B(J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)
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“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was just and devout” Luke 2:25
He was just in all his dealings with men–and devout in his dealings toward God. It takes both of these elements to make true religion.
Some people are just–and not devout! They are scrupulously honest in all their dealings–and yet they never think of God, or of their duties to Him. They do not bow to Him in prayer, nor do they ever lift their hearts to Him in praise. Because they do not love Him, therefore 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 blessing in their lives flows, and upon Whom they are dependent every moment for breath and existence. It is readily seen, that such religion is no religion at all.
TWO THINGS MUST GO TOGETHER
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. Therefore we owe to Him obedience, faith, love, honor, 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, and oppressive! It is very evident that this kind of religion does not please God. He wants our praise and honor–but He wants us to honor 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 (the first table)–but we are also to love our neighbor as ourselves (the second table). While we are devout toward God–we are to be honest, true, unselfish toward men.
The two things must go together, and never be torn asunder!
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