There is really no need for me to write you about this offering for God's people -
I know how eager you are, and I boast about you to the Macedonians. I tell them, "Achaia has been ready since last year," and it was your zeal that stirred up most of them.
But now I am sending the brothers so that our boast about you in this regard will not prove hollow, so that you will be ready, as I said you would be.
For if some Macedonians were to come with me and find you unprepared, we would be humiliated at having been so confident - to say nothing of how you would feel.
So I thought it necessary to urge these brothers to go on to you ahead of me and prepare your promised gift in plenty of time; this way it will be ready when I come and will be a genuine gift, not something extracted by pressure.
Here's the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly.
Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God has the power to provide you with every gracious gift in abundance, so that always in every way you will have all you need yourselves and be able to provide abundantly for every good cause -
as the Tanakh says, "He gave generously to the poor; his tzedakah lasts forever."
He who provides both seed for the planter and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your tzedakah.
You will be enriched in every way, so that you can be generous in everything. And through us your generosity will cause people to thank God,
because rendering this holy service not only provides for the needs of God's people, but it also overflows in the many thanks people will be giving to God.
In offering this service you prove to these people that you glorify God by actually doing what your acknowledgement of the Good News of the Messiah requires, namely, sharing generously with them and with everyone.
And in their prayers for you they will feel a strong affection for you because of how gracious God has been to you.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!