Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The power of sacrificial giving is revealed in 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. First, God will measure back to you with the same measuring device you use when giving to Him (v. 6). Second, God is looking for a heart attitude that is free, spontaneous, and cheerful in giving (v. 7). Third, God has the power to resupply your resources to such a point that you will always have enough to give to any worthy project (v. 8). Fourth, God will remember for eternity what you scatter abroad (v. 9). Fifth, if you have a sower's heart and are faithful, God will give you more and more seed to plant (v. 10). Finally, God will prosper you financially so you can become a resource for building His kingdom in the earth (v. 11).

How many people fail to start down God's road of blessing because they sow sparingly? Step through the gate of hilarious, generous, spontaneous giving and watch God supply you with more seed to sow than you ever dreamed possible. He is looking for channels through which He can bless the world!

Song of Songs 5:1-8:14


I have come into my garden,S SS 4:12 my sister, my bride;S SS 4:8

I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.

I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;

I have drunk my wine and my milk.S SS 4:11; Isa 55:1; Joel 3:18


Eat, friends, and drink;

drink your fill of love.


I slept but my heart was awake.

Listen! My beloved is knocking:

“Open to me, my sister, my darling,

my dove,S SS 1:15 my flawlessSS 4:7 one.SS 6:9

My head is drenched with dew,

my hair with the dampness of the night.”

I have taken off my robe—

must I put it on again?

I have washed my feet—

must I soil them again?

My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;

my heart began to pound for him.

I arose to open for my beloved,

and my hands dripped with myrrh,ver 13

my fingers with flowing myrrh,

on the handles of the bolt.

I opened for my beloved,SS 6:1

but my beloved had left; he was gone.SS 6:2

My heart sank at his departure.Or heart had gone out to him when he spoke

I lookedSS 3:1 for him but did not find him.

I called him but he did not answer.

The watchmen found me

as they made their rounds in the city.SS 3:3

They beat me, they bruised me;

they took away my cloak,

those watchmen of the walls!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge youSS 2:7

if you find my beloved,S SS 1:14

what will you tell him?

Tell him I am faint with love.SS 2:5


How is your beloved better than others,

most beautiful of women?S SS 1:8

How is your beloved better than others,

that you so charge us?


10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,

outstanding among ten thousand.Ps 45:2

11 His head is purest gold;

his hair is wavy

and black as a raven.

12 His eyes are like dovesS SS 1:15

by the water streams,

washed in milk,Ge 49:12

mounted like jewels.

13 His cheeksSS 1:10 are like beds of spiceSS 6:2

yielding perfume.

His lips are like liliesS SS 2:1

dripping with myrrh.ver 5

14 His arms are rods of gold

set with topaz.

His body is like polished ivory

decorated with lapis lazuli.S Job 28:6

15 His legs are pillars of marble

set on bases of pure gold.

His appearance is like Lebanon,1Ki 4:33; SS 7:4

choice as its cedars.

16 His mouthSS 4:3 is sweetness itself;

he is altogether lovely.

This is my beloved,SS 7:9 this is my friend,

daughters of Jerusalem.SS 1:5


Where has your belovedSS 5:6 gone,

most beautiful of women?S SS 1:8

Which way did your beloved turn,

that we may look for him with you?


My beloved has goneSS 5:6 down to his garden,S SS 4:12

to the beds of spices,SS 5:13

to browse in the gardens

and to gather lilies.

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine;SS 7:10

he browses among the lilies.S SS 2:16


You are as beautiful as Tirzah,S Jos 12:24; S 1Ki 15:33 my darling,

as lovely as Jerusalem,Ps 48:2; 50:2

as majestic as troops with banners.S Nu 1:52

Turn your eyes from me;

they overwhelm me.

Your hair is like a flock of goats

descending from Gilead.S SS 4:1

Your teeth are like a flock of sheep

coming up from the washing.

