Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 Testimony Meeting
Theme: Staying Faithful Has Reward
Read by Elsie and Florence
Psalm 31: 1-3
1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
2 Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
Ezekiel 38: 7 (to second comma)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself…
Matthew 25: 1-13
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Psalm 31: 14 (from I), 15 (to first period)
14 … I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
II Timothy 3: 14-17
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Revelation 2: 25 (from that) -29
25 … that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Revelation 21: 7
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
There is no excellence without labor; and the time to work, is now. Only by persistent, unremitting, straightforward toil; by turning neither to the right nor to the left, seeking no other pursuit or pleasure than that which cometh from God, can you win and wear the crown of the faithful.
Is a musician made by his teacher? He makes himself a musician by practising what he was taught. The conscientious are successful. They follow faithfully; through evil or through good report, they work on to the achievement of good; by patience, they inherit the promise. Be active, and, however slow, thy success is sure: toil is triumph; and — thou hast been faithful over a few things.
Material philosophy, human ethics, scholastic theology, and physics have not sufficiently enlightened mankind. Human wrong, sickness, sin, and death still appear in mortal belief, and they never bring out the right action of mind or body. When will the whole human race have one God, — an undivided affection that leaves unreal material basis of things, for the spiritual foundation and superstructure that is real, right, and eternal?
First, purify thought, then put thought into words, and words into deeds; and after much slipping and clambering, you will go up the scale of Science to the second rule, and be made ruler over many things. Fidelity finds its reward and its strength in exalted purpose. Seeking is not sufficient whereby to arrive at the results of Science: you must strive; and the glory of the strife comes of honesty and humility.
341:18-19, 21 — 343:27
The parable of “the ten virgins” serves to illustrate the evil of inaction and delay. This parable is drawn from the sad history of Vesta, — a little girl of eight years, who takes the most solemn vow of celibacy for thirty years, and is subject to terrible torture if the lamp she tends is not replenished with oil day and night, so that the flame never expires. The moral of the parable is pointed, and the diction purely Oriental.
We learn from this parable that neither the cares of this world nor the so-called pleasures or pains of material sense are adequate to plead for the neglect of spiritual light, that must be tended to keep aglow the flame of devotion whereby to enter into the joy of divine Science demonstrated.
The foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps: their way was material; thus they were in doubt and darkness. They heeded not their sloth, their fading warmth of action; hence the steady decline of spiritual light, until, the midnight gloom upon them, they must borrow the better-tended lamps of the faithful. By entering the guest-chamber of Truth and beholding the bridal of Life and Love, they would be wedded to a higher understanding of God. Each moment’s fair expectancy was to behold the bridegroom, the One “altogether lovely.”
It was midnight: darkness profound brooded over earth’s lazy sleepers. With no oil in their lamps, no spiritual illumination to look upon him whom they had pierced, they heard the shout, “The bridegroom cometh!” But how could they behold him? Hear that human cry: “Oh, lend us your oil! our lamps have gone out, — no light! earth’s fables flee, and heaven is afar off.”
The door is shut. The wise virgins had no oil to spare, and they said to the foolish, “Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” Seek Truth, and pursue it. It should cost you something: you are willing to pay for error and receive nothing in return; but if you pay the price of Truth, you shall receive all.
How much more should we be faithful over the few things of Spirit, that are able to make us wise unto salvation! Let us watch and pray that we enter not into the temptation of ease in sin; and let us not forget that others before us have laid upon the altar all that we have to sacrifice, and have passed to their reward. Too soon we cannot turn from disease in the body to find disease in the mortal mind, and its cure, in working for God.
Christian Scientists cannot watch too sedulously, or bar their doors too closely, or pray to God too fervently, for deliverance from the claims of evil. Thus doing, Scientists will silence evil suggestions, uncover their methods, and stop their hidden influence upon the lives of mortals. Rest assured that God in His wisdom will test all mankind on all questions; and then, if found faithful, He will deliver us from temptation and show us the powerlessness of evil, — even its utter nothingness.