Great Generosity

Now, brothers and sisters, we make known to you the grace of God which has been (A)given in the churches of (B)Macedonia, that in a [a]great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the (C)wealth of their liberality. For I testify that (D)according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave voluntarily, begging us with much urging for the (E)favor [b]of participation in the [c](F)support of the [d]saints, and this, not as we had [e]expected, but they first (G)gave themselves to the Lord and to us by (H)the will of God. So we (I)urged (J)Titus that as he had previously (K)made a beginning, so he would also complete in you (L)this gracious work as well.

But just as you (M)excel (N)in everything, in faith, speaking, knowledge, and in all earnestness and in the [f]love we inspired in you, see that you also (O)excel in this gracious work. I (P)am not saying this as a command, but as proving, through the earnestness of others, the sincerity of your love as well. For you know (Q)the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that (R)though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 I (S)give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin (T)a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish [g]doing it also, so that just as there was the (U)willingness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. 12 For if the willingness is present, it is acceptable (V)according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For this is not for the relief of others and for your hardship, but by way of equality— 14 at this present time your abundance will serve as assistance for (W)their need, so that their abundance also may [h]serve as assistance for (X)your need, so that there may be equality; 15 as it is written: “(Y)The one who had gathered much did not have too much, and the one who had gathered little did not have too little.”

16 But (Z)thanks be to God who (AA)puts the same earnestness in your behalf in the heart of (AB)Titus. 17 For he not only accepted our (AC)appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord. 18 We have sent along with him (AD)the brother whose fame in the things of the (AE)gospel has spread through (AF)all the churches; 19 (AG)and not only that, but he has also been (AH)appointed by the churches to travel with us in (AI)this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our (AJ)readiness, 20 [i]taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; 21 for we (AK)have regard for what is honorable, not only in (AL)the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of other people. 22 We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for (AM)Titus, he is my (AN)partner and fellow worker [j]among you; as for our (AO)brothers, they are [k](AP)messengers of the churches, (AQ)a glory to Christ. 24 Therefore, [l]openly before the churches, [m]show them the proof of your love and of our (AR)reason for boasting about you.

God Gives Most

For (AS)it is superfluous for me to write to you about this (AT)ministry to the [n]saints; for I know your willingness, of which I (AU)boast about you to the (AV)Macedonians, namely, that (AW)Achaia has been prepared since (AX)last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I have sent the brothers, in order that our (AY)boasting about you may not prove empty in this case, so that, (AZ)as I was saying, you will be prepared; otherwise, if any (BA)Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to mention you—would be put to shame by this confidence. So I considered it necessary to urge the (BB)brothers that they go on ahead to you and arrange in advance your previously promised [o](BC)generous gift, that the same would be ready as a [p](BD)generous gift, and not as one grudgingly given due to greediness.

Now I say this: (BE)the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows [q]generously will also reap [r]generously. Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not (BF)reluctantly or under compulsion, for (BG)God loves a cheerful giver. And (BH)God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written:

(BI)He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness [s]endures forever.”

10 Now He who supplies (BJ)seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and (BK)increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be (BL)enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing (BM)thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying (BN)the needs of the [t]saints, but is also overflowing (BO)through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this (BP)ministry, they will (BQ)glorify God for your obedience to your (BR)confession of the (BS)gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your [u]contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 (BT)Thanks be to God for His indescribable (BU)gift!

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 8:2 Or severe test of
  2. 2 Corinthians 8:4 Lit and
  3. 2 Corinthians 8:4 Lit service to the saints
  4. 2 Corinthians 8:4 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
  5. 2 Corinthians 8:5 Lit hoped
  6. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Lit love from us in you; one early ms love from you in us
  7. 2 Corinthians 8:11 Lit the doing
  8. 2 Corinthians 8:14 Lit become
  9. 2 Corinthians 8:20 Lit avoiding this
  10. 2 Corinthians 8:23 Lit for you
  11. 2 Corinthians 8:23 Lit apostles
  12. 2 Corinthians 8:24 Lit in the face of the churches
  13. 2 Corinthians 8:24 Or show the proof...for boasting about you to them
  14. 2 Corinthians 9:1 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
  15. 2 Corinthians 9:5 Lit blessing
  16. 2 Corinthians 9:5 Lit blessing
  17. 2 Corinthians 9:6 Lit with blessings
  18. 2 Corinthians 9:6 Lit with blessings
  19. 2 Corinthians 9:9 Lit remains
  20. 2 Corinthians 9:12 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
  21. 2 Corinthians 9:13 Or sharing with them