Tag Archives: Rev. Geo. Bowen

From “Daily Meditation” by Rev. Geo. Bowen

“Lead us not into temptation.” – Mat_6:13.

If you ask me to show you a wise man, I will ask you to find for me a man who, morning, noon, and night, offereth to God this prayer. You find him, and you say to me, ” Why, this is a poor man, a mean man, an ignorant man, an obscure man; I asked him some ordinary questions, and he could not answer them. In his hand was a book, and he told me frankly that having no wisdom of his own, he was obliged to make use of that book. And yet you tell me he is the wisest of men. His wisdom multiplied ten thousand times would not equal the wisdom of some that are known to me.” To this I rejoin: Your wise man and mine are alike in one respect. They are exposed to a common danger. They have an enemy whose power enables him to laugh at all the wisdom of man, and whose malignity will bring everlasting ruin upon those whom he subjugates. Woe then to him who is foolish enough to trust in any wisdom of his own. He is daily led into temptation without knowing it, and daily succumbs; and day by day the fetters of the enemy are more strongly riveted upon him.

No man was ever so far advanced in the divine life, as not to need to utter these words. In fact the holiest breathe this petition with the most frequency. And if an angel should be sent from heaven into the midst of us, it would be ever upon his lips.

” This is a world of temptation, and it would be difficult so to dispose of ourselves as never to encounter temptation.” True: and many advantages flow to the Christian from the fact that he is exposed to temptation. His graces are thus strengthened. His self-knowledge is increased. He relies more implicitly upon the word of God. But the tempter knows how to combine circumstances, and so to adapt his wiles to the spiritual state of a man, as at times to bring an unexpected and powerful temptation to bear upon him. With reference to such temptations as these the Christian offers up this prayer. God gives a man the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit with regard to ordinary temptations, those that he is already familiar with; and gives him a spirit of prayer with regard to others, from which in answer to this prayer, he delivers him. There is one way of dealing with present temptations, and another way of dealing with those that are future. If, relying on our strength of faith, we cease to be apprehensive of new and subtle arrangements by which our affections may become entangled, we are almost certain to sustain damage.

If after all it pleases God to bring the petitioner into temptation, he is not brought into it as other men are. God will indicate, in the trying hour, the way of escape.

From “Daily Meditation” by Rev. Geo. Bowen

Give this some thought…

” He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” – Pro_28:13.

Almost all men are intent upon appearing better than they really are. If a man cannot be what he ought to be, he attempts at least to appear so. His days are spent in a fraudulent attempt to pass himself off as something better than he is. The same amount of energy devoted to the purification of his character, might result in something good. What watchfulness! What circumspection! What attention to circumstances! What study of men’s characters! What perseverance! What self-command! Were these qualities and habits devoted to the legitimate end of appearing well in the sight of God, what magnificent results would be witnessed. These are the very things that God requires of us: watchfulness, carefulness, perseverance, self-control. Man shows that he is capable of these things; but he exercises them in seeking not the essence, but a fiction; not the favor of God, but that of man.’

The habit is so inveterate that few are conscious of it. They suppose they are acting naturally, and have no conception of the measure of their insincerity. I speak not of the hypocrite, commonly so styled; but of all. The man who says, ” I thank God, I make no profession to be better than others;” he. too, is playing a role, though he cheats himself with the contrary idea.

Insincerity in religion, the endeavor to obtain and perpetuate a reputation for piety, is something exceedingly offensive. There is something monstrous about the idea of offering prayer in such a way as to secure the commendation of man.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; for while he covers them he cannot possibly get rid of them; and their presence will vitiate all prosperity. Let us endure the shame of confessing them, that we may have the abiding glory of being delivered from them. Let us act out our true characters, and take our true place; then we may expect to make progress of the most desirable kind. If man deride, no matter; we have something that they have not. Our position is a more promising one than theirs; for truth is now on our side.