Each has its twin,

not one of them is missing.SS 4:2

Your temples behind your veilS Ge 24:65

are like the halves of a pomegranate.SS 4:3

Sixty queensPs 45:9 there may be,

and eighty concubines,S Ge 22:24; S Est 2:14

and virgins beyond number;

but my dove,S SS 1:15 my perfect one,SS 5:2 is unique,

the only daughter of her mother,

the favorite of the one who bore her.S SS 3:4

The young women saw her and called her blessed;

the queens and concubines praised her.


10 Who is this that appears like the dawn,

fair as the moon, bright as the sun,

majestic as the stars in procession?


11 I went down to the grove of nut trees

to look at the new growth in the valley,

to see if the vines had budded

or the pomegranates were in bloom.SS 7:12

12 Before I realized it,

my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.Or among the chariots of Amminadab; or among the chariots of the people of the prince


13 Come back, come back, O Shulammite;

come back, come back, that we may gaze on you!


Why would you gaze on the Shulammite

as on the danceS Ex 15:20 of Mahanaim?In Hebrew texts this verse (6:13) is numbered 7:1.

In Hebrew texts 7:1-13 is numbered 7:2-14.How beautiful your sandaled feet,

O prince’sPs 45:13 daughter!

Your graceful legs are like jewels,

the work of an artist’s hands.

Your navel is a rounded goblet

that never lacks blended wine.

Your waist is a mound of wheat

encircled by lilies.

Your breastsSS 4:5 are like two fawns,

like twin fawns of a gazelle.

Your neck is like an ivory tower.S Ps 144:12

Your eyes are the pools of HeshbonNu 21:26

by the gate of Bath Rabbim.

Your nose is like the tower of LebanonS SS 5:15

looking toward Damascus.

Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.Isa 35:2

Your hair is like royal tapestry;

the king is held captive by its tresses.

How beautifulS SS 1:15 you are and how pleasing,

my love, with your delights!SS 4:10

Your stature is like that of the palm,

and your breastsSS 4:5 like clusters of fruit.

I said, “I will climb the palm tree;

I will take hold of its fruit.”

May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,

the fragrance of your breath like apples,SS 2:5

and your mouth like the best wine.


May the wine go straight to my beloved,SS 5:16

flowing gently over lips and teeth.Septuagint, Aquila, Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew lips of sleepers

10 I belong to my beloved,

and his desirePs 45:11 is for me.SS 2:16; 6:3

11 Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,

let us spend the night in the villages.Or the henna bushes

12 Let us go early to the vineyardsS SS 1:6

to see if the vines have budded,SS 2:15

if their blossomsSS 2:13 have opened,

and if the pomegranatesS SS 4:13 are in bloomSS 6:11

there I will give you my love.

13 The mandrakesS Ge 30:14 send out their fragrance,

and at our door is every delicacy,

both new and old,

that I have stored up for you, my beloved.SS 4:16

If only you were to me like a brother,

who was nursed at my mother’s breasts!

Then, if I found you outside,

I would kiss you,

and no one would despise me.

I would lead you

and bring you to my mother’s houseSS 3:4

she who has taught me.

I would give you spiced wine to drink,

the nectar of my pomegranates.

His left arm is under my head

and his right arm embraces me.SS 2:6

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:

Do not arouse or awaken love

until it so desires.SS 2:7; S 3:5


Who is this coming up from the wildernessSS 3:6

leaning on her beloved?


Under the apple tree I roused you;

there your mother conceivedS SS 3:4 you,

there she who was in labor gave you birth.

Place me like a seal over your heart,

like a seal on your arm;

for loveS SS 1:2 is as strong as death,

its jealousyOr ardorS Nu 5:14 unyielding as the grave.

It burns like blazing fire,

like a mighty flame.Or fire, / like the very flame of the Lord

Many waters cannot quench love;

rivers cannot sweep it away.

If one were to give

all the wealth of one’s house for love,

itOr he would be utterly scorned.S Pr 6:35


We have a little sister,

and her breasts are not yet grown.

What shall we do for our sister

on the day she is spoken for?

If she is a wall,

we will build towers of silver on her.

If she is a door,

we will enclose her with panels of cedar.


