The true measure of life is not its length, but its usefulness. Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s ministry lasted but a short seven and a half years (He died at the age of 29.), yet the fruitfulness of that brief life remains active to this day. M’Cheyne left notes of only some 300 sermons when he died in 1843, but his sermons continue to bless. He once counseled a fellow pastor: “Get your texts from God – your thoughts, your words, from God… 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.” Below, M’Cheyne elaborates on love and perseverance:
“For the love of Christ constrains us.” (II Cor. 5:14)
[I]f Christ’s love to us be the object which the Holy Spirit makes use of, at the very first, to draw us to the service of Christ, it is by means of the same object that He draws us to persevere even unto the end. So that if you are visited with seasons of coldness and indifference; if you begin to be weary, or lag behind in the service of God, behold! Here is the remedy: look again to the bleeding Savior. That Sun of Righteousness is the grand attractive centre, round which all His saints move swiftly, and in smooth harmonious concert, “not without song”. As long as the believing eye is fixed upon His love, the path of the believer is easy and unimpeded; for that love always constrains. But lift off the believing eye, and that path becomes impracticable, the life of holiness a weariness.
Whoever, then, would live a life of persevering holiness, let him keep his eye fixed on the Savior. As long as Peter looked only to the Savior, he walked upon the sea in safety, to go to Jesus; but when he looked around and saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried, “Lord, save me!” Just so will it be with you. As long as you look believingly to the Savior, who loved you, and gave Himself for you, so long you may tread the waters of life’s troubled sea, and the soles of your feet shall not be wet. But venture to look around upon the winds and waves that threaten you on every hand, and, like Peter, you begin to sink, and cry, “Lord, save me!” How justly, then, may we address to you the Savior’s rebuke to Peter: “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Look again to the love of the Savior, and behold that love which constrains you to live no more to yourself, but to Him that died for you and rose again. (“The Love of Christ”)