling in wealth,
Stuffed with things,
no end to its machines and gadgets,
And gods—gods of all sorts and sizes.
These people make their own gods and worship what they make.
A degenerate race, facedown in the gutter.
Don’t bother with them! They’re not worth forgiving!

10 Head for the hills,
hide in the caves
From the terror of God,
from his dazzling presence.

11-17 People with a big head are headed for a fall,
pretentious egos brought down a peg.
It’s God alone at front-and-center

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Human mind is unaware of its false ego or it could never be self-deceived. If this mortal mind knew how to be better, it would. When human mind tries to believe in something besides itself, it only promotes its own image as deity, thereby becoming an idolater. Out of the necessity to maintain its identity the human mind has other gods and believes in more than one Mind.

The understanding that the Ego, I AM, is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of human sense and to supply the truth of spiritual sense. This understanding makes the body harmonious; it makes the nerves, bones, brain, etc., servants, instead of masters. If humanity is governed by the law of divine Mind, the body is obedient to everlasting Life and Truth and Love.

Galatians 2:19-21

What actually took place is this: I, [Paul] tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As the true knowledge of God becomes evident, the outdated concept of God as a mighty hero, lord, or king, will continue to vanish. Creeds and rituals still need to wash their hands of religious lore. Years ago, spiritual advancement was opposed by sword and spear. Today, idolatry anger, envy, arrogance, and egotism, whisper “Crucify! Crucify!”[1]

Beliefs that engender a national theology or political religion are the antithesis of true Christianity. Narrow systems and theories concerning God, human beings, health, and a religious society, are restrictive. Jesus, who set Christianity on the foundation of Spirit, was accused of “making himself equal with God.”[2]  Jesus taught as he was inspired by the Maker and would recognize no life, intelligence, or substance outside of God.

Jesus didn’t assume a mortal selfhood. It was his spirituality that made it possible for Jesus to heal the sick, drive out evil, and raise the dead.

Jesus showed us a whip[3] is needed to drive tyranny and arrogance out of church. The strong cords of scientific demonstration, as twisted and wielded by Jesus, are still needed to purge churches of their vain traffic in worldly worship. Church should be made “a house of prayer for all nations,”[4] where humility and divine Science are welcome.

If religious people accept church salaries and build churches, yet turn away the poor and stranger, they are shutting the door on progress. Let the story of Jesus’ birth in a manger, and death on a cross, deflate that arrogance and human egotism. Gratification of the physical senses will numb the right hand and cause the left to let go of its grasp on the divine.

Proverbs 16: 1-9

Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last word.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.

Put God in charge of your work,
then what you’ve planned will take place.

God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.

God can’t stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he’ll put those upstarts in their place.

Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.

When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Human beings are egotists. They stroll around believing themselves to be independent workers, elite authors, or privileged originators of something God could in no way ever manifest. The creations of human mind represent the foibles of existence, whereas spiritual people represent the truth of creation.

The fleshly body, which you call me, is human mind, and this mind is limited in sensation. The body has originated and been developed by limited perceptions and is therefore material, limited. The materialism of parent and child is only in human mind, as the dead body proves; for when the human being has resigned the body to dust, the body is no longer the parent, even in appearance.

When human beings blend their thoughts of existence with the spiritual and work only as Truth and Love works, they will taste heaven and stop groping in the dark and clinging to the world.

People are the reflection of Soul, the direct opposite of tactile matter, and Soul is the one Ego.

Spiritual Ego never mistakes and is always conscious. Spirit never believes or decides, but knows; Soul is never born and never dies. Spiritual person is the likeness of this Ego. We are not God, but we are the outcome of God. We reflect God.

Our spirituality is designed by perfect Mind and reflects those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all false conceptions.

I Peter 3: 8-12

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.

From 21st Century Science and Health

SCIENTIFIC TRANSLATION OF HUMAN MIND

First Degree: Spiritual unawareness.

PHYSICAL. Evil thinking, obsessions and negative appetites, fear, corrupt will, self-justification, arrogance, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.

Second Degree: Disappearance of self-destructive thinking.

