2 Corinthians 8:16–24 (NKJV)

16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, 19 and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, 20 avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us—21 providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you. 23 If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show to them, and before the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.

2 Corinthians 8:16-24

Paul spends a bit of time here talking about the gift being sent to Jerusalem for the ministering to the saints. He expands the role of Titus, who is the primary fundraiser and deliverer of this gift. Paul sent him to Corinth and he was able to secure a great gift for Jerusalem. Paul is a bit cryptic with the names of this party of couriers who are taking this gift to its recipients. Some speculation says that it may have been Luke, the writer of Luke-Acts and a companion of Paul’s, but the timeline and the geography do not match up. Another speculations says that they may have come from the small circle of people who were said to have accompanied Paul from his final visit to Corinth back to Jerusalem: “Sopater of Berea … and of the Thessalonians Aristarchus and Secundus” (Acts 20:4). However, the actual identity of this companion of Paul’s and Titus’s is not clearly known. Paul wanted to establish, however, that men of renown and established integrity were accompanying the gift to Jerusalem. Anyone who would have any qualms about sending a gift by Paul would be assured that the group accompanying him was trustworthy and would work with Paul to be sure that what was given would be delivered.

The major encouragement of Paul was that the Corinthians see the call to give a significant gift was not just for the sake of the poor saints in Jerusalem, but for the saints in Corinth. Even if the gift was above and beyond the norm, and would possibly empty their coffers and even the savings of the Corinthians individually, it was fitting, and would result in their eventual blessing beyond the value of the gift. Paul is teaching the principle of “give and it shall be given unto you” in order to open the windows of heaven and men unto the Christians wherever their generosity demonstrates the love of Christ and their willingness to put others above themselves. This is the great lesson Paul is teaching. Giving does not leave you without, but opens you up to the surplus of God’s riches in your life. God responds to our giving by giving to us Himself. Trust Him. Give, even sacrificially, for God will take care of you. Be a messenger of benevolence, and the Lord will send His messengers of benevolence to you!

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