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BUILD YOUR HOUSE ON THE ROCK OF CHRIST, TRUTH.
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on

“Truth”
for July 18-24, 2022

by John & Lindsey Biggs, C.S. of Maryland Heights, MO
541 418 1176 johnbiggscs@gmail.com
541 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com


INTRODUCTION

This lesson illustrates beautiful ways that God is providing us with strength and refuge. From walking on the water to healing the Centurion’s servant we will read about all the ways that Christ commands each situation, and is here today to provide the message of faith and spiritual understanding that we need to build a strong house secure on the foundation of Life, Truth, and Love.

GOLDEN TEXT

. . . there is no Rock like our God. (I Samuel 2:2)

What are some qualities of a rock (perhaps a large boulder)? Strong, stable, secure, unmovable, unshakeable. These are certainly qualities that we want to embody! And something we can all build on. A house, a business, an individual consciousness that is built on the Rock can stand!

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-26, NIV)


RESPONSIVE READING

Here are some of the powerful words describing God in the Responsive Reading text:

Strong, fortress, deliverer, shield, high tower,
savior, buckler, merciful, truthful, faithful,
good, perfect, something you can trust in.

It makes sense that if God is like a rock then God must be strong! We can trust in and rely on the spiritual and mental strength that comes from God, and don’t necessarily have to lean on our own human understanding.

“…The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;” II Sam 22:2

A rock: strong, stable, secure.
A fortress: a place of defense, security, and safety.
A deliverer: one who rescues and preserves; one who leads, saves, and reveals you as spiritual, whole, and complete.

“The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” (II Sam 22:3)

To trust means: to depend on; to have confidence in; to rely on. (1828 Webster Dictionary) This eases our stress and worry when we see we get to rely on and have faith in something bigger, better, and higher than ourselves. It’s like the adage says “worry less, pray more”.

How long is God’s Truth good for? Just for a few days? Maybe a month or maybe it was only good last year? No. God’s truth is immutable, immortal. It never changes. It lasts forever.
“His truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)

You may enjoy reading an article which provides a great example of God as a rock, fortress, and deliverer.  “Peace in the face of terrorism” by Brian Kissock


SECTION 1 – YOU POSSESS SOVEREIGN POWER

God is a light that leads us. God wants us to feel the Christ – the tenderness of the healing Love of God embracing us, holding us, restoring us, and showing us the way.

“O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” Psalms 43:3

This Psalm, which is a petitionary prayer, shows a great example of a humble and willing spirit; a desire to hear and yield to the Word of God.

Purity is an essential Christian quality for building a strong foundation. “…and the corner-stone of all spiritual building is purity.” (citation S5, 241) We don’t often think of as going together something like a rock (that is so strong, stable, and secure) and purity (that which is so light, gentle, and spiritual). But we can build on a pure heart, pure motives and find greater stability. Building on that which is free from guile; innocent and good.
So, it makes sense that purity would provide for such a strong foundation – for nations, businesses, and individuals. Whereas dishonesty, inferior motives, greed, lust, etc. would be a foundation that crumbles away. Jesus reminds us in the Beatitudes that it is the pure in heart who see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Mary Baker Eddy writes:
“Man, made in His likeness, possesses and reflects God’s dominion over all the earth.” (cit. S3, 516)

I love this empowering quote from Mary Baker Eddy’s writings that has a similar theme:
“Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love.” (Pulpit and Press, p. 3:7–9)

Sovereign power! That is strong and powerful!

Part of the definition of sovereign is:
Supreme in power; possessing supreme dominion;
(1828 Webster Dictionary)

Supreme dominion is behind you enforcing every right thought and action; every healing effort. Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ! Bringing all justice and action into accord with God’s law of good.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)


SECTION 2 – TRUSTING IN GOD IS SAFE

When we pray, “Thy will be done,” this isn’t a timid prayer. This is a calm, faithful prayer based in the understanding that God is good. While the picture presented to us may not seem good, we can shelter in the safety of the fact that God is entirely good and we can turn to Him, not the situation, to see what’s really happening. Bible citation 5, from Psalms 31:5, assures us that God has redeemed us. One of the definitions of ‘redeemed,’ from the Oxford Languages search result on Google, is, “fulfill or carry out.” God has fulfilled His promise and declaration to make man in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). This fulfillment is intact and eternal, and is seen anew each time we pray and feel God’s presence.

