A definition of the word "religion" is "love and obedience towards God." To declare one's love for God, then, without being obedient to His commands, is not the practice of true religion. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1902 (p. 17) Mrs. Eddy says: "Jesus said, 'If ye love me, keep my commandments.' He knew that obedience is the test of love; that one gladly obeys when obedience gives him happiness." Throughout the Scriptures, numerous records of healing, protection, and preservation are given as the result of obedience to God. Since God, good, is the only power, the natural result of serving Him is protection from the belief of evil.

The story of Daniel's devotion to God portrays a beautiful example of loyalty, with its attendant results. If Daniel's religion had been superficial and had been confined merely to a form of worship, he would never have experienced deliverance from the den of lions; but his religion was something more than a name. It is recorded that after Daniel knew that the law had been signed prohibiting any one from asking a petition of any save the king on penalty of being cast into the den of lions, "he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." That Daniel had been living his religion, daily and hourly, is evidenced by the king's declaration, "Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee." Did not Daniel's victory result from the fact that he served his God continually? Was it not his steadfast obedience to God, good, which brought him out unharmed?

True obedience to God includes that humble desire which seeks to give, and looks for no return. In the first chapter of Mark we are told that when Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee and saw Simon and Andrew fishing, he said: "Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him." Evidently there was no hesitancy; no question as to what was to be required of them or what they would receive in return; no reluctance in giving up material things: they "straightway" obeyed. When God calls us to forsake our nets—materiality—and follow Him, do we always obey as readily as did Simon and Andrew? Or do we sometimes show a desire to hold on to our nets? Are there not in our mental storehouse so-called cherished treasures of ambition, self-love, human desire, and the like, with which we are unwilling to part? These possessions, which are but the counterfeits of real treasures, must be relinquished before we can obediently heed the call to follow.

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I Learned to Sing
May 9, 1925

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