March 8, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Calm

Golden text: Ezekiel 16: 36, 42*

36 Thus says the Lord God… 42 So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry.

Matthew 5: 2, 21-26

And [Jesus] opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

From 21st Century Science and Health**

Revenge is unacceptable. Revenge only placates anger, whereas anger needs to be destroyed.

To love our neighbor’s spiritual nature as we love our own spirituality, is a divine idea; but this idea can never be seen, felt, or understood through the physical senses. Excite the organ of admiration or religious faith and a person manifests profound adoration. Excite the feelings of anger or pessimism and the person curses God. These effects, however, do not proceed from spirituality. Idolization and irreverence are both spin-offs of mortal belief.

The Science of Mind must come to the rescue and work a radical cure, and we then understand the process. The great fact remains that evil is not mind. Evil has no power, no intelligence, for God is good, and therefore good is limitless, is All.

Mark 3: 1-6

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

From 21st Century Science and Health

Jesus taught and showed us Life’s power to dissolve anything that opposes unlimited Truth.

Doctors, therapists, and so on, though humane, are artists who outline their thoughts relative to disease. They then fill in their delineations with sketches from textbooks. It is better to prevent disease from forming in human mind afterward to appear on the body; but to do this requires attention. The thought of disease is formed before a doctor’s visit, even before the doctor undertakes to dispel it with an antibiotic, a blood thinner, or a surgical operation.

When the medical field finds no biological or physical cause for symptoms of disease, various forms of psychotherapy have been known to improve the unhealthy condition. Psychosomatic illnesses or psychophysiological disorders are admitted to be problems caused by mental processes. They are problems in the mind, and once the mind is corrected, the symptoms vanish as illusions vanish. Mental conditions, such as severe stress, anger, anxiety, resentment, depression, and guilt have produced rashes, allergies, loss of hair, eating disorders, and pain, among other problems. So, why not approve of a cure which in effect makes any disease appear to be what it really is—an illusion?

Here is the difficulty: it is not generally understood how one disease can be just as much a delusion as another. It is a pity that the medical faculty and clergy have not learned this, for Jesus established this fundamental fact when devils (delusions) were driven to oblivion and the mute spoke.

Mark 3: 7-21

 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

Retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in body and advance into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

Immortal Mind heals what eye has not seen. The spiritual ability to comprehend thought and to heal by the Truth-power is won only as we are found reflecting the divine nature. Put in other words, self-glorification, arrogance, anger, and the like, are not found in Truth healing.

Scientists may call on one another for metaphysical treatment. However, if the callers don’t receive relief or help, they can be confident that God will guide them to use appropriately the temporary and eternal treatments. Step by step, as we trust Spirit, we will find that “God is our shelter, our strength, ever ready to help in time of trouble.”[1]

I advise students to be charitable and kind, not only toward differing forms of religion and medicine, but to the very people who hold these differing opinions.

Mark 3: 22-35

22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

From 21st Century Science and Health

The origin, the character, and the work of Jesus were not generally understood. Even his righteousness and purity didn’t stop the crowds from saying: He is a glutton and a friend of the impure, and Beelzebub is his supporter.[2] The materialist is unable to evaluate properly the nature of spirituality.

It is a sad day for the person who professes to practice and be faithful to divine Science but fails to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are still living in their self-sabotaging comfort-zones and human passions. They are in the turbulent sea of error, not struggling to lift their heads above the drowning wave.

People, who touch the fringe of Christ’s garment[3] 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, understood, coincides with the Scriptures and sustains logically and demonstratively every point it presents, otherwise it would not be Science and could not present results. Mind-science is not made up of paradoxical clichés or of the inventions of those who ridicule God. Science presents the calm and clear verdict of Truth against error, voiced and illustrated by the prophets, by Jesus, and by his apostles—as recorded throughout Scripture.

Do not let fear or doubt eclipse your clear sense and calm trust in Truth. The recognition of life harmonious—as Life eternally is—can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. Let divine Science, instead of fleshly sense, support your understanding of being and this understanding will exchange error for Truth, replace physicality with spirituality, and silence complaint with harmony.

*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] Ps. 46:1 (JB)

[2] Matt. 11:19; Luke 7:34

[3] Matt. 9:20

September 7, 2016

bible study imageSubject: Substance

Substance is multifaceted. Substance can be our material possessions, the ingredients in cookies, the stuff of the earth, or the gist of a story line. For example, in the 2001 film, “Greenfingers,” the story line concentrated on the substance of forgiveness and self-respect.

The main characters are inmates, serving time for bad deeds done in the past. After serving many years and showing good behavior, they were moved to participate in an “open prison” program.