In the Bible story related in citation 7, from I Kings 17, it’s interesting that the mother’s thought quickly turns to blame – paraphrasing, “Is my son suffering as the result of my past mistakes?” It’s important to challenge this personal sense of things whenever it comes up. There is no legitimacy behind discord. God’s eternal fulfillment of His promise and creation means that He is the One to whom we must look, and not to ourselves – whether for ill or for good, for blame or for credit.

If there WAS a reason for discord, then discord would have a legitimate place and we would be pitting bad reality against good reality. But because discord is only a belief in the result of chaos – which has no place in harmonious Principle, the divine reality of Life – we can turn assuredly and persistently to divine Principle to see what’s really happening. Sure, if a character change is necessary, that unfoldment is a natural part of feeling that redemption of God’s love. But we always have the right to cut through all the supposed reasons for discord and get right to the heart of the matter: Truth is real, and the truth is that God’s love saves all His creation.


SECTION 3 – GREAT WAS HIS FAITH

In speaking about the healing of with the Centurion, Bible Lens Research says this:
“As a Roman officer, this soldier understands the Savior’s authority in terms of his own military command. (His use of the title Lord likely indicates respect rather than awareness of Jesus’ Messianic status.) This is the first scriptural account of Jesus recognizing faith, and of his healing a Gentile. …Other examples of faith occur in the Gospels, but here the Master endorses the confidence that needs no touch or outward sign.” (Christian Science Sentinel)

 It’s interesting to note that in Luke’s account of this healing, the Centurion doesn’t go to Jesus himself.  “Instead he sent some important Jews from the synagogue to ask Jesus to come and heal his servant. The men told Jesus that this centurion was a good man and loved the Jews so much that he had built them a synagogue (see Luke 7:3-5)” (Stories of Healing, p. 41)

“Jesus wanted the Jews to know that they didn’t have to wait for the kingdom of God. If they had faith in God, they could experience the love and goodness of God’s kingdom right then.” (Stories of Healing, p. 43)

Christ, Truth, is the healing power that comes to mind and body to save us. It is with us here, now, and forever. It’s not based on a limited time period or a personal following. If it was, it would no longer be built on the rock because it would include the finite elements. Instead it is the “living Word”, the Rock, that Jesus himself built on.

Jesus shows us how to build our consciousness on the rock. It is more than a mere blind faith. It was the actual spiritual perception of Truth which led him and his disciples to experience the healing power that they did. Mary Baker Eddy tells us that we can have the same faith, and through study, reason, prayer, and demonstration, that faith can be transformed to the sureness of spiritual understanding. She says, in essence, that spiritual understanding can’t be shaken.

“Some thoughts are better than others. A belief in Truth is better than a belief in error, but no mortal testimony is founded on the divine rock. Mortal testimony can be shaken. Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has little relation to the actual or divine.” (cit. S13, SH p. 297)

“Belief  – – – >  Faith  – – – >  Spiritual Understanding”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said: “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
That must have been what the Centurion felt like. The Jewish people said this about the Centurion: “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” (Luke 7:4-5 NIV) The Centurion had faith that God could heal his servant; and he had faith that Jesus must have been a man of God in order to be able to do such marvelous works. His faith was the actual spiritual perception of Truth, showing that God is no respecter of persons as Peter says. “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” (Acts 10:34)

In another part of the text, Mary Baker Eddy describes faith this way:
“Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood.” (Science and Health, p. 297)


SECTION 4 – DON’T JUST TALK ABOUT IT!

 Knowing your foundation, you can build securely. Where we used to live in Oregon, much of the ground was rocks from lava flows. Basements weren’t very common, because there was no use trying to economically dig that deep into the rock! We had a house on the top of a small hill and while shoveling snow in the winter was a great exercise, it was so fun to really feel and know the solidity of the foundation of this home. But, obviously, it was the house being actually built, and then actually lived in, which made the difference. That foundation was there, no matter what. But someone actually took the time to build the house – to avail themselves of the existing rocky underpinning – and they built the house in accord with the lay of the land. You could almost say that a well-built house, reflects the substance of that on which it is based.)

Looking at things from a God-centric, spiritual point of view, we recognize that our foundation, the Rock on which we stand, is the action, power and presence of Christ – represented practically in Christ Jesus, and present for all eternity as the action and light of God.

