Upright Devotion

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, - Luke 2:25

He was just in all his dealings with men, and devout in his feelings toward God. It takes both these elements to make true religion. Some people are just, and not devout. They are scrupulously honest in all their dealings, yet they never think of God or of their duties to Him. They do not bow to Him in prayer; they never lift their hearts to Him in praise. They do not love Him. They confess no obligations to Him. Their whole religion simply is honesty toward their fellow - men, while they utterly ignore God, their Creator and Redeemer, in Whom they live, from Whose grace every hope in their lives flows, and upon Whom they are dependent every moment for breath, for protection, and for all the blessings of life. It is readily seen that such religion is no religion at all.

While we are just and honest in our transactions with men, it is to God that we owe the first and highest duties. We are His creatures; we are saved, if at all, by His grace; we owe to Him obedience, faith, love, honour, service. So we must be devout as well as just. On the other hand, there are some people who profess to be devout who are not just. They attend upon ordinances, they sing and pray; and then they go out into the week - day world, and are hard, unjust, greedy, oppressive. It is very evident that this kind of religion does not please God. He wants our praise and honour, but He wants us to honour Him by our lives and actions as well as by our lips.

There are two tables of commandments; and the second table commandments are as binding as the first. We are to love God with all our heart, but we are also to love our neighbour as ourselves. While we are devout toward God, we are to be honest, true, unselfish toward men. The two things must go together, and must never be torn asunder.