Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Daily Devotionals
Bowen's Daily Meditations
Devotional: July 20th

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" He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." - John 3:36.

And he only; for "he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Several important matters loom upon us in this little statement. One of the most unintelligible things, to the world, is the declaration so constantly made in the Scriptures, that man is without life. At the very beginning of human history, Satan introduced, as a substitute for God’s doctrine that man would die in the day of his transgression, his own opposing doctrine that man would not die. Adam believed Satan rather than God; and it has been the same with Adam’s descendants until the present hour. Men refuse to believe that they are in any proper sense dead; that they need the breath of life to be breathed into their soul. And refusing to believe this, they give no heed to the offer of life made to them in the Gospel. " In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." " He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life - hath passed from death unto life.’’ Not knowing themselves dead through transgression, they fail to live through faith. The death that passed upon Adam was not a visible death; and the life that comes to the believer is not a visible life; but the results of both are in due time sufficiently visible.

You look upon the believer and upon yourself, and you say, "What has he that I have not?" Wherein is he richer than I am? I have physical and mental powers equal, if not superior, to his. Is he eloquent? Not more than I. Can he reason? Not better than I. Is he well informed? So am I. Is he respected? I am more so. Has he wealth? I have more. Is he generous? Men speak far more of my generosity than of his. Is he moral? I claim to be as much so. He has a hope of heaven. And have I none?

I will tell you what he has that you have not. He has the knowledge that sin is death. He knows that, naturally, he, in common with all mankind, is under condemnation; is without the favor of God; is exposed to eternal wrath. While deeply sensible of the great goodness of God in bestowing upon him many admirable gifts, he knows that these gifts only increase the odiousness of his sins. He loathes his sins; his pride, selfishness, irreligion, insincerity. He is aware that no mere efforts of his own, with all the aid that he can obtain from man, are adequate to restore his diseased, his dead nature. It is life that he needs. And it is blasphemy to say that any finite power can bestow this. He believes on the Son of God; recognizing him to be morally and in respect to dignity, the express image of the Father. He beholds God manifest in the Son; and all the acts and words of Christ reveal to him the character of the omnipresent God. He sees his own sins expiated at the cross; and the broken body of Christ is the legacy of life to him. The ascension of Christ is the guarantee of his own entire emancipation from sin, sorrow, frailty, corruptibility. You have many things in common with him; but, unlike you, he glories only in the cross of Christ. You make many donations, and men praise you for them; but he performs actions that will be mentioned with approbation by Christ at the last day, in words like this: " You have done it unto me.’’ In a word, he has faith in Christ; and you have not. Your faith is in yourself; and until you know yourself to be without life, Christ can be of no advantage to you.


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