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.

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