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PSST: LIVE YOUR FAITH AND FIND TRUE SUBSTANCE.
P
ossible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Substance”
for September 11, 2022

by Lindsey Biggs, C.S of Maryland Heights, MO
540 460 3515 biggs.lindsey@gmail.com


P.S.S.T. FOR GOLDEN TEXT

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

What is substance?

In Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy defines substance, in part, as “that which is eternal and incapable of discord and decay” (citation S2, page 468). Something that is eternal and harmonious…that sounds like Spirit, right? Spirit is our actual substance! So our real, true substance is something we can’t see, but are spiritual qualities that we can feel with our hearts and know through our spiritual sense. That’s why it requires faith because it’s looking beyond the material to discern the spiritual reality of things.

So, one way to pray would be to ask “what does God see and know about this situation?” Since God sees and knows only harmony, perfection, beauty, grace, courage, strength, etc. we can work to align our thinking with God’s – replacing the false testimony with the facts of Spirit and so find healing!


P.S.S.T. FOR RESPONSIVE READING

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Here’s that word “faith” again. Faith requires being a “spiritual seer”. That’s what the prophets did and that’s what we can do, too. Consider exploring the definition of “prophet” in the Glossary of Science and Health. (593)

“. . . and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (I John 5:4)

Abraham is a great example of faith! We will be exploring more of Abraham’s story in this week’s Lesson.

“To the author of Hebrews, a scholar suggests, “[Faith] is not the hope which looks forward with wistful longing; it is the hope which looks forward with utter conviction.” One translation has, “Now faith means that we have full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see.”” (Bible Lens Research, Christian Science Sentinel)


P.S.S.T. for Section 1 — WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, YOUR HEART WILL BE, TOO.

This passage in Proverbs tells us that God fills our treasures. What is true treasure?
Is it stuff – money, cars, games, body image?
Is this the true “stuff” that God provides? (cit. B1, Proverbs 8:21)
If it’s not that, then what is the treasure that God provides?
Since this Lesson teaches us that true substance is stuff that we can’t see, the treasure must be joy, happiness, freedom, dominion, spiritual poise, self-control, the freedom to be and do what God made us to be.
See if your students can make a list of things that comprise our true treasure or substance.

“The way we think of and respond to God is the most practical thing we do. In matters of everyday practicality, nothing, absolutely nothing, takes precedence over God.” (Bible Lens Research, Christian Science Sentinel)

It is possible to make following God that important?
What are some temptations that might make us not want to follow God?
Where do we go to find strength to resist those temptations?
What are the benefits of following God?

Let’s explore how Abraham left everything to follow God’s request for him. Perhaps knowing where his true substance/treasure came from, helped Abraham have the courage to follow God!


P.S.S.T. for Section 2 – ABRAHAM’S COURAGE AND FAITH

Who was Abraham? Consider exploring a timeline of the patriarchs and Abraham’s family tree.

What did God ask Abraham to do?
What qualities would it take to obey this request?
How would your students feel in such a situation?
Would they have had the courage to follow?
Perhaps some of your students have left their own country to go to a new school, home, or endeavor. Let them share their stories and the spiritual lessons they have gleaned.

How does the definition for Abraham given in the Glossary of Science and Health relate to and exemplify his journey? Here it is:
“ABRAHAM. Fidelity; faith in the divine Life and in the eternal Principle of being.

This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding.” (cit. S5, 579)

Bible Lens Research adds:
“God’s mandate to Abram to leave country, family, and home represents a sweeping demand for allegiance to Him. Abram’s polytheistic upbringing would have taught him reliance on pagan gods for these basic needs. In light of this background, the patriarch’s obedience to a call from an unknown deity—and his unquestioning trust in God’s promises—have made him known as the “father of the faithful.”” (Christian Science Sentinel)


P.S.S.T. for Section 3 – LOT, ABRAHAM, AND RELATIONSHIPS

What was the conflict between Lot and Abraham? (cit. B7, Genesis 13)
How did they resolve this conflict amicably?
Abraham is a great model for peaceful conflict resolution in relationships. What qualities did he express?