MORAL. Humanity, honesty, constructive inclinations, compassion, hope, faith, humility, moderation.

Third Degree: Understanding.

SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

Spiritual universe

In the third degree, human mind disappears and man and woman as God’s image appear.

*Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

**Text from 21st Century Science and Health can’t be reproduced in part or as a whole without the written permission of Healing Science Today

[1] Mark 15:13–14; Luke 23:20; John 19:6

[2] John 5:18

[3] John 2:15

[4] Isa. 56:7; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46

June 14, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Desire

Desire is multifaceted. Many layered. We can have good desires or bad desires.

Because many of us don’t know what good or bad desires are, economists, scientists, religionists, and psychologists have analyzed and theorized desire.

From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy website at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/desire/ we read, “To desire is to be in a particular state of mind. It is a state of mind familiar to everyone who has ever wanted to drink water or desired to know what has happened to an old friend, but its familiarity does not make it easy to give a theory of desire…

“Understanding desires requires at least two things: first, to have a theory of desire itself, and second, to have some familiarity with the varieties of desires that there are. Once acquired, an understanding of desire can illuminate a number of controversies surrounding desire.”

Six theories of desire were given: action-based, pleasure-based, good-based, attention-based, learning-based, and holistic.

Thing is: this informative study was kind of laborious because desire was scrutinized.

A Bible verse came to my mind.

Please read from you Bible, Ecclesiastes 1:8

Basically, human knowledge can be overwhelming, undesirable. We can however understand a desire that comes from something greater than human knowledge or biology.

This desire that comes from something greater, let’s call it divine Mind, is free and gives us the freedom to break away from confusion or negative desires.

Even the desire to hurt oneself can be troubling. A thread was found at Anxiety Community website that shows caring responses regarding hurting oneself.

https://www.anxietycommunity.com/index.php?threads/the-desire-to-hurt-yourself.826/

“Azelma posted: I know it’s wrong and no one should ever do it for any reason, but I just get this feeling that I must punish myself. It somehow makes me feel better, transforming the mental pain into a physical form that’s easier to concentrate on. Or something, I don’t know. I was just wondering if there are any others like me and how you guys deal with it.

“Alex posted: Self-harming is a very delicate topic and very hard to explain to people who have never experienced it. It can happen not just to ‘punish’ yourself, but also to take away that inner pain that is invisible and you don’t know how else to deal with. Often it’s subconscious too and I recall talking to my brother once and I was ‘hurting’ myself and he told me to stop, but I didn’t even know I was doing it at the time as it had become a habit. When it occurs out of habit, you don’t always notice the action or pain.

“Happy Kid posted: One therapist helped me make a safety plan, and that helps with the difficult times. It’s good to have something like that in place, including people you can call or text.”

The advice given to Azelma was helpful, however sometimes we humans need greater examples of freedom. This is where God can help. Or the examples of prophets or Christ Jesus.

Please read in you Bible I John 2.

Now, desire is also associated with economics and business.

T.J. Cook, Executive Director at ABQid in New Mexico, spoke on TEDx, about how to go from desire to discipline, with innovation, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_pHGbL5138

Cook mentioned the importance of creating space for innovation, rather than trying to dictate it. He spoke of creating a culture of innovation in the workplace, and gave three steps that can be taken:

  1. Drawing board day, where new ideas are brought up, but not related to client’s projects.
  2. Lab day, where those ideas are implemented into prototypes.
  3. Show and Tell day, demonstrating new prototypes.

Desires become un-suppressed through innovation. Desires from God come with satisfaction.

From 21st Century Science and Health, 6th edition

Our desires and aspirations ache to be fulfilled and we only feel rewarded when we stop limiting infinite Mind to finite resources. Infinite Mind can’t lose its character as inexhaustible Love, eternal Life, omnipotent Truth.

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.

When we feel the loss of human peace, the desire for spiritual joy gets stronger. This desire for heavenly good comes even before we discover what belongs to wisdom and Love. The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the spiritual path. Pain in the body informs us that pleasure in the body is mortal, compelling us to discover spiritual joy.

Unspoken thoughts are not unknown to divine Mind. Prayer is desire. No loss can come from trusting God to form and exalt our desires before they are put into words and action.

