2 CORINTHIANS 8
The collection for those in Jerusalem
8 • 1 Now I want you to know about a gift of divine grace among the Churches of Macedonia. 2 While they were so afflicted and persecuted, their joy overflowed and their extreme poverty turned into a wealth of generosity. 3-4 According to their means—even beyond their means—they wanted to share in helping the saints.
They asked us for this favor spontaneously and with much insistence 5 and, far beyond anything we expected, they put themselves at the disposal of the Lord and of us by the will of God. 6 Accordingly, I urged Titus to complete among you this work of grace since he began it with you. 7 You excel in everything: in the gifts of faith, speech and knowledge; you feel concern for every cause and, besides, you are first in my heart. Excel also in this generous service.
8 This is not a command; I make known to you the determination of others to check the sincerity of your fraternal concern. 9 You know well the generosity of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Although he was rich, he made himself poor to make you rich through his poverty.
10 I only make a suggestion, because you were the first not only in cooperating, but in beginning this project a year ago. 11 So complete this work and, according to your means, carry out what you decided with much enthusiasm. 12 When there is a good disposition, everything you give is welcomed and no one longs for what you do not have. 13 I do not mean that others should be at ease and you burdened. Strive for equality; 14 at present give from your abundance what they are short of, and in some way they also will give from their abundance what you lack. Then you will be equal 15 and what Scripture says shall come true: To the one who had much, nothing was in excess; to the one who had little, nothing was lacking.
16 Blessed be God who inspires Titus with such care for you! 17 He not only listened to my appeal but he wanted to go and see you on his own initiative. 18 I am sending with him the brother who has gained the esteem of the churches in the work of the Gospel; 19 moreover they appointed him to travel with us in this blessed work we are carrying on for the glory of the Lord but also because of our personal enthusiasm.
20 We decided on this so that no one could suspect us with regard to this generous fund that we are administering. 21 Let us see to it that all may appear clean not only before God but also before people. 22 We also send with them another brother who on several occasions has shown us his zeal and, now, is more enthusiastic because of his confidence in you.
23 You then have Titus, our companion and minister, to serve you and, with him, you have our brothers, representatives of the churches and a glory to Christ. 24 Show them how you love, and prove before the churches all the good things I said to them about you.
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