Tag Archives: Robert Murray McCheyne

The Purest Joy

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal. 5:22 ESV

Joy is that deep, supernatural fulfillment that comes in knowing that we are experiencing and expressing the one who is true satisfaction, Jesus Christ. Joy begins with acknowledging that we are unconditionally loved, graciously forgiven, and eternally kept in Christ. Joy is released in our lives when we cultivate Christ’s conscious, constant presence.

Joy is not produced by emotional highs: supernatural fulfillment is imparted by obedience to God’s commands. Joy is not dependent on pleasant circumstances, but it is the fruit of finding and meeting Christ in the midst of all our life’s circumstances both pleasant and painful. Joy is renewed by worshiping the risen Jesus and by sharing him with others.

The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus. When the Spirit is poured down, his people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus. They eat his flesh and drink his blood. They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord. They taste that the Lord is gracious. His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect, full and free to their soul. They sit under his shadow with great delight. . . . They lean on the Beloved. They find infinite strength in him for the use of their soul — grace for grace — all they can need in any hour of trial and suffering to the very end.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne, preaching on Psalm 85:6, “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?”

HT: Ray Ortlund

A Foot Upon the Thorn

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Rom. 8:16-17

We live in the midst of the fallout of the fall: sin has affected every area of creation and all aspects of our lives. Disappointment, pain, and trouble are significant ingredients of our daily lives. Ill-timed, unexpected tragedies can shape our Christian lives for the better or make our hearts hard through bitterness. The choice is ours: better or bitter.

If we want to be better, we do not play the victim, but recognize that our Lord is sovereignly operating through our circumstances to conform us into image and likeness of his Son. Myrrh and frankincense, suffering and glory, cross and resurrection go together. There is no growth in the Christian life without a willingness to walk in the way of the Cross.

Every one that gets to the throne must put his foot upon the thorn. The way to the crown is by the cross. We must taste the gall if we are to taste the glory. When justified by faith, God led them into tribulations also. When God brought Israel through the Red Sea, He led them into the wilderness; so, when God saves a soul, He tries it. He never gives faith without trying it. The way to Zion is through the Valley of Baca.

You must go through the wilderness of Jordan if you are to come to the Land of Promise. Some believers are much surprised when they are called to suffer. They thought they would do some great thing for God; but all that God permits them to do is to suffer. Go round everyone in glory; everyone has a different story, yet every one has a tale of suffering. One was persecuted in his family, by his friends and companions; another was visited by sore pains and humbling disease, neglected by the world; another was bereaved of children; another had all these afflictions.

Andrew A. Bonar and Robert M. McCheyne, Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray McCheyne, (Christian Classics Foundation, 1996., electronic ed. Chicago: Moody Press, 1947), 216.

You Are God’s Sword

Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

1 Cor. 1:21 NLT

Christian ministry is the overflow of the Life of God in us. Ministry is not a position, but a relationship with a person, Jesus Christ. We spend time with Christ, Christ reveals himself afresh to us. The overflow of that experience is life, that life encourages and blesses others.

Ministry is communicating “life information” to others: why he loves, what God does, when he speaks, where he works, and how he transforms. Ministry is sharing with others how God has been faithful in our lives and how God will be faithful in theirs. Ministry is encouraging others to trust Christ’s work on the Cross, the Father’s faithful provision, and the Holy Spirit’s consistent guidance.

Christian ministry is God operating through our weaknesses, we become his instrument as a witness to God’s great grace, testimony to God’s faithfulness, and a expression of his love. We are God’s swords used to expose darkness, declare God’s Word, and embody the gospel.

Remember you are God’s sword—His instrument—I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne quoted in Andrew A. Bonar, Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1966), 282.