Holy One of God, you are the way to God, the truth about God, and the life in God. I praise your name.
Read 2 CORINTHIANS 8:16 – 9:5
Titus Sent to Receive the Collection
16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.
22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
9 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers 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. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers 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, not as one grudgingly given.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on these words: ‘A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold’ (Proverbs 22:1).
Private companies and public bodies recognize the importance of ‘reputation management’, sometimes paying PR companies large sums to ensure that bad news stories are suppressed, and good news promoted. Here, Paul vouches for the good reputation of his colleagues and of the church to whom he writes.
What are the best qualities of the church you belong to? Do you tell others of its strength? Despite all of its shortcomings, Paul is proud of the church he founded in Corinth and wants Titus and his companions to be impressed by their generosity (v 24). Paul had previously asked the Corinthians to start a collection for the church in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:4) and now is sending Titus, whom the Corinthians already know, and two others to collect the offering. As he expects the church to be liberal (v 20), it is important to choose such people wisely, so that money is not only handled well, but is seen to be handled well.
Paul is enthusiastic in recommending the messengers he is sending to Corinth. Titus’ companions are ‘the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel’ (v 18) and ‘our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous’ (v 22). What would people say about you?
Who could you encourage today by telling them how well they reflect God’s goodness?
Father, I have been blessed by the giving of others. May my giving bring blessing and hope to others.
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