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Follow Your Heart to Find Your Treasure
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

March 11—17, 2019

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

Do you ever worry that you won’t have enough? Maybe you’re concerned that you won’t have enough for retirement, or next month’s mortgage, enough to pay for the next semester, or even tomorrow’s groceries? Maybe you doubt your skills, or talent, or whether or not you’ll find a spouse or companion. In the first verse of the Golden Text in this week’s Lesson, Christ Jesus promises that, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” No matter what our needs may be, God gladly gives us everything his kingdom has to offer.
[Ken Cooper poem this week “God’s Treasure” is based on the Golden Text—abbreviated from citation B13— and other citations in this Bible Lesson, especially the story of Zacchaeus (B15). You can Download it from CedarS website and hear it narrated at https://youtu.be/GwquqRAXDG8]

While the first verse (in the Golden Text) gives us comfort, the second verse gives us reason to pause and examine our priorities: “…where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” So that means we will spend time on, and devote ourselves to what we think has value. Hence, we might ask ourselves, “What is really most important to me? What do I love? What am I willing to work for?”

Jesus’ promise that it is God’s “good pleasure” to give us the kingdom is pretty clear-cut. With a promise like that there’s no need to fear we will be short changed in any way. The Responsive Reading begins by establishing God’s authority. Given the fickle nature of mortal mind, it’s a great relief to know that our health, careers, home, finances, and all other areas of our lives are secure because under God’s reign all creation is abundantly supplied with every needful thing. The earth is full of God’s riches.

Concerning “riches,” notice that God’s riches differ from the riches of the world. Proverbs tells us that instruction is more valuable than silver, and knowledge is better than gold. Wisdom leads to righteousness, and keeps us on the right path. The Scriptures promise that when our hearts are filled with love for God, our treasures will be filled with true substance.
[W’s PS#2 and #3]

Section 1: “Love is Something if You Give it Away”

The title above, borrowed from a CedarS camp song, reminds me of the old saying: “What you give, is what you get.” But it seems that human nature is more fixed on getting than giving. This is due in part, to the belief that resources are limited and their distribution is unfair. The world seems divided into “haves” and “have-nots.” From a spiritual standpoint, supply is unlimited, and available to all equally. That’s because the true substance of something is the spiritual idea behind it—it’s essence. Whatever we seem to “have”—whether it’s a material possession, an occupation, a talent, or a relationship—it’s not ours, it’s a reflection of God. This is a Scriptural precept: give first, then the good you do will return to you. Therefore it’s only natural from a spiritual standpoint to “honour the Lord,” by giving back in some fashion (B1). The Scriptures say we are to give God what is substantial to us—the best of what we have. Doing so opens the way to untold treasures directly from heaven (B2). We might think of this cycle of giving first, and receiving the blessing as the spiritual version of, “The Circle of Life.” Good always comes back to you. Acknowledging that every good thing we have comes from God frees us from any sense of personal possession (B3). All we have comes from Him and we freely give Him the glory.

The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy tells us, “All substance, intelligence, wisdom, being, immortality, cause and effect belong to God” (S1). That basically means if God doesn’t do it, it’s not being done, and if it’s being done, God is doing it. Coming from God, all true substance can never be altered, diminished, delayed, or obstructed in any way. Whatever appears to be harmful, threatening, or inharmonious, could not possibly be real because it could not possibly come from God. All that is truly real is a compound, spiritual idea, “reflecting the divine substance of Spirit” (S2). To material sense, God is invisible, and incomprehensible because God can only be known and understood through spiritual sense (S3). When so understood, the resulting blessings are infinite.

Section 2: Finer than Gold

The psalmist cautions us against trusting earthly riches (B4). John Calvin (1509-1564) explains, “To set the heart upon riches, means more than simply to covet the possession of them. It implies being carried away by them into a false confidenceindeed, the worst effect to be feared from a blind and ungoverned spirit of this kind is, …in the intoxication of outward greatness….” Having an over-inflated view of our own capacities severely restricts our ability to trust God as the true source of all we have. When we recognize God as the source of all goodness, it’s only natural to love Him with all our hearts (B5). As John Gill (1697-1771) puts it, we should adore God, “with a superlative love, above all creatures whatever; with the whole of the affections of the heart, with great fervency and ardour of spirit, in the sincerity of the soul, and with all the strength of grace a man has…” The Preacher bids us to putall our efforts into the search for wisdom and knowledge as if we were seeking silver and gold (B6). This metaphor doesn’t only mean to work with the same fervency one might employ to obtain mere objects of silver and gold, but with all the persistence, toil, and effort it takes to locate,and mine the precious metals in their raw form.

