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2 Corinthians 8

New Int. Readers Version

1 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given to the churches in Macedonia. 2 They have suffered a great deal. But their joy was more than full. Even though they were very poor, they gave very freely. 3 I give witness that they gave as much as they could. In fact, they gave even more than they could. Completely on their own, 4 they begged us for the chance to share in serving God's people in that way. 5 They did more than we expected. First they gave themselves to the Lord. Then they gave themselves to us in keeping with what God wanted. 6 Titus had already started collecting money from you. So we asked him to get you to finish making your kind gift. 7 You do well in everything else. You do well in faith and in speaking. You do well in knowledge and in complete commitment. And you do well in your love for us. So make sure that you also do well in the grace of giving to others. 8 I am not commanding you to do it. But I want to put you to the test. I want to find out if you really love God. I want to compare your love with that of others. 9 You know the grace shown by our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though he was rich, he became poor to help you. Because he became poor, you can become rich. 10 Here is my advice about what is best for you in that matter. Last year you were the first to give. You were also the first to want to give. 11 So finish the work. Then your longing to do it will be matched by your finishing it. Give on the basis of what you have. 12 Do you really want to give? Then the gift is received in keeping with what you have, not with what you don't have. 13 We don't want others to have it easy at your expense. We want things to be equal. 14 Right now you have plenty in order to take care of what they need. Then they will have plenty to take care of what you need. That will make things equal. 15 It is written, “Those who gathered a lot didn't have too much. And those who gathered a little had enough.” (Ex 16:18) 16 God put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. I am thankful to God for this. 17 Titus welcomed our appeal. He is also excited about coming to you. It was his own idea. 18 Along with Titus, we are sending another brother. All the churches praise him for his service in telling the good news. 19 He was also chosen by the churches to go with us as we bring the offering. We are in charge of it. We want to honor the Lord himself. We want to show how ready we are to help. 20 We want to keep anyone from blaming us for how we take care of that large gift. 21 We are trying hard to do what is right in the Lord's eyes and in the eyes of people. 22 We are also sending another one of our brothers with them. He has often proved to us in many ways that he is very committed. He is now even more committed because he has great faith in you. 23 Titus is my helper. He and I work together among you. Our brothers are messengers from the churches. They honor Christ. 24 So show them that you really love them. Show them why we are proud of you. Then the churches can see it.

2 Corinthians 8

English Standard Version

1 We want you to know, brothers,[1] about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, (2Co 8:5) 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. (Mr 12:44) 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, (1Co 16:2; 2Co 8:11) 4 begging us earnestly for the favor[2] of taking part in the relief of the saints— (Ac 24:17; Ro 15:25; Ro 15:31; 2Co 9:2) 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. (2Co 8:1) 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. (2Co 8:4; 2Co 8:17; 2Co 8:19; 2Co 12:18) 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you[3]—see that you excel in this act of grace also. (1Co 1:5; 2Co 9:8) 8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. (1Co 7:6) 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. (Mt 20:28; 2Co 6:10; Php 2:6) 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. (De 15:7; Pr 19:17; Pr 28:27; 1Co 7:25; 2Co 9:2; 1Ti 6:18; Heb 13:16) 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. (Mr 12:43; Lu 21:3; 2Co 9:7) 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. (Ac 4:34; 2Co 9:12) 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.” (Ex 16:18) 16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. (2Co 2:14; Re 17:17) 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going[4] to you of his own accord. (2Co 8:6) 18 With him we are sending[5] the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. (1Co 7:17; 2Co 12:18) 19 And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. (1Co 16:3; 2Co 4:15; 2Co 8:6) 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. (Ro 12:17; Ro 14:18; Php 4:8; 1Pe 2:12) 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers[6] of the churches, the glory of Christ. (Phm 1:17) 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of our boasting about you to these men. (2Co 7:4; 2Co 7:14; 2Co 9:2)