IN the wilderness Christ Jesus was tempted to believe that bread was his basic need. His answer to evil's suggestion that he turn stones into bread should serve as a lasting correction to the human belief that matter is ever the basic need of mankind. He said (Matt. 4:4), "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The Master understood that life is not in matter or dependent upon it, and he turned men to God as the source of all real being and sustenance.

Today, in the wilderness of confused material thinking, humanity is being tempted to believe that if the things it calls basic needs—food, clothing, and decent housing—are provided first, then individuals and peoples will progress toward happiness, political harmony, and cultural freedom. But this reasoning is not sound, for it omits the great facts which Christian Science reveals: that Spirit is the only substance, and that man lives by divine decree. When men acknowledge God as All and prove man's sonship with Him by loving, such human needs as shelter and sustenance are supplied in proof of the Father's law of provision. Mary Baker Eddy says in "Miscellaneous Writings" (p. 263), "Always bear in mind that His presence, power, and peace meet all human needs and reflect all bliss."

August 5, 1950

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