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Rejoice in the Confidence that All Things Are Possible to God!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
“God”

For July 1—7, 2013

By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett)
craig.ghislincs@icloud.com / (630) 830-8683

Is anything too hard for God?  Do you find yourself ever looking at the human situation and thinking or saying things like, “Impossible!” “No Way” “It can’t be done” “It’s too late.” Maybe from a limited human standpoint it may be impossible to see our way out of some situations, but God isn’t affected by the human situation. As the Golden Text declares, “with God all things are possible.”

The Responsive Reading assures us that nothing is too hard for God. If anything were too hard for God, He wouldn’t be a very capable God would He? By definition, God is the source and cause of all that ever has, or ever can exist. Nothing is too hard for God because from God’s point of view, there is nothing to oppose Him. Now when we say that, we should acknowledge that even the term “point of view,” implies that there may be more than one point of view. But with God, and therefore in reality, God’s is the one and only point of view.

However, men believe themselves to be apart from God, and that they consequently can have a point of view other than God’s. In reality that isn’t possible. But rather than thinking of this supposed other point of view as belonging to anyone in particular, see it for what it is—only a belief. This human point of view doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s just a belief of something outside of God. That suppositional human point of view is always limited. But, God sees things differently. Being omniscient, He sees the end from the beginning, and supplies us with everything necessary for success. This addresses the false notion that God somehow makes it hard for us to find Him. This is again, nothing but limited human thinking. God “gives” us an expected end. Where human belief sees misfortune, God provides deliverance. This Lesson addresses how to exchange the human viewpoint for God’s viewpoint. When we truly seek God with all our hearts, God promises we will find Him.

Section 1: Absolute Faith in Absolute Good
The word “absolute” means “free or independent of anything extraneous; complete; positive; unconditional; unlimited” (Student’s Reference Dictionary). There’s certainly no extraneous or limited viewpoint in our first Section. Neither is there any question about God’s existence or capability. We begin with the grateful acknowledgement that God is good (B1). That’s very important, because it eliminates the human tendency to think of God in human terms, and capable of causing or allowing either good or bad at any time. The next citation (B2) acknowledges that there is nothing else to turn to or desire, but God. There’s not even a hint of doubt that turning to God is the only logical course of action. Next we have the expectancy of good results (B3). And even though we may struggle throughout the night, we will “look up”—change our point of view when the light shines. It is believed that Psalm 5 was composed when the psalmist was surrounded by enemies, and that even though in danger, he kept his focus on God for his protection and guidance. No matter what the day might bring, we begin “looking up in the morning”—looking to God to guide us through our day. The prayer attributed to David (B4) acknowledges his unconditional trust in, and devotion to the magnificent God, in who’s hand is all power and might. The last Bible citation in the Section (B5) is the familiar refrain coming from the mouth of an angel to Mary, “with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Mary Baker Eddy teaches that an absolute faith and trust that all things are possible to God are an essential part of prayer that “reforms the sinner and heals the sick” (S1). This absolute faith is based on the understanding of “one absolute God” (S2). In many languages, the term “good” is synonymous with God (S3). It is clear that there is no evil in good. One would never expect goodness to produce anything contrary to itself. That’s because we don’t think of good in limited personal terms. Good exists in and of itself—it just is what it is. God is the “maximum of good” (S4). God is no more confined to a finite form or human limitations than good is. Good is just understood and expressed. Mrs. Eddy defines “Good” as God; Spirit; all power; all knowledge; all presence; and all action (S5). Can you imagine living with that conviction? Not just wishing it to be so, but knowing it is, and having absolute faith in it? With that outlook, we would say with the Psalmist, “there is none that I desire beside Thee,” and there would be no doubt that with God all thing are possible.

Section 2: God Is the Only Power
Human thought believes in a multitude of powers, some good, others bad. It is believed that we have no choice but to obey these powers and that our lives are governed by them in one way or another. The psalmist presents a different view. To him, power belongs only to God (B6). The only power governing man, the only power that can save man is God. There is no condition too difficult for the all-power of God. Isaiah (B7) tells us that God is with us in every condition—whether we’re passing through the waters (that which overwhelms us); or walking through the fire (that which consumes us).

