2 Corinthians 9:1–10:18

9 There is no needr for me to write to you about this services to the Lord’s people.t For I know your eagerness to help,u and I have been boastingv about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last yearw you in Achaiax were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothersy in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.z For if any Macedoniansa come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothersb to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift,c not as one grudgingly given.d

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.e Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,f not reluctantly or under compulsion,g for God loves a cheerful giver.h And God is ablei to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,j you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their giftsk to the poor;

their righteousness endures forever.”a l

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for foodm will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.n 11 You will be enrichedo in every way so that you can be generousp on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.q

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needsr of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.s 13 Because of the servicet by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise Godu for the obedience that accompanies your confessionv of the gospel of Christ,w and for your generosityx in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to Gody for his indescribable gift!z

Paul’s Defense of His Ministry

10 By the humility and gentlenessa of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul,b who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as boldc as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.d For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.e The weapons we fight withf are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine powerg to demolish strongholds.h We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,i and we take captive every thought to make it obedientj to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.k

You are judging by appearances.a l If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ,m they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.n So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave uso for building you up rather than tearing you down,p I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressiveq and his speaking amounts to nothing.”r 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.s When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us,t a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as youu with the gospel of Christ.v 15 Neither do we go beyond our limitsw by boasting of work done by others.x Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow,y our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospelz in the regions beyond you.a For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”b b 18 For it is not the one who commends himselfc who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.d

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