Scholarship tells us that since Abraham was the eldest he should have had the right to pick the best land first. What a humble spirit to let Lot go first. Lot picks the best quality of land (the fertile Jordan River valley), but it is located too close to Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham has to rescue Lot and his family from captivity later on.

How does the following passage by Mary Baker Eddy exemplify what Abraham did?

“The rich in spirit help the poor in one grand brotherhood, all having the same Principle, or Father; and blessed is that man who seeth his brother’s need and supplieth it, seeking his own in another’s good.” (cit. B10, 518)


P.S.S.T. for Section 4 – SEEING GOD’S PLAN REVEALED

Why do you think Sarah and Abraham laughed when they learned that Sarah would be expecting a baby soon?
Can you think of another couple in the Bible who laughed (or thought it was incredulous) when learning they, too, would have a baby?

What does this show us about the real origin of man?
How about with Jesus’ birth?

“Abraham’s and Sarah’s laughter (see also Genesis 18:12) upon hearing that they are to become parents at their advanced ages leads to naming their son Isaac (Hebrew, yishāq, meaning “he laughs”). The two learn to believe God’s Word, though, and centuries later both are mentioned in the New Testament catalog of the faithful (see Hebrews 11:8–11).” (Bible Lens Research)

Sometimes God’s plan for us may not be readily visible.

“Spirit, God, gathers unformed thoughts into their proper channels, and unfolds these thoughts, even as He opens the petals of a holy purpose in order that the purpose may appear.” (cit. S20, 506)

Have you ever prayed about plans and had them unfold better than expected?
How has this proved true when your students have been praying about a plan?
Have they ever prayed about what to do in a situation and found the guidance they needed?

This TeenConnect author tells how she prayed: “Pray about my summer plans?


P.S.S.T. for Section 5 – TURN TO CHRIST AND FIND HEALING

 Consider exploring this story in Stories of Healing found in your local Christian Science Reading Room. Stories of Healing is a compilation of the trilogy Jesus Healings Part 1 – 3. You can watch a video by the Publishing Society on the compilation of this book here.

It says, “When Jesus saw the woman, he called her over to him and said, “You are free!” She or others may have thought that she was bent over because an evil spirit was hurting her. But Jesus knew that nothing could keep her from being able to stand up straight. He knew that evil spirits aren’t real. They were only bad thoughts that had no power over this woman – or anyone. He knew she was free of the evil thought that something could make her stay bent over. God, who is the only Spirit, had created her, so she was God’s child–always spiritual, perfect, and well. And since God is the only power, there couldn’t be any evil power to make her sick or in or bent over.” (p. 114)

Mary Baker Eddy gives us some “rules” for healing:

  • “Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.” (cit. S7, 393)
  • “Christian Science declares that Mind is substance, also that matter neither feels, suffers, nor enjoys. Hold these points strongly in view.” (cit. S26, 414)
  • “Keep in mind the verity of being, — that man is the image and likeness of God, in whom all being is painless and permanent.” (cit. S26, 414)
  • “Remember that man’s perfection is real and unimpeachable, whereas imperfection is blameworthy, unreal, and is not brought about by divine Love.” (cit. S26, 414)

P.S.S.T. for Section 6 – KNOW THE TRUTH AND FIND FREEDOM

What does it mean to your students to continue in Jesus’ word?
Why does this make us disciples? What are some ways we can do that?

“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (cit. B18, John 8:31-32)

Dr. Laurance Doyle often says in his talks that “if it doesn’t make you free then it’s not the Truth.” That’s a great meter to tell what is really true. Since God’s will for us is only freedom, we can say “no” and resist sin, sickness, and any limitation that tries to control us.

“let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,” (cit. B19, Hebrews 12:1)

What are some weights your students would like to put aside?
Sometimes this word “patience” is translated as “endurance” in some of the other Bible translations. How can these words help us in our journey with God?

Enjoy this TeenConnect article called “The strength to run my race”.


Have fun with your classes!

 

 

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