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Choose Life — Obey God’s Commands, Claim Understanding, and Live!
Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on “Life” for January 21, 2007
by Kathy Fitzer, CS of St. Louis, MO
Editor’s Note: The following background information and application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!
NEW EACH WEDNESDAY: CHECK OUR WEBSITE- FOR A FREE FRENCH TRANSLATION of this weekly “met” offered by Pascal Bujard of Switzerland.
Watch for what this lesson has to say about choosing, about understanding, and about obedience to God’s “commands” and how it all relates to living Life fully!
Golden Text: 
Have you ever felt like your life was falling apart? When the psalmist felt that way, he prayed that God’s word would put it back together again. (The Message) “Word” can also be translated “commandment.” And you can think of “testimony” in terms of its Latin root referring to the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments.) “Witness” is also a way of saying “testimony.” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; Miriam-Webster’s on-line unabridged dictionary.)  In a court of law, a witness testifies about his or her view of a situation. God’s commandments testify to the purity and goodness of His creation. God doesn’t ask us to do anything that is not natural for man to do. When we understand God’s testimony – His view of creation, we livefully. Instead of limiting us, obedience to God’s commands frees us to live life more fully.  Choose obedience!
Responsive Reading:   
We’re familiar with the story of Solomon and his prayer for an understanding heart to discern between good and bad. Not only does Solomon receive that wisdom, but additionally he receives the things he does not ask for. Remember Jesus telling us to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all “these things” will be added? (Matt. 6: 33) The world presents the model of asking for things, or a person, or a specific resolution to a situation, or a physical healing. But all we ever really need is to know and respond to God’s requirements (righteousness). All we need is wisdom. Outlining what we think it is we need just totally messes things up. In order for Solomon’s days to be “lengthened,” he needed to obey God’s commands. We can think of lengthened days as not only a promise for a long life, but also as a greater capacity for achieving what needs to be done in a day. So, shouldn’t our constant prayer be simply, “Dear Father, let me make good choices – give me the wisdom to hear and follow your voice – your message of eternal harmony and eternal life!” Everything else will follow.
Section I: Make the Right Choice! Discover the Covenant of Love and Loyalty
God’s mercy and loving-kindness are excellent! (B-2) God’s love for us is reflected in our love for Him. Loving God enables us to choose to live a full life! (B-4). Loving God, we will keep His commandments. Isn’t it natural to want to please those you love? The relationship of love and loyalty between the Lord and His people is the basis of God’s “covenant.”  (B-3; Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words) Obedience to God’s precepts (commandments) gives us understanding! (B-4) With this understanding, we can live — fully, without limitations! Think about how much better everything is when you “get it” — when you understand!  Whether it is understanding those we live and work with, understanding how to solve a problem, or understanding how to perform some athletic move, we get so much more out of what we’re doing when we understand what we’re doing. Think about how much fuller our lives would be if we understood Life itself. The Hebrew word translated as understanding in Ps. 119 (B-5) is bene, meaning to “separate mentally.” (Strong’s) In order to understand Life, we have to discern between the Life that is divine Principle, Mind, Soul, Spirit (S-1), that creates and governs all (S-2) and that can’t be limited (S-3), from the suffering, sinning, and dying beliefs that appear to be life. (S- 4) How do we do that? By choosing whether to admit good or evil into consciousness. (S-6) Choose good and live! Choose God, and discover that sin, disease and death can’t stick around in the light of Truth any more than mist can stick around in the light of the sun! (S-5)
Section II: Grow Deep Roots — Start Demonstrating Eternal Life Now!
