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Live and Move in the Power of the Spirit!

Dan Carnesciali C.S., St. Louis, MO
Posted Monday, February 4th, 2008

Live and Move in the Power of the Spirit! 
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: "Spirit,"
February 10, 2008
by Dan Carnesciali, CS of Ballwin, MO

Editor's Note:  The following application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!  You can sign up to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday of each week.  Or by Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French by Pascal or in Spanish by Ana:  JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

The word spirit comes from the Latin word "spiritus", meaning wind, air, breath. (Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary)  Related words are inspiration (when you are moved by the Spirit, a divine influence), respiration (breathing), and ghost (Holy Ghost).

Golden Text:
To Jesus, Spirit was not a distant power to be called upon when there was a crisis.  Spirit was his divine Father.  "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16, 17)  God makes His presence known.  He makes us aware that we are His children.  [Possible Uplifting Sunday School Homework (P.U.S.S.H.):  Every day, not just in a crisis, take advantage of Spirit's "witness protection program" for you.  Obey the 9th Commandment about not bearing false witness by reversing the testimony of "the five physical senses, ... which affirm that life substance and intelligence are material instead of spiritual." (S9) S&H 274:17  As God's beloved witness, affirm your spiritual nature and give evidence of feeling as close to your heavenly Father as Jesus did when he called Him "Abba," or Daddy.]

Responsive Reading:
Why would the author of this passage plead with God: "have mercy on me, blot out my transgressions, wash me from my sins."  Perhaps for a spiritual clean start, for spiritual cleansing and renewal.  To purge literally means to "unsin."  "The deeply ground-in stain of sin can be removed only by vigorous scrubbing."  (Interpreter's One-volume Commentary of the Bible)

When you feel entirely cleansed from wrong, you feel exuberant, like a free spirit.  Your joy increases and you begin to understand man's salvation through Christ Jesus.  You cannot keep this joy to yourself.  You become an evangelist.  An evangelist is one who shares the gospel of Christ, meaning you are compelled to share God's saving love.  Sharing the gospel may require moving outside of your comfort zone.  Our Leader says, "... the human self must be evangelized." (254:19-20 the)  [P.S.S.T.  This week what is stretching you beyond your comfort zone into your growth zone?  Everyday at CedarS activities are designed to do this in the most spiritually supportive way, making it such a perfect laboratory for spiritual growth.  Take into every area of life today this joyous confidence to overcome challenges with God's help.]

Section 1: - The El Dorado of Christianity
The Pharisees felt that blind obedience to a complex set of Judaic laws was what made one Godlike. (The Interpreter's One-volume Bible Commentary)  They asked Jesus which of the commandments was the greatest.  In effect, they were saying, "Choose one of the Ten Commandments, so we can make a fool of you by saying you chose the wrong one."  Jesus did not fall for the trick.  He chose a commandment from Deuteronomy 6 which says that the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all your heart and soul.  What could you change about yourself so you could love God without any hesitation? (B3)

It may seem like the time of making and worshiping idols is past, but idols are still around.  Idols are things or thoughts that draw us away from God.  A Sunday School class said that at times, things that distract them from God include TV and friends.  (They explained that some of their friends can be bad influences at times.)  Other idols include apathy, busyness and too much focus on the body. It is right to exercise your spiritual thought forces (muscles), when the motive is God-inspired. (B4) 

Since our heavenly Father supplies our needs, we lack nothing.  Lack is a claim that God, or one of the synonyms for God, is absent. (B5)

There can be only one supreme and infinite being.  Therefore, there can be only one Spirit. (S1)  We are the image and likeness of Spirit.  How freeing this is.  In God's eyes, there isn't a list of things about you that needs to be changed.  However, God does demand that we exchange a limited physical view of life for the truth about God.  Spirit gives our lives a singular focus - spirituality. (S3)

Life does not end in mortality (death).  The root of evil is the belief that matter is the basis of Life, that Life is dependent on matter, that Life is dependent on matter for expression.  Spirit impelled Jesus' actions.  If we yield to Truth only in times of sickness or when things get rough, then we may be thinking of Christian Science as a tool to improve matter.  This would make Spirit the servant of matter. (S4) 

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" is the "El Dorado of Christian Science."  El Dorado is Spanish for "golden one."  It is one of God's most valuable commands. (S5)  [P.U.S.S.H.  Choose and put into practice today your favorite spiritual life-laws from the 10 Commandments.  Discover fresh application ideas for them from Barry Huff's 10 Commandment's podcasts on the TMCYouth.com website under podcasts for Sunday School.]

