Excel in Giving
1Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and #Mark 12:44their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and #Acts 11:29; 24:17; Rom. 15:25, 26; 1 Cor. 16:1, 3, 4; 2 Cor. 9:1the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5And not only as we had hoped, but they first #(Rom. 12:1, 2)gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the #(Eph. 6:6)will of God. 6So #2 Cor. 8:17; 12:18we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. 7But as #(1 Cor. 1:5; 12:13)you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see #2 Cor. 9:8that you abound in this grace also.
Christ Our Pattern
8#1 Cor. 7:6I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, #Matt. 8:20; Luke 9:58; Phil. 2:6, 7that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become #Rom. 9:23; (Eph. 1:7; Rev. 3:18)rich.
10And in this #1 Cor. 7:25, 40I give advice: #(Prov. 19:17; Matt. 10:42; 1 Tim. 6:18, 19; Heb. 13:16)It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and #1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:2were desiring to do a year ago; 11but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12For #Mark 12:43, 44; Luke 21:3, 4; 2 Cor. 9:7if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 15As it is written, #Ex. 16:18“He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”
Collection for the Judean Saints
16But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord. 18And we have sent with him #1 Cor. 16:3; 2 Cor. 12:18the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, 19and not only that, but who was also #Acts 14:23; 1 Cor. 16:3, 4chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us #2 Cor. 4:15to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, 20avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us— 21#Rom. 12:17; Phil. 4:8; 1 Pet. 2:12providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you. 23If anyone inquires about #2 Cor. 7:13, 14Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are #(John 13:16); Phil. 2:25messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24Therefore show to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love and of our #2 Cor. 7:4, 14; 9:2boasting on your behalf.