10 I am a wall,

and my breasts are like towers.

Thus I have become in his eyes

like one bringing contentment.

11 Solomon had a vineyardEcc 2:4 in Baal Hamon;

he let out his vineyard to tenants.

Each was to bring for its fruit

a thousand shekelsThat is, about 25 pounds or about 12 kilograms; also in verse 12Isa 7:23 of silver.

12 But my own vineyardS SS 1:6 is mine to give;

the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,

and two hundredThat is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms are for those who tend its fruit.


13 You who dwell in the gardens

with friends in attendance,

let me hear your voice!


14 Come away, my beloved,

and be like a gazelleS Pr 5:19

or like a young stagS SS 2:9

on the spice-laden mountains.S SS 2:8, 17

Young Man

I have entered my garden, my treasure,Hebrew my sister; also in 5:2. my bride!

I gather myrrh with my spices

and eat honeycomb with my honey.

I drink wine with my milk.

Young Women of Jerusalem

Oh, lover and beloved, eat and drink!

Yes, drink deeply of your love!

Young Woman

I slept, but my heart was awake,

when I heard my lover knocking and calling:

“Open to me, my treasure, my darling,

my dove, my perfect one.

My head is drenched with dew,

my hair with the dampness of the night.”

But I responded,

“I have taken off my robe.

Should I get dressed again?

I have washed my feet.

Should I get them soiled?”

My lover tried to unlatch the door,

and my heart thrilled within me.

I jumped up to open the door for my love,

and my hands dripped with perfume.

My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh

as I pulled back the bolt.

I opened to my lover,

but he was gone!

My heart sank.

I searched for him

but could not find him anywhere.

I called to him,

but there was no reply.

The night watchmen found me

as they made their rounds.

They beat and bruised me

and stripped off my veil,

those watchmen on the walls.

Make this promise, O women of Jerusalem—

If you find my lover,

tell him I am weak with love.

Young Women of Jerusalem

Why is your lover better than all others,

O woman of rare beauty?

What makes your lover so special

that we must promise this?

Young Woman

10 My lover is dark and dazzling,

better than ten thousand others!

11 His head is finest gold,

his wavy hair is black as a raven.

12 His eyes sparkle like doves

beside springs of water;

they are set like jewels

washed in milk.

13 His cheeks are like gardens of spices

giving off fragrance.

His lips are like lilies,

perfumed with myrrh.

14 His arms are like rounded bars of gold,

set with beryl.

His body is like bright ivory,

glowing with lapis lazuli.

15 His legs are like marble pillars

set in sockets of finest gold.

His posture is stately,

like the noble cedars of Lebanon.

16 His mouth is sweetness itself;

he is desirable in every way.

Such, O women of Jerusalem,

is my lover, my friend.

Young Women of Jerusalem

Where has your lover gone,

O woman of rare beauty?

Which way did he turn

so we can help you find him?

Young Woman

My lover has gone down to his garden,

to his spice beds,

to browse in the gardens

and gather the lilies.

I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine.

He browses among the lilies.

Young Man

You are beautiful, my darling,

like the lovely city of Tirzah.

Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem,

as majestic as an army with billowing banners.

Turn your eyes away,

for they overpower me.

Your hair falls in waves,

like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead.

Your teeth are as white as sheep

that are freshly washed.

Your smile is flawless,

each tooth matched with its twin.Hebrew Not one is missing; each has a twin.

Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates

behind your veil.

Even among sixty queens

and eighty concubines

and countless young women,

I would still choose my dove, my perfect one—

the favorite of her mother,

dearly loved by the one who bore her.

The young women see her and praise her;

even queens and royal concubines sing her praises:

10 “Who is this, arising like the dawn,

as fair as the moon,

as bright as the sun,

as majestic as an army with billowing banners?”

Young Woman

11 I went down to the grove of walnut trees

and out to the valley to see the new spring growth,

to see whether the grapevines had budded

or the pomegranates were in bloom.

