A Daily Dose of Good News
Friday, September 18, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgRfthsBSWA
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20200918
Good morning! It is September 18 and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News which is from 2 Corinthians 13: 5-10. This is written by Paul to the Corinthian church, and in this, prior to verse 5, he basically says, ‘Now the last time I was there, I addressed some sinfulness in the church and I told you, at that point, that I’m not going to be lenient if I come back and see that continuing to happen. So, those are his directions, before we get to verse 5.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed. But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may become perfect. So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come, I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.
Here ends the reading.
So, in this, Paul is highlighting that because Jesus lives in all of us, we’re perfect in that. Jesus lives in us and Jesus is perfect. So, Paul’s question is ‘Are you paying attention to your actions?’ Not just what looks good, so it’s the appearance of doing ‘right’. OK? It’s not appearances. It’s about the reality of doing what is right. OK? That’s the epitome of what they’re striving for- letting Christ’s life in us, live out in our actions, in our behavior, thoughts, words and deeds. Paul wants to see evidence of that, so when he comes, he doesn’t have to scold them. But instead he can build them up and say ‘Good job! Keep going! You’re doing it!’ Right? It doesn’t matter if other people look at them and think they’ve failed- that’s irrelevant to Paul. What matters is that they are doing what is right, and they are doing what God calls them to do. Recognizing they are empowered by Jesus living inside of them, to do what’s right and to do what’s perfect.
And that may be a little bit hard for us to grasp. I know I often feel like I’m not perfect and sometimes I think we can test ourselves or assess ourselves on criteria that’s trivial and unimportant. So I think this is a great opportunity today, to sit down with God and pray, and ask God to show you what you’re doing that’s right in God’s eyes and what God wants you to do more of. Where are you not meeting your own test?
So, without getting God’s perspective, I might sit down and notice that there are dirty dishes in the sink right now (laughs). And I might think: ‘I’ve failed the test, I’m not doing what is right or what I’m supposed to do’. God may not care at all about those dirty dishes in the sink. God may care much more about: ‘are you praying for people in the congregation? Are you praying for people outside the congregation? That’s what’s right. That’s what I call you to’.
I think it’s a great chance to get God’s perspective in our lives. And it’s a great chance to give ourselves our own report card and to notice: here are the spots that I’m doing something that is pleasing to God and I’m doing something that’s right and that God likes and that makes God happy. And here are the places where God is nudging me to do something different. So, remember that God’s voice is loving and not punitive, God’s voice is loving and encouraging. I hope you look forward to hearing what God has for you today. As you sit with God and say: “hey God, help me fill out this report card. Help me see what you want me to do, where to strengthen and where I’m doing well”. And let Jesus live out in our lives in beautiful and perfect ways. Have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.