What Determines The Bottom Line?

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

The bottom line is the final statement about a given subject. Some people say, "The only two things that are certain are death and taxes." But I have found a more reasonable and practical bottom line, and that is God.

The Bible says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). These words of Christ Jesus establish a basis for prayer. Jesus reminded his followers of the words of the prophet Isaiah, saying, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Matthew 15:8, 9; see Isaiah 29:13). Prayer and worship bring us closer to the "bottom line" of existence; they involve sincere searching for spiritual things, the things of God.

Consider these words of Mary Baker Eddy, a woman who lived in the nineteenth century and was a follower of Jesus: "Man-made doctrines are waning. They have not waxed strong in times of trouble. Devoid of the Christ-power, how can they illustrate the doctrines of Christ or the miracles of grace? Denial of the possibility of Christian healing robs Christianity of the very element, which gave it divine force and its astonishing and unequalled success in the first century" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 134). Today there is a genuine searching for spirituality-for "the doctrines of Christ" and "the miracles of grace." More and more, people are acknowledging the power of prayer and reliance on divine power. To meet more fully the needs of society, some are seeking a perspective that deals not merely with physical characteristics but with the whole individual.

It has yet to be more clearly discerned that that perspective lies in Spirit, God.

A place in which to search out the facts of being is the Holy Bible. From the very first chapter of Genesis, which declares that we were made in the "image" and "likeness" of God, to the final chapter of Revelation, which invites everyone to partake of "the water of life," we find the message of salvation.

A multitude of ills has arisen through ignorance of God's law of harmony. The Bible contains the truth of this universal law. And anyone can prove the power of this law of God by means of the exact Science that Mrs. Eddy discovered in 1866 and named Christian Science.

Two verses in the last chapter of the Bible warn that no one should attempt to add to or take away from what God reveals of Himself (see Revelation 22:18, 19). Along these lines, the very first tenet of Christian Science that Eddy set forth in Science and Health is this: "As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life" (p. 497). Science and Health is read in conjunction with the Bible in the study of Christian Science. You might say the Christian Science textbook is a little like a clear lens that helps bring spiritual focus on the truth of the Bible. These two books serve as the pastor of the Christian Science Church. Through the study and practice of Christian Science, people are healed, redeemed, and blessed according to their individual needs. The power behind this healing is spiritual, not physical; it is God.

Many are looking today for a bottom line that is not death, but life; not taxes, but that "water of life." The book of Isaiah says, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (55:1). We are one and all beckoned by this invitation. The inspired Word of the Bible offers a basis of existence that is well worth understanding, for it helps us find our perfection as the image and likeness of the one good God. You won't find a better bottom line anywhere.

Through faith we understand

that the worlds were framed

by the word of God.

Hebrews 11:3

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