God’s Grace Through Generosity
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among thechurches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and theirextreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gaveaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not aswe expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you thisact of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in allearnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your lovealso is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich,yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. And inthis matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do thiswork but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness indesiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if thereadiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to whathe does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, butthat as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need,so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written,“Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”