In the Precious Company of God and Grace

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“Rose early to seek God and found Him whom my soul loveth. Who would not rise early to meet such company?” ~R.M. M’Cheyne

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Robert Murray M’Cheyne is probably most well-known for the popular Bible reading plan he established–one that I’ve recently begun to follow myself. However, when one takes the time to look at the short biography of this Scottish Presbyterian minister, his heart for God is brilliantly displayed through his passion for ministry and love for souls, but it is wondrously transparent from what we read about his personal daily walk with God. One of his friends and contemporaries, A.A. Bonar, published some of M’Cheyne’s memoirs and letters along with a short biography of his life. Though M’Cheyne died at the age of 29, it is evident that what he did in that short while was fruitful for all of eternity and from his memoirs that the fellowship he had with his God and Savior extended far beyond his daily reading and prayer time.

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“Live near to God, and all things will appear little to you in comparison with eternal realities.” ~R.M. M’Cheyne

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How easy is it to live a waking hour without a thought toward God? Far too easy, I’m afraid.  It’s as though I acknowledge God to be the most important thing, but then I just as easily set Him aside and separate Him from all other priorities. In other words, my problem isn’t where I’ve placed Him–as most important, but rather the problem lies in that I’ve isolated Him far away from everything else. Certainly the average day (especially at school) is difficult and there are several things that preoccupy my energy and efforts, but is this really an excuse to think that grace is not with me all of the time. For sure I would affirm that it is–and it is, but I hardly think of it; I certainly don’t think of the continuing intimacy of God’s presence and sovereign control as always with me, and always at work, though they are.

That’s just it.

Isn’t it? I forget that I have an intimate relationship with my Creator–and that it is constant. My relationship with God doesn’t begin when I open my Bible in the day, and it doesn’t end when I close it and head to class. The relationship stays the same. God’s presence stays the same. What doesn’t stay the same is the fellowship; but it should stay the same, should it not?

How easy it is for me to pray and close my Bible and walk away from my room with a selected verse or truth on my mind to meditate upon throughout the day–if I just so happen to remember; But by contrast, how difficult it is to walk out of that room and remember that God’s presence still has not left me, and that sweet intimate fellowship is still available there for me as I sit in class, or at lunch, or as I check my email, or put my makeup on . . .

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“Oh how sweet to work for God all day, and then lie down at night beneath His smile.”~R.M. M’Cheyne

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God’s presence and grace never leave, and therefore fellowship with Him is always at hand. And is fellowship with Him not ultimately the most wonderful thing one could experience? But of course. It is foundational for every relationship–not just the relationship I have with Him, but also for the relationships I have with others (1 John 1:7) . . . And ultimately, I believe it is foundational for the spread of the gospel.

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“It is a sure mark of grace to desire more.” ~R.M. M’Cheyne

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