The prayer that reforms and heals is an absolute faith that all things good are made possible by God. This type of prayer includes spiritual understanding and unselfish love. Speaking from experience, God has given us the tools of humility, meditation, awareness, and action, to attain improved spirituality and health.

What is the intent of prayer? Do we meditate to improve ourselves or improve humanity and the world? Do we enlighten God? Do we pray so other people can hear us? Is prayer beneficial? Yes, our hunger for righteousness[1] is blessed by our heavenly Parent. The desire for spirituality does not return to us void.

God’s work is done. Prayer doesn’t motivate God to do what has already been done. The Infinite can do nothing less than give all goodness since God is absolute good, wisdom, and Love—the all-knowing Mind. God’s manifestation doesn’t appear simply on the ground of lip-service; however, modest fervent affirmations of God’s presence can kick-start prayer.

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. We become involuntary hypocrites when we use prayer to console ourselves without making genuine efforts to break out of illusory mindsets.

Meditation can’t change God’s law, but it can bring us into sync with immortal being. Prayer is not the mere habit of trying to persuade the divine Mind, as we would try to persuade a human being. Methods of prayer that perpetually try to humanize God are sad mistakes—errors that impede spiritual growth. As a first step, we can ask God to deliver us, but by taking more steps, and by demonstrating spiritual goodness, we can reach the living Truth.

God is Love. Can we ask the Infinite to be more? Love is intelligence, Mind. So, what could we possibly tell the all-knowing infinite Mind?

The effective prayer is a fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, humility, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our teacher Christ Jesus and follow his example, is our proper debt and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude. Jesus said: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”[2]

Love’s discipline is nourishing. As Love corrects us we advance toward justice, peace, and purity, which are the milestones of Science.

Spiritual and omnipotent Mind lifts humanity above itself into purer desires, even into spiritual power and good-will to humankind.

 

 

[1] Matt. 5:6; Luke 6:21

[2] John 14:15

[3] Eph. 4:22

May 31, 2017

bible study imageSubject: The Sabbath

Golden text: Matthew 12: 11-12*

[Jesus] 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.”

Deuteronomy 5:1, 12-15

And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them.

12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

II Corinthians 3: 1-6

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Through divine Science, Spirit, God, unites understanding to eternal harmony. The calm and enlightened thought, or spiritual perception, is at peace. Thus the dawn of ideas goes on, forming each successive stage of progress.

John 5: 1-10

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The healing influence of Spirit is discerned by spiritual sense. Creeds, doctrines, and human hypotheses do not express Christian Science; much less can they demonstrate it.

Every law of physics or the body, supposed to govern people, is rendered null and void by the law of Life, God. Unaware of our God-given rights, we allow unjust decisions and make excuses for imperfection. Our education system is biased, expounding homogeny and marketing a resignation to poor choices. Become aware metaphysically. Be no more willing to suffer the illusion that you are sick or that some disease is developing in the system, than you are willing to suffer giving into a sinful temptation on the ground that sin has its necessities.

The systems of human philosophies, doctrines, and medicines are more or less infected with the thinking that matter has a life-code of its own—genes—but this thinking contradicts both revelation and right reasoning. Why would matter want a life with no mind? Logical and scientific conclusions are reached only through the knowledge that there are not two bases of being, matter and mind, but one alone—Mind.

When overstepping some supposed law, you say that there is danger. This fear is the danger and induces the physical effects. We cannot in reality suffer from breaking anything except a moral or spiritual law. The supposed laws of mortal thinking are destroyed by the understanding that the law of Soul is immortal, and that human mind cannot legislate the times, periods, and types of disease with which humans die. God is the lawmaker, but God is not the author of ruthless rules. In infinite Life and Love there is no sickness, no twisted good, no death, and Scriptures declare that in the infinite God “we live and move and have our being.”[1]

John 5: 11-17

 But [the healed man] answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Evil is struggling against the advancing spiritual era. The world may lack spirituality, and people may not be able to keep a promise or make a home happy, but human minds are demanding spiritual understanding and a reformed attitude.

