I really don't need to write to you about this offering for God's people. I know how keen you are to helpI was boasting about this to those in Macedonia that you in Achaia have been ready for over a year, and your enthusiasm has encouraged many of them to give. But I'm sending these brothers so that my boasting about you regarding this won't be proved wrong, and that you're prepared, just as I said you would be. This is just in case some Macedonians should come with me and find you unprepared. We, not to mention you, would be really embarrassed if this project failed! That's why I decided I should ask these brothers to visit you in advance, and complete the arrangements to collect this offering, so that it would be ready as a gift, and not as something demanded.
I want to remind you of this: If you only sow a little, you'll only reap a little; if you sow plenty, you'll reap plenty. Everybody should give as they've already decided—not reluctantly, or because they have to, for God loves those who give with a cheerful spirit.* God is able to graciously provide you with everything, so that you will always have all you needwith plenty to help others too. As Scripture says, “He gives generously to the poor; his generosity is everlasting.” 10 God, who provides seed to the sower and gives bread for food, will provide and multiply yourseedand increase your harvest of generosity. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can always be very generous, and your generosity will lead others to be grateful to God. 12 When you serve in this way, not only are the needs of God's people met, but also many will give grateful thanks to God. 13 By giving this offering you show your true nature, and those who receive it will thank God for your obedience, since it shows your commitment to the good news of Christ and your generosity in giving to them and everyone else. 14 They will pray for you with much fondness because of God's abundant grace working through you. 15 Thank God for his gift that is far greater than words can express!
* 9:7 See Proverbs 22:8. 9:9 Quoting Psalms 112:9. In the context of the Psalm this refers to a generous man.