2 Corinthians 7–9; Psalm 105

Since we have these promises, beloved, jlet us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body1 and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Paul’s Joy

kMake room in your hearts2 for us. lWe have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that myou are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. I am acting with ngreat boldness toward you; oI have great pride in you; pI am filled with comfort. In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.

For even qwhen we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turnrfighting without and fear within. But sGod, who comforts the downcast, tcomforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more. For ueven if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret itthough vI did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but wbecause you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

10 For xgodly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas yworldly grief produces death. 11 For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, zwhat zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter. 12 So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the one awho did the wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your earnestness for us might be revealed to you in the sight of God. 13 Therefore bwe are comforted.

And besides our own comfort, we rejoiced still more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit chas been refreshed by you all. 14 For dwhatever boasts I made to him about you, I was not put to shame. But just as everything we said to you ewas true, so also our boasting before Titus has proved true. 15 And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers fthe obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice, because I have complete gconfidence in you.

Encouragement to Give Generously

We want you to know, brothers,3 about the grace of God that has been hgiven among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and itheir extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave jaccording to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly kfor the favor4 of taking part in lthe relief of the saints and this, not as we expected, but they mgave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, nwe urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you othis act of grace. But as pyou excel in everythingin faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you5qsee that you excel in this act of grace also.

rI say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that sthough he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 10 And in this matter tI give my judgment: uthis benefits you, who va year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable waccording to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply xtheir need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, yWhoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.

Commendation of Titus

16 But zthanks be to God, awho put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For bhe not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going6 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending7 cthe brother who is famous among dall the churches for his preaching of the gospel. 19 And not only that, but he has been eappointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of fgrace that is being ministered by us, gfor the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. 20 We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, 21 for hwe aim at what is honorable inot only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 22 And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is jmy partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers8 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 So give proof before the churches of your love and of kour boasting about you to these men.

The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem

Now lit is superfluous for me to write to you about mthe ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, nof which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready osince last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. But pI am sending9 the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, qas I said you would be. Otherwise, if some Macedonians rcome with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliatedto say nothing of youfor being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the sgift10 you have promised, so that it may be ready tas a willing gift, unot as an exaction.11

The Cheerful Giver

The point is this: vwhoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully12 will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, wnot reluctantly or under compulsion, for xGod loves a cheerful giver. And yGod is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency13 in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

zHe has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;

his righteousness endures forever.

10 He who supplies aseed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and bincrease the harvest of your righteousness. 11 cYou will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which dthrough us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying ethe needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, fthey14 will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your gconfession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 hThanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!


Tell of All His Wondrous Works

105  tOh give thanks to the Lord; ucall upon his name;

vmake known his deeds among the peoples!

Sing to him, sing praises to him;

wtell of all his wondrous works!

Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

Seek the Lord and his xstrength;

yseek his presence continually!

Remember the zwondrous works that he has done,

his miracles, and athe judgments he uttered,

O offspring of bAbraham, his servant,

children of Jacob, his cchosen ones!

He is the Lord our God;

his djudgments are in all the earth.

He eremembers his covenant forever,

the word that he commanded, for fa thousand generations,

gthe covenant that he made with Abraham,

his hsworn promise to Isaac,

10  which he confirmed to iJacob as a statute,

to Israel as an everlasting covenant,

11  saying, jTo you I will give the land of Canaan

as kyour portion for an inheritance.

12  When they were lfew in number,

of little account, and msojourners in it,

13  wandering from nation to nation,

from one kingdom to another people,

14  he nallowed no one to oppress them;

he orebuked kings on their account,

15  saying, pTouch not my anointed ones,

do my prophets no harm!

16  When he qsummoned a famine on the land

and rbroke all supply1 of bread,

17  he had ssent a man ahead of them,

Joseph, who was tsold as a slave.

18  His ufeet were hurt with fetters;

his neck was put in a collar of iron;

19  until vwhat he had said came to pass,

the word of the Lord wtested him.

20  xThe king sent and yreleased him;

the ruler of the peoples set him free;

21  he zmade him lord of his house

and ruler of all his possessions,

22  to bind2 his princes at his pleasure

and to teach his elders wisdom.

23  Then aIsrael came to Egypt;

Jacob bsojourned in cthe land of Ham.

24  And the Lord dmade his people very fruitful

and made them stronger than their foes.

25  He eturned their hearts to hate his people,

to fdeal craftily with his servants.

26  He gsent Moses, his servant,

and Aaron, hwhom he had chosen.

27  iThey performed his signs among them

and miracles in cthe land of Ham.

28  He jsent darkness, and made the land dark;

they kdid not rebel3 against his words.

29  He turned their waters into blood

and lcaused their fish to die.

30  Their land swarmed with frogs,

even in mthe chambers of their kings.

31  He spoke, and there came nswarms of flies,

oand gnats throughout their country.

32  He gave them hail for rain,

and fiery plightning bolts through their land.

33  He struck down their vines and fig trees,

and qshattered the trees of their country.

34  He spoke, and the rlocusts came,

young locusts without number,

35  which devoured all the vegetation in their land

and ate up the fruit of their ground.

36  He sstruck down all the firstborn in their land,

sthe firstfruits of all their strength.

37  Then he brought out Israel with tsilver and gold,

and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.

38  uEgypt was glad when they departed,

for vdread of them had fallen upon it.

39  He wspread a cloud for a covering,

and fire to give light by night.

40  xThey asked, and he ybrought quail,

and gave them zbread from heaven in abundance.

41  He opened the rock, and awater gushed out;

it flowed through bthe desert like a river.

42  For he cremembered his holy promise,

and dAbraham, his servant.

43  So he brought his people out with joy,

his dchosen ones with esinging.

44  And he fgave them the lands of the nations,

and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil,

45  that they might gkeep his statutes

and hobserve his laws.

iPraise the Lord!