Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Has the World Done for You?

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:17).

What we may most appreciate of Robert Murray M'Cheyne is how his own communion with God translated into such faithful evangelism. The following is from a letter he wrote in September of 1842, to "one awakened":
Surely you have lived long enough without Christ. You have despised Jesus long enough. What has the world done for you, that you love it so much? Did the world die for you? Will the world blot out your sins or change your heart? Will the world carry you to heaven? No, no! You may go back to the world if you please, but it can only destroy your poor soul. “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.”—1 Tim. v.6. Read these words in your Bible, and mark them; and if you go back, that mark will be a witness against you before the great white throne, when the books are opened.

Have you not lived long enough in pleasure? Come and try the pleasures of Christ,—forgiveness and a new heart. I have not been at a dance or any worldly amusement for many years, and yet I believe I have had more pleasure in a single day than you have had all your life. In what? you will say. In feeling that God loves me,—that Christ has washed me,—and in feeling that I shall be in heaven when the wicked are cast into hell. “A day in thy courts is better than a thousand.”—Ps. lxxxiv.10.

- Andrew Bonar, Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray McCheyne (1894), p. 277.
Read his whole letter.

M'Cheyne boldly identified sin and unbelief - "You have despised Jesus long enough" - while tenderly describing the comforts of Jesus - "Come and try the pleasures of Christ." Such is a model of faithful evangelism that is consistent with the Savior and His apostles. As we grow in our own enjoyment of Christ, our evangelistic witness will inevitably become less of a programmatic function than the overflow of our pleasure in Him. And, with that, be delivered in the aroma of authenticity.

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