URC Daily Devotion Tuesday 28th April 2020

Tuesday 28th April 2020

2 Corinthians 8: 16 – 24

But thanks be to God who put in the heart of Titus the same eagerness for you that I myself have. For he not only accepted our appeal, but since he is more eager than ever, he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his proclaiming of the good news; and not only that, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us while we are administering this generous undertaking] for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our goodwill.  We intend that no one should blame us about this generous gift that we are administering, for we intend to do what is right not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of others. And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found eager in many matters, but who is now more eager than ever because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker in your service; as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. Therefore, openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.

Reflection

Paul says that he is confident of the Corinthians’ generosity, but he also spends two whole chapters of this letter making sure that they keep to their avowed intention to join in with the gift to the churches in Judea. He sees this ‘generous undertaking’ as being for the glory of God and to show off the goodwill of the more gentile churches towards Jerusalem. Paul and the other churches are even sending valued representatives to encourage the Corinthians in their giving. It’s clear that Paul knows what he considers to be ‘right’ and  equally that he’s determined that his proteges, the Corinthians, will do what is right not only in God’s sight, but in the sight of everyone.  

Does it matter what our motivation is for doing the right thing, or even for preaching the right thing? If we do something because we think that we will look good in the sight of others, is that less valuable, than if we do it to honour God? After all, as Christians, if we do the right thing, for whatever reason, others will see what we do as the Christian path and that can only be positive. 

Why, then, do I feel uncomfortable about doing the right thing, in order to get the approval of others? Is it because I owe so much to God, that I should be doing what God wants with no further reward? Or is it because we should aspire to having not only the mind of Christ to know what is right, but also the character of Christ to do what is right, even when that’s not what we want, for whatever reason.  Maybe this is splitting hairs. If we can discern the right thing to do and do it, then we will be honouring Christ, for that is what he did. (Matthew 26: 39). 

Prayer

Gracious God,
we ask for the gift of discernment.
Give us the mind of Christ to know what is right
and the character of Christ to do what is right, however reluctantly.
May the doing of what is right become a holy habit.
as we learn to walk your way
and aspire to live the life of Jesus today.
Amen.

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