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Saturday, September 23rd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bowen's Daily Meditations
Devotional: September 23rd

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"If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink." - John 7:37.

Who is this that stands in the midst of an assemblage of mortals and makes proclamation in a loud and fearless voice, that if any man, not merely in that assembly but throughout the whole world, desire happiness, he should draw near and obtain what he desires? Who is this that offers to heal all human woes and accomplish in behalf of the entire human family, deliverance from the curse? That speaks of himself as a fountain of the water of life springing up in the centre of the earth, and sending forth abundant streams to bless all nations, tribes, and tongues? That not merely undertakes the highest functions of deity, but reveals the deity as present in the very midst of the family of man, bringing to the doors and hearts of men the most distinctive gifts of heaven? He that speaks must be either a madman or God manifest in the flesh.

Draw nigh to him and behold. He opens the eyes of the blind ; but that is little. He heals all diseases; that too, is little. He raises the dead; even that is little. It is one thing to recall men from the grave; another thing to fill their souls with imperishable joy. Behold him then on the cross. He cries out, " I thirst." All the billows of the wrath of God pass over him. You ask, " How can this sufferer heal the woes of men? This thirster quench the thirst of the world?" Understand that those billows are of the wrath of God not against him, but against you and your fellow-sinners; and that he emerges from this deep baptism of anguish with a charter of life for all that shall believe upon him.

In the vanity fair of this world you see over many a shop a scroll bearing the words, " If any man thirst let him come hither and drink." The servants of Satan exhibit a thousand blandishments. What Christ alone can do, a thousand illusions of life profess to do. All that they can do is really to destroy the souls that trust in them.

The question for you is: Do you thirst? Have you desires ungratified? Aspirations after a higher, nobler existence; after purity, heavenly wisdom, love, usefulness, communion with the blessed, immortality and glory? Come then to the meek and lovely one, to him whose hand and feet were pierced. His word is nigh thee. Embrace it with thy heart, then shalt thou find him in thy heart; and in finding him, thou findest happiness and a crown of life.

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