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Wisdom’s Wildly Wonderful World of Imperishable Substance
A Lesson Met on “Substance” for March 10-16, 2003 by Kathy Fitzer, CS

The Golden Text from Ps. 104: 24 is put this way in The Message by Peterson:
“What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.”
The lesson this week unfolds to us how we can receive the blessings of God’s kingdom, overflowing with good that can’t be taken away. Even when it seems that something has been lost, we find that seeking for good in the wisdom of God (through obedience to God’s commands) all good is restored – in a wonderful way!

Responsive Reading from II Kings 8: 1-6 is a great story of the Shunamite woman who had given Elisha a room in her house, and whose son Elisha had raised from the dead. During a period of famine (not an unusual occurrence in the Holy Land) Elisha had come to tell the woman to get out of the area until the famine was over. He sent her in the direction of Egypt. Remember that Egypt is where Joseph went and provided for his family during a time of famine many years before, and it is where God directed Jesus to be taken right after he was born, to protect him from King Herod. Egypt is a fertile land and easy to cultivate. And its fertility is independent of rainfall. Do you see a relationship here to the fertile soil of God’s wisdom, which is always ready to receive seeds of right desire, and which always produces fruit, independent of material conditions? The Shunamite woman was obedient, following Wisdom’s bidding to remove herself from the threat of famine, knowing there was a place prepared for her. When the woman hastened to obey God’s direction to return home, she arrived at the exact moment when Gehazi was telling the king about Elisha healing her son years earlier, and so the king immediately restored her home and property to her. Was this just coincidence, or does it show the wildly wonderful world of Wisdom in timely fashion providing for God’s children? This World of Wisdom is always there for us to enter, and invites us to stay – in order to abundantly receive the rich rewards of God’s goodness and tender care.

Section I tells us what substance is, where it can be found, and how to claim it. In God’s own words, “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance: and I will fill their treasures.” (Prov. 8: 20, 21) So, if we are to claim our inheritance of true substance, we have to follow God’s path. The Message describes this path as “Righteous Road …. at the intersection of Justice Avenue. (A.K.A., the intersection of Truth and Love.) Mrs. Eddy tells us that Spirit “is the only real substance,” and that “substance is that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay.” (S&H 468: 17) So, this goldmine of indestructible Good is ready to be claimed. Follow your spiritual compass to the intersection of Truth and Love and you will find that regardless of what it is that you need at that moment, the right idea has already been deposited in a personal account. Make a withdrawal, and use your treasure.

Section II tells of our God-given right to receive the inheritance of eternal Good that has been divinely bestowed on each of us. Human laws may discriminate according to sex, race, age, or religion; and laws of health and psychology may even throw in such things as heredity and birth order. But, divine law recognizes not one of these limitations! Just as the daughters of Zelophehad appealed to the higher law of God, through Moses, and received their father’s inheritance (unheard of for women at that time), we receive our spiritual inheritance of indestructible substance as we appeal to God by understanding “our relation to the Divine, [and by having] no other Mind but His, – no other Love, wisdom, or Truth, no other sense of Life, and no consciousness of the existence of matter or error.” (S&H 205: 32) We are the children of God and are governed by the laws of God – and nothing else! Keep your thought aligned with God, and no one can take away what God has given you. It is yours! Claim it!

Section III points the way to stability, and being satisfied with who you are and what you already have – the abundance of God’s goodness. The Message translates Isa. 33: 6 this way: “God keeps your days stable and secure – salvation, wisdom, and knowledge in surplus, and best of all, Zion’s treasure, Fear-of-God.” Fear, in this case, means reverence, which is defined, “a feeling of profound awe and respect and often love.” So, as we really treasure God’s love, we love God and feel God’s love for us. We recognize this reflection of Love as all that really matters! As we are willing to “subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere.” (S&H 516) Keep your priorities in order! Recognize the source, demand to see the Good, and receive the benefits of Love.

Section IV tells us, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6: 33) Jesus sent his disciples out into the world, instructing them not to take a purse (or any other material baggage) with them. Talk about trust on the disciples’ side! But it paid off, because they came back saying they had lacked for nothing, and had healed all kinds of things! Mrs. Eddy helps clarify things a bit by defining “purse” in the glossary as, “laying up treasures in matter; error.” (S&H 301) Well, of course, we should leave our reliance on matter at home when we go out to do whatever we’re doing! Matter is totally unreliable. It can break, wear out, dissolve, erupt, cause friction, be lost! Who needs that?!?! But God provides bountifully for all we need. The key is to seek the kingdom of God – to love doing right because it’s the right thing to do – without worrying about what it’s going to get you! Enjoy the journey! God will take care of meeting the needs.

Section V shares the report of Paul healing the man at Lystra who had been “a cripple from his mother’s womb and had never walked.” (Acts 14) The problem was that the man (and his mother) believed that he was born into matter and that this unreliable matter was his substance. Paul realized that the man’s only substance was eternal, unlimited, forever-strong Spirit. Paul looked the man in the eye, saw his receptive thought, and healed him. And no recovery time was needed. The Message says, “The man was up in a flash-jumped up and walked around as if he’d been walking all his life.” What was Paul’s “reward” for doing this good deed? He was stoned and taken out of the city, left for dead. The Jews thought they could kill the messenger and be done with the message. But the disciples refused to yield to public opinion, stood by what they knew to be true about the indestructible nature of man’s substance, and witnessed Paul arising and returning with them into the city. Do what’s right! Follow God’s lead! See that nothing can separate you from God’s goodness! No need to be afraid! You will accomplish much!

Section VI brings us full circle in establishing that righteousness and justice go hand in hand, bringing great rewards when substance is sought in Soul – in the goodness of God. Philemon’s slave had robbed him and run away to Rome. While there, he came under the influence of Paul and was converted to Christianity. He became a wonderfully upright man, and he and Paul became good friends. Paul very much wanted him to stay and help him, but he knew that the right thing to do was to have the slave return to his master. So, Paul sent him back, with a letter from him, asking that Philemon forgive his slave, offering to pay for any losses Philemon suffered as a result of Onesimus’ actions, and asking that Onesimus be allowed to return to Paul. Paul knew, as we must know, that right action only blesses all involved. It is never part of God’s perfect plan that one suffer in order for another to be profited. “It is only a question of time when ‘they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest.” (S&H 242: 3-5) And knowing God is the greatest thing ever. It allows us to see the blessings of Spirit even when it seems that irreparable damage has been done.

The substance that lasts is a quality of thought, and no one and no thing can destroy it, damage it, or take it away. It is clearly Wild and Wonderful!

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