9 Ways to Demonstrate Your Love for Christ

9 Ways to Demonstrate Your Love for Christ

Richard Cameron
Richard Cameron (1647-1680) was a famous Covenanter preacher during the times of persecution, preaching to thousands at religious meetings in the fields, known as conventicles. He was killed by government dragoons at Airds Moss, Ayrshire and his supporters went on to form the Cameronian Regiment.
19 Sep, 2019

It’s not difficult to say, “I love Jesus”–some people even claim this while quickly confirming that they are not religious. Others profess their love for Christ while disclaiming the label “Christian”. It’s easy to shape the Christ we want and then claim to be a follower of Jesus. We also live in a world where it is easy to segue from saying “I love Jesus” to saying whatever else you love without losing a beat. But the reality of loving Christ is far more demanding than mere profession. We need a life and heart that demonstrates love for Christ.

Richard Cameron preached about love for Christ in the context of persecution. People were suffering due to loving Christ enough to honour His sole authority in the Church. Hearing a sermon preached in the hills about love for Christ meant walking many miles to be there. But simply listening to the sermon could mean imprisonment, banishment, loss of everything or indeed execution. We can, to a limited extent, listen along with Cameron’s congregation to the message that they heard. Cameron gives a gospel-centred view of who Christ is and what He has done and still does for His people to stir their hearts with love towards Him. Those who can say that Christ has heard their prayers and that all their sins are forgiven cannot do other than love Christ. In this updated extract Cameron goes on to describe the ways that true believers express their love for Christ. 

1. Think Much About Him 

These who love Christ will be thinking of Him much. If someone loves a person or object much they will not readily let that person or object be out of their mind for long. The blessed man’s “delight is in the law of the Lord”(Psalm 1:2). He meditates in it “day and night”. Now the person that loves Him will be thinking much on Him. They will be constantly striving to get much love towards Him. I know some men in the world that do not think of Him much, nor of what He has done. But they deceive and cheat themselves. Strive to think of Him much and to get more love to Him. There are some persons who, the more they are loved, the less they care for those who love them. But it is not so with Christ.

Oh, how few they are who hate vain thoughts but love the law of the Lord (Psalm 119:113). How few hate vain thoughts, they would rather entertain them. But do not entertain vain thoughts of God, of Christ, of what He has done and what an excellent one He is. I believe many of you have your thoughts running out after other things but seldom have a thought of Christ. All this declares that there is little love to Him. The wife loves her husband although he is away from her. The spouse loves Christ though He is for the present absent from her. Her love to Him still rises up, leading her to ask for the one her soul loves (Song 3:3). 

2. Speak Much About Him 

Those who love Christ will speak much about Him. But there are many folk among whom there is not one word of Christ to be heard. I tell you, there is much talk about religion and religious matters but little talk of Christ. There is much talk of other men’s faults and failings. It is sad that we should have so many of these to talk of. But, believer, you should not spend your time so much in this. When you are met together do not let not your discourse about controversies crowd out speaking about Christ and love to Him. Do not let the esteem of His worth and excellence go down amongst you. But I believe you may be among professing Christians for a long time before you hear much talk of this kind. 

Oh, sad, sad, that the defections of the time should be the only talk of professing Christians. There are many who, if they are met together in company, and if one asks them a question about Christ, will just look down. If they can, they will bring in another subject to put it out of head and heart. But when anyone starts a conversation about the divisions of the times, they will not let the conversation fail from their side. But I am sure that the man that ever met with Christ, that ever was united with Him, and has any impression of that on His soul, cannot be long in company without high and honourable thoughts of Him. If he lacks Him he will pursue after Him, especially if he has love in activity; he will be longing for Him. But sadly, religion is likely to wear out these days. 

3. Bring Others To Him 

Those that have love to Christ will do what they can to bring others to Him. The spouse who seeks Christ finds Him and says, “I held him and would not let him go” (Song 3:4). And then she says to others to go and behold Him crowned (Song 3:11). 

