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. Chapter 9.

The Offering for the Saints

1 About the provision of aid for God's people, it is superfluous for me to write to you. 2 I know how eager you are to help; I speak of it with pride to the Macedonians: I tell them that Achaia had everything ready last year; and most of them have been fired by your zeal. 3 My purpose in sending these friends is to ensure that what we have said about you in this matter should not prove to be an empty boast. By that I mean, I want you to be prepared, as I told them you were; 4 for if I bring with me men from Macedonia and they find you are not prepared, what a disgrace it will be to us, let alone to you, after all the confidence we have shown! 5 I have accordingly thought it necessary to ask these friends to go on ahead to Corinth, to see that your promised bounty is in order before I come; it will then be awaiting me as a bounty indeed, and not as an extortion.

6 Remember: sparse sowing, sparse reaping; sow bountifully, and you will reap bountifully. 7 [ Pr.22.8. ] Each person should give as he has decided for himself; there should be no reluctance, no sense of compulsion; God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And it is in God's power to provide you richly with every good gift; thus you will have ample means in yourselves to meet each and every situation, with enough and to spare for every good cause. 9 [ Ps.112.9. ] Scripture says of such a man: 'He has lavished his gifts on the needy, his benevolence stands fast for ever.' 10 Now he who provides seed for sowing and bread for food will provide the seed for you to sow; he will multiply it and swell the harvest of your benevolence, 11 and you will always be rich enough to be generous. Through our action such generosity will issue in thanksgiving to God, 12 for as a piece of willing service this is not only a contribution towards the needs of God's people; more than that, it overflows in a flood of thanksgiving to God. 13 For through the proof which this affords, many will give honour to God when they see how humbly you obey him and how faithfully you confess the gospel of Christ; and will thank him for your liberal contribution to their need and to the general good. 14 And as they join in prayer on your behalf, their hearts will go out to you because of the richness of the grace which God has imparted to you. 15 Thanks be to God for his gift beyond words!

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