12 Before I realized it,

my strong desires had taken me to the chariot of a noble man.Or to the royal chariots of my people, or to the chariots of Amminadab. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

Young Women of Jerusalem

13 Verse 6:13 is numbered 7:1 in Hebrew text.Return, return to us, O maid of Shulam.

Come back, come back, that we may see you again.

Young Man

Why do you stare at this young woman of Shulam,

as she moves so gracefully between two lines of dancers?Or as you would at the movements of two armies? or as you would at the dance of Mahanaim? The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.

Verses 7:1-13 are numbered 7:2-14 in Hebrew text.How beautiful are your sandaled feet,

O queenly maiden.

Your rounded thighs are like jewels,

the work of a skilled craftsman.

Your navel is perfectly formed

like a goblet filled with mixed wine.

Between your thighs lies a mound of wheat

bordered with lilies.

Your breasts are like two fawns,

twin fawns of a gazelle.

Your neck is as beautiful as an ivory tower.

Your eyes are like the sparkling pools in Heshbon

by the gate of Bath-rabbim.

Your nose is as fine as the tower of Lebanon

overlooking Damascus.

Your head is as majestic as Mount Carmel,

and the sheen of your hair radiates royalty.

The king is held captive by its tresses.

Oh, how beautiful you are!

How pleasing, my love, how full of delights!

You are slender like a palm tree,

and your breasts are like its clusters of fruit.

I said, “I will climb the palm tree

and take hold of its fruit.”

May your breasts be like grape clusters,

and the fragrance of your breath like apples.

May your kisses be as exciting as the best wine—

Young Woman

Yes, wine that goes down smoothly for my lover,

flowing gently over lips and teeth.As in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads over lips of sleepers.

10 I am my lover’s,

and he claims me as his own.

11 Come, my love, let us go out to the fields

and spend the night among the wildflowers.Or in the villages.

12 Let us get up early and go to the vineyards

to see if the grapevines have budded,

if the blossoms have opened,

and if the pomegranates have bloomed.

There I will give you my love.

13 There the mandrakes give off their fragrance,

and the finest fruits are at our door,

new delights as well as old,

which I have saved for you, my lover.

Young Woman

Oh, I wish you were my brother,

who nursed at my mother’s breasts.

Then I could kiss you no matter who was watching,

and no one would criticize me.

I would bring you to my childhood home,

and there you would teach me.Or there she will teach me.

I would give you spiced wine to drink,

my sweet pomegranate wine.

Your left arm would be under my head,

and your right arm would embrace me.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,

not to awaken love until the time is right.Or not to awaken love until it is ready.

Young Women of Jerusalem

Who is this sweeping in from the desert,

leaning on her lover?

Young Woman

I aroused you under the apple tree,

where your mother gave you birth,

where in great pain she delivered you.

Place me like a seal over your heart,

like a seal on your arm.

For love is as strong as death,

its jealousyOr its passion. as enduring as the grave.Hebrew as Sheol.

Love flashes like fire,

the brightest kind of flame.

Many waters cannot quench love,

nor can rivers drown it.

If a man tried to buy love

with all his wealth,

his offer would be utterly scorned.

The Young Woman’s Brothers

We have a little sister

too young to have breasts.

What will we do for our sister

if someone asks to marry her?

If she is a virgin, like a wall,

we will protect her with a silver tower.

But if she is promiscuous, like a swinging door,

we will block her door with a cedar bar.

Young Woman

10 I was a virgin, like a wall;

now my breasts are like towers.

When my lover looks at me,

he is delighted with what he sees.

11 Solomon has a vineyard at Baal-hamon,

which he leases out to tenant farmers.

Each of them pays a thousand pieces of silver

for harvesting its fruit.

12 But my vineyard is mine to give,

and Solomon need not pay a thousand pieces of silver.

But I will give two hundred pieces

to those who care for its vines.

Young Man

13 O my darling, lingering in the gardens,

your companions are fortunate to hear your voice.

Let me hear it, too!

Young Woman

14 Come away, my love! Be like a gazelle

or a young stag on the mountains of spices.

I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them?

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.

I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.

