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  • Paul is continuing to explain his failure to return to Corinth, and asking the Corinthians to understand the reasons he was so harsh in his first letter.

    I promised my self I would not come to you in poor spirits. God is the giver of a cheerful heart; God's gift to us was not given in sorrow.

    When I wrote to you, it was not to make you sad, but to awaken you so I could rejoice with you. I knew in my heart you would listen, and we could rejoice together in our Lord.

    I was under great stress when I wrote to you, for the rumors of your troubles were too much for me to bear. But I wanted you to turn from your sins, so that the love of God would flow even more completely in you all.

    It was not you alone who saddened me, but the conduct of others as well. You alone were not the cause of my pain.

    All have heard my rebuke, and those words were enough.

    So do not let the guilt of the past stand between you and our Lord. Accept His gift of forgiveness and rejoice in the Lord, as He rejoices in your faith and repentance.

    I wrote what I did to see what you would do, if you would turn from your sins and obey God's word. You did, and now I ask you to forgive all that was done, and to forgive my harshness, even as I have forgiven you and God has forgiven us all.

    If we do not forgive, we allow Satan an advantage over us. We know he will use any means to separate us from God.

    When I reached Troy, the opportunity to preach the Word opened up to me. I expected Titus to be there and work with me, so I could rest for some portion of the time. But he was not there, and when I was done in Troy, I continued to Macedonia, to preach there as well.

    Thanks be to our God, who gives us glory and triumph in our Lord, Jesus, and makes it possible for His Word to grow. We are His witness for Christ for both those who repent and those who do not.

    The Spirit moves in their hearts and they either embrace Him or reject Him. But it is the Spirit who moves them because we allow Him to speak the truth and do not change or corrupt the Word of God. We preach Christ only, and no other gospel .

    Remember what I said, and don't be deceived by others.

    As he said in the first chapter, Paul had intended to return to Corinth, but now we see that he was waylaid to Troy by the opportunity to win souls and build the church.

    But he doesn't want the Corinthians to think he has not heard of their repentance. Since the first epistle, the Corinthians have turned away from the immorality and offering practices of the idolaters, and begun to practice their faith as Paul had taught them. So the first epistle was effective, and Paul is letting them know they should continue on their current path, even if he is not able to return to them.

    I hope you are having a blessed and wonderful day.

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