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Have you yet put yourself in the way of attaining the joy of Christ? Have you set yourself apart, and placed yourself on God's altar, to live not to please yourself, even as Christ lived not to please Himself, but to consecrate yourself to the work for which Christ consecrated Himself—that is, the salvation of precious souls?
If you have not done this, you have not yet come to the point where you can have the full joy of Christ. Set yourself apart now, to live outside yourself in the will of God.
What had Christ to do with merely human satisfactions, apart from the will of His Father? He took upon Himself not the nature of angels but the nature of men and was very man as truly as very God. But He lived not to please Himself.
Resolve that you will live no longer to please yourself but that all your joys will be Christ's joys. And with this resolve set yourself apart to work for God.
After you have laid yourself and your will on every point upon the altar, you may know that God receives you; for the altar is God's altar, an altar most holy. The moment your offering is laid upon it, it is sanctified; for the altar sanctifies the gift (Heb. 2:11).
Whatever touches the altar will be holy. You present your sacrifice through Christ, and an offering presented to God through Christ is holy and acceptable.
While resting on this hallowed altar—on Christ, whose atonement takes away the sins of the world—let not your chief thought be about joyous emotion. What you need is holiness, the image of God.
This you receive in resting your whole being on Christ. The Bible says that "as many as touched Him were made well" (Mark 6:56). Thus you have only to touch Christ in faith, and according to your faith it is done unto you (Matt. 9:29).
Is the offering now presented? Can you say, in the words of the hymn "O Happy Day," "'Tis done! The great transaction's done! I am the Lord's, and He is mine"?
Then begin from this moment to act upon the principle that you are no more your own. You belong to Christ. Let Christ's work be your work.
If He came from heaven to Earth to save sinners, then deem no traveling, no work and no exile from close friends or blissful climates too self-sacrificing. Think of your Divine Redeemer, your precious Savior, "who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and ... sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). Then you shall have the joy of Christ fulfilled in yourself.
Phoebe Palmer (1807-1874) was a forerunner of both the Holiness and the Pentecostal-charismatic movements. This selection is adapted from Entire Devotion to God by Phoebe Palmer. Published by Schmul Publishing Co., Inc. Used by permission.
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