Giving (Part 2) - 2 Corinthians 8:10-15 - Paul
2 Corinthians 8:10-15 So here is my opinion on this matter: It is to your advantage, since you made a good start last year both in your giving and your desire to give, 11 to finish what you started, so that just as you wanted to do it eagerly, you can also complete it according to your means. 12 For if the eagerness is present, the gift itself is acceptable according to whatever one has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not say this so there would be relief for others and suffering for you, but as a matter of equality. 14 At the present time, your abundance will meet their need, so that one day their abundance may also meet your need, and thus there may be equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Giving (Part 1) - 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 - Paul
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 Now we make known to you, brothers and sisters, the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, 2 that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their generosity. 3 For I testify, they gave according to their means and beyond their means. They did so voluntarily, 4 begging us with great earnestness for the blessing and fellowship of helping the saints. 5 And they did this not just as we had hoped, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 Thus we urged Titus that, just as he had previously begun this work, so also he should complete this act of kindness for you. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you—make sure that you excel in this act of kindness too. 8 I am not saying this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love by comparison with the eagerness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, he became poor for your sakes, so that you by his poverty could become rich. 10 So here is my opinion on this matter: It is to your advantage, since you made a good start last year both in your giving and your desire to give, 11 to finish what you started, so that just as you wanted to do it eagerly, you can also complete it according to your means. 12 For if the eagerness is present, the gift itself is acceptable according to whatever one has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not say this so there would be relief for others and suffering for you, but as a matter of equality. 14 At the present time, your abundance will meet their need, so that one day their abundance may also meet your need, and thus there may be equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Confrontation and Comfort - 2 Corinthians 7:2-16 - Paul
2 Corinthians 7:2-16 Make room for us in your hearts; we have wronged no one; we have ruined no one; we have exploited no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you, for I told you before that you are in our hearts so that we die together and live together with you. A Letter That Caused Sadness 4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride on your behalf. I am filled with encouragement; I am overflowing with joy in the midst of all our suffering. 5 For even when we came into Macedonia, our body had no rest at all, but we were troubled in every way—struggles from the outside, fears from within. 6 But God, who encourages the downhearted, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. 7 We were encouraged not only by his arrival, but also by the encouragement you gave him, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your deep concern for me, so that I rejoiced more than ever. 8 For even if I made you sad by my letter, I do not regret having written it (even though I did regret it, for I see that my letter made you sad, though only for a short time). 9 Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad, but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. 10 For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death. 11 For see what this very thing, this sadness as God intended, has produced in you: what eagerness, what defense of yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what deep concern, what punishment! In everything you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So then, even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did wrong or on account of the one who was wronged, but to reveal to you your eagerness on our behalf before God. 13 Therefore we have been encouraged. And in addition to our own encouragement, we rejoiced even more at the joy of Titus because all of you have refreshed his spirit. 14 For if I have boasted to him about anything concerning you, I have not been embarrassed by you, but just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting to Titus about you has proved true as well. 15 And his affection for you is much greater when he remembers the obedience of you all, how you welcomed him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice because in everything I am fully confident in you.
Disconnect and Connect - 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 - Paul
2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart has been opened wide to you. 12 Our affection for you is not restricted, but you are restricted in your affections for us. 13 Now as a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts to us also. Unequal Partners 14 Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord. Self-Purification 7 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spirit, and thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God.