Section 2: - Babel
"Unless the Lord build the house, the builders labor in vain." (New International Version)  House can be thought of as another word for consciousness. (See 578:18)  (B6) "Woe to the obstinate children," declares the LORD, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin;" (B7 - NIV)  The builders at
Babel had a good motive - to work together to build something to be proud of.  The project ground to a halt and they experienced alienation from God and each other. (B8)  Babel, the Hebrew name for Babylon, is often thought to mean confusion.  Another view is that Babel comes from bab + el, meaning "gate of god." (Interpreter's One-volume Bible Commentary)  "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.  Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed."  No one likes a boaster, or a proud talker.  (B9 - NIV)

Christian Science corrects human ignorance and confusion. The clear language of Spirit is perfect communication. (S7)   Like the Tower of Babel, here is another lesson in spiritual consciousness building.  The more we utilize and rely on the evidence and knowledge derived from the five corporeal senses, the more confusion there is and the more likely the structure (mind or life) is going to fall down. (S8)  Note the marginal heading "Material knowledge illusive".  The five senses are poor building materials.  They are perishable and illusive.  Spiritual ideas do not deteriorate.  They cause only harmony and healing.  Human nature resists these facts.  Note how mortal mind is always building up things and later tearing them down.  Buildings are constantly being torn down and new ones being built up.  Likewise, that type of activity is going on in the body.  A popular theory in sports training is that in order to strengthen muscles, the muscles need to be broken down through exercise and then rebuilt. (S9)

What is Spirit?  "Spirit is the life, substance, and continuity of all things." (S12)  It is the cause of everything real.  Now, we're getting somewhere.  We know that God is our focus, and we know what we are building.  A God-based life.  [P.S.S.T. What building tips and application ideas can you get from Keith Wommack's insightful article on this week's Bible Lesson called "Babel-Builder of Spirit-Moved Healer?" in the February 4, 2008 Christian Science Sentinel, p.22.]

Section 3: - The Mind of Christ
The prophet Zechariah honored Spirit as the source of power, good, and continuity, rather than personal power.  He said, "Not by (my) might nor by (my) power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty." (B11)  Once when someone praised Jesus, he said, "Why are you calling me good?" (paraphrase)  Have you ever wondered why he didn't accept the recognition of his goodness?  He wanted Christ to be recognized, not Jesus.  He wanted a heartfelt and authentic recognition of Christ - the full power and recognition of Spirit.   When someone pays you a compliment, they are just recognizing the Christ in you.

What were these evil spirits that harassed Jesus?  Evil spirits are actually false beliefs, false conceptions.  They are error's protests that despite God, man is subject to evil.  This in turn makes evil seem real, as the master of God.  (B13, B14) "There are evil beliefs, often called evil spirits; but these evils are not Spirit, for there is no evil in Spirit.  Because God is Spirit, evil becomes more apparent and obnoxious proportionately as we advance spiritually, until it disappears from our lives." (S&H 206:32-4)

God is the only Spirit, the only power.  It is that power which governs and controls man.  Any other control, any other attraction or influence, is the repetition of nothingness.  Nothing cannot become something through repetition.  (S13)  Jesus showed us practically how to destroy evil spirits (false beliefs).  First, he was not impressed by sickness or death.  He recognized them as nothing.  Second, he never named illness.  Flu, cold, and accident are different names for nothingness.   Third, Jesus had no patience for error.  He directly addressed the error bothering his patient and commanded it be silent. (S15)  It may appear that Jesus was using personal power to destroy evil.  However, that view of God's allness and power is a limiting belief.  Christ, the true idea of God, the full power of Spirit, is what destroys evil.  This same Christ is in you.  It is your divine nature.  You have Christly dominion, and you are becoming more aware of it day by day. (S16)  [P.U.S.S.H.  Discover and demonstrate a little more each day "A LIFE MODELED AFTER THE DIVINE," a very applicable article by Mark Sweeney on page 24 of the January 28, 2008 Christian Science Sentinel.]