The complete verse of Proverbs 12:27 reads, “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting, but the substance of a diligent man is precious” (B7). The first phrase isn’t in the Lesson, but Adam Clarke’s (c. 1760-1832) interpretation of this verse points out that the slothful man is fraudulent. And being such, God snatches from his mouth, “what he had acquired unrighteously.” By contrast, Gill characterizes legitimate productivity this way: “what is gotten by industry and diligence, and in an honest way, is valuable; it comes with a blessing….”

Solomon’s story is an object lesson on the blessing that comes from valuing wisdom before riches (B8). In a dream God asks Solomon what he can give him. Solomon, recognizing his own inexperience, humbly asks for wisdom that would allow him to properly judge the people of Israel. God not only grants him wisdom, but riches as well.

Our Leader tells us the first demand of Christian Science is to, “have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual” (S4). That means our number one goal is to put God first. Putting God first enables us to see past the fictitious pictures presented by corporeal sense to the true reflection of God (S5). Some may think focusing on God and spiritual things limits our options. But the reverse is true. If we’re absorbed in material sense, our vision will be so clouded that we will barely see true substance. The remedy is to deny material selfhood. Doing so destroys the false pictures of material sense, and enables us to see our true individuality more clearly (S6).

As we’ve already stated, what we cherish in our hearts becomes manifested in our experience (S7). In the United States, the television series Star Trek is filled with thought provoking themes and lessons. The show has morphed into many story lines, and spin-off productions. In the Deep Space Nine series, a space station stands watch over a “wormhole” that swiftly brings space vessels from the “Alpha Quadrant” to the “Gamma Quadrant” of the galaxy. The Captain of the space station makes contact with mysterious beings who live inside the wormhole. At one point, when he communicates with them, they appear to him as dead relatives, and people from his past. When he questions the beings why this is so, they respond, “Because that’s where you live.” Realizing he is living his life in the past gives the captain pause.

Where do you live? Well, the answer to that is—wherever your thought is. We walk where we’re looking (S8). We serve what we love, and we give time to those we love. The question is, “Are we serving and giving our time to that which is truly substantial?” Think about it.

Section 3: “Gotta Serve Somebody” [W’s PS#4, #5 and #1]

Some of you may recall the Bob Dylan song quoted in the title above. Dylan, wrote, “Well it may be the devil or it may be the Lord. But your gonna have to serve somebody.” As mentioned in the previous section, we serve what we love. This actually happens whether we like it or not. If you want to know what you love, take a look at where you devote most of your time when all other obligations (like your job, or household chores) are over. Sometimes though, we are actually robbed of doing what we love, because we succumb to filling our hours with useless things. In these cases it may be worthwhile to remember that the purpose of evil, or animal magnetism as named in Christian Science, is to stop the activity of good, and give activity to evil. While there’s nothing wrong with occasionally just taking it easy, and “vegging out” in some way, succumbing to the temptation of regularly zoning out in front of the television or computer screen, will rarely help you achieve your dreams.

The decision as to what goals are worthy of pursuit is somewhat subjective. There may be certain goals and desires that seem to one person to be the pinnacle of achievement, while to another those same goals seem to be a waste of time. Without placing value judgments on your goals—whatever they are—the Bible suggests the best path to reaching those goals is to start with God. Deuteronomy promises, devoting our lives primarily to God results in a multitude of blessings (B9). Materially based achievements are subject to decay and loss; but the heavenly, spiritual achievements are enduring (B10).

Jesus wisely taught: we cannot serve two masters (B11). Specifically, the passage refers to God and money. But the point is—we have to make a choice as to what we focus on in life. Clarke puts it like this: “Prudent care is never forbidden by our Lord, but only that anxious distracting solicitude, which, by dividing the mind, and drawing it different ways, renders it utterly incapable of attending to any solemn or important concern.” Jesus teaches that if we focus on God first, all the rest of our needs will be met,(B12) and he assures us that it is God’s “good pleasure” to give us the entire kingdom! He encourages us to sell the corruptible things, and seek the incorruptible treasures of heaven (B13). Take note that Jesus didn’t say give it all away for nothing. He said to exchange it for something of value.

