2 Corinthians 2: The Depth of My Love

“For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.”

Paul was not afraid to condemn sinful practices in the church. In fact, in 1 Corinthians he mentioned a Christian man who had been sleeping with his stepmother! His recommendation? Exclude the one who had committed this act until he repented.

Fast forward to 2 Corinthians 2 and we find a bit more of this story. First, we see Paul’s personal struggle with confronting the actions of a sinful believers. This is instructive for us, as it reveals the level of anguish we should experience when dealing with the personal struggles of our Christian brothers and sisters. Paul’s decision to exclude this man was not a cold-hearted manuever but one that involved sorrow and tears.

Second, we find in this chapter that Paul’s condemnation was not permanent. He was quick to note that since the one who had committed this since had repented and committed to change, the church community was to bring him back into the family. Why? The goal all along had been restoration, not retribution.

In our walk today, let us remember there are consequences for our sins against God. Let us also remember there is also forgiveness from God for those who repent and his forgiveness should extend into our hearts as we seek to restore those who have fallen along the way.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Luke 17: Faith Requires Forgiveness

It is much easier to believe in Jesus than to forgive those who mistreat us.

The problem is that Jesus requires both.

In Luke 17, Jesus taught:

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

Seven times? In one day? I often struggle to forgive the person who offends me the first time. By the seventh time, I’m not interested in hearing someone even apologize, much less offer forgiveness in return.

The apostles struggled with this idea, too. That’s why we find that their response is, “Increase our faith!”

It takes a lot of faith to forgive those who hurt us, especially when the same person habitually offends, abuses, or sins against us. As the original followers of Jesus discovered, it takes more than human willpower; it takes faith in Christ.

The good news, according to Jesus, is that forgiveness does not take a lot of faith, just a little.

When I find myself thinking, “I don’t want to deal with that person…” these verses remind me, “You just need a little faith. Depend on God; he can get you through this.”

If you see mountains blocking your path today, remember that faith moves mountains, but faith requires forgiveness. These two spiritual values are inseparable partners, working together to make us more like our Lord Jesus.

Faith requires forgiveness.

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Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.

Luke 7: Those Forgiven Much, Love Much

The words of Jesus in Luke 7 offer powerful insight into the issue of forgiveness. We are told Jesus sat at a meal with a wealthy man in his community when a woman appeared and began washing his feet with tears. The guests thought to themselves,”Why is he allowing this? Doesn’t he know what kind of woman she is?”

Jesus did know. He used this teachable moment to communicate a profound spiritual truth: Those forgiven much love much. I’ll let the text of the account speak for itself. The key question for us today is this: Are we more like the forgiven woman or the meal’s host? Those forgiven much love much.

Christ forgives that we may love.

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[c] and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

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Dillon Burroughs has written, co-written, or edited over 60 books, including the upcoming devotional work Thirst No More (October 2011). He served as an associate editor for The Apologetics Study Bible for Students and is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at DillonBurroughs.org.


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