1Next, brothers, we will tel you of the grace of God which has been granted to the churches ofMacedonia, 2and how, throughout continual ordeals of hardship, their unfailing joy and their intense poverty haveoverflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3I can testify that it was of their own accord that they made their gift, which was not merely as far as theirresources would al ow, but wel beyond their resources; 4and they had kept imploring us most insistently for the privilege of a share in the fellowship of service toGod's holy people- 5it was not something that we expected of them, but it began by their offering themselves to the Lordand to us at the prompting of the wil of God. 6In the end we urged Titus, since he had already made a beginning, also to bring this work of generosityto completion among you. 7More, as you are rich in everything-faith, eloquence, understanding, concern for everything, and lovefor us too -- then make sure that you excel in this work of generosity too. 8I am not saying this as an order, but testing the genuineness of your love against the concern of others. 9You are wel aware of the generosity which our Lord Jesus Christ had, that, although he was rich, hebecame poor for your sake, so that you should become rich through his poverty. 10I will give you my considered opinion in the matter; this wil be the right course for you as you were thefirst, a year ago, not only to take any action but also even to conceive the project. 11Now, then, complete the action as wel , so that the fulfilment may -- so far as your resources permit --be proportionate to your enthusiasm for the project. 12As long as the enthusiasm is there, the basis on which it is acceptable is what someone has, not whatsomeone does not have. 13It is not that you ought to relieve other people's needs and leave yourselves in hardship; but thereshould be a fair balance- 14your surplus at present may fil their deficit, and another time their surplus may fil your deficit. Sothere may be a fair balance; 15as scripture says: No one who had collected more had too much, no one who col ected less had toolittle. 16Thank God for putting into Titus' heart the same sincere concern for you. 17He certainly took our urging to heart; but greater still was his own enthusiasm, and he went off to youof his own accord. 18We have sent with him the brother who is praised as an evangelist in al the churches 19and who, what is more, was elected by the churches to be our travel ing companion in this work ofgenerosity, a work to be administered by us for the glory of the Lord and our complete satisfaction. 20We arranged it this way so that no one should be able to make any accusation against us about thislarge sum we are administering. 21And so we have been careful to do right not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of people. 22Along with these, we have sent a brother of ours whose eagerness we have tested over and overagain in many ways and who is now all the more eager because he has so much faith in you. 23If Titus is in question -- he is my own partner and fellow-worker in your interests; and if our brothers --they are the emissaries of the churches and the glory of Christ. 24So then, in full view of al the churches, give proof that you love them, and that we were right to boastof you to them.
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