Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 40

2 Corinthians 8 • page 1330
fear on the inside. 6But God, who encourages
those who are discouraged, encouraged us
by the arrival of Ti­tus. 7 His presence was a
joy, but so was the news he brought of the
encouragement he received from you. When
he told us how much you long to see me, and
how sorry you are for what happened, and
how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy!
I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter
to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know
it was painful to you for a little while. 9 Now
I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you,
but because the pain caused you to repent
and change your ways. It was the kind of
sorrow God wants his people to have, so
you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For
the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in
salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of
sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
Just see what this godly sorrow produced
in you! Such earnestness, such concern to
clear yourselves, such indignation, such
alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal,
and such a readiness to punish wrong. You
showed that you have done every­thing necessary to make things right. 12 My purpose,
then, was not to write about who did the
wrong or who was wronged. I wrote to you
so that in the sight of God you could see for
yourselves how loyal you are to us. 13 We
have been greatly encouraged by this.
In addition to our own encouragement,
we were especially delighted to see how
happy Ti­tus was about the way all of you
welcomed him and set his mind* at ease. 14 I
had told him how proud I was of you—and
you didn’t disappoint me. I have always told
you the truth, and now my boasting to Ti­tus
has also proved true! 15 Now he cares for you
more than ever when he remembers the way
all of you obeyed him and welcomed him
with such fear and deep respect. 16 I am very
happy now because I have complete confidence in you.
A Call to Generous Giving
Now I want you to know, dear brothers
and sisters,* what God in his kindness
has done through the churches in Mac­
e­do­nia. 2 They are being tested by many
troubles, and they are very poor. But they
are also filled with abundant joy, which has
overflowed in rich generosity.
For I can testify that they gave not only
what they could afford, but far more. And
they did it of their own free will. 4 They
begged us again and again for the privilege
of sharing in the gift for the believers in
Je­ru­sa­lem.* 5 They even did more than we
had hoped, for their first action was to give
themselves to the Lord and to us, just as
God wanted them to do.
So we have urged Ti­tus, who encouraged
your giving in the first place, to return to
you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many
ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers,
your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and
your love from us*—I want you to excel also
in this gracious act of giving.
I am not commanding you to do this.
But I am testing how genuine your love is
by comparing it with the eagerness of the
other churches.
You know the generous grace of our Lord
­Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for
your sakes he became poor, so that by his
poverty he could make you rich.
Here is my advice: It would be good for
you to finish what you started a year ago.
Last year you were the first who wanted to
give, and you were the first to begin doing
it. 11Now you should finish what you started.
Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give
in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever
you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly.
And give according to what you have, not
what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t
mean your giving should make life easy for
others and hard for yourselves. I only mean
that there should be some equality. 14 Right
now you have plenty and can help those
who are in need. Later, they will have plenty
and can share with you when you need it.
In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the
Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing
left over,
and those who gathered only a little
had enough.”*
Titus and His Companions
But thank God! He has given Ti­tus the
same enthusiasm for you that I have.
Ti­tus welcomed our request that he visit
you again. In fact, he himself was very eager

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