Why wait? Life is eternal. So, why not live it that way — without fear and totally trusting God? Look at all of the benefits of trusting God — and living in obedience to God’s commands! Nothing bothers you — just like the tree that grows by the river and stretches out its roots, so it never needs to worry about drought or heat. (B-7) Understanding is like our roots. It gives us life. (B-8) Look at the word understanding: under (that which goes below the surface) standing (that which sustains). We have to go deep — below the surface of material appearances if we are to understand eternal life. And as we do, we will not fear anything — not even those things that are supposed to be “life-threatening.” (B-11) One definition of understanding in Webster’s unabridged is: “to be thoroughly familiar with the character or underlying nature or propensities of.” Enoch walked with God — knew his nature to be inseparable from God’s nature. And Enoch was spared the process called death. (B-10) We can live that way, too! But, we can’t expect to demonstrate a life that is eternal (continuing without intermission or interruption) if we believe that the infinite and the finite blend. (S-10) We’ve got to daily shape our view of life to correspond with eternal Life, which is unending and harmonious. We must reject the notion (about ourselves or others) that it is natural to eventually shrivel up and die. Say no to limitation! Choose Life — loveliness, freshness, and continuity, and start demonstrating the harmony of eternal Life NOW! (S-7) Nothing’s stopping you from living fully. Work everyday to send your roots deeper in order to get better and better acquainted with the living God! (B-6) Strive for the exalted view of eternal harmony — moment by moment — to become fully conscious of your immortality. (S-11)
Section III: Entertain Holiness and Perceive the Origin of Life to be of God Alone!
Before even really knowing Elisha, the Shunammite woman chose to reach out to him. As she perceived his holy nature, she made room for him to abide in her home, and for an understanding of Life to abide in her consciousness. Entertaining holiness, she was blessed with the gift of life. (B-13) Just as Job glimpsed that God alone made him (B-14), we all must learn this lesson — that nothing really exists apart from God — Life! And this Life has nothing to do with material so-called life.(S-13) Defining when life begins is central to the ethical debate over stem cell research. But at the heart of all this debate is the false belief that life begins in matter. (S-15) As long as this limited perception is the basis of reasoning, no amount of research will bring an end to disease (S-16) The Shunammite woman was unable to conceive until her sense of a material basis of creation was exchanged for a spiritual one.  Understanding Spirit as the only source of life offers a healing resolution to the belief of infertility, and to any discord relating to reproductive organs and functions (even menstrual cramps.) We need to change our perspective — choose to stop thinking of ourselves or our parents as originators. Choose to stop thinking of yourself or your children as coming from or passing through matter. Choose to recognize the freedom of Spirit — the ALL-in-all! Truly, Life is the only law! Make room in your consciousness for Life by reaching out to embrace the beautiful, good, and pure in yourself and everyone. (S-17) 
Section IV: Life Reveals Spiritual Understanding and Gives Authority Over Death
The Shunammite woman may not have completely understood the spiritual nature of life, but she glimpsed it, and she trusted Elisha’s understanding of it. When her son appeared to have died, she placed him in Elisha’s room and shut the door, while she ran to get “the man of God.” In some sense, she chose to give up her material attachment to the child and trusted him to God. Sometimes when a loved-one of ours is suffering, we are tempted to think we can’t physically leave their side. But, sometimes that is exactly what we need to do — trust them to God — while we seek spiritual refreshment. Elisha offered to simply send his staff with his servant, but the mother insisted that Elisha himself come. We must also call upon, and stay with, the Christ, Truth, until we feel the presence of Christ right where the need is. Going to the child, Elisha shut out all material doubts, fears, and suppositions and embraced Life. Elisha “walked in the house to and fro.” Imagine the elevated, prayerful communion that Elisha must have been having with the Father of us all. And the child responded! And what did the mother do? She thanked Elisha first — falling at his feet in gratitude. THEN she picked up her child! (B-15) Elisha inherently knew that “man is not subject to birth, growth, maturity, decay.” (S-18) Neither Elisha nor the mother checked in with the child’s head to see whether or not that head gave the child permission to live. (S-19) Elisha knew that God wouldn’t give this mother her son and then take it away. Rather than destroying life, God destroys the belief of sickness.(S-20) Elisha was so receptive to Life’s revelation of spiritual understanding —  and the accompanying consciousness of man’s dominion — that he could speak to the claim of death with authority! Life divine IS “entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living.” And because it is separate, it is able to reach the receptive heart and break the mesmerism. There is no such thing as not having enough understanding. The understanding comes from God. We must recognize the authority of Life, respond to it, and speak with it! The body has no authority, so stop checking in with it! Close the door and stay with God! Choose spiritual Life that your sorrow may be turned to joy! (S-21) This past Friday, unceasing prayer turned great sorrow into greater joy in the “Missouri Miracle,” when two kidnapped teens were found, one 5 days after and the other 4 years after he disappeared. Never give up!