She had met with Christ herself and had much love to Him. She therefore invites her companions to go out after Him, to go out from a lost world and behold Him with the crown on His head. Oh, then take a view of our Lord Christ with the crown on His head with which His mother crowned Him. There are not a few ministers and professing Christians who do not think little of themselves. There are almost none now except those who are saying, “Do not go out and behold Him.” 

I believe there are many professing Christians up and down the country that have cast off what God has commanded in His word. Many have endorsed this but away with them! No matter who they are, it would be better for us if we were rid of those that urge us to abandon the good old way for which our ancestors lost so much before they would abandon it. They parted with relations, estates, and all things for it. But there are many folk that cry, “Away with both Christ and His ordinances!” They have us cast off even the most pure and living ordinances. But now says the spouse, “Go forth, and behold the king.” So, I would have you go forth that you may obtain salvation to your souls from Christ. This is no cruel advice. Love Christ, and get salvation from Him, though you would lose all you have in the present world. 

4. Fear to Offend Him

 Those who have true love to Christ will be loath to offend Him. Thus, they will abhor all sin. They will love Christ’s “commandments above gold” and “hate every false way” (Psalm 119:127-128). These always go hand in hand. Away with the love of that man who says he has love to Christ yet does not hate every false way! Sadly, you may see that there is little love to Christ in Scotland. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many grows cold. Those who comply with Christ’s enemies have little love to Christ—at least not in exercise. 

5. Do Not Help His Enemies

Those who have complied with Christ’s enemies—whether they are godly men or whatever they are—do not have love towards Christ in exercise. Wherever this love is in exercise, people will be loath to offend Christ. They will be afraid that He may stand at a distance from His ordinances. David says that he hates those who hate God (Psalm 139:19-21).

I tell you, I do not like those who are familiar with the stated and avowed enemies of our Lord and Master Christ and are fond of receiving favour from them. Away with them! Whatever they have been, they do not have love in exercise at present. Whatever they have been before, this declares to the world that their love is now gone. And when it is recovered again, such conduct will grieve them. Indeed, the lack of love to Christ portends a sad case. Therefore, beware, all of you, of being cheated and drawn out of God’s way. Beware of being too familiar with those who have taken away the royal prerogative of Jesus Christ to the harm of religion. Do not beguile yourselves. 

But you may say, “Should we not love our enemies?” True; we should love our enemies, but as they are the stated enemies of Christ, and going on in a state of enmity and defection from Him, they are more than our enemies. They are enemies to Christ, and going on in persecuting God’s cause, enemies to the gospel, and to a covenanted work of reformation. In this view we should hate and abhor them (Psalm 139:19-21). We declare against them,  all that comply with them, and all that stand upon their side. A sad day awaits them. They are worse than those of Laodicea, who were neither cold nor hot, whom for this reason Christ threatens to spew out of his mouth (Revelation 3:16). They have done more hurt to the work of reformation by their compliance than all other open and avowed enemies.

6. Respect All His Commandments

Those that love Christ have a great respect to all His commands. They have a great love and respect to His tabernacles (Psalm 84:1). We would not want you to show repugnance towards ministers who strive to keep the ordinances of Christ pure and entire. If they really have love to Christ they would have the tenderest possible respect for Him and hate every wicked way. They would love the saints—the excellent ones in whom is all His delight (Psalm 16:2). There is little love to Christ where there is so little love and sympathy for one another. 

7. Be Ready to Lose Anything For Him

Those who love Christ will always be ready to lose and leave all other things for Him. Christ Himself says, anyone that loves anything “more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). They are not for Christ. They prefer other things to Him, when it comes to this that they must leave one or the other. You must leave all and buy that pearl of great price. Those who do so will not be losers, they will have “a hundredfold now in this time…and in the world to come eternal life” (Mark 10:30).

