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2 Corinthians 8.1 - 15

posted 10 Jul 2013, 02:33 by Ben@theorderoftheblacksheep.com
Now, brothers and sisters, let me tell you about the amazing gift of God’s grace that’s happening throughout the churches in Macedonia. Even in the face of severe anguish and hard times, their elation and poverty have overflowed into a wealth of generosity. I watched as they willingly gave what they could afford and then went beyond to give even more. They came to us on their own, begging to take part in this work of grace to support the poor saints in Judea. We were so overwhelmed—none of us expected their reaction—that they truly turned their lives over to the Lord and then gave themselves to support us in our work as we answer the call of God. That’s why we asked Titus to finish what he started among you regarding this gracious work of charity. Just as you are rich in everything—in faith and speech, in knowledge and all sincerity, and in the love we have shown among you[a]—now I ask you to invest richly in this gracious work too. I am not going to command you, but I am going to offer you the chance to prove your love genuine in the same way others have done. You know the grace that has come to us through our Lord Jesus the Anointed. He set aside His infinite riches and was born into the lowest circumstance so that you may gain great riches through His humble poverty. 10-11 Listen, it’s been a year since we called your attention to this opportunity to demonstrate God’s grace, so here’s my advice: pull together your resources and finish what you started.

Remember how excited you were at first; it’s time to complete this task in the same spirit. 12 Now if there is a willingness to help, give within your means. That’s perfectly acceptable. No one expects you to go without or borrow to give. 13-14 The objective is not to go under so others will have some relief; the objective is to use this opportunity today to supply their needs out of your abundance. One day it may be the other way around, and they will need to supply your needs from what they have. That’s equality. 15 As it is written, “The one who gathered plenty didn’t have more than he needed; the one who gathered little didn’t have less.”