True Devoutness

I have heard it well put that salvation is like hitting a home run, you can’t be thrown out but you must touch all the bases! All who are born again will touch all the bases because God ensures it, for His complete uninterrupted favor in Christ on our behalf will ever be secure. There can be nothing additional to God’s favor in the believer nor anything to detract it, and this always supplies freshness to our desire in pleasing Him. Though the believer’s lessons in understanding our eternal place in Christ will be endless, we can rest in knowing our race is won in Him!


True Devoutness

When I rest in the Lord Jesus, then I begin to find all my joy and strength in Him, and I occupy myself with Him. This is the first step, or the foundation of true devoutness. I do not become devoted in the true sense until I have found rest in Him. I am, up to this, rather looking to receive from Him. I am more an object to myself; but when I find how fully I am an object to Him, then my heart is at liberty to make Him its object, He having made me His.

A great deal of what is apparently devoutness is an effort to obtain a sense of His interest in one; it is a devoutness to obtain intimacy, instead of a devoutness resulting from intimacy. Hence work is resorted to as affording a kind of joy, according as there is success; but the acts done with a motive of this kind betray their source in that the doer is more occupied with success than with assurance of the Lord Jesus’ approval, and is consequently dependent on good results for cheer and encouragement.

Nothing can be plainer than that if I desire to be devoted to a person, my first work must be to be well acquainted with that one and for this I must sit at His feet and learn of Him by His Word. Of this Mary is an example, when she sat at his feet and heard His words. Martha, on the other hand, had zeal and ability, but instead of seeking to understand what was on His mind, she cumbered herself with a very useful service, but one which was suggested by her own mind.

Every servant who has ever known the “good part” can trace in his own course to how often he has made this mistake and addressed himself to something apparently, and in his judgement, a most useful undertaking and service, and afterwards found how arduous and non-compensating it was to his spirit. While, on the other hand, surely the true heart knows well that there is nothing equal to the rewards it receives from the Lord Jesus, when simply and exclusively occupied with Himself, and seeking His mind and thoughts.

It is the Ruth-like heart that cleaves to Naomi when apparently there is nothing to be gained by doing so, and who does so merely to satisfy the affections of the heart. Such a one is always ready for the next work, and that is, doing the immediate will of the One who so entirely controls me. Ruth does exactly as Naomi instructs her, and gleans the field. Mary Magdalene does exactly as the Lord tells her, and she goes and informs His brethren the very first and chief line of thought in His heart for them.

In both these cases the personal devoutness came first, and the serving devoutness came next. But it is well to bear in mind that not only is it in His society that I am satisfied myself, but it is there I become qualified for being an exponent of Him who satisfies me; otherwise I am speaking of one I do not personally know.

The Marys know the first work; their hearts are exclusively occupied with this, and hence when they act, they know what suits His heart. One anoints His body for the burial, and the other communicate His mind to His brethren. Occupation with that which is His peculiarly and distinctly marks each of them in their service on earth. They are Christ’s ministers to His saints on earth; and, like Timothy, they mind the things that are Jesus Christ’s, and naturally care for the state of those on whom His heart is set; or, also like Timothy, they do the work of an evangelist to gather up the missing ones into the rest and delight of His heart.

- J B Stoney

Devotional by Miles J Stanford: