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English Standard Version

2 Corinthians 8:1–9:15

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Encouragement to Give Generously

We want you to know, brothers,1 about the grace of God that has been hgiven among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and itheir extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave jaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly kfor the favor2 of taking part in lthe relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they mgave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, nwe urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you othis act of grace. But as pyou excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you3qsee that you excel in this act of grace also.

rI say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sthough he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter tI give my judgment: uthis benefits you, who va year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable waccording to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply xtheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, y“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

Commendation of Titus

16 But zthanks be to God, awho put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For bhe not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going4 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending5 cthe brother who is famous among dall the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been eappointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of fgrace that is being ministered by us, gfor the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for hwe aim at what is honorable inot only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is jmy partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers6 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of kour boasting about you to these men.

The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem

Now lit is superfluous for me to write to you about mthe ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, nof which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready osince last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But pI am sending1 the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, qas I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians rcome with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the sgift2 you have promised, so that it may be ready tas a willing gift, unot as an exaction.3

The Cheerful Giver

The point is this: vwhoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully4 will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, wnot reluctantly or under compulsion, for xGod loves a cheerful giver. And yGod is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency5 in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

z“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies aseed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and bincrease the harvest of your righteousness. 11 cYou will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which dthrough us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying ethe needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, fthey6 will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your gconfession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 hThanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

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