Key figure, Colin Briggs, played by Clive Owen, enters the open prison system and is delegated to the room with an older inmate who urges Briggs to forgive himself. The older inmate, Ferus Wilks, played by David Kelly, later gives Briggs a package of seeds as a Christmas gift. Briggs half-heartedly opens the package and throws the seeds in the cold ground.

Unknown to the men, the seeds grew and produced beautiful double violet flowers.

But the flowers needed nurturing and this is where the essence of Brigg’s soul began to heal. His interest in gardening increased as the plants and flowers increased. It was as if the gardening added to a substantial sense of rehabilitation.

The Warden puts Briggs and a few other inmates in charge of gardening on the grounds. Briggs becomes passionate about the project, digging into the ground, reading horticulture books and starting a mini greenhouse.

Directed by Joel Hershman, written by Mr. Hershman, and loosely based on a1998 article in The New York Times, ”Free to Grow Bluebells in England” by Paula Deitz, “Greenfingers,” eventually told why Briggs had become numb to the world. He didn’t know how to deal with his past, when in a drunken jealous rage, he killed his brother.

Briggs didn’t excuse his mistake. He knew drunkenness was stupid. He knew hating his brother for stealing his girlfriend didn’t last. And, he believed he was destined to live miserably. He was self-absorbed in emotionless habits until he no longer could be because the substance of life keeps planting seeds of care in our hearts.

The men eventually entered a garden contest and went on to feel the wealth, or substance, of self-respect for a job well done. They didn’t win the prize, but showed that the substance of hard-work and beauty surpass human approval or awards.

In the Bible, we read about Job, who lost all his substance when tempted to believe in another power other than God. In your Bible, read Job, chapters 1 and 2:1-10 from your Bible of choice.

Job then entered a mental battle, but entertained the thoughts of 3 friends, who ultimately didn’t add substance to his triumph. It was when Job stood with God, alone, that true substance was realized and felt. The essence of love and truth. The ingredients of respect and honesty. Job was healed and went on to experience a greater sense of substance, grounded in Spirit.

Read Job 42 from your Bible.

From 21st Century Science and Health*

Human mind and divine Mind are opposites. One is contrary to the other in its very nature and essence, consequently, they both can’t be real. Only by understanding that there is but one power—not two powers—are scientific and logical conclusions reached. We must continue to admit that spiritual intelligence is apart from mortal beings and measurable energy. Spiritual intelligence is expressing and controlling the universe. Spiritual intelligence is synonymous with the eternal Mind or divine Principle, Love.

We can, and ultimately will, so improve and make use in every direction the supremacy of Truth over error, Life over death, and good over evil. This spiritualization will go on until we arrive at the fullness of God’s idea, and have no more fear that we shall be sick and die. Inharmony of any kind involves weakness and suffering—a loss of control over the body.

The depraved appetite for alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, methamphetamines, promiscuity, pornography, is destroyed only by Mind’s control of the body. There is no enjoyment in getting drunk, in becoming a fool, or being an object of extreme disgust. There is actually a very sharp remembrance of idiocy, a suffering inconceivably terrible to one’s self-respect. Morbid cravings are loathsome. Normal control is gained through divine strength and understanding.

Humanity’s dependence on the relentless passions, selfishness, envy, hatred, and revenge—is beaten only by a mighty struggle. Every hour of delay makes the struggle more severe. If someone can’t stop the negative human elements from taking over their thought—happiness, health, and courage will be crushed. Here divine Science is the universal remedy, giving strength to the weakness of human mind. Spiritual and omnipotent Mind not only gives energy, but also lifts humanity above itself into purer desires, even into spiritual power and good-will to humankind.

Let the dupe of self-destructive desires learn the lessons of Christian Science. They then can get the better of those desires, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and existence.

Sin needs to be abandoned before forgiven.

Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of pardon or forgiveness. Doesn’t God’s forgiveness, eliminating any one negative thought and action, prophesy and involve the final destruction of all negative thought and action?

I would not transform the infant immediately into an adult, nor would I keep the infant a lifelong newborn. No impossible thing do I ask when urging the claims of Christian Science; but because this teaching is in advance of the times, we should not deny our need of its spiritual unfoldment. Humanity will improve through Science and spirituality. The necessity for spiritualizing humanity comes from the fact that Mind can do it. Mind, God, can impart purity instead of impurity, strength instead of weakness, and health instead of disease. Truth improves the entire system, and can heal “the whole body.”[1]

Mind is not the author of delusive soulless substance.

With its doomed fate, human mind is basically insubstantial, mortal.

The system of divine Science is purely mental. We must embrace spiritual Mind with its power to cure. God, Love, Mind, is the healing factor. Christian Science rests on the conception of God as the only Life, substance, intelligence, and the only factor in the healing work.

 

* Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] John 7:23 (REB)