The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem
Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I knowyour readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaiahas been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But I amsending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter,so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians comewith me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead toyou and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as awilling gift, not as an exaction.
The Cheerful Giver
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sowsbountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart,not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able tomake all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, youmay abound in every good work. As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seedfor sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in everyway to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. Forthe ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is alsooverflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they willglorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel ofChrist, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they longfor you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be toGod for his inexpressible gift!