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For trials to raise you up, not beat you up, "Get REAL!" Lesson Application Ideas on "Reality"

Gary Duke, C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, September 20th, 2004

 (Camp Director's note: As the latest in a long series of CedarS weekly lesson 'mets' (metaphysical application ideas) contributed by a string of CedarS practitioners, this document is intended to initiate further study as well as the application of ideas found in the lesson. Sent originally just to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to keep going with their inspiration from camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive. The thoughts presented were of interest at the time of writing and thought to give a bit of dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone. We hope you experience many of your own unique insights and applications as you study the lesson, but we are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of it helpful in your daily spiritual journey.)

For trials to raise you up, not beat you up, "Get REAL!"
Lesson Application Ideas on "Reality" for Sept. 20-26, 2004
By Gary Duke, C.S., St. Louis, Missouri 

Golden Text:  Glory, Endure, Rejoice. 
What endures forever?  Fame, money, self-aggrandizement in any form?  No, just the glory of the Lord endures.  Is our work valued?  Only to the degree we're reflecting Him.  "...the Lord shall rejoice in His works."  (Ps. 104:31)

Responsive Reading:  His Works. 
Let's compare our works with the works of the Lord.  Can our works be classified as:  honorable, glorious, righteous, gracious, full of compassion, nourishing of others, mindful, truthful, right judgment, sure commandments, enduring, upright?  Quite a list!  As our works reflect those qualities we have redemption, the promise of the covenant, wisdom, and right praise.

Section 1:  What's Real?  Only God. 
When this premise, "only God," is understood, that is where we look for answers and arrive at right conclusions. (B2, S1)  If we answer "material sense" to the question of "what's real," then our premise has changed and answers include limitation. (S3)

Section 2:  Faith is Substance. 
Are your trials beating you up or raising you up?  It all depends upon what you consider substance.  If substance to you is "brain, heart, blood, bones, etc., the material structure," you're getting beat up.  If your substance is spiritual, every trial raises you up into stronger faith and purer love. (S5 & 6)

David didn't fear what Saul, "flesh," could do to him because David put his trust in God rather than weapons or human strength. (B4); 

Ruth was also fearless while accompanying Naomi back to a foreign land of a foreign God. (B5);  Moses blessed Asher with prosperity (oil) and safe dwelling place ("shoes shall be iron and brass," B6);

The well known passage from Hebrews, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (B7) has been translated, "Those who trust God are sure that he will give them what they hope for; they are certain that things they do not yet see are real."

Section 3:  Are You Like the Virtuous Woman?
Let's take a look at her story (B9).  She derives her virtuous qualities from God which are unlimited and therefore much more valuable than rubies which are limited, material objects.  Reflecting God's creation, she creates businesses of her own.  She makes fabric from raw materials and sells them.  Consider the fabric of your life.  What patterns are you creating?  What goods (or "bads") are you selling?  She buys a field and plants.  What are you sowing?  Her merchandise is good and she works extra late because she loves her work.  Do you love what you're doing?  She is wise and kind ~ a prelude or postlude to her success?   
Jeremiah tells us we can be ever-green just like a tree planted by the river which weathers drought (business cycles, challenges at school or home, etc.). (B10)

S&H mentions states and stages of consciousness we experience:  faith to spiritual understanding (S9) ~ pain to painlessness; sorrow to joy, fear to hope, material sense to Soul.  Then man is self-governed, spiritually disciplined to make the correct spiritual choices. (S12)   

Section 4: Vision.
The virtuous woman (Section 3) had vision to buy her field, then plant and reap the harvest.  Isaiah envisioned the Messiah 700 years prior using the metaphor of the wasted fields of Lebanon which would again be productive. (B11)  Blind Bartimaeus had vision too, insight that Jesus was the Messiah, the heir of David whose kingdom would be established forever. (II Sam. 7:13)  Bartimaeus kept shouting for Jesus even when others tried to silence him.  His persistence and faith were rewarded with healing of his blindness.  The vision of Bartimaeus extended beyond the physical healing as he "followed Jesus in the way." (B13)  After our healings, do we follow "Jesus in the way" or do we get comfortable in matter and just call on God to bail us out when we're in trouble?  This latter approach is what Jesus labeled "the loaves" ~ wanting healing just for comfort's sake without moral regeneration. (John 6:26)  Was Bartimaeus an intellectual or a scholar?  Likely not as he was born blind and a beggar when we first meet him.  Yet he possessed understanding beyond many who were better educated.  "This understanding is not intellectual, is not the result of scholarly attainments; it is the reality of all things brought to light." (S14)  "...the reflection of God, has come with some measure of power and grace to all prepared to receive Christ, Truth." (S15)  How can we better prepare to receive this gift?

Section 5:  How Can I Understand Christian Science Better? 
Respect God ~ "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
     wisdom..." (B15);
Expect God ~ "Now as then these mighty works are not
     supernatural, but supremely natural." (S19);
Never Too Old ~ "A woman of eighty-five, whom I knew, had a
     return of sight.  Another woman at ninety had new
     teeth..." (S20);

Comprehensible System if Studied ~ "Divine metaphysics is now reduced to a system, to a form comprehensible by and adapted to the thought of the age in which we live...never believe that you can absorb the whole meaning of the Science by a simple perusal of this book.  The book needs to be studied..."  (S21

Section 6:  New Jerusalem.
New Jerusalem is what John labeled his inspired view of reality (B17 & 18) which included:
   Oneness ~ God's presence felt by man & man expressing
      God;
   Newness ~ daily baptism of truth and faith;
   Inheritance ~ we inherit all from God as His beloved children;
   Right Worship ~ we don't worship the expression of God (e.g.
      prophets, angels) but worship the source, God. 

Mrs. Eddy defines New Jerusalem, "Divine Science; the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony." (S&H 592:18)  And it's a "present possibility." (S24)

Section Summary Benediction:  God's glory endures. He rejoices in His work which is the only reality.  Our faith is substance allowing us to be like the virtuous woman, full of vision, understanding Christian Science better and residing in New Jerusalem. 

Resources: 
Researched Bible Guide, 561-776-5711 or e-mail DayBreakPlease@cs.com

The
Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress 800-366- 7788, website  www.MessageBible.com

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