Matthew 12: 1-8

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.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Truth and error seem to be in conflict. Remember though, the contention is only the mental conflict between the evidence of the spiritual perceptions and the testimony of the human imprints. Through faith in, and the understanding of divine Love, the battle between Spirit and flesh will settle all questions.

Superstition and understanding can never unite. When the final physical and moral effects of divine Science are fully understood, the conflict between truth and error, understanding and belief, Science and material sense, will cease, and spiritual harmony will prevail. This harmony was predicted by the prophets and introduced by Jesus. The lightning and thunderbolts of error burst and flash, but the clouds will clear and the tumult will die away in the distance. Then the raindrops of divinity refresh the earth. As St. Paul says: “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God [of Spirit].”[2]

Hebrews 4: 9-12

So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is neither place nor opportunity in Science for error of any sort. Every day makes its demands upon us for better proofs rather than verbal claims of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress and progress is the law of God whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill.

Save yourself as Jesus saved. Strive. 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.

Every day on earth we must improve, discover, and utilize our spiritual faculties.

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.

From Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, General Editor, Ronald F. Youngblood, copyright © 1995, 1986 by Thomas Nelson Publishers

“Meaning of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a means by which our living pattern imitates God’s (Ex. 20:3-11). Work is followed by rest. The idea is expressed by the Hebrew word for Sabbath, which means ‘cessation.’

“Sabbath rest is also a time for God’s people to think about and enjoy what God ahs accomplished.”

*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] Acts 17:28

[2]Heb. 4:9 (Brackets added by Mary Baker Eddy)

April 19, 2017

bible study imageSubject: One Spirit

Golden text: I Corinthians 12:13

 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Numbers 11:16-30

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17 And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. 18 And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the Lord, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”’” 21 But Moses said, “The people among whom I am number six hundred thousand on foot, and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month!’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, and be enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, and be enough for them?” 23 And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”

24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

From 21st Century Science and Health

As we become better acquainted with the Science of being, we are better able to communicate with the divine Mind. Spiritual knowledge not only allows people to foresee and foretell events which concern the universal welfare, but it also inspires people divinely to reach the dimension of unfettered Mind, Spirit.

The ancient prophets received their foresight from a spiritual, metaphysical position, not by predicting evil and mistaking fiction as fact. Reading the future from the premise of fleshly and human belief is not scientific foresight. When sufficiently advanced in Science to be in agreement with the truth of being, people become seers and prophets involuntarily. Prophecy is not controlled by spirits, demons, or quantum entities, but by the one Spirit. It is the prerogative of the ever-present divine Mind, and of thought which is in alignment with this Mind, to know the past, the present, and the future.

Mark 1:21-27

 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath [Jesus] entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

There is but one Spirit. We are never God. Our spirituality is made in the likeness of Spirit. We reflect God. In this scientific reflection, the Ego and the divine Parent are inseparable. The assumptions that human egos are spirits, or that there are good and bad spirits, are mistakes.

Jesus cast out evil spirits, or false beliefs. He did his own work by the one Spirit. Jesus said: “My Father has worked [even] until now, [He has never ceased working; He is still working] and I, too, must be at [divine] work.”[1] The Master never described disease, as far as can be learned from the Gospels, but he healed disease.

Spirit being God, there is but one Spirit, for there can be but one infinite and therefore one God. There are neither spirits many nor gods many. There is no evil in Spirit, because God is Spirit. The theory that Spirit must pass through a human being to be individualized would reduce God to dependency on matter and establish a basis for pantheism.

Luke 4: 14-21

 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus taught but one God, one Spirit, who makes spiritual being in the image and likeness of Love, of Mind—not in the likeness of human mind.

There is only one spiritual existence, the Life of which physical senses can’t grasp. Divine Principle speaks through spiritual sense. If a material body—in other words, a mental embodiment of mortality and materialism—were permeated by Spirit, that body would disappear to fleshly sense, would be deathless. A condition precedent to communion with Spirit is the gain of spiritual life.

