2 Corinthians 8 BBE/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 And now we give you news, brothers, about the grace of God which has been given to the churches of Macedonia; 1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2 How while they were undergoing every sort of trouble, and were in the greatest need, they took all the greater joy in being able to give freely to the needs of others. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
3 For I give them witness, that as they were able, and even more than they were able, they gave from the impulse of their hearts, 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
4 Seriously requesting us that they might have a part in this grace of being servants to the needs of the saints: 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
5 And going even farther than our hope, they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us after the purpose of God. 5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will.
6 So that we made a request to Titus that, as he had made a start before, so he might make this grace complete in you. 6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.
7 And that as you are full of every good thing, of faith, of the word, of knowledge, of a ready mind, and of love to us, so you may be full of this grace in the same way. 7 But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not giving you an order, but using the ready mind of others as a test of the quality of your love. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
9 For you see the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how though he had wealth, he became poor on your account, so that through his need you might have wealth. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And in this I give my opinion: for it is to your profit, who were the first to make a start a year before, not only to do this, but to make clear that your minds were more than ready to do it. 10 And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.
11 Then make the doing of it complete; so that as you had a ready mind, you may give effect to it as you are able. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
12 For if there is a ready mind, a man will have God's approval in the measure of what he has, and not of what he has not. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
13 And I am not saying this so that others may get off free, while the weight comes on you: 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.
14 But so that things may be equal; that from those things of which you have more than enough at the present time their need may be helped, and that if you are in any need they may be a help to you in the same way, making things equal. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality,
15 As it says in the Writings, He who had taken up much had nothing over and he who had little had enough. 15 as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little."
16 But praise be to God, who puts the same care for you into the heart of Titus. 16 I thank God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.
17 For while he gladly gave ear to our request, he was interested enough to go to you from the impulse of his heart. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative.
18 And with him we have sent a brother whose praise in the good news has gone through all the churches; 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.
19 And not only so, but he was marked out by the churches to go with us in the grace of this giving which we have undertaken to the glory of the Lord and to make clear that our mind was ready: 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.
20 And so that no man might be able to say anything against us in the business of this giving which has been put into our hands: 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.
21 For the business has been so ordered by us as to have the approval, not only of the Lord, but of men. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother, whose ready spirit has been made clear to us at times and in ways without number, but it is now all the more so because of the certain faith which he has in you. 22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you.
23 If any question comes up about Titus, he is my brother-worker, working with me for you; or about the others, they are the representatives of the churches to the glory of Christ. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.
24 Make clear then to them, as representatives of the churches, the quality of your love, and that the things which we have said about you are true. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.