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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Sorrow for our sins can result in changed behavior. Many people are sorry only for the effects of their sins or for being caught (“sorrow without repentance”). Compare Peter’s remorse and repentance with Judas’s bitterness and act of suicide. Both denied Christ. One repented and was restored to faith and service; the other took his own life. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 7:2-11 – Please open your hearts to us. We have not done wrong to anyone. We have not led anyone astray. We have not taken advantage of anyone. I’m not saying this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts forever. We live or die together with you. I have the highest confidence in you, and my pride in you is great. You have greatly encouraged me; you have made me happy despite all our troubles.
When we arrived in Macedonia there was no rest for us. Outside there was conflict from every direction, and inside there was fear. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told me how much you were looking forward to my visit, and how sorry you were about what had happened, and how loyal your love is for me, I was filled with joy!
I am no longer sorry that I sent that letter to you, though I was sorry for a time for I know that it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in death.
Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right.
Dan Boutwell (Texas) titled his story “CRITICISM;” here is a portion of Dan’s story:
“. . . We have all been criticized and know that it is rarely a pleasant experience. However, when properly delivered, even criticism can be beneficial and productive. . . . it is helpful for us to remember that the purpose of good criticism is not to hurt people but for their correction and growth.
“. . . Criticism well offered and received can glorify God.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Gracious criticism can help us grow in our work and faith.
Prayer: Dear Father, give us wisdom to accept constructive criticism in the spirit in which it is given and compassion to offer criticism with a gracious spirit. Amen.
Prayer Focus: TO RECEIVE CRITICISM WITH HUMILITY
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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