Section 4: -  No Man Can Serve Two Masters
The Greek word
Μετανοεῖτε (metanoeite) is translated "repent" in the KJV translation.  Repent means to feel regret, "to feel pain again." (dictionary.com)  However, a more inspired sense of what Jesus was saying is, "change your mind, turn away from past sins." (www.greekbible.com)  "Change your life. God's kingdom is here." (The Message) (B15)

Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters.  Think of how applicable this is in terms of healing, especially addiction. (B16)  We were free born, not meant to serve any master but God.  Mammon means greed for gold, worldly gain personified as a false god, and material wealth acting as an evil influence. (dictionary.com)  Money isn't the problem.  It is love of money and possessions that is the problem.  Often, what mortal mind presents as "freedom" is not.  It is a "yoke of bondage."  A yoke is often a wooden frame that connects two draft animals such as oxen.  It can also be "a viselike piece gripping two parts firmly together." (dictionary.com)  "My counsel is this:  Live freely, animated and motivated by God's Spirit.  Then you won't feed the compulsions of selfishness." (B18 - The Message) 
[P.S.S.T.  What "compulsions of selfishness" appear to free you and yet will slow you down and keep you from freely giving with unselfed love?  Check out S&H 236:30 to change halting steps to easy and rapid ones.  Athletes take note of what will quicken you:  As "Touchdown Tommy" Vardell of Stanford and the Detroit Lions demonstrated quickly "Speed relates to efficiency.  Therefore, it's a spiritual idea, not dependent on the material body."]

Evil is the persistent belief that Life is dependent on matter, in matter, of matter.  It is this subtle, simple belief that persecutes Truth and Love.  Evil sees and fears its destruction by the practice of Science.  It attempts to hold back progress.  In belief, it obstructs and causes confusion. (S18)

Jesus said that the old wine has to be poured out to make room for new wine. (Luke 5)  Similarly, limiting beliefs must be cast out to make room for infinite spiritual understanding. (S19)  Synonyms of radical are: basic, essential, innate, complete, unqualified and thorough.  We can serve only one master. (S21)

Section 5: -  [Speak boldly] The Holy Ghost (Christ)
The book Acts of the Apostles is attributed to Luke.  It begins with a dedication to Theophilus.  Luke's first volume, which we call Gospel of Luke tells of Jesus' life. (Interpreter's Commentary)  Acts begins with an introduction of Jesus' career, how he chose 12 apostles and what he taught them up to the day he said good-bye, and how he was taken up to heaven.  After his death, he appeared several times, quite alive, telling them different things over a period of forty days.  In face-to-face meetings he talked about the kingdom of God and how the apostles would be baptized soon in the Holy Spirit, like John had baptized them in water. (B20 - Paraphrase)

Was this volume written by Luke?  Scholars are not sure, but they are sure that the author was a "competent historian of broad learning and faith." (Interpreter's Commentary)  The book Acts focuses on the development and spread of the Christian church.  It is a historical document of the issues that the early Christians grappled with.  The early Christians were Jews who recognized Jesus as the Messiah.  They grappled with tough questions, like can you be a real Christian if you weren't first a Jew?

The word pentecost means "fiftieth day," because the Day of Pentecost is celebrated 50 days after Passover/Easter. (m-w.com)  After Jesus ascended, followers of his teachings came from many different cities to celebrate the Day of Pentecost together.  Something extraordinary happened - the Holy Spirit descended on them.  It sounded like a very strong wind and looked like tongues of fire over everyone's head. (www.bbc.co.uk)  "The disciples were suddenly empowered to proclaim the gospel of the risen Christ.  They went out into the streets of Jerusalem and began preaching to the crowds gathered for the festival.  Not only did the disciples preach with boldness and vigor, but by a miracle of the Holy Spirit they spoke in the native languages of the people present, many who had come from all corners of the Roman Empire.  This created a sensation.  The apostle Peter seized the moment and addressed the crowd, preaching to them about Jesus' death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins.  The result was that about three thousand converts were baptized that day." 

(www.stpaulskingsville.org). "When the last days come, I will give my Spirit to everyone." (B21) (Contemporary English Version)

[P.S.S.T.]  When Spirit looks, what does it see?  Its light is so bright that it illuminates everything in the universe.  Its light is so powerful it sees only light, only its own reflection.  When Love sees you, She sees you whole, healed, upright, free from problems, and happy.  There is no other possibility. (S25)  [P.U.S.S.H.  Welcome such inspired "Pentecostal views that set right the disorder and vanity of Babel."  (Cobbey Crisler)  "Living in the Spirit" will loosen the "grip" of empty "promises of material joys" and "worldly aims" (today's Babel-building projects).  See these quotes of Russel Fogg in the context of his article, "My #1 Priority" on page 7 of this week's my Bible Lesson.com.]

Camp Director's Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians [with bracketed, italicized notes and "Possible Sunday School Topics" and Homework offered by me as editor and sometimes by the author]. This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.
Have fun unwrapping, cherishing and sharing your special, spiritual gift(s)!  
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director       director@cedarscamps.org       (636) 394-6162
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