I assure you, if you had love to Christ you would think it much to get an opportunity to give Him proof of it. You would even thank God for this opportunity, and say, “Although I should lose all, yet I have got an opportunity of giving a proof of my love to Him in this evil time”. And it is the best time that many ever saw, because they have had an opportunity to give a proof of their love to this excellent Prince and ever lovely One.

8. Hate Sin

If you want to have love to Christ, see that you keep your sins ever before you. The reason for this is that there is always a conviction and sense of guilt in relation to your danger. One sees the danger he is in by his sins, there is a concern to run to Him and make use of the blood that speaks better things than that of Abel. In this case you have recourse to that fountain that is opened to the house of David and inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. Think always on the wrath due to us for sin.

I assure you, those who keep their hearts under the greatest sense of their sins will have much love to Christ. The lack of this is one reason that so many have so little love to Him and so much love to other things. If you had a true sense of sin, wrath and judgment, you would have much love to Christ, and He would be above all in your hearts. You would exalt Him in your souls. It is through faith in Him that we stand and rejoice in trials, as the apostle expresses it (Romans 5:2-3). And the apostle was conscious of this. It is in Christ that we have the hope of the glory of God. We can rejoice in trials knowing that they produce patience. Patience works experience, and experience hope. Hope does not make us ashamed or disappointed because “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts” by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). Be much in the grace of repentance.

9. Pray Much to Him 

Be much in prayer and much in exercising true love to Christ in an evil time, when the Lord is calling us to exercise this in all these duties. But above all, I exhort and charge you to be much in love. Have the love of God “shed abroad” in your hearts. Fix on Jesus Christ by faith. Strive to be much in love towards Him, for He is an able Saviour to bring about deliverance to the Church in the saddest condition she can be in.

 

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How to Have Inward Calm During Outward Trouble

How to Have Inward Calm During Outward Trouble

Richard Cameron
Richard Cameron (1647-1680) was a famous Covenanter preacher during the times of persecution, preaching to thousands at religious meetings in the fields, known as conventicles. He was killed by government dragoons at Airds Moss, Ayrshire and his supporters went on to form the Cameronian Regiment.
1 Jul, 2016

​Calm confidence during a storm of outward troubles is true strength. Many think it is virtually impossible. Yet by grace, Paul learned the secret of being content in every situation (Philippians 4:11). We live in a culture of discontent. People have their hearts tied to things in this world and when the world is thrown into turmoil so are their hearts. It is not outward troubles themselves that disquiet our heart. The root cause is within not without. How do we get our hearts settled and fixed so that they can be calm during times of trouble?

Richard Cameron (1647-1680) addressed this in his last sermon before he died. The outward troubles that he and his fellow Covenanters faced were intense. Many were anxious or cast down. Persecution was fierce against those who would not conform to the government take-over of the Church in Scotland. Faithfulness meant suffering through fines, imprisonment, banishment and execution. What text of Scripture could Cameron choose as a motto to leave with the afflicted remnant?

It was brief but contained profound depths: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). “Many are the mysteries that are contained and wrapped up in the shortest sentences of Scripture”, he said. These brief words forbid us from being disquieted and murmuring against providence – “Be still”. These words also command us to have a fixed and composed heart: “know that I am God”. We are to do this because God is still God and worthy of all our confidence.

 

1. Why We Lack Inward Calm During Outward Troubles

(a) Love of the world

This makes us fear that we will lose all our possessions. But if we can say with Paul, “the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14) then we learn the lesson “I have learned in whatsoever state I am…to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

(b) Fear of men

We may have much love to Christ and faith.  Yet, if the fear of men prevails over the fear of God we will be greatly cast down during times of outward troubles.  The fear of man brings a snare (Proverbs 29:25).

(c) Lack of acquaintance with God

Looking to God and seeing His hand in all our troubles would greatly help to still our minds in every difficulty (Job 22:21).

(d) Unbelief

When the disciples were tossed in the sea their minds were as much troubled as the waves. This was because they were of little faith.