Section V: Choose to Live – It’s God’s Command!
God commands us to live. What is our purpose? To show off Life — to be what God created us to be! To bear witness to God’s goodness! Can the idea of Life die?  No! So let’s join the psalmist in declaring, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” (B-18) I will not crawl back under the covers, but will get up and be about my Father’s business. I will not lapse into despair about an on-going difficulty, but will believe with all my heart in the Father which has sent the Christ-message of everlasting Life. (B-19) I know that flesh can’t communicate any truth to me — whether it calls itself good, healthy, and beautiful or sick and ugly. “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless!” (B-20; NRSV) So, what will you choose to believe? No matter what the flesh reports, that report cannot cause anyone to die! It is our belief about a situation that must change. Give up your belief in death!!!! Giving up that belief opens your consciousness to perceive the true sense of Life and health. (S-22) This is so perfectly illustrated by the story of the felon who “bled” to death from having warm water drizzled down his arm. He was blindfolded, so he just believed what he was told and that belief killed him.  Are we blinded into believing that an accident or high blood pressure or cancer or diabetes or any number of other dangerous ailments can kill us? They can’t! It is our BELIEF about these things that produce the dreaded effect. (S-23) God is Life and God is all! ALL is LIFE! Man is the expression of Life, thus man IS perfect and immortal — and CANNOT die! (S-24) Our job is to perceive what is and act it out. It’s not too hard! Jesus proved it all. All we need to do is believe — follow his example step by step! Check out what Mrs. Eddy says about Jesus’ example in Unity of Good, starting on p. 11: “Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter or mortal mind.” (There’s more.) The material body is incapable of supporting life, but Life is always supporting each of us — as its unfolding idea! (S-25)
Section VI: Choose What You Treasure!
The key to eternal life? Keep the commandments. Here, Jesus specified those commandments which pertain specifically to loving our neighbor. The man immediately claims to have always obeyed the commandments. But, the only way to really show our love for God is through active evidence of loving our neighbor. Jesus discerned this man’s tendency to covet his own personal possessions. Is it possible to really be obedient to God’s commands while treasuring our material things? Is there a difference between having things and treasuring them? Jesus asked the man to sell what he had and give to the poor. Maybe the intent of this was to get the man’s thought off of himself (his own possessions) and on to caring for others. (B-21) Speaking of heavenly treasure, Dummelow says, “Not only by the right use of wealth, but by the right use of any faculty, talent, or opportunity with which God has entrusted us, heavenly treasure is laid up … Every act, however small, which is done purely for the glory of God, and for no lower motive, will receive its reward.” (explanation of Matt. 6: 19-21)   I’m wondering … if the man trusted God – infinite, eternal Life — to be the source of his good, would he have felt a need to treasure his things. Or could he have freely shared with those who had less than he, confident that we don’t have to be afraid of running out because we are all cared for by God? Might having “treasure in heaven” involve this sense of knowing that every need is ALWAYS met by divine Love? And might this kind of thinking lead to the understanding which “changes the standpoints of life and intelligence from a material to a spiritual basis.” (S-30) This includes giving up (refusing to treasure) any limited thinking – including thoughts about health and life expectancy. Being “pure in heart” demands that we choose wisely the thoughts that we entertain — keeping ever on the straight and narrow. (S-28) Jesus asked this man to do what didn’t come easily to him. That’s what it means to strive. Watch every thought. Obey God. Strive to enter the kingdom of heaven. Live! (S-29)
Camp Director’s Note: The above sharing is the latest in a long series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson in the books. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.)  Spirituality is your innate estate that connects you moment by moment with God.  (See S&H 258:30) Christ is the gift of light that Jesus gave.  This Christ light of spiritual understanding comes with and reveals infinite blessings. So, have fun unwrapping and cherishing your very special, spiritual gift(s)!  Then, wherever you are, share them with all as big blessings that make the Infinite difference!

Warren Huff, Director
CedarS Camps Office (where you can now mail requests or help till the office moves back to camp in May)
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The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it.  However, current and planned giving contributions are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click for more about how you can provide support online or to get information about how to confer privately about making a special gift to help perpetuate CedarS good work.

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