The promise is real

The idea that people living in the world today can feel the love of God, can spiritually sense divine Love, is not widely recognized. Nor is the fact that an understanding of the truth of being that Jesus taught can heal us of our diseases, physical and mental. Yet this is the holy promise that has been brought to us as Christianity.

The concept of a holy promise might understandably be looked upon today with some skepticism. Perhaps the very notion seems old-fashioned or naive in an age characterized by atom splitting, computers, and ''holy'' wars. Further, the erosion of the traditional family structure, and the support that goes along with it, has left many scars and unhealed resentments. Many of us have had promising relationships fizzle out. Many are in pain. Many feel they are not deserving of God's love.

Yet if we could begin to know and feel the intelligence, the power, and the love of God as Jesus did, we would not only stop wondering if there was a holy promise in the world today, we would actually begin to partake of it. In our own lives, selfish materialism would begin giving way to unselfed spirituality; disease would give way to health; tears of anguish would give way to tears of joy. This is the promise Jesus brought - that the same truth he practiced we too can practice. He promised, ''He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.'' n1

n1 John 14:12.

Jesus taught that God is good, and that whatever is good - whatever is pure, spiritual, loving - is created and sustained by God. And he said that if we were to understand the nature of God and His love, we would be able to move mountains. That's quite a promise! If we were to better understand it, we might have less trouble getting out of bed on Monday morning!

Of course, we don't do everything at once. Nor is the promise something that we ''get'' automatically. It's something that we discern and begin to experience as we realize that we do have a great need to understand God, to understand Life , Love, Truth. We all want to do better, and the promise of Christianity is that we can be better. Not just for a day, but always. Jesus' teachings lead us to understand the true nature of man, which, reflecting God's nature, is purely spiritual and good.

In showing us how to understand our true selfhood, the Master didn't give us cold platitudes. His teachings, particularly the Beatitudes, are extremely warm and practical. And when we begin to pray to know the Beatitudes more deeply, we realize that they are powerful and transformative. Meekness, purity, a hunger for truth, a love of harmony - how much the world needs such qualities! And yet if we were to sit down and pray to live one or two of them through the entire day, our lives would be quite different. We would have a much greater sense of God and His love - a sense not intellectual but spiritual. It is also interesting to note that each beatitude ends with a promise: ''Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.'' ''Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.'' n2

n2 Matthew 5:5, 8.

Today we can study the New Testament and its promise in the light of spiritual Science - Christian Science. This Science clears away the mystery surrounding the Christian promise by revealing it as divine law - not something bestowed arbitrarily. Jesus' life and promise are for all who want a sense of existence that is higher than mindless materialism.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ''When the Science of Christianity appears, it will lead you into all truth. The Sermon on the Mount is the essence of this Science, and the eternal life, not the death of Jesus, is its outcome.'' n3

n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 271.

Eternal life is the ultimate Christian promise, and it can be realized step by step. Jesus' teachings prepare our hearts and focus our thought on God's blessings and His healing power. And when we sense those blessings, or experience a healing - and each of us can - we know the promise is not a myth. It is real. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;). . . Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Hebrews 10:23, 35, 36

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