2 Corinthians 2 Devotional – Day 4

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

OMNIPRESENT Just as God is unlimited or infinite with respect to time, so God is unlimited with respect to space. God doesn’t have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being.

Jeremiah 23:23–24
“‘Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ says the Lord. ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the Lord”

Psalm 139:7-8
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Praise God for His Omnipresence
Where are you right now? Wherever it is, God is there. Where do you plan to be later today? God will also be fully present in that place. Think about all the places you might go to today or all the rooms in your house. Praise God that He is and will always be present everywhere.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

  • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
  • Pray for our national, state, and local leaders. Ask God to give them wisdom.
  • Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.

SCRIPTURE READING:

2 Corinthians 2 The Message

That’s why I decided not to make another visit that could only be painful to both of us. If by merely showing up I would put you in an embarrassingly painful position, how would you then be free to cheer and refresh me?

3-4 That was my reason for writing a letter instead of coming—so I wouldn’t have to spend a miserable time disappointing the very friends I had looked forward to cheering me up. I was convinced at the time I wrote it that what was best for me was also best for you. As it turned out, there was pain enough just in writing that letter, more tears than ink on the parchment. But I didn’t write it to cause pain; I wrote it so you would know how much I care—oh, more than care—love you!

5-8 Now, regarding the one who started all this—the person in question who caused all this pain—I want you to know that I am not the one injured in this as much as, with a few exceptions, all of you. So I don’t want to come down too hard. What the majority of you agreed to as punishment is punishment enough. Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it. My counsel now is to pour on the love.

9-11 The focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don’t think I’m carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us. After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways!

An Open Door
12-14 When I arrived in Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I found the place wide open: God had opened the door; all I had to do was walk through it. But when I didn’t find Titus waiting for me with news of your condition, I couldn’t relax. Worried about you, I left and came on to Macedonia province looking for Titus and a reassuring word on you. And I got it, thank God!

14-16 In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

16-17 This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION:
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

Our physical noses “smell” differently person to person. One person thinks a smell is a delight while another thinks the same smell is disgusting. Now consider how much this is true between say a dog and human. There is a huge discrepancy between the evaluation of smells. Smells that the human nose is trained to recognize as coming from things that would make you sick, dogs will often consider delicacies. The gospel is the “smell” of life for those who have embraced Christ and the “smell” of death to those who reject him. This is an analogy, it doesn’t say some are “bad” and some are “good.” It speaks to the reality that for those who believe and receive the gospel it looks (smells) like life. For others, it doesn’t appear to be real, living giving, nourishment. It doesn’t smell like “food.” The wider analogy here is of a Roman victory procession. The conquering general would have enemies and allies. The same fragrant smell of roses would smell like death to his enemies as they are now on the wrong side of things and they would smell like life to his allies as they are on the right side of the power shift. Your spiritual “nose” has been equipped for eternity. But like your physical nose, it can adjust to its environment. Has the gospel lost its fragrance for you? Ask God to help you recover your sense of smell. Ask him to help what He has done for you in Christ to become pure delight again.

Leave a Reply