The Holy Bible Says…..
I believe that most of us go to church to be uplifted, to renew our strength in the Lord, to be filled with enough joy to last us all week around family, friends and coworkers who can often get on our very last nerve, right? So, of course God got my attention in verse 11 when Paul spoke of this 'godly sorrow'! Please allow me to bring this into perspective today, so that we might reap the benefits that the Corinthian church gained. I have a four year old nephew, and anytime I threaten to, or actually, snatch away his favorite toy, there's a time of unhappiness! If we go to church and God didn't challenge us on one character flaw in our life that should be changed or enhanced for His glory, then what else might we have gained from the service? When we are challenged by God's Word to get rid of certain behaviors that actually defy the truth, or intention, of His Word in our witness for Him, that's often a sad time. After all, we are acknowledging that under our own strength, we really screwed things up. Friends, please know that there is good that results from this kind of surrender and forgiveness. Paul explains in verse 11, that because of the people's godly sorrow, he actually saw some very positive character and godly changes in their lives, and I would like to see us apply these to our lives. Here they are: earnestness (a carefulness to make peace with our God because of our breach of His laws, and to preserve peace by avoiding similar breaches in the future); clear ourselves (purging ourselves of the guilt of self, and/or the church, and by dealing with issues in a Godly fashion); indignation (displeasure with self-directed successes); alarm/fear (an attention to the fact that certain temptations might easily cause us to fall back into the same sin, or separation from God); zeal (a zeal for our Christian duty – not that of the qualified or most holy or younger); readiness to recognize and punish sin (acts of discipline, denying self to avoid sin to self or against others); and of course just overall peace with God and man as we attempt to live God-directed lives that are pleasing to Him in every way. So to think godly sorrow may at the surface seem like a play on words, it really is more of a mind sobering time where God straightens us out about our weaknesses and waywardness. Friends, let's learn to place close attention to God's Word, whether in our daily devotions or through teaching and/or preaching at our churches, and let's apply it to ourselves. Let God deal with that person besides you or behind you that you are convinced needs to hear the topic a lot more than you. Let God speak to you privately and personally, so that you may be aware of the things requiring attention in your life. It is only then that we can be a true, honest, servant for Him in ministering to others.
My Lord and Savior, please forgive me for the times I am stubborn, and pay so little attention to the sorrow and disappointment that I must bring to You when I fail and/or don't persevere in my obedience to Your Word. Thank You for providing a path to righteousness, and eternity in heaven with You. Thank You for not giving up on me, but continuing to mold me and guide me into all truth so that I might have everything I need to leave the things that dishonor You behind, and to reach for the positive and glorious future that You have in store for me. Lord, I pray that I might become more useful in Your earthly kingdom so that others who need You will witness Your peace and glory in everything that I do or say. May the 'old' and forgiven things that once filled my life, remain just that. May I always be prompted by Your Holy Spirit to live according to Your Word, for Your sake, and ultimate kingdom. May others who meditate on this devotional today also be inclined to honor You in this way today, is my humble prayer, that I ask in Your precious name, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL!