9 I really do not need to write to you about this help for God’s people. 2 I know that you want to help. I have been bragging about this to the people in Macedonia. I have told them that you in Southern Greece have been ready to give since last year. And your wanting to give has made most of them here ready to give also. 3 But I am sending the brothers to you. I do not want our bragging about you in this to be for nothing. I want you to be ready, as I said you would be. 4 If any of the people from Macedonia come with me and find that you are not ready, we will be ashamed. We will be ashamed that we were so sure of you. (And you will be ashamed, too!) 5 So I thought that I should ask these brothers to go to you before we come. They will finish getting in order the gift you promised. Then the gift will be ready when we come, and it will be a gift you wanted to give—not a gift that you hated to give.
6 Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest. But the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest. 7 Each one should give, then, what he has decided in his heart to give. He should not give if it makes him sad. And he should not give if he thinks he is forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily. 8 And God can give you more blessings than you need. Then you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work. 9 It is written in the Scriptures:
“He gives freely to the poor. The things he does are right and will continue forever.” Psalm 112:9
10 God is the One who gives seed to the farmer. And he gives bread for food. And God will give you all the seed you need and make it grow. He will make a great harvest from your goodness. 11 God will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. And your giving through us will cause many to give thanks to God. 12 This service that you do helps the needs of God’s people. It is also bringing more and more thanks to God. 13 This service you do is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because of it. They will praise God because you follow the Good News of Christ—the gospel you say you believe. They will praise God because you freely share with them and with all others. 14 And when they pray, they will wish they could be with you. They will feel this because of the great grace that God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his gift that is too wonderful to explain.
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