ANGLICAN DAILY FOUNTAIN DEVOTIONAL FOR AUGUST 3RD, 2022 (BE AN ADVOCATE OF RECONCILIATION)
TOPIC : ”BE AN ADVOCATE OF RECONCILIATION
Read: 2 Corinthians 2:1-13(NKJV)
1. But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow.
2. For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?
3. And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is [the joy] of you all.
4. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you.
5. But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent — not to be too severe.
6. This punishment which [was inflicted] by the majority [is] sufficient for such a man,
7. so that, on the contrary, you [ought] rather to forgive and comfort [him,] lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.
8. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm [your] love to him.
9. For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.
10. Now whom you forgive anything, I also [forgive.] For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,
11. lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
12. Furthermore, when I came to Troas to [preach] Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened to me by the Lord,
13. I had no rest in my spirit, because I did not find Titus my brother; but taking my leave of them, I departed for Macedonia.
STUDY: In this passage, Paul recalls his sorrowful letter to the Corinthians. He reminds them that he intended to provoke them to repentance and conversion through his letter. It was not to cause them pain, but to let them know of his love for them (vv. 1-4). He also asked them to forgive the member of the Church whom they had punished for some serious offences. He wanted them to restore such a person, thus exercising the ministry of reconciliation. According to him, by so doing, Satan would not have opportunity to exploit the Church (vv. 5-11) Paul further maximized every opportunity he had to preach Christ, even when his expectation was not met; he moved forward from place to place (vv. 12-13).
Christians are to learn a great lesson from Paul’s ministry as an advocate of reconciliation. We should desire to bridge the contact between parties in the body of Christ. While we condone discipline, effort should be made to restore such a member after genuine repentance. Forgiveness and repentance should also be our watchword; this will bring comfort among brethren and Christ’s kingdom would be greatly expanded here on earth.
PRAYER: Teach your Church, O Lord, to uphold the ministry of reconciliation, so that we may enjoy the fellowship of the brethren through Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Anglican Communion is the fourth-largest Christian denomination. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion.