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Keep your eye on the Model - Seek and ye shall Find - Choose Life! Lesson met for July 20, 2003 by Kathy

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

Keep your eye on the Model - Seek and ye shall Find - Choose Life!
Lesson met on "Life" for July 14-20, 2003 by Kathy Fitzer, CS

Golden Text: "Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; ..."
All we have to do is seek God. To seek is to look for, pursue, follow the trail of. But it is also: to investigate, explore, make inquiry, and worship. In the lesson on Sacrament we learned a lot about worshipping. As we practice what we learned, the promise is that we shall live! The word shall means to be able to, but also has the stronger sense of having to, or in other words, must. So, as we worship God (follow Him with all our heart) we must (have no choice but to) live. The original Hebrew word that has been translated live here means not only to be alive, but to quicken, recover, restore, revive, and to be whole! What a fabulous promise! Sometimes we are tempted, when in the middle of a problem, to become frustrated because we think we are seeking, but we don't seem to be experiencing the living part. At that point, we must continue to seek, hold to the promise, and demand to see evidence of the life that is present, because God is present.

Responsive Reading: God saves! Isaiah 38 reveals the redeeming power of God to those that turn to Him. A few weeks ago we read some of this same story as given in II Kings 20. There we learned that God had made the shadow of the sun move in the opposite direction, thus lengthening the day. This was a symbol of Hezekiah's days also being lengthened - his life extended. A connection is made between Hezekiah's sins being forgiven (cast behind God's back) and his life extended. Speaking of v. 17, the Interpreter's Bible (Vol. 5, p. 377) says, "The psalmist realizes that his sufferings have been for his own good; forgiveness of sin and recovery from mortal illness have been two sides of the same experience of God's saving power." Hezekiah recognizes that he has been given the privilege of continuing to live in order to more fully praise God. No matter how dark things may seem for us - or how bad a situation seems to be - as we earnestly seek God, we can demand to see the life that is God, and to live! V. 20 says, "The Lord was ready to save me:" The Lord is always ready to save us. Through seeking, we indicate our readiness to be saved!

Section I: Choose Life! There is one God and that God is Life. God is very close - is man's very life. Life is the gift of God. Although it seems that we are perpetually faced with both good and evil, life and death, it is our privilege to choose life! Because God is the Principle of all that really is and is supreme, there is no real power in matter - nothing capable of overcoming God. A conscious decision to choose life - to fight against sin, sickness, and death - enables us to be fully cognizant of the life that is in God. It is very logical that only one power can have supreme authority. Arguing both for and against the supremacy of God, however, keeps us from hearing God and holding to the Life that sustains us. So, make the only choice that makes sense to make - choose God. Fight for the gift of life in God!

Section II and III: Age No Part of Life's Model - Never Too Young or Too Old!
In section II, God instructs Samuel not to use age as a criteria in the selection of a king for Israel, not to be fooled into thinking someone might be too young to be king. In section III, Caleb receives his inheritance of land - part of the land that he and Joshua had scouted out 45 years earlier. Caleb and Joshua were the only adults to remain strong during the 40 years in the wilderness after the land was originally scouted. Remember, they were also the only ones who trusted God enough to believe they could go in and claim the land when they first saw it! Both of these stories are wonderful reminders to us that age is never a dependable measuring stick of ability. Life is eternal and time is no part of eternity. Time and age necessarily indicate limitation - indicate a beginning and an end to good. How often does the world today say that the possibility of employment or some other opportunity is limited because one is either too young or too old. In order to prevent this prediction, we must continually hold before our thought the perfect model of God alone providing all good for us (see marker #12, p.248:5-29). Mrs. Eddy is very clear in Science and Health regarding the subject of age. She says: "Never record ages. Chronological data are no part of the vast forever. Time-tables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood." (#5 - 246: 17) Why in the world would we want to conspire against ourselves? From a material standpoint there are limitations to every age, and yet how much time is spent celebrating our age, or wishing that we were either older or younger. In essence, we are just asking for a different set of problems. Rather than judging the possibilities of life by how many trips we've taken around the sun (either how few or how many) we should judge according to the quality of thought. We need to concentrate on living rightly, NOW - in the present. The eternal now - the oneness and ever-presence of Mind - constitutes the "numeration table" of Christian Science. There is no too young or too old - no beginning or end - no age - no limitation - there!

Section IV: Accept the Model of Christ, Drink in the Truth, Receive Eternal Life
Jesus exemplified the unlimited nature of the Christ and taught all that he came in contact with that if they would but accept the model he was presenting, they would experience eternal life. This is the promise he made to the Samaritan woman at the well, who in turn ran and told others. John 3: 36 (#10) gives us this wonderful promise, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." Substitute "child of God" for Son and we see the model we are to follow (the dominion man described in Genesis 1 and exemplified in the life of Jesus.) Going back to the definition of the original Greek, we find life being "the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate." Eternal vitality is somewhat different from just not dying. It includes the promise of eternal interest in living - boredom or apathy being no part of that life. Mrs. Eddy tells us (#14, p.259:6) that Christ Jesus "threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying." So, again the point is made to check the model, seek the Lord, and choose life! The promise remains the same - you shall live!

Section V: Give up Faith in False Theories and Claim Inheritance as Child of God
The Bible assures us over and over that God is ever with us and has given us an inheritance of good. God maintains our path, restores our soul, provides goodness and mercy forever. Our job? To give thanks, to "set the Lord always before" us, to be glad, and to rejoice! (Ps. 16: 8, 9 - #11) God has provided for us everything we need. The false testimony of the material senses have turned everything upside down and presented this supposed opposite of Truth, called matter. (#18; p. 108:21). But Life is completely independent of matter - it has nothing to do with it. When we don't know better, we accept a lot of things at face value. But, keeping our eye on the model that Jesus demonstrated and Christian Science has made plain, we will find that "as the mythology of pagan Rome (we now consider the Roman concept of gods and goddesses absurd, but they made perfect sense to the Romans) has yielded to a more spiritual idea of Deity, so will our material theories (including the god of health laws) yield to spiritual ideas, until the finite gives place to the infinite, sickness to health, sin to holiness, and God's kingdom comes 'in earth, as it is in heaven.'" (#21 - p. 339:20) So, stick with the Christ-model and demonstrate what you know. The view will become clearer the more you claim the perfect model as the only reality.

Section VI: Promise of Fulfillment - The Proof of Continuous and Eternal Life Seen
From the old testament, as well as the new, comes the message: God answers our prayers! Fellowship with God, and with his Christ - the Truth of God - causes us to naturally love God and respond to the gift of healing that God is pouring forth to us. Jesus was the best witness of this power of God to respond to our needs. He showed us how its done, and we can and must follow his example. In this section, look for all the different ways in both the Bible and Science and Health the promise, "Seek the Lord, and ye shall live; ..." (GT), is repeated. God provides the only sure and lasting solution to any problem that may face us because through the understanding of the Science of the Christ (Truth) the problem is destroyed "in the mind of mortals." If it is not destroyed in thought, it is simply liable to resurface at another time or in another form. Mrs. Eddy offers this promise, "If God heals not the sick, they are not healed, for no lesser power equals the infinite All-power; but God, Truth, Life, Love, does heal the sick through the prayer of the righteous." (#24 p. 231:8) So, "the proof that Life is continuous and harmonious" is seen as we pursue the perfect model of God's omnipotence, reflected in his Son, and revealed to us through the love of God. Happy seeking .... Happy living!

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