ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 171



8:13–9:7
2 C o ri n thia n s
159
don’t have. 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. 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. As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
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 to go and see you. We are also sending another brother
with Titus. All the churches praise him as a preacher of the Good News.
He was appointed by the churches to accompany us as we take the offering
to Jerusalem—a service that glorifies the Lord and shows our eagerness
to help.
We are traveling together to guard against any criticism for the way we
are handling this generous gift. We are careful to be honorable before the
Lord, but we also want everyone else to see that we are honorable.
We are also sending with them another of our brothers who has proven
himself many times and has shown on many occasions how eager he is. He
is now even more enthusiastic because of his great confidence in you. If
anyone asks about Titus, say that he is my partner who works with me to
help you. And the brothers with him have been sent by the churches, and
they bring honor to Christ. So show them your love, and prove to all the
churches that our boasting about you is justified.
I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the
believers in Jerusalem. For I know how eager you are to help, and I have
been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready
to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred
up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.
But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have
been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don’t want to be
wrong in my boasting about you. We would be embarrassed—not to mention your own embarrassment—if some Macedonian believers came with
me and found that you weren’t ready after all I had told them! So I thought
I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly.
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small
crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must
each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or





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