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ESV — Chronological: Day 340
340
Reading
2 Corinthians 5-9

Our Heavenly Dwelling

For we know that if kthe tent that is lour earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, ma house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent nwe groan, longing to oput on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on1 we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal pmay be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, qwho has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage. We know that rwhile we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for swe walk by faith, not tby sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we uwould rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to vplease him. 10 For wwe must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, xso that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Therefore, knowing ythe fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But zwhat we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 12 aWe are not commending ourselves to you again but bgiving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. 13 For if we care beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ dcontrols us, because we have concluded this: that eone has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, fthat those who live might no longer live for themselves but gfor him who for their sake died and was raised.

16 From now on, therefore, hwe regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is iin Christ, he is ja new creation.2 kThe old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, lwho through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us mthe ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling3 the world to himself, nnot counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us mthe message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, owe are ambassadors for Christ, pGod making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 qFor our sake he made him to be sin rwho knew no sin, so that in him we might become sthe righteousness of God.

tWorking together with him, then, uwe appeal to you vnot to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,

w“In a favorable time I listened to you,

and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, xnow is the yfavorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We zput no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but aas servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: bby great endurance, cin afflictions, dhardships, calamities, ebeatings, imprisonments, friots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; gby purity, hknowledge, patience, kindness, ithe Holy Spirit, jgenuine love; by ktruthful speech, and lthe power of God; with mthe weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, nthrough slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and oyet well known; pas dying, and behold, we live; qas punished, and yet not killed; 10 ras sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; sas poor, yet making many rich; tas having nothing, uyet possessing everything.

11 We have spoken freely to you,4 Corinthians; vour heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but wyou are restricted in your own affections. 13 xIn return (I speak yas to children) widen your hearts also.

The Temple of the Living God

14 zDo not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For awhat partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or bwhat fellowship has light with darkness? 15 cWhat accord has Christ with Belial?5 Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For dwe are the temple of the living God; as God said,

e“I will make my dwelling among them and fwalk among them,

and gI will be their God,

and they shall be my people.

17  Therefore hgo out from their midst,

and be separate from them, says the Lord,

and touch no unclean thing;

then I will welcome you,

18  iand I will be a father to you,

and you shall be sons and daughters to me,

says the Lord Almighty.”

Since we have these promises, beloved, jlet us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body6 and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

Paul's Joy

kMake room in your hearts7 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 turn—rfighting 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 it—though 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,8 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 favor9 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 everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you10qsee 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, y“Whoever 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 going11 to you of his own accord. 18 With him we are sending12 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 messengers13 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 sending14 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 humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the sgift15 you have promised, so that it may be ready tas a willing gift, unot as an exaction.16

The Cheerful Giver

The point is this: vwhoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully17 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 sufficiency18 in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,

z“He 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, fthey19 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!

Footnotes

[1] 5:3 Some manuscripts putting it off
[2] 5:17 Or creature
[3] 5:19 Or God was in Christ, reconciling
[4] 6:11 Greek Our mouth is open to you
[5] 6:15 Greek Beliar
[6] 7:1 Greek flesh
[7] 7:2 Greek lacks in your hearts
[8] 8:1 Or brothers and sisters
[9] 8:4 The Greek word charis can mean favor or grace or thanks, depending on the context
[10] 8:7 Some manuscripts in your love for us
[11] 8:17 Or he went
[12] 8:18 Or we sent; also verse 22
[13] 8:23 Greek apostles
[14] 9:3 Or I have sent
[15] 9:5 Greek blessing; twice in this verse
[16] 9:5 Or a gift expecting something in return; Greek greed
[17] 9:6 Greek with blessings; twice in this verse
[18] 9:8 Or all contentment
[19] 9:13 Or you