Intro: In our passage today, Paul is explaining why he wrote the letter to the church at Corinth; he wants these early believers to embrace what it means in practical terms to be a covenant people under the holy rule of God. Many of these new Christians are simply taking care of themselves and their own needs; however, this is the world’s way. Paul instructs these Corinthian believers to care deeply about the needs of their brothers and sisters in the faith who are suffering. Faith works through love; love is what drives faith and believers are to be growing in the fruit of faithfulness (Gal 5:6; 5:22-23). So, Paul corrects them about their worldly love walk. He wants his correction to turn them toward Jesus and his abundant resource of sacrificial love, but Paul knows it could work the opposite. Praise God, these Corinthian believers take Paul’s rebuke, repent, and humbly turned toward God’s standard of holy love.
Believers are not detached from one another; we are one in Christ’s Body. While the world is busy trying to divide and isolate people, God is working in the Spirit to hold people in unity and bring them together through reconciliation in order to provide loving care. We can all succeed if we stay the course together. Right now many people in the body of Christ are suffering in some way. How are we affected knowing our brothers and sisters are struggling? Are we present in their lives to be Christ’s hand of love?
2 Corinthians 7:8-9 (VOICE)
8 I knew you would be upset with my last letter, but I do not regret sending it. If there were times I did have second thoughts, it was because I could see that the letter did hurt you, even if only for a while. 9 Now I am glad—not because it caused you grief but because you were moved to make a permanent change [repent] that can happen only with the realization that your actions have gone against God—I’m glad to know you suffered no long-term loss because of what we did.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this wake up call to practice deep and devoted love. May we go deeper in love with you, as well as reach out to love our brothers and sisters in practical and loving ways. Our covenant is with you and one another as members of your family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.