I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love.

What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand.

11 His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are bushy, and black as a raven.

12 His eyes are as the eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, washed with milk, and fitly set.

13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

14 His hands are as gold rings set with the beryl: his belly is as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires.

15 His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold: his countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

16 His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

Whither is thy beloved gone, O thou fairest among women? whither is thy beloved turned aside? that we may seek him with thee.

My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.

Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me: thy hair is as a flock of goats that appear from Gilead.

Thy teeth are as a flock of sheep which go up from the washing, whereof every one beareth twins, and there is not one barren among them.

As a piece of a pomegranate are thy temples within thy locks.

There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

11 I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded.

12 Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.

13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince's daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman.

Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins.

Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus.

Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries.

How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes.

I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples;

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.

10 I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

11 Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages.

12 Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.

13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.

O that thou wert as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find thee without, I would kiss thee; yea, I should not be despised.

I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate.

His left hand should be under my head, and his right hand should embrace me.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? I raised thee up under the apple tree: there thy mother brought thee forth: there she brought thee forth that bare thee.

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.

We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?

If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.

10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard unto keepers; every one for the fruit thereof was to bring a thousand pieces of silver.

12 My vineyard, which is mine, is before me: thou, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.

13 Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions hearken to thy voice: cause me to hear it.

14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.

2 Corinthians 9:1-15

There is no need1Th 4:9 for me to write to you about this serviceS Ac 24:17 to the Lord’s people.S Ac 9:13For I know your eagerness to help,2Co 8:11, 12, 19 and I have been boasting2Co 7:4, 14; 8:24 about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year2Co 8:10 you in AchaiaS Ac 18:12 were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.But I am sending the brothers2Co 8:23 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.1Co 16:2For if any MacedoniansRo 15:26 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 brothersver 3 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,Php 4:17 not as one grudgingly given.2Co 12:17, 18

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.Pr 11:24, 25; 22:9; Gal 6:7, 9Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give,Ex 25:2; 2Co 8:12 not reluctantly or under compulsion,Dt 15:10 for God loves a cheerful giver.Ro 12:8And God is ableEph 3:20 to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,Php 4:19 you will abound in every good work.As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their giftsMal 3:10 to the poor;

their righteousness endures forever.”Psalm 112:9Ps 112:9

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for foodIsa 55:10 will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.Hos 10:1211 You will be enriched1Co 1:5 in every way so that you can be generousver 5 on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.2Co 1:11; 4:15

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs2Co 8:14 of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.S 2Co 1:1113 Because of the serviceS 2Co 8:4 by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise GodS Mt 9:8 for the obedience that accompanies your confessionS Heb 3:1 of the gospel of Christ,S 2Co 2:12 and for your generosityver 5 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 GodS 2Co 2:14 for his indescribable gift!Ro 5:15, 16

The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem

I really don’t need to write to you about this ministry of giving for the believers in Jerusalem.Greek about the offering for God’s holy people.For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in GreeceGreek in Achaia, the southern region of the Greek peninsula. Macedonia was in the northern region of Greece. were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.

But I am sending these brothers to be sure you really are ready, as I have been telling them, and that your money is all collected. I don’t want to be wrong in my boasting about you.We would be embarrassed—not to mention your own embarrassment—if some Macedonian believers came with me and found that you weren’t ready after all I had told them!So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly.

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”See footnote on Prov 22:8.And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.

Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”Ps 112:9.

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosityGreek righteousness. in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in JerusalemGreek of God’s holy people. will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this giftGreek his gift. too wonderful for words!

For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:

For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.

Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:

Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.

Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Psalm 51:1-19

Psalm 51In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.2Sa 11:4; 12:1

Have mercyS 2Sa 24:14; S Ps 9:13 on me, O God,

according to your unfailing love;S Ps 25:7; S 119:88

according to your great compassionS Ne 9:27; Ps 86:15; Isa 63:7

blot outS 2Sa 12:13; S 2Ch 6:21; S Ne 4:5; Ac 3:19 my transgressions.S Ps 39:8

Wash awayS Ru 3:3; Jer 2:22; 13:27; Ac 22:16; 1Jn 1:9 all my iniquity

and cleansePr 20:30; Isa 4:4; Eze 36:25; Zec 13:1; Mt 23:25-26; Heb 9:14 me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.Isa 59:12

Against you, you only, have I sinnedS 1Sa 15:24

and done what is evil in your sight;S Ge 20:6; Lk 15:21

so you are right in your verdict

and justified when you judge.Ro 3:4*

Surely I was sinfulS Lev 5:2 at birth,S Job 5:7

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;

you taught me wisdomPs 119:66; 143:10 in that secret place.S Job 9:4; S 34:32

CleanseIsa 4:4; Eze 36:25; Zec 13:1 me with hyssop,S Ex 12:22; S Nu 19:6; Heb 9:19 and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.Isa 1:18; 43:25; 44:22

Let me hear joy and gladness;Isa 35:10; Jer 33:11; Joel 1:16

let the bonesS Ex 12:46 you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sinsJer 16:17; Zec 4:10

and blot outS 2Sa 12:13 all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart,S Ps 24:4; 78:37; Mt 5:8; Ac 15:9 O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.Eze 18:31; 36:26

11 Do not cast mePs 27:9; 71:9; 138:8 from your presenceS Ge 4:14; S Ex 33:15

or take your Holy SpiritPs 106:33; Isa 63:10; Eph 4:30 from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvationS Job 33:26

and grant me a willing spirit,Ps 110:3 to sustain me.S Ps 18:35

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,S Ex 33:13; Ac 9:21-22

so that sinnersS Ps 1:1 will turn back to you.S Job 33:27

14 Deliver meS Ps 39:8 from the guilt of bloodshed,S 2Sa 12:9 O God,

you who are God my Savior,Ps 25:5; 68:20; 88:1

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.S Ps 5:8; 35:28; 71:15

15 Open my lips, Lord,Ex 4:15

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice,S 1Sa 15:22 or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 My sacrifice,Pr 15:8; Hag 2:14 O God, isOr The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heartMt 11:29

you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,Ps 102:16; 147:2; Isa 14:32; 51:3; Zec 1:16-17

to build up the walls of Jerusalem.Ps 69:35; Isa 44:26

19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,Dt 33:19

in burnt offeringsPs 66:13; 96:8; Jer 17:26 offered whole;

then bullsPs 66:15 will be offered on your altar.

Psalm 51

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,

because of your unfailing love.

Because of your great compassion,

blot out the stain of my sins.

Wash me clean from my guilt.

Purify me from my sin.

For I recognize my rebellion;

it haunts me day and night.

Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;

I have done what is evil in your sight.

You will be proved right in what you say,

and your judgment against me is just.Greek version reads and you will win your case in court. Compare Rom 3:4.

For I was born a sinner—

yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.

But you desire honesty from the womb,Or from the heart; Hebrew reads in the inward parts.

teaching me wisdom even there.

Purify me from my sins,Hebrew Purify me with the hyssop branch. and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Oh, give me back my joy again;

you have broken me—

now let me rejoice.

Don’t keep looking at my sins.

Remove the stain of my guilt.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.

Renew a loyal spirit within me.

11 Do not banish me from your presence,

and don’t take your Holy SpiritOr your spirit of holiness. from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and make me willing to obey you.

13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels,

and they will return to you.

14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves;

then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness.

15 Unseal my lips, O Lord,

that my mouth may praise you.

16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.

You do not want a burnt offering.

17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.

You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

18 Look with favor on Zion and help her;

rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then you will be pleased with sacrifices offered in the right spirit—

with burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings.

Then bulls will again be sacrificed on your altar.

51 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

Proverbs 22:24-25

Saying 3

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,

do not associate with one easily angered,

25 or you may learn their ways

and get yourself ensnared.1Co 15:33

24 Don’t befriend angry people

or associate with hot-tempered people,

25 or you will learn to be like them

and endanger your soul.

24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:

25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.

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