The three Hebrew boys (B8) have symbolized to me, what it means to be whole-heartedly devoted to God. The king symbolizes the carnal mind which presumes to be an ultimate power other than God. I have thought of the golden image as representing medical beliefs, although they could also represent some specific sin. We can consider the playing of music to be symptoms of disease in the former case, or alluring temptations in the latter. In either case, our spiritually minded devotees refuse to bow down. The accusers are nothing more than malicious animal magnetism threatening to make the spiritually minded suffer for the refusal to bow down to material beliefs.

When called to make their stand, after being given one more chance to concede, they still refuse to acknowledge any other power, no matter what the consequences may be. The situation becomes seven times worse and they are thrown into it. Yet the ever-present Christ is there to guide and protect them, and they emerge totally unscathed.

Whether the challenge is one of sickness, sin, or any other seemingly inescapable circumstance, complete devotion to God without fear of consequence, gives the strength to prove that God is the only power; and gives us the courage and confidence to say, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (B9).

Our textbook clearly states that even to acknowledge any other power is to “dishonor God” (S6). How much clearer can that be? Erring mortal power is only a belief. There is simply no other power opposed to God. And as good is God, the goodness we embody and embrace gives us the “only power obtainable” (S7). Mrs. Eddy allows for the possibility of a literal interpretation of the furnace story. She had such trust in God, that to her it was completely possible that God could actually nullify the power of the furnace flames (S8). The man created, constituted, and governed by Spirit is Christlike and indestructible (S9). We conclude this section with the call to “feel the divine energy of Spirit.” Doing so, we recognize God as the only power we’re subject to (S10).

Section 3: Whatever the Picture, Healing Is Possible.
The psalmist recognizes that God’s goodness is too much for human comprehension to fully understand (B10). After severe testing, and questioning, the character Job realizes that God indeed has unlimited power, knowledge, ability, and dominion (B11). Christ Jesus, while demonstrating unparalleled power still claimed none for himself, but credited all power to God. Then he promised that those who followed this teaching would find truth and freedom (B12).

A case in point is the story of the man whose son had a “dumb spirit” (B13). The father of the boy is overwhelmed by the material picture. His son has episodes that “cast him into the fire, and into the waters.” Note the dual attack here of the fire (threatening to consume), and the water (threatening to engulf and overwhelm). Jesus assures him, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” As onlookers rushed the scene, Jesus rebuked the foul spirit, at which point the boy has another violent episode and appears to die. What might the father have thought at this point? Was all hope lost? No, Jesus takes the boy by the hand and he rises healed.

Now sometimes we may be in a situation where it looks like our last hope is gone. But as our theme this week repeats, when man is governed by God, he knows that with God all things are possible (S11). So-called material laws say that Spirit has no power, and that man has no choice but to obey laws of matter, but that’s a mistake. It’s also a mistake to think that somehow God allows for material laws, or that He initiates them (S12). As we mentioned earlier, the so-called laws of matter aren’t laws at all. They’re only false beliefs (S13). Rather than struggling with material conditions Jesus cast out false beliefs and so must we. Remember God is absolute—independent of anything extraneous. There is no other power. Error is nothing but belief, and without a believer it is powerless. Admittedly, the human so-called mind cannot comprehend spiritual reality. The brain has no idea of, and can give no idea about God’s man (S14). Perceiving reality isn’t a function of what we call a material brain. God is the only power, and the only Mind. This Mind is all-powerful, ever-present, and all-knowing. Therefore, everything real is a manifestation of Mind (S15). The body has no power to act on its own because Mind is the only power. When man yields to God’s government, the body can’t resist. It must bow to the power of the divine Mind (S16).

