TOPIC: Love For The Prodigal (DCLM Daily Manna 13 June 2021)
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 2:1-11
1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.
2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
KEY VERSE: “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” – (2 Corinthians 2:7)
In his book, The Preaching Event, John Claypool tells a story of identical twin brothers who ran a shop together. One day, a man came in to make a small purchase and paid for it with a dollar. The brother who made the sale placed the dollar on top of the cash register. He then walked the customer to the door to say goodbye. When he returned, the dollar bill was gone; his twin brother denied taking it. The matter led to a serious dispute that split the business. They put a partition right down the middle of the building and made it into two stores. They thereafter refused to speak to each other for the next 20 years. One day, a stranger entered one of the two stores and confessed that he took the money back then. He came to make restitution upon his conversion to Christ. With the confession, the two brothers reconciled and apologised to each other amidst tears. Healing came with reconciliation because of that stranger’s love for Christ.
Paul, in this passage spoke of how to relate with people who commit sin. He had previously written to give guidelines on how such a person should be handled so as to serve as deterrent to other members of the Church. The man was placed on discipline with withdrawal of fellowship towards him. But he emphasised here how justice should be tempered with mercy towards the repentant backslider. Brethren were encouraged to extend the hand of fellowship to the repentant backslider once more.
Backsliding hurts the backslider as well as the Church. The Church should not condone wrongdoings, no matter how influential such a person may be. But at the same time, we must not abandon the prodigal. Once there is genuine repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation should be automatic. That is the way of the Cross and that is the way we must follow.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Help a backslider back into fellowship.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Samuel 19-20
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.