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2 Corinthians 8:1-15 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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New Living Translation (NLT) New International Version (NIV)
1 Now I want to tell you, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia. 1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2 Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
4 They begged us again and again for the gracious privilege of sharing in the gift for the Christians in Jerusalem. 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.
5 Best of all, they went beyond our highest hopes, for their first action was to dedicate themselves to the Lord and to us for whatever directions God might give them. 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 we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to complete your share in this ministry of giving. 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 Since you excel in so many ways -- you have so much faith, such gifted speakers, such knowledge, such enthusiasm, and such love for us -- now I want you to excel also in this gracious ministry of giving. 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 saying you must do it, even though the other churches are eager to do it. This is one way to prove your love is real. 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 You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 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 I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about 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 Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have. 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 If you are really eager to give, it isn't important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don't have. 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 Of course, I don't mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality. 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.
14 Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone's needs will be met. 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 Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? "Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a 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."