Section 4: No Environmental Threat Is Too Hard for God.
We’ve seen the Hebrew boys in the flames, and now we see the disciples in the waters. Both Jeremiah and the psalmist give us some of the most encouraging passages in the Scriptures. “Can any hide himself?” (B14), “Wither shall I go from thy spirit?” (S15). There is no circumstance in which we could be separated from God. The disciples were alone in a boat on a stormy sea (B17). They had been obedient to their master, and in the context of the story he sent them away to avoid having them be overwhelmed by the crowds. When overwhelmed in an apparently severe and dangerous situation, Jesus came to them walking on the sea. Here again, reasoning from a limited human perspective, they were fearful. Jesus tells them not to be afraid and enters the ship, whereupon they immediately arrive at their destination. They didn’t have to struggle the rest of the way across the sea, the storm stopped, and their journey was complete.

Our textbook reminds us once more that with God all things are possible, but the human mind doesn’t get it (S17). It appears that we are surrounded by matter, and that we’re actually in it. Some might conclude that if matter is everywhere, then either there is no God, or matter is intended by God, or that God is in matter. But, as we know, God is Spirit, filling all space (S18, S19). While it appears that our environment is the product of material laws, the fact is that the only forces we are subject to are forces of divine Mind (S20). It seems redundant, but understanding God to be the only power governing our lives and environment has a huge impact on how we approach challenges. Instead of accepting apparent threatening conditions, we face them with the truth that dissolves them (S21). Irrespective of what the danger surrounding us seems to be, we can never be alone, or apart from God (S22).

Section 5: Hereditary Beliefs Are Possible to Heal
One of the so-called powers that seem to carry quite a bit of weight, is the belief of heredity. This belief seems insurmountable at times. We seem to be embedded in a material body that has been pre-programmed by our ancestors’ DNA. Is it possible for God to nullify this so-called power? Absolutely! We don’t live in a body, nor as some theologies suggest, does God live in us. Paul sets the record straight “In Him we live, and move, and have our being” (B18).

The fruits of Paul’s clear understanding are borne out in the healing of the man who was “impotent in his feet being a cripple from his mother’s womb” (B19). Once more, in this healing as in the calming of the sea, there was no need for a recovery period. The man was immediately able to stand and leap. Curiously, according to Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, the Greek word adunatos, translated in this case as “impotent” or “without strength or powerless” means in other cases, something that “cannot be done, impossible.” Impossible? Not with God.

Mrs. Eddy reasoned logically from the standpoint that the Scriptures were true. If we live, move, and have our being in God as the Scriptures say, how can any other power presume to make us vulnerable to disease? These seeming powers are no more than an  “error of belief” (S23).

Science and Health categorically states, “Heredity is not a law” (S24). Hereditary beliefs seem to be difficult to overcome, because it seems that we have no choice in the matter. We think we were born with it—that we have been pre-programmed to suffer. Just the thought of it can make some people very afraid. Do we accept heredity based on all the empirical evidence and theories paraded before us? Why not challenge those beliefs with the power of God? Hereditary claims are no more real than the belief we live in matter in the first place. Despite the belief that DNA and genetics are ingrained in our being, the only place hereditary beliefs are pre-programmed is in mortal mind. Mrs. Eddy knew that no matter what cause material belief may assign to a particular problem, the issue is always mental. Handling the fear makes it possible to heal regardless of where disease seems to come from, and according to Mrs. Eddy, in doing so, even a chronic case is “not difficult to cure.”

The belief in genetically-induced illness gives rise to the belief of chronic or incurable conditions. Citations S25 through S27 give us some pointers for challenging all chronic beliefs. They shift our focus away from pathology to correcting the errors of mortal mind. We should consider whether any moral laws have been broken; we should cast out fear and sin; we should stand porter and watch our thoughts carefully; we should insist on harmony as the fact and realize the presence of health; we should know that Mind is the only power, and the only source of legitimate action.