I Peter 1:1-12

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

From 21st Century Science and Health

In divine Science, person is the true image of God. The divine nature was skillfully personified by Christ Jesus, who shed light on a powerful concept of God. He shifted the people’s thought to experience something better than what they had been trained to think was normal. Jesus served to remove the stereotypical view of people as sinners, destined to be sick and dying.

Heaven. Harmony; the rule of one Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; happiness; the atmosphere of Soul.

When the divine precepts are understood, they reveal cooperation between creatures, because we all have one Spirit, God, one intelligent source, compatible to the Scriptural command: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[2] We, and our Maker have a reciprocal relationship in divine Science, and real consciousness is cognizant only of the things of God

God is the one and only Spirit, never trapped in the flesh. We are images of Spirit.

 

[1] John 5:17 (Amplified)

[2] Phil. 2:5

February 15, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Peace

Golden text: Ephesians 4: 1-3*

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

2 Chronicles 14: 1-7

Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. 2 And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace. And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered.

2 Chronicles 15: 19

19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

2 Chronicles 16:1-3, 7, 9-10, 13

In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king’s house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, “There is a covenant between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.”

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.

9 …You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.

13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

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.

So long as a person’s thought continues in a confused sinful state, they will perceive suffering. Punishment can’t be avoided, since justice is the instrument of mercy. If the suffering is insufficient to remove the sin, then heaven is hell to the sinner.  People who do not experience purity and love will not find happiness and peace through death. In divine Science you must spare no effort to purify thought before and after death.

In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

Justice requires reformation.

Mark 9: 38-50

38 John said to [Jesus], “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The nature of spirituality is peaceful and blessed. In order to enter into the realm of Spirit, the anchor of hope must be thrown past the veil of matter into the Shekinah that Jesus showed us. This advance beyond superficial thinking comes through the joys and triumphs of the righteous, as well as through their sorrows and afflictions. We must leave mortal impressions of fleshly being, and advance into immortal expressions of spiritual being.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”[1] Let us pay attention and participate in spirituality. Let us pray that this salt doesn’t lose its saltiness, and that this light is not hidden, but radiates and glows into the glory of the sun at noon.

Proverbs 16: 1-8

The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
When a man’s ways please the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice.

From 21st Century Science and Health

We approach God, Life, as our fidelity to Truth and Love expands; and in that ratio we can know all human need and be able to discern the thought of the sick and the sinning for the purpose of healing them. Error of any kind can’t hide from the law of God. Paul said, “The mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”[2]

Divine Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies. Christian Science acts as a medicinal, neutralizing error with Truth. It balances the hormonal reactions, expels harmful fluids, dissolves tumors, rehabilitates degenerated or injured muscles, and restores bones to wellness. The effect of this Science is to adapt the human mind to an improved attitude from which it may yield to the peace and order of divine Mind.

Haggai 2: 1-9

In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you s ee it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Even so now, the spiritual idea will guide all right desires from limited perception to Soul perception, to the glory prepared for us who love God. Science is the guide, never pausing, but leading to divine thoughts with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. In War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy depicts the guiding presence found in consciousness. The main character, Pierre Bezúkhov, “felt like a man who, after straining his eyes to peer into the remote distance, finds what he was seeking at his very feet. All his life he had been looking over the heads of those around him, while he had only to look before him without straining his eyes…He had learned to see the great, the eternal, the infinite in everything…And the closer he looked, the happier and more serene he was.”[3]

Physical existence and human minds are enigmas. Every day is a mystery. The physical senses can’t tell us of what is real or what is delusive, whereas the revelations of divine Science unlock the treasures of Truth. There is but one Spirit. We are never God. Our spirituality is made in the likeness of Spirit. We reflect God.

Progress removes the restraints imposed on human beings. The finite must yield to the infinite. Advancing to a higher level of activity, consciousness pierces the materialist view and discovers the spiritual view. Thought shakes off the scholastic and mortal and moves toward the inspirational and immortal. All things are created spiritually. Mind, not matter, is the creator. Love, the divine Principle, is the Father-Mother of the universe, including person.

*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] Matt. 5:13–14

[2] Rom. 8:6

[3] Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace, translated by Ann Dunnigan. New York: Penguin Books, 1968.