If we’re building our lives on this Rock, our lives have to show it. Bible citation 12, from the sixth chapter of Luke’s Gospel, lists many ways that followers of Jesus can show their faithfulness. Something I really appreciate about this passage is that there’s not any wiggle room. There are no caveats to, “Love your enemies…be merciful, even as your Father also is merciful…judge not…” It’s a wonderful thing that the instructions of Christianity and Christian Science are clear and without personal opinion. When we’re building on a rock, it’s clear where to build. We can rejoice in gratitude for the clarity of this instruction! And then we must follow, and build our lives on this rock.


SECTION 5 – LOOKING STEADFASTLY TO GOD

As I read this section, I’m struck by the clarion call of looking to God. Psalm 56:3 (cit. B15) states, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Not, I will make big plans about what to do if I become afraid. Not, when I’m afraid I’ll try to humanly reason myself out of being afraid. The childlike simplicity of, when I’m afraid – when I don’t know what to do – I will look to Love. The Bible story of Jesus walking on water (cit. B17, Matthew 14) gives a clear example of this sort of active faith. Caught in the storm, the disciples were unsure of what to do…and Christ Jesus, representing the Way of salvation – literally safety – to all, was right there. His command? “It is I! Be not afraid.”

A while ago, we were given a dog that needed a lot of help. I was aware of a dog training method, developed by a Christian Scientist, called “Dogs Deserve Dialogue,” (see “Good Dog!” from the Christian Science Sentinel) and we invested in learning how to use this method and help this dear dog. The basic crux of the method was that dogs are good and are eager to do what they are supposed to do…but too often, they don’t know what to do. For instance, it makes perfect sense to a dog to chase a squirrel, but the dog doesn’t know when and where that is acceptable and when and where it is not. This dog training method involved consistent work, all oriented around showing the dog that no matter what was happening, that he needed to look to me to find out what to do. Anything he wanted to find out, he needed to look to me. I was his ‘translator’ – the one who understood what was happening in the world, and his only job was to look to me to see what he needed to do. This beautiful dog changed from being a slobbery, anxious mess to being a calm, radiant dog. Neighbors commented on his change frequently – one lady told me she saw that his spirit was finally free! Without the stress of thinking he needed to look every which way to find instruction and clarity, he was able to relax into himself.

Very similarly, we truly find our peace and our direction most clearly when we look squarely to God alone. God, divine Love, is the substance and source of all reality. There’s nothing to find out, separate from what God knows and has bestowed. No matter what’s going on, we can learn to love to look to God with immediacy and devotion.


SECTION 6 – ONE FAMILY

We are not strangers to each other! As we build faithfully and persistently on the Rock we are given, we find joy in building with our sisters and brothers. In God’s spiritual household, we find no reason for hate or fear or for disunity and strife. God knows each of Her children, and it’s in looking to God that we find out the truth about everyone around us. It’s a joy to be at home, on the Rock, with each other.

 

I’d like to close with a touching poem by Godfrey John, CSB, published in his book, Five Seasons. To me, it speaks to this unfolding sense of the family nature of man, found in God’s home, which I see pouring out of this week’s Bible Lesson and gathered in this last section. I hope you enjoy it.

Psalm

It will be as if everywhere the storm had suddenly ceased.

We’ll stand before each other, my enemy. You’ll look at me

without a word. You’ll look at me as if my face had never

been bereaved of light.

It will be as if we began again. Crouching a little, we’ll

come within a breath of each other. We’ll sing. But our

voices shall come as if far off, spilling into one meaning.

From the wastes about us, we’ll draw a stream of song.

At that blest hour, in the heart’s Harlem, we shall come

near for the first time. Praise and thanksgiving shall well

up; the stick in your hand shall sprout; and, yes, tongues

everywhere shall blossom into mercy.

Then the summer of a man’s joy shall have no ending…

O my enemy, my brother —

then shall the world spin about our love

and all colors run without hurt together.


GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas from COBBEY CRISLER & others are in the works and will HOPEFULLY BE POSTED and SENT soon. Check on CedarS INSPIRATION website, or in your email, if you have  SUBSCRIBED FOR IT on this webpage.


Ken Cooper POETIC POSTLUDE contributions related to this Bible Lesson will ARRIVE LATER IN THE WEEK. When they do arrive, the poems will be POSTED on CedarS INSPIRATION website & be EMAILED TO THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE FOR THEM HERE.


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