But I am sending the brothers to you so that our bragging about you in this will not be empty words. I want you to be ready, as I said you would be.
If any of the people from Macedonia come with me and find that you are not ready, we will be ashamed that we were so sure of you. (And you will be ashamed, too!)
So I thought I should ask these brothers to go to you before we do. They will finish getting in order the generous gift you promised so it will be ready when we come. And it will be a generous gift -- not one that you did not want to give.
Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest, but the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest.
Each one should give as you have decided in your heart to give. You should not be sad when you give, and you should not give because you feel forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily.
And God can give you more blessings than you need. Then you will always have plenty of everything -- enough to give to every good work.
It is written in the Scriptures: "He gives freely to the poor. The things he does are right and will continue forever."
God is the One who gives seed to the farmer and bread for food. He will give you all the seed you need and make it grow so there will be a great harvest from your goodness.
He will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. And your giving through us will cause many to give thanks to God.
This service you do not only helps the needs of God's people, it also brings many more thanks to God.
It is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because you obey the Good News of Christ -- the gospel you say you believe -- and because you freely share with them and with all others.