I don’t really need to write to you about the collection for the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem because I know how eager you are to help, and I’ve already been telling the churches in Macedonia since last year that you in Achaia were preparing to send a gift. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers.
But I’m sending these brothers to you to make sure you really are as ready as I have been saying, so that my claims are not proved empty. For if any Macedonians come with me and found that you weren’t ready after all, I – not to mention you – would be greatly embarrassed. So I thought it best to these brothers ahead of me to make sure the generous gift you promised is actually ready. And then it will a thoughtful gift, not one that’s given grudgingly.
Keep this in mind: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. But he who sows abundantly will also reap abundantly. So each one of you must decide in your heart how much you should give. But don’t do it reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so you will always have everything you need, and enough to share with others. As it is written: They have shared freely and given their gifts to the poor: their generosity will not be forgotten.”
For he who supplies seed to the sower and gives us bread to eat will also supply – and even increase – your stock of seed, and then produce in you a great harvest of right living.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous whenever required. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will be thankful to God because of you. So this service you’re providing not only meets the need of the believers in Jerusalem, but also results in an outpouring of thanks to God.
Because of this generosity by which you’ve proved yourself, others will praise God for your obedience to the principles of the gospel of Christ, and your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers their hearts will go out to you, because of the overflowing grace that God has given to you.
And thanks be to God for his gift, which is too wonderful for words!