Administration of the Collection

16 Thanks be to God, who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he welcomed our appeal and, being very diligent, went out to you by his own choice. 18 We have sent with him the brother(A) who is praised among all the churches for his gospel ministry.[a] 19 And not only that, but he was also appointed by the churches to accompany us with this gracious gift that we are administering for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We are taking this precaution so that no one will criticize us about this large sum that we are administering. 21 Indeed, we are giving careful thought(B) to do what is right,(C) not only before the Lord but also before people. 22 We have also sent with them our brother. We have often tested him in many circumstances and found him to be diligent—and now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner(D) and coworker(E) for you; as for our brothers, they are the messengers(F) of the churches, the glory of Christ.(G) 24 Therefore, show them proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting(H) about you.

Motivations for Giving

Now concerning the ministry to the saints, it is unnecessary for me to write to you. For I know your eagerness, and I boast about you to the Macedonians,(I) “Achaia(J) has been ready since last year,” and your zeal(K) has stirred up most of them.(L) But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you in this matter would not prove empty, and so that you would be ready just as I said. Otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we, not to mention you, would be put to shame in that situation.[b] Therefore I considered it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance the generous gift(M) you promised, so that it will be ready as a gift and not as an extortion.(N)

The point is this:[c] The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves(O) a cheerful giver. And God is able(P) to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. As it is written:

He distributed freely;(Q)
he gave to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.[d](R)

10 Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.(S) 11 You will be enriched(T) in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 For the ministry of this service(U) is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity(V) in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Footnotes

  1. 8:18 Lit churches, in the gospel
  2. 9:4 Or in this confidence
  3. 9:6 Lit And this
  4. 9:9 Ps 112:9

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