The Faith of a Mustard Seed

July 25, 2018
Hymns: 371, 292, 350
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The Bible & Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures By Mary Baker Eddy

10:17…faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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

4:8…it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and… as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
12And he said to Gehazi his servant,…
14 What…is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered,…she hath no child, and her husband is old.
15And he said, Call her…
16And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
19And he said unto his father, My head, my head…
20And he…brought him to his mother and he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
21And she…laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
22And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me,…one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
23And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to-day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.

PROVERBS (Good News Translation)
18:21 What you say can preserve life or destroy it;

II KINGS (resume)
4:25 So she came unto the man of God. And…he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:
26 Run now…to meet her, and say…Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
27 And when she came to the man of God…she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.
28 Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?
29 Then he said to Gehazi…take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
30 And the mother of the child said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.
31And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.
32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.
33 He went in…and shut the door…and prayed unto the Lord.
34…and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
36 And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite…And when she was come in…he said, Take up thy son.

SH 167:7
Our proportionate admission of the claims of good or of evil determines the harmony of our existence, — our health, our longevity, and our Christianity.

SH 178:32
Which ought to be substance to us, — the erring, changing, and dying, the mutable and mortal, or the unerring, immutable, and immortal? A New Testament writer plainly describes faith, a quality of mind, as “the substance of things hoped for.”

SH 23:17
Faith, advanced to spiritual understanding, is the evidence gained from Spirit, which rebukes sin of every kind and establishes the claims of God.

4:30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

17:14 …there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

SH 351: 2-5
When we lose faith in God’s power to heal, we distrust the divine Principle which demonstrates Christian Science, and then we cannot heal the sick.

SH 23:16-17, 27-31
Faith, if it be mere belief, is as a pendulum swinging between nothing and something, having no fixity. “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!” expresses the helplessness of a blind faith; whereas the injunction, “Believe . . . and thou shalt be saved!” demands self-reliant trustworthiness, which includes spiritual understanding and confides all to God.

17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

SH 329:12
We must prove our faith by demonstration.

SH 487: 25-30
The Apostle James said, “Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” The understanding that Life is God, Spirit, lengthens our days by strengthening our trust in the deathless reality of Life, its almightiness and immortality. This faith relies upon an understood Principle.

SH 83:9
Nothing is more antagonistic to Christian Science than a blind belief without understanding, for such a belief hides Truth and builds on error.

9:27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
30 And their eyes were opened;

SH 487:21-23
Mere belief is blindness without Principle from which to explain the reason of its hope. The belief that life is sentient and intelligent matter is erroneous.

SH 297:20
Faith is higher and more spiritual than belief. It is a chrysalis state of human thought, in which spiritual evidence, contradicting the testimony of material sense, begins to appear, and Truth, the ever-present, is becoming understood. Human thoughts have their degrees of comparison. Some thoughts are better than others. A belief in Truth is better than a belief in error, but no mortal testimony is founded on the divine rock. Mortal testimony can be shaken. Until belief becomes faith, and faith becomes spiritual understanding, human thought has little relation to the actual or divine.

7:2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

SH 169:16
If we understood the control of Mind over body, we should put no faith in material means.

SH 115:12-3
First Degree: Depravity.
Physical. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.
Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.
Moral. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion, hope, faith, meekness, temperance.
Third Degree: Understanding.
Spiritual. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

SH 181:29-31
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” If you have more faith in drugs than in Truth, this faith will incline you to the side of matter and error.

SH 484:17
Drugs and inert matter are unconscious, mindless. Certain results, supposed to proceed from drugs, are really caused by the faith in them which the false human consciousness is educated to feel.

EPHESIANS (J.B. Phillips)
6:16 Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you.

11:1-3 Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see. It was this kind of faith that won their reputation for the saints of old. And it is after all only by faith that our minds accept as fact that the whole scheme of time and space was created by God’s command—that the world which we can see has come into being through principles which are invisible

I John (New English Translation)
5:4…everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith.

SH 339:32
Our various theories will never lose their imaginary power for good or evil, until we lose our faith in them and make life its own proof of harmony and God.

SH 368:14
When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error.

SH 1:1
The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him an unselfed love. Regardless of what another may say or think on this subject, I speak from experience. Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-immolation, are God’s gracious means for accomplishing whatever has been successfully done for the Christianization and health of mankind.

SH 10:5-6
The world must grow to the spiritual understanding of prayer.

“The power of ‘faith as a grain of mustard seed’”
By Shirley Paulson
Christian Science Sentinel February, 2011
…Mustard was (and still is) an invasive weed. It grows into a thick shrub and is very difficult to eradicate…Although the mustard shrub provides shade and shelter, no one would want to attract birds to eat the newly grown vegetables…
…all of Jesus’ parables about the kingdom of God…indicate a radically different system of life from the ordinary ways of humans. Consider the ways in which the nature of the mustard seed, representing God’s kingdom, operates in relation to the kingdom of mortals.
First, the laws of God break the…iron-clad laws saying humans must become sick and that they cannot avoid sin…Human faith is not able to destroy what human belief has created, but God has the power to do so.
Second, …when the power of God, or Spirit, starts to operate in a human situation, it takes over quickly…
And third, shade for birds…was not likely the intent of the gardener…Jesus’ parable marks a vivid contrast between the inventions of humans and the creation of God…every good human invention seems to include the capacity for destruction as well. Human designs of peace and war, medicines and disease, agriculture and earthly abuse, seem to be impossible to disentangle from each other. On the other hand, in God’s order of creation, represented by the mustard bush, the Creator furnishes abundant supply for everyone (such as the birds who flock to it).
When Jesus told his disciples that nothing would be impossible to them, he was opening their eyes to the nature of God’s kingdom…Jesus was not so much teaching that humans should increase the amount of their faith, as he was that they should shift their faith. Without seeing clearly how God’s kingdom works, one would have to lean on a type of blind faith.
.…The human mind has never been able to “move a mountain” or claim “nothing is impossible to it.” This is God’s work, and our dependence on God is what gives us power to accomplish whatever good is needed….