Sunday, May 1st, 2022
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer,”
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2. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions:
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness;
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
22 Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God,
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The design of Love is to reform the sinner.
To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish more than its equivalent of pain, until belief in material life and sin is destroyed. To reach heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand the divine Principle of being.
Who will stop the practice of sin so long as he believes in the pleasures of sin? When mortals once admit that evil confers no pleasure, they turn from it. Remove error from thought, and it will not appear in effect. The advanced thinker and devout Christian, perceiving the scope and tendency of Christian healing and its Science, will support them. Another will say: "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season I will call for thee."
Unless the harmony and immortality of man are becoming more apparent, we are not gaining the true idea of God; and the body will reflect what governs it, whether it be Truth or error, understanding or belief, Spirit or matter. Therefore "acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace." Be watchful, sober, and vigilant. The way is straight and narrow, which leads to the understanding that God is the only Life. It is a warfare with the flesh, in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and death, either here or hereafter, — certainly before we can reach the goal of Spirit, or life in God.
Paul was not at first a disciple of Jesus but a persecutor of Jesus' followers. When the truth first appeared to him in Science, Paul was made blind, and his blindness was felt; but spiritual light soon enabled him to follow the example and teachings of Jesus, healing the sick and preaching Christianity throughout Asia Minor, Greece, and even in imperial Rome.
Saul of Tarsus beheld the way — the Christ, or Truth — only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense, which is always right. Then the man was changed. Thought assumed a nobler outlook, and his life became more spiritual. He learned the wrong that he had done in persecuting Christians, whose religion he had not understood, and in humility he took the new name of Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love, and learned a lesson in divine Science.
Reform comes by understanding that there is no abiding pleasure in evil, and also by gaining an affection for good according to Science, which reveals the immortal fact that neither pleasure nor pain, appetite nor passion, can exist in or of matter, while divine Mind can and does destroy the false beliefs of pleasure, pain, or fear and all the sinful appetites of the human mind.
What a pitiful sight is malice, finding pleasure in revenge! Evil is sometimes a man's highest conception of right, until his grasp on good grows stronger. Then he loses pleasure in wickedness, and it becomes his torment. The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way. Sin is the image of the beast to be effaced by the sweat of agony. It is a moral madness which rushes forth to clamor with midnight and tempest.
To the physical senses, the strict demands of Christian Science seem peremptory; but mortals are hastening to learn that Life is God, good, and that evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.
Fear of punishment never made man truly honest. Moral courage is requisite to meet the wrong and to proclaim the right. But how shall we reform the man who has more animal than moral courage, and who has not the true idea of good? Through human consciousness, convince the mortal of his mistake in seeking material means for gaining happiness. Reason is the most active human faculty. Let that inform the sentiments and awaken the man's dormant sense of moral obligation, and by degrees he will learn the nothingness of the pleasures of human sense and the grandeur and bliss of a spiritual sense, which silences the material or corporeal. Then he not only will be saved, but is saved.
There is no hypocrisy in Science. Principle is imperative. You cannot mock it by human will. Science is a divine demand, not a human. Always right, its divine Principle never repents, but maintains the claim of Truth by quenching error. The pardon of divine mercy is the destruction of error. If men understood their real spiritual source to be all blessedness, they would struggle for recourse to the spiritual and be at peace; but the deeper the error into which mortal mind is plunged, the more intense the opposition to spirituality, till error yields to Truth.
Human resistance to divine Science weakens in proportion as mortals give up error for Truth and the understanding of being supersedes mere belief.
Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when "they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest." Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body.
There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality — to have no other consciousness of life — than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.
St. Paul says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling:" Jesus said, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."