“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
In 1836, at the age of twenty three, Robert Murray McCheyne, of Edinburgh, Scotland, became the minister of St. Peter’s Church, Dundee. What he lacked in physical health, God more than provided for in anointing him with mighty spiritual power. The Apostle Paul, along with many other faithful saints through the ages, have also struggled with physical infirmities. Yet, God glorifies himself through the weak and humble to confound the self-proclaimed wise and strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). God called his servant, McCheyne, into his nearer presence just before his thirtieth birthday. Yet, over two hundred years later, since his birth, his example of loving dedication in serving his church family is still felt today. He had totally surrendered all his God-given gifts and abilities to the work of the gospel. Ever in prayer and the study of God’s word, he endeavoured to make the most of everyday. He was musical and very creative. He produced gospel tracts, had a letter writing ministry, wrote poems, and traveled throughout Scotland passionately preaching to win souls for Christ. When he finally agreed to get away for some rest, he went to the Holy Land. While there, his relentless, missionary heart led him to help plants seeds that would eventually bloom into a Scottish mission to Jews.
Dr. Andrew Bonar, who wrote a wonderful biography of McCheyne, said of him: “He cared for no question unless his Master cared for it; and his main anxiety was to know the mind of Christ.” Pastor Robert McCheyne knew deeply of the importance of deriving our power from keeping our eyes fixed on the living and loving Christ. He wrote:
“Some are saying, Oh that the world was crucified to me and I to the world! Oh that my heart were as dead as a stone to the world and alive to Jesus! Do you truly wish it? Look, then, to the cross. Behold the amazing gift of love.… Sit down like Mary, and gaze upon a crucified Jesus. Then will the world become a dim and dying thing. When you gaze upon the sun, it makes everything else dark; when you taste honey, it makes everything else tasteless; so when your soul feeds on Jesus, it takes away the sweetness of all earthly things—praise, pleasure, and fleshly lusts all lose their sweetness. Keep a continued gaze. Run, looking unto Jesus. Look, till the way of salvation by Jesus fills up the whole horizon, so glorious and peace-speaking. Then will the world be crucified to you, and you unto the world.”
Oh, that we who are weak, and desire the mighty power of Christ, would heed our dear brother’s blessed, biblical counsel!
Thanks for meandering along with me,