The great test of your soul's health is, What do you think about Christ? Is He the best of friends—"distinguished among ten thousand"1—your all in all? When Christ is held in such esteem, all the faculties of the spiritual man are energized. I can gauge your piety by this standard: Does Christ take a high or low position with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without His presence, if you have cared only slightly for His honor, if you have neglected His laws, then I know that your soul is sick—God grant that it may not be a sickness leading to death!
But if the first thought of your spirit has been, How can I honor Jesus?—if the daily desire of your soul has been, "O that I knew where I might find him!"2 I tell you that you may face a thousand infirmities, and even hardly know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded beyond a doubt that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem.
I'm not concerned about your rags—what do you think of His royal apparel? I'm not concerned about your wounds, though they bleed profusely—what do you think of His wounds? Are they like glittering rubies in your esteem? I think none the less of you, though you lie like Lazarus on the refuse pile, and the dogs lick you—I do not judge you by your poverty: What do you think of the King in His beauty? Does He sit enthroned in your heart? Would you set Him higher if you could? Would you be willing to die if you could add another trumpet to the melody that proclaims His praise? Then it is well with you. Whatever you may think of yourself, if Christ is great to you, you will be with Him in the end.
Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is He.
verse 1 Malachi 2
verse 2 John 19
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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.