Scripture Union Daily Discovery 30th July 2020 Devotional – The Tricky Letter
TODAY’S TOPIC: THE TRICKY LETTER
Opening Prayer: Thank You, God, for pursuing me—for loving me first, while I was still a sinner.
Read 2 Corinthians 7:2–16 Paul’s Joy Over the Church’s Repentance
2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. 4 I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.
5 For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.
Scripture Union Daily Discovery 30th July 2020 Devotional
8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
12 So even though I wrote to you, it was neither on account of the one who did the wrong nor on account of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged.
In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. 16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you.
New International Version (NIV)
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Reflect: Scripture Union Daily Discovery 30th July 2020
Read Romans 5:6–8. God took the initiative in restoring his relationship with humanity.
When a relationship goes wrong, we can persuade ourselves that it is better to keep quiet and hope for things to improve. Sometimes it is right to wait, particularly if we are so full of emotion that we cannot trust ourselves to speak. The right words spoken at the wrong time can do more damage than saying nothing at all.
However, hurts and misunderstandings tend not to right themselves. Someone has to deal with the problem. Paul has done so, writing a painful letter to Corinth, no doubt after much prayer. It could have gone badly wrong, causing irreparable damage. He calls this “worldly sorrow” (10b). Happily, the letter has produced “godly sorrow,” which has brought life.
The cross of Jesus demonstrates that there is no forgiveness and reconciliation without pain: the pain of absorbing hurt and the pain of repentance. Paul’s frankness (4) has been met with deep sorrow (7), but also with affirmations of love and commitment (11,12). The relationship between Paul and the church at Corinth can now move on. As is often the case, this damaged relationship had affected a third party, Titus. The reconciliation has brought him joy and, no doubt, relief.
Apply: Prayerful, humble and courageous action can turn worldly sorrow to godly sorrow. Is there a relationship you need to seek to reconcile? How would Christ respond in your situation?
Closing Prayer: Lord, give me wisdom to know when to speak and when to show my godly sorrow through action.
Through the Bible in One Year: Job 24–26 / Luke 20
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