November 29, 2017
Hymns: 278, 51, 258
18:30 As for God, his way is perfect:
29:16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
55:8…For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
38:1…the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
40:2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?
3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,
4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
18:3…I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
6 O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith theLord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
ISAIAH (Amplified Bible)
64:8 O Lord You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand.
1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
ROMANS (J.B. Phillips)
8:18-21 In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!
22-25 It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realized our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience.
28-30 Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good. God, in his foreknowledge, chose them to bear the family likeness of his Son, that he might be the eldest of a family of many brothers. He chose them long ago; when the time came he called them, he made them righteous in his sight, and then lifted them to the splendor of life as his own sons.
ROMANS (King James)
11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever.
2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear…To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
17 To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
1:6 … he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
I PETER (The Living Bible)
1:4 God has reserved for his children the priceless gift of eternal life; it is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And God, in his mighty power, will make sure that you get there safely to receive it because you are trusting him. It will be yours in that coming last day for all to see. 6 So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here.7 These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.
SCIENCE & HEALTH WITH KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES
By Mary Baker Eddy
SH 39: 8-9
We must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all error is destroyed.
SH: 66:1-16, 30-3
Thou art right, immortal Shakespeare, great poet of humanity:
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
Trials teach mortals not to lean on a material staff, —a broken reed, which pierces the heart. We do not half remember this in the sunshine of joy and prosperity. Sorrow is salutary. Through great tribulation we enter the kingdom. Trials are proofs of God’s care. Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.
Sorrow has its reward. It never leaves us where it found us. The furnace separates the gold from the dross that the precious metal may be graven with the image of God. The cup our Father hath given, shall we not drink it and learn the lessons He teaches?
The artist is not in his painting. The picture is the artist’s thought objectified. The human belief fancies that it delineates thought on matter, but what is matter? Did it exist prior to thought? Matter is made up of supposititious mortal mind-force; but all might is divine Mind. Thought will finally be understood and seen in all form, substance, and color, but without material accompaniments. The potter is not in the clay; else the clay would have power over the potter. God is His own infinite Mind, and expresses all.
Before error is wholly destroyed, there will be interruptions of the general material routine. Earth will become dreary and desolate, but summer and winter, seedtime and harvest (though in changed forms), will continue unto the end, — until the final spiritualization of all things. “The darkest hour precedes the dawn.”
This material world is even now becoming the arena for conflicting forces. On one side there will be discord and dismay; on the other side there will be Science and peace. The breaking up of material beliefs may seem to be famine and pestilence, want and woe, sin, sickness, and death, which assume new phases until their nothingness appears. These disturbances will continue until the end of error, when all discord will be swallowed up in spiritual Truth.
Mortal error will vanish in a moral chemicalization. This mental fermentation has begun, and will continue until all errors of belief yield to understanding.
SH 97:5-7, 11-25
In reality, the more closely error simulates truth and so-called matter resembles its essence, mortal mind, the more impotent error becomes as a belief.
The more destructive matter becomes, the more its nothingness will appear, until matter reaches its mortal zenith in illusion and forever disappears. The nearer a false belief approaches truth without passing the boundary where, having been destroyed by divine Love, it ceases to be even an illusion, the riper it becomes for destruction. The more material the belief, the more obvious its error, until divine Spirit, supreme in its domain, dominates all matter, and man is found in the likeness of Spirit, his original being.
The broadest facts array the most falsities against themselves, for they bring error from under cover. It requires courage to utter truth; for the higher Truth lifts her voice, the louder will error scream, until its inarticulate sound is forever silenced in oblivion.
SH 454: 24
“Patience must “have her perfect work.”
SH 254: 6-8, 24-31
God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won.
If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?
If you launch your bark upon the ever-agitated but healthful waters of truth, you will encounter storms. Your good will be evil spoken of. This is the cross. Take it up and bear it, for through it you win and wear the crown.
SH 10: 6-15
If good enough to profit by Jesus’ cup of earthly sorrows, God will sustain us under these sorrows. Until we are thus divinely qualified and are willing to drink his cup, millions of vain repetitions will never pour into prayer the unction of Spirit in demonstration of power and “with signs following.” Christian Science reveals a necessity for overcoming the world, the flesh, and evil, and thus destroying all error.
Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving that enables us to enter.
SH 26: 1-9
While we adore Jesus, and the heart overflows with gratitude for what he did for mortals, — treading alone his loving pathway up to the throne of glory, in speechless agony exploring the way for us, — yet Jesus spares us not one individual experience, if we follow his commands faithfully; and all have the cup of sorrowful effort to drink in proportion to their demonstration of his love, till all are redeemed through divine Love.
To suppose that persecution for righteousness’ sake belongs to the past, and that Christianity to-day is at peace with the world because it is honored by sects and societies, is to mistake the very nature of religion. Error repeats itself. The trials encountered by prophet, disciple, and apostle, “of whom the world was not worthy,” await, in some form, every pioneer of truth.
Earth has no repayment for the persecutions which attend a new step in Christianity; but the spiritual recompense of the persecuted is assured in the elevation of existence above mortal discord and in the gift of divine Love.
There was a couple who used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. One day they saw a beautiful teacup. As they were handed the cup it spoke. “I haven’t always been a teacup. There was a time when I was nothing more than red clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over and I yelled out, ‘let me alone,’ but he only smiled, ‘Not yet.’ Then I was placed on a spinning wheel,” the teacup said, “and I was spun round and round and round. ‘Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet.’
Then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted
to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the
opening and could read his lips as He shook his head, ‘Not yet.’
Finally, the door opened, and he put me on the shelf. I began to cool. ‘That’s better,’ I said. And he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried, but he only nodded, ‘Not yet.’
Then he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot, and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him though the opening nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet.’
Then I gave up all hope that I would ever make it. But the door opened, and he took me out and placed me on the shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself. And I did. ‘That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’
‘I want you to remember,’ he said, ‘that I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have had any color in your life. And if I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t survive for very long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are
a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.’”
God knows what He’s doing (for all of us). He is the Potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.