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Ken Cooper’s “POETIC POSTLUDE” shares Bible EXAMPLES of faith based in spiritual sense.
from the Christian Science Quarterly Bible Lesson on “SUBSTANCE” for March 13, 2022

[Ken writes:] “The Bible shows how peoples have survived against tyranny, threat, starvation. Time and time again whether as a nation, tribe or through individual demonstration, the act of putting God first has been followed by divine Love meeting the human need. God is what God is: the substance of what God is remains for ever, and does not decay. It shines everywhere, and blesses everyone.

The Golden Text re-enforces this message, – “Honour the Lord with all you possess, for all you possess is of Him. Give to God therefore the first-fruits of all your harvest, whatever that may be.” (Combined translations). This confirms that our substance is of God, and when that is recognised we have an overflowing abundance of God’s treasures, – our first fruits are as all our fruits, – perfect for the need as God, Love, supplies.

How can we believe this when the evidence, all the news it seems, says otherwise? What are we looking at? The Responsive Reading shows the way: “Faith is the confirmation of your understanding of things which are divinely guaranteed, (our harvest), the conviction of their spiritual reality, the Truth, although the physical senses are completely blind to them.”  It continues “Everything we see we know was beautifully framed by God, created by principles unseen, by the very Word of God.” (Hebrews 11:1, 3, Combined translations). The Word of God is manifestly substance itself. If it had no substance it would not exist. It was there from the beginning, and this substance was always visible to Jesus, and proved by Jesus. He saw the perfect man expressing the substance of God.

In last week’s lesson, we had the truth that man was drawn with lovingkindness, and my poem “With Loving Kindness showed and shows the beauty and substance of what we are:

“Meticulously drawn with the outreach of Love,

Inscribed on the Spirit-paper of purity,”

“I shine with the lovingkindness drawn of the Father.

Always beautiful:”

I like to think this is the Truth of which Caleb was aware, – his true substance, completely separate and independent of matter, untouched by time. (see section 2). Forever perfect and indeed beautiful. His motive was pure, and when our motives are pure we transcend materiality, and receive the reward of Life in God.

 Caleb put God first. The first fruits of his harvest was his trust in God, and sharing that trust in God was the giving of his first fruits. He was rewarded and with Joshua he reached the promised land, – he experienced “the substance of good, the substance of Spirit, not matter”. (SH citation 3). Caleb would have spent his time in the wilderness with Moses, – a man whose face shone after he had talked with God. What an inspiration that would have been for him. The Bible notes “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old ….: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” (Deuteronomy 34:7 redacted). His eye was not dim nor his natural force abated because he knew that I AM THAT I AM was his life, his substance, and what was true for Moses was seen by Caleb, proved by him, and is true for us. The promised land was always there, the kingdom of our God (see below) is always at hand.

 The substance and inevitability of good is also made evident in the third section with the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. (Section 3) It is so relevant and inspiring in today’s need for peace and progress.

When King Nebuchadnezzar created his huge image of gold, he wanted everyone to worship what he had created. The serpent of disobedience had become a DRAGON of self-importance and self-will. In this account we see a glimpse of the end of error as shown in Revelation, when the Great Dragon was destroyed.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:”   (Revelation 12:7–10 to 🙂

In this story, we see evidenced : “Whatever is governed by God is never for an instant deprived of the light and might of intelligence AND LIFE” (SH citation 9) In my poem The Three Hebrews we see Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego each setting out their stance of faith, being governed by God, and proving that life is God’s gift of Himself.  The clamour of sound did not dissuade them, they were listening to the Word. Here the fiery flames of the dragon / selfish thinking were used to heat the furnace seven times more than usual, – but no matter how puffed-up error becomes, the multiple of nothing remains the same.  Their response to the king was with this assurance and calm authority. The tremendous heat of the furnace did not distract them: they knew their substance was spiritual, was with God.

“We’re thrown in the flames, but to us they’re not there.
All we can feel is GOD present and here.
The bindings fall off, we walk round quite free
We are untouched by what others could see.”

Their faith was rewarded. And the faith they had can be no different to our faith because it is given of God.

“The Word of our God does stand evermore!
Our trust in His wisdom made us secure.”

This is what we can know, for faith in God is faith in what is, and the more we know what is, the more that is then experienced in our lives and that of others. As John records “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Bible citation 17)

This is shown in the story, Section 4, of the woman with a spirit of infirmity. In the poem “Power is of God and there is nothing more we witness a healing of someone who had been ill eighteen years. But time is not a factor, as we have already seen. The love of Jesus reached out to her as it reaches out to us, the simple truth of her innocence, and his knowledge that “Truth is affirmative, and confers harmony”

“I’ve witnessed with joy the all-power of love,
The might of God here and not only above!
The incurable cured, and I now know for sure
That power is of God and there is nothing more!”

This was proved by Moses, Caleb, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Jesus. Our faith proves it now. Our substance is secure.

Copies of the poems are available in pdf format in color and B&W as DOWNLOADS at the bottom of the online version of this Poetic Postlude to this week’s Bible Lesson.  The full range of Ken’s videos on YouTube can be found on KenGCooperPoetry.  All Ken’s poetry and other writings can be found on Ken Cooper Poetry. Write to Ken on kengcooper@btinternet.com

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