The very first sentence in our textbook promises, “To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings” (S9). Knowing that God is caring for us—even as He does for the flowers—is a huge source of comfort(S10). The English word “substance” is derived from two Latin words meaning: “standing firm,” and “being, or essence.” From this we can say that the substance of a thing is the fixed essence, or foundational idea upon which the “thing” is based. As our Leader points out, there is a big difference between the substance of an idea and the “supposed substance” of matter (S12). A major difference being that God never created matter in the first place (S13). God doesn’t create things. He creates spiritual ideas existing apart from time, or material parameters. Having created all, God cares for every one of His ideas, supplying them with every need (S14).

Section 4: To Find True Substance Be Willing to Make a Change [W’s PS#6, #1]

Earlier we mentioned that paying attention to what you love to do, gives you an indication of where your heart really lies. In like manner, the quality of our works, indicate the quality of our methods and motives. Jesus said, “the tree is known by its fruit” (B14), meaning good men will necessarily bring forth good things.

In the Bible Zacchaeus was a rich man, in charge of collecting taxes (B15). He might have seemed like a financial predator to some, but he proved himself capable of amending his ways. Being “little of stature” he may have spent a good deal of effort working his way to a position of power. Being used to giving extra effort, he might have thought it quite ordinary to climb a tree in order to see who Jesus was. His effort demonstrated a sincere interest, humility, and a willingness to learn. When Jesus desired to eat at his house, Zacchaeus joyfully received him. Whilethe crowd balked at Jesus’ decision to dine with him, he immediately defended himself, and pledged to make reparations to anyone he had wronged.

This man was a model of repentance, sincerity, humility, and openness to change. If he hadn’t made the effort to see Jesus, he might not have been noticed at all. Are we curious, or interested enough to make the effort to “see” Jesus? Are we eager to joyfully welcome the Christ into our lives, and make the adjustments necessary to prove our sincerity?

Not everyone is as ready and willing to adjust his priorities as Zacchaeus was. Knowing this, Paul cautions us of the dangers of trusting in the uncertainty of worldly riches (B16). Paul isn’t suggesting there is something wrong with being financially successful, but he’s clarifying that earthly wealth can be temporary. With the warning comes a reminder, and promise, that trusting God opens the way to the unlimited and imperishable riches of Spirit.

Mary Baker Eddy echoes the Scriptures noting that the reason sensual treasures are fleeting and corruptible, is because they contain some element of sin, which assures their doom (S15). Whenever an element of sin or error is involved, our sense of substance is out of sync with reality (S16). Whether determining our own worthiness, or the worthiness of our goals, if sin is involved, the outcome will be tainted. The spiritual man is eternal and pure, and this is manifested in the quality, goodness, and fruition of his pursuits.

Mary Baker Eddy tells us that we understand spiritual existence in proportion as we seek spiritual treasures (S17). The closer we get to God, the more natural it is to put off sin, and mortality. Some people might be concerned that giving up “matter for Spirit” could mean losing a piece of who they are. Mary Baker Eddy assures us the opposite is true. Getting closer to God, and looking toward spiritual things helps us to discover our true identity, and that there’s no limit to what we can achieve. When we find our true substance everything opens up to us, and we see the universe, as well as ourselves in a new light. If our treasures are spiritual they can’t be lost, therefore fear and anxiety melt away.

Do you question whether or not pursuing the spiritual substance of things is worth it? They say if you want to win, you have to get into the game. We won’t find out until we try it. So if we want that “unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love” we have but to enter the arena, and start living spiritually right now (S18).

Section 5: Healing Proof [W’s PS#7]

How does the concept of setting your affections on spiritual things apply to your health? Well, just as finding the spiritual substance of things leads to true riches, seeing your spiritual nature as the reality of your being leads to true health. The material body—blood, bones, muscles, organs, and so on—have no real substance, and have no power to create, contain, sustain, or destroy life. Our true substance is in the spiritual qualities we reflect.

Jeremiah represents God as making a covenant or compact with Israel, to embed the law “in their inward parts,” and write it, “in their hearts” (B17). The letter of the law has little meaning unless it’s fully integrated in our hearts. When something is “in our hearts” it becomes part of us. We don’t have to think about it, or recite the rule to ourselves—we just do it because it’s natural to us. Included in God’s covenant with us is the promise that God will cure all our ills (S18), and supply all our needs (B19). Jesus demonstrated the truth of the covenant between God and man. If he hadn’t, his teachings might have been chalked up to just another philosophy. But healing was a hallmark of his ministry. People came to him because he proved everything he taught, and he demonstrated his understanding of God through his healing work (B20).