Section 6: All Things Are Possible
The psalmist calls upon the entire world to join in the song of praise acknowledging God’s power (B20). This Lesson has been structured a bit like a song with the refrain, “all things are possible to God.” Because God is the only power, we can say “there is none else” (B21). Is there anything too hard for God? (B22). If we believe what the senses tell us, it may seem that there may be some things too hard. But if we view things from a spiritual standpoint—the only real standpoint there is—we can, and will prove that “with God all things are possible” (B24).

It really isn’t very complicated. Citation S28 simply states, “God is All-in-all.” As pointed out in previous “CedarS Lesson Application Ideas” All-in-all, “is a phrase which signifies all things to a person, or everything desired.” (Student’s Reference Dictionary). Is God your All-in-all? Our Leader writes over and over again that everything made is from God, belongs to Him, and exists in Him. Nothing exists that He doesn’t ordain (S29). It is only a limited human point of view that doesn’t understand this. Let go of the limited view. Let the final line of the Lord’s Prayer (and of this Lesson) sink in to your consciousness and permeate your being. It echoes David’s Prayer in I Chronicles. “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth. Love, over all, and All” (S30). That’s it! God is All. Embrace it. Feel it. And prove that with God, all things are possible.


[Warren’s endnote: Check back later in the week for a video reenactment skit of “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego”You can download a PDF-formatted script with follow-up questions by clicking on the link in the upper right corner of CedarS current metaphysical webpage.  This summer, as cabin groups of all ages tour CedarS Camps Bible Lands Park, they will have the opportunity to re-enact stories like this one from the current Christian Science Bible Lesson.  Each week, videos of selected skits will be posted on the CedarS website as well as on a community webpage for TMCYouth.com.  These scripts and follow-up questions may be downloaded free of charge by those seeking Bible-centered activities and contemporary applications for Sunday School classes and/or Bible study groups. These Bible skits were written by Sara Romo, a current CedarS counselor, as part of her Girl Scout Gold project. Sara raised over $1,000 to set up the initial costumes, props, and scriptural sets, and with your ongoing support, we hope to keep up this exciting new resource and improve it.]

[The above application ideas are from a Christian Science Practitioner who has served as a Resident Practitioner at CedarS Camps. They are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/

Warren Huff, CedarS Director & editor of these notes & of the bracketed, italic additions.]

[Happy results from our recent LETTING NEEDS BE KNOWN:  
CAMPERSHIPS: Wonderful contributions needed for camperships have recently been given! Now, CedarS can fulfill its top priority of having a camp filled with Sunday School students having fun experiences in applying Christian Science to take home in transformed lives!
  Click here to apply online for the camperships now available for CedarS remaining 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th session programs, for which one can enroll online.
ADOPT THE HERD: Other generous friends last week offered matching funds to replace the worst sections of our pasture fences! (Details will follow next week on this and on how you can be an "adoptive" partner to provide our herd of horses with all needed fencing repair as well as with proper care and food.)  Thanks to ideal (normal!) rain and weather conditions, we are harvesting a bumper crop of hay from our own pastures, greatly reducing the cost of proving needed year-round feed.
MAINTENANCE MUSTS:
We learned a few days ago that only $700 was needed to repair (vs. replace) the engine of a camp bus.   
BIG THANKS in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at
636-394-6162,
OR BY MAIL at:
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 [Remember, it's NOT TOO LATE to enroll or encourage others to enroll or to get CAMPERSHIP AID; but to help finalize affordable flights and arrangements, CedarS needs campers who are "on the fence to SIGN UP ONLINE ASAP!  Explore easy ONLINE Enrollment for campers & families as well as for Parents, Grands or Sponsors to join our team in home-style accommodations!
Any FINANCIAL AID requested is available as needed!]

[Check out CedarS with its Fundament Concepts, Unique Facilities and Features designed to transform lives! Click to see testimonials in writing!]

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free — by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Helga and Manfred; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Pascal or Denise cannot be guaranteed due to their busy schedules. Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) These weekly offerings are intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and 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, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "Mets "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-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 the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]

 

 

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