Godly Sorrow

Published: Fri, Sep 21 2018

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul the apostle rebuked the church for such things as sexual immorality, strife, and disorder. By the time he wrote the second letter to the Corinthians, Paul commended them for the fruit of their repentance.

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 (2 Corinthians 7:11).

Godly sorrow leads to repentance while worldly sorrow does not cause a change. Peter denied knowing the Lord but later repented. Jesus lovingly rebuked Peter, and he became one of the primary leaders of the Early Church. God’s goodness leads His people to repentance. Jesus turned Peter’s failure into a stepping stone for success.

Challenge for Today: Is there an area of your life where you feel God’s gentle hand guiding you to change?

Quicklook: 2 Corinthians 7:8–13

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Published: Thu, Sep 20 2018

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword” (Isaiah 1:19–20).

We reap what we sow. When we sow kindness, mercy, justice, and truth, we reap God’s abundant blessings. When we resist and rebel against God’s Word, we reap the consequences.

Our Father honors obedience. John 12:26 says, “My Father will honor the one who serves me.” Of course, we can never earn God’s favor; it is given to us by grace.

We gain entrance into heaven because of Christ’s death and resurrection, but in heaven we will be given rewards based on our faithfulness and obedience. God blesses the willing and obedient on earth.

God will do whatever it takes to help us obey Him. He will pick us up each time we fall. When we come to Him in sincerity, He will shower us with mercy and enable us to follow after Him.

Thought for Today: There is no limit to what God will do for the willing and obedient.

Quicklook: Isaiah 1:15–20

Messengers of Reconciliation

Published: Wed, Sep 19 2018

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Picture a highly skilled cardiac surgeon, who surpasses all his peers. John can diagnose any issue of the heart, but there is one problem—he refuses to perform surgery on his patients.

Many in the Body of Christ are like that surgeon. They can spot sin in others but do not offer the gospel to them—the only thing that can save them.

We can tell others our story, our unique testimony. We can learn how to be effective witnesses. It does not have to be complicated. We can let them know they need a Savior. Jesus took the penalty for their sins and ours. He suffered on the cross in our place and then rose from the dead.

Thought for Today: The simple gospel shared in love is what the world needs.

Quicklook: 2 Corinthians 5:16–21

*also known as Song of Solomon

Transformed by Suffering

Published: Tue, Sep 18 2018

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed (2 Corinthians 4:7–8).

Years ago during a worship service at our church, the Lord showed me a picture of a clay vessel with holes in it. Light pierced through the holes. The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that this was a picture of me.

We are like clay jars with the power of the Holy Spirit living in us. When we undergo a trial, the suffering we experience can be used by God to reveal His glory to others. When we experience a type of death (suffering), the resurrection power of God can heal us, transform us and cause us to reveal the character of Christ.

The pain we experience through persecution and the trials of this life can be used by the Lord to shape us. They can cause us to reveal more of the power and character of God to others.

Prayer Suggestion: Dear Father God, I invite You to use my trials to transform my character.

Quicklook: 2 Corinthians 4:7–12

*also known as Song of Solomon

Flower Power

Published: Mon, Sep 17 2018

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys (Song of Songs 2:1).

It was the darkest day of Christ’s life when He journeyed through the valley. They sentenced Him to death. They pressed a crown of thorns upon His head. They mocked Him, beat Him, and nailed Him to a tree. He suffered so that we could all be free.

Fully God and fully man, Jesus willingly died on the cross so that we could experience God’s forgiveness. Then He rose again in power and ultimate victory.

He is the Lily of the Valley, the Rose of Sharon. Sweetness and beauty blossomed from His humble sacrifice. His rich fragrance floods the senses of every believer. We not only sense His beauty and experience His love; we are changed as we apply the truth of His death and resurrection to our lives. Scripture says we are a fragrance of Christ to God (2 Corinthians 2:15).

Challenge for Today: Have you embraced the Savior? Why not come and receive pardon for your sins through the death and resurrection of Christ today?

Quicklook: Song of Songs 2:1–13

*also known as Song of Solomon


When Tears Fall

Published: Sun, Sep 16 2018

What an honor it is to read the epistles Paul wrote to the early followers of Christ. They faced crisis, pain, persecution, doctrinal debate, and sin. Like today’s churches, there was conflict. Like in the lives of today’s people, tears fell.

For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you (2 Corinthians 2:4).

Is crying welcomed in today’s churches, small groups, and at dinner tables? Bodies are created with a healing practice: the shedding of tears.

When resulting from inner concerns based on sincere love, crying is one example of care. Not everyone will cry the same; each person is different. But all people can follow the call to love one another—even when it brings tears.

Challenge for Today: No matter what people have done or how you feel, choose to care deeply for them.

Quicklook: 2 Corinthians 2:1–4


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