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Join Awaken Church as we read the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs in 2020. Download the #AwakenBible2020 plan at awaken.church/bible2020.

Each week I share a thought from the previous week’s reading here.

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“Sweet revenge” is an all too familiar phrase for each of us. When someone hurts us, our natural human tendency is to hurt them back. That’s why kids are so quick to use the phrase, “She did it first!” As though her slap justified his return slap!

As natural (and, let’s be honest – fulfilling) as revenge feels, it’s not God’s heart.

Paul told the Corinthians, “It is your restoration that I pray for.” (2 Corinthians 13:9)

The Corinthians and Paul had a love/hate relationship. You can sense it through Paul’s words in 1 and 2 Corinthians, as he discusses his painful visits to them, rebukes them, and even kicks some people out of the church (see 1 Corinthians 5)!

It would have been tempting for Paul to seek revenge, or at the very least, give up on them. And yet he kept praying.

Not for God’s judgment on them.

Not for condemnation.

Not for them to get what he thought they deserved.

He continued to pray for their restoration.

Why? Because restoration is at the very heart of the gospel we preach.

The gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ) is that God, through His Son Jesus, is reconciling the world to Himself. Not chastising the world or condemning the world. Reconciling. Restoring. Reconnecting.

How does this impact us?

Restored people restore people.

Forgiven people forgive people.

Since we have received, we give.

Are you praying for restoration?

What would it look like in your life to work toward restoration with someone?

It may be painful and it may not seem to work, but it’s worth trying.

Restoration is the heart of the gospel. Pray for it and work toward it.