You, O Lord, have made me glad by your work.
Do you believe that your sins are forgiven and that Christ has made a full atonement for them? Then what a joyful Christian you ought to be! How you should live above the common trials and troubles of the world! Since sin is forgiven, can it matter what happens to you now? Luther said, "Smite, Lord, smite, for my sin is forgiven; if You have forgiven me, smite as hard as You will." And in a similar spirit you may say, "Send sickness, poverty, losses, crosses, persecution, what You will. You have forgiven me, and my soul is glad."
Christian, if you are thus saved, while you are glad, be grateful and loving. Cling to that cross that took your sin away; serve Him who served you. "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."1 Do not let your zeal evaporate in some little exuberant song. Show your love in meaningful ways. Love the brethren of Him who loved you. If there is a Mephibosheth anywhere who is disabled, help him for Jonathan's sake. If there is a poor tried believer, weep with him, and bear his cross for the sake of Him who wept for you and carried your sins.
Since you are forgiven freely for Christ's sake, go and tell others the joyful news of pardoning mercy. Do not be contented with this unspeakable blessing for yourself alone, but publish widely the story of the cross. Holy gladness and holy boldness will make you a good preacher, and all the world will be a pulpit for you to preach in. Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of sermons, but the Lord must give it to you. Seek it this morning before you go into the world. When it is the Lord's work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad.
1) Romans 12:1
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.