The Offering for the Saints
81 Now , brethren , we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia , 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality . 3 For I testify that according to their ability , and beyond their ability , they gave of their own accord , 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints , 5 and this, not as we had expected , but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God . 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning , so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well .
7 But just as you abound in everything , in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also . 8 I am not speaking this as a command , but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also . 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ , that though He was rich , yet for your sake He became poor , so that you through His poverty might become rich . 10 I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage , who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. 11 But now finish doing it also , so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability . 12 For if the readiness is present , it is acceptable according to what a person has , not according to what he does not have . 13 For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction , but by way of equality - 14 at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need , so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need , that there may be equality ; 15 as it is written , " HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH , AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK ."
16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnestness on your behalf in the heart of Titus . 17 For he not only accepted our appeal , but being himself very earnest , he has gone to you of his own accord . 18 We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches ; 19 and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work , which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself , and to show our readiness , 20 taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift ; 21 for we have regard for what is honorable , not only in the sight of the Lord , but also in the sight of men . 22 We have sent with them our brother , whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things , but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus , he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren , they are messengers of the churches , a glory to Christ . 24 Therefore openly before e the churches , show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.