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2 Corinthians 8:1–9:15

Excel in Giving

8 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and atheir deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, imploring us with much urgency 1that we would receive the gift and bthe fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first cgave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the dwill of God. So ewe urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. But as fyou abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see gthat you abound in this grace also.

Christ Our Pattern

hI speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, ithat though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become jrich.

10 And in this kI give advice: lIt is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and mwere desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For nif there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.

13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, o“He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

Collection for the Judean Saints

16 But thanks be to God who 2puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him pthe brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, 19 and not only that, but who was also qchosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us rto the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, 20 avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us—21 sproviding honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

22 And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you. 23 If anyone inquires about tTitus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are umessengers 3of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show to them, 4and before the churches the proof of your love and of our vboasting on your behalf.

Administering the Gift

9 Now concerning athe ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a byear ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. cYet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this 1confident boasting. Therefore I thought it necessary to 2exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a 3grudging obligation.

The Cheerful Giver

dBut this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows 4bountifully will also reap 4bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, enot grudgingly or of 5necessity; for fGod loves a cheerful giver. gAnd God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:

h“He has dispersed abroad,

He has given to the poor;

His righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now 6may He who isupplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, 7supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your jrighteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, kwhich causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only lsupplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they mglorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal nsharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding ograce of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God pfor His indescribable gift!

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