If not for Mrs. Eddy’s demonstration of the healing power of Christian Science, it too, may have been relegated to mere theory and philosophy. The same power that was present in Jesus’ time is still operating today (S19). Mrs. Eddy recognized that there are many human options for treating disease. But, through her own practice of the divine healing Principle she was convinced that the only one worthy of being shared with the world, was the divine Science of being she discovered and practiced (S20).

Citations S21—S23 describe Mrs. Eddy’s account of a man who was healed through her prayer. Mrs. Eddy considered the healing to be a clear-cut demonstration of divine power. Based on the physical evidence, the medical prognosis wasn’t hopeful. The attending physician told Mrs. Eddy that the patient was dying. If she had accepted that dire prognosis she would have been defeated from the outset. But she clearly set her thought on higher things. We will never know what she was thinking, or how she prayed, but she was clearly unimpressed by the material picture. She says she went to his bedside and in a few moments, hechanged from looking like he was near death to falling into a peaceful sleep. She writes, “In about ten minutes he opened his eyes and said: ‘I feel like a new man. My suffering is all gone.’” That was the turning point. He began resuming normal activity, and was back at work in two weeks.

She sums it up this way, “Reviewing this brief experience, I cannot fail to discern the coincidence of the spiritual idea ofman with the divine Mind.” The definition of the word “coincidence” includes “concurrence; consistency; agreement” (Student’s Reference Dictionary). This definition recalls the covenant between God and man. Thecovenant is not only an intellectual agreement, but a statement of fact, that God and man coincide in being. As our Leader writes, “As God is substance and man is the divine image and likeness, man should wish for, and in reality has, only the substance of good” (S24).

Citation S25 may give us a glimpse of how Mrs. Eddy was praying at that dying patient’s bedside. She mentions two points: Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good”, and to be firm in our understanding of God’s government, knowing that man reflects it.

No matter what the material picture seems to be—even if it’s a positive material picture of wealth, or health—theevidence of the senses cannot be trusted. The only way to see what’s really going on is always to look beyond the sense testimony to the spiritual reality of things (S26). There we find the true substance—the essence—of all that is real and good, and holding to the reality brings healing results.

Section 6: Infinite Riches Await

God’s fullness is incomprehensible to mortal thinking. Only through spiritual sense can we find the true riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God (B21). The book of Ephesians tells us the apostle continually prays for the church to gain enlightenment (B22). The last phrase from B22 is only a portion of the entire verse. Looking a bit “beyond the chalk” helps clarify the meaning. The New English Bible translates it this way: “I pray that your inward eyes be illumined, so that you may know what is the hope to which he calls you, what the wealth and glory of the share he offers you among his people in their heritage, and how vast the resources of his power open to us who trust in him.” There it is again—the message that trusting God opens the way to the “vast resources” of true substance. To punctuate the point, the benediction in citation B23 echoes once more, the theme of prosperity, health, and wealth through the understanding of true substance.

Science and Health reiterates that the only path to such prosperity is to forsake all worldliness (S27). From a human standpoint it may seem to require a big leap of faith in order to set our hearts on heavenly things. But reminding us that our treasures lay where our hearts reside, Mrs. Eddy tells us that if we start from a higher standpoint to begin with, our progress will be spontaneous (S28). Searching for substance from a material standpoint gets us nowhere, but following divine Science enables us to see, and understand the deep things of God (S29). The Lesson closes with the emphatic statement that God is “the only Life, substance, Spirit, or Soul, the only intelligence of the universe, including man” (S30). That being the case, why wouldn’t we set our sights on the treasures of God? Seeking the reality of true substance allows us to let go of all concerns,and anxiety over every area of our lives. And remember, God hasn’t set our lives up as an obstacle course for us to conquer in order to reach Him. On the contrary, it’s God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

A humble, hearty thank you to all you good friends who have already given to our advertised needs—as well as to those of you who still want in 2019 to make a big difference in CedarS vital work, outreach and blessings!

We have a wonderful matching gift challenge to meet! You can double your donation by helping CedarS earn our "Adopt the Herd" $75,000 Match for the horses and riding program. (still ~$44,000 to go by Sept. 30, 2019.)

So, if you have been blessed by receiving this inspiration weekly and haven't given lately, or are blessed to be able to give more, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/give/.

Current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church!

With heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

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PHONE, now at 636-394-6162.

or MAIL to our Winter-Spring office address (below) your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization.

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CedarS 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. The Met application ideas above 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/meta

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