(e) Impatience

“Some folk’s minds will be in a strange hurry”. They have an excessive, impatient desire to see God fulfil His promises.

 

2. Why We Must Not Lack Inward Calm During Outward Troubles

(a) It does no good

“What can you profit yourselves, or the Church of Christ either, by your sinful carefulness or by your unbelieving anxiety?” We must not be disquieted about worldly things. David rebukes his soul for being cast down and disquieted within him (Psalm 42:5).

(b) It Involves quarrelling with and murmuring against God

“Be still,” that is, “Beware of murmuring against Me,” says the Lord.

(c) Fretting because of evil doers is foolish

“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath” (Psalm 37:8). Beware of envying the wicked, though everything appears to prosper with them. “Be still,” says God, “for I sit in heaven and am laughing at them all the while.”

(d) Because God is God still

He is the same God yesterday, today and forever. We need to have high and honourable thoughts of Him. How often our thoughts about Him change!

 

3. What Inward Calm Involves

(a) A fixed mind and heart

Our mind and heart is to be fixed on God (Isaiah 26:3; Psalm 112:7).

(b) A composed spirit

This too requires submission to God.

(c) Past, present and future submission to God and His ways

He that has submission has need of much patience. We should not limit or set bonds to Him, but let Him take His own way in granting that which is most upon our spirits, and fulfilling the desires of our hearts.

submission…will make the soul triumph and rejoice in persecution, famines, and in every trial and tribulation whatsoever.

 

4. How We Can Have Inward Calm At All Times

(a) Stand in Awe of God

Strive to have much of the awe and dread of God on your spirits. “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still” (Psalm 4:4). “Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread,” and then follows the promise, “And he shall be for a sanctuary” (Isaiah 8:13). O that you would set the Lord always before you! If we looked to the greatness, sovereignty and power of God, and could say, “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge,” we would have a composed spirit.  If you are against God He will be against you also.

(b) Beware of sinning or complying with anything sinful

“Stand in awe, and sin not…and be still” (Psalm 4:4). The man that has a good conscience has a good bed to sleep on, were it in a bog, moor, or mountain in the open field exposed to wind and weather. But there is no getting free from a guilty conscience. An evil conscience is never without fears. Many folk venture on sin to get outward peace and quiet, but by getting that they forfeit inward peace and tranquillity of mind.   It is true when in providence a man with a composed heart is cast here and there, he thinks that this will ruin him. But when the confusion is past, and he is come to himself, he finds himself better or at least as well as he was before.

(c) Commune with your heart

“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still” (Psalm 4:4). A man that is not talking or communing with himself, either concerning his state or condition, cannot be right.

We must begin and commune with our heart concerning ourselves, and then about the providences of God, and say, “Does this dispensation come from God?” Then, says the soul, “Will God hurt me or do me wrong? No”. If a providential dispensation comes on us before we commune with our hearts, it will be ready to cast us on our backs. But let us trace it back to its first appearance, and examine our hearts about it, and hold our grip, that we may get to the end. Though it seems terrible, yet it may be of great advantage  to our soul, and so there may be great calm in the mind all the time.

(d) Strive to have faith in exercise at all times

The least faith in exercise has more strength than thousands of men and armies!… If you have any, use the little you have, and you may get more, and this will tend much to establish and compose your heart in an evil time.

 

Conclusion

This inward calm is of great benefit. “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD” (Psalm 112:7). If our heart is fixed on God “evil tidings” will not move us completely.  We must still look to God for assistance and direction as to how to respond to providence. Yet a pleasant life during such outward troubles is possible with this fixedness of heart. It helps us to praise God and pray to him aright. This sermon is of great value and worth reading through entirely. Cameron expresses the brightest hopes for the future of the Church in Scotland. He also anticipated the end of persecution eight years later. His final words in preaching before he died three days afterwards are well worth weighing:

be patiently waiting on God, and…beware of grudging, murmuring, despondency, fearfulness and disquiet of mind.

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