I don't need to write anything further to you about helping the Christians [in Jerusalem].
I know how willing you are to help, and I brag about you to the believers in the province of Macedonia. I tell them, "The people of Greece have been ready [to send their collection] since last year," and your enthusiasm has moved most of them [to act].
I've sent my coworkers so that when we brag that you're ready, we can back it up.
Otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me, they might find out that you're not ready after all. This would embarrass us for feeling so confident as much as it would embarrass you.
So I thought that I should encourage our coworkers to visit you before I do and make arrangements for this gift that you had already promised to give. Then it will be the blessing it was intended to be, and it won't be something you're forced to do.
Remember this: The farmer who plants a few seeds will have a very small harvest. But the farmer who plants because he has received God's blessings will receive a harvest of God's blessings in return.
Each of you should give whatever you have decided. You shouldn't be sorry that you gave or feel forced to give, since God loves a cheerful giver.
Besides, God will give you his constantly overflowing kindness. Then, when you always have everything you need, you can do more and more good things.
Scripture says, "The righteous person gives freely to the poor. His righteousness continues forever."
God gives seed to the farmer and food to those who need to eat. God will also give you seed and multiply it. In your lives he will increase the things you do that have his approval.
God will make you rich enough so that you can always be generous. Your generosity will produce thanksgiving to God because of us.
What you do to serve others not only provides for the needs of God's people, but also produces more and more prayers of thanksgiving to God.
You will honor God through this genuine act of service because of your commitment to spread the Good News of Christ and because of your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.
With deep affection they will pray for you because of the extreme kindness that God has shown you.
I thank God for his gift that words cannot describe.