Sunday, November 25th, 2021
“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”
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6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
10. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly,
11. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
5 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
8 I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
18 …be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them.
24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
16 …a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
17 The same followed Paul and us,
18 Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.
19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas,
20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,
22 …and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 …and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 …and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers. Practice not profession, understanding not belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and they assuredly call down infinite blessings.
God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? Do we expect to change perfection? Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept? The unspoken desire does bring us nearer the source of all existence and blessedness.
Are we really grateful for the good already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more. Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.
If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are insincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pronounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the only acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and remember our blessings. While the heart is far from divine Truth and Love, we cannot conceal the ingratitude of barren lives.
Who that has felt the loss of human peace has not gained stronger desires for spiritual joy? The aspiration after heavenly good comes even before we discover what belongs to wisdom and Love. The loss of earthly hopes and pleasures brightens the ascending path of many a heart. The pains of sense quickly inform us that the pleasures of sense are mortal and that joy is spiritual.
Think of this, dear reader, for it will lift the sackcloth from your eyes, and you will behold the soft-winged dove descending upon you. The very circumstance, which your suffering sense deems wrathful and afflictive, Love can make an angel entertained unawares.
It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. …This is the doctrine of Christian Science: that divine Love cannot be deprived of its manifestation, or object; that joy cannot be turned into sorrow, for sorrow is not the master of joy; that good can never produce evil; that matter can never produce mind nor life result in death. The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is sinless and eternal.
We cannot deny that Life is self-sustained, and we should never deny the everlasting harmony of Soul, simply because, to the mortal senses, there is seeming discord. It is our ignorance of God, the divine Principle, which produces apparent discord, and the right understanding of Him restores harmony. Truth will at length compel us all to exchange the pleasures and pains of sense for the joys of Soul.
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.
What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness, love, and good deeds. To keep the commandments of our Master and follow his example, is our proper debt to him and the only worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has done.
We shall obey and adore in proportion as we apprehend the divine nature and love Him understandingly, warring no more over the corporeality, but rejoicing in the affluence of our God.
As human thought changes from one stage to another of conscious pain and painlessness, sorrow and joy, — from fear to hope and from faith to understanding, — the visible manifestation will at last be man governed by Soul, not by material sense.
Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine "powers that be."