Example #37 Pie Charts and Giving
What if making pie charts were connected to giving?
The news recently had been filled with stories of displaced people after the massive earthquake in Haiti, and Alison's class had been talking about how they could help. They came up with the idea of a cake sale to raise some money to give to the relief fund.
"The class were in need of some revision on simple money calculations, ratios and constructing pies charts, so this seemed a good way to combine their desire to raise some money with some maths revision. There was no problem getting everyone involved as it was their idea. All I did was facilitate it happening, and they gained some maths and food technology revision as a bonus! Working with my colleague in food technology, we agreed when the cooking could be done in that lesson, and when the sale could happen.
"The simple recipe for 15 cakes was the starting point. They had to cost ingredients, work out how much would be needed if they made multiple batches of cakes (ratios), budget the project (money calculations), work out a sale price, expenditure and income, cost and profit, potential loss, etc. They were also able to draw pie charts showing cost and profit, and the relative costs of different ingredients. The maths got quite complicated for some of the less able students, but they all worked really hard at the project and solved the problems together. At the same time they raised a considerable amount of money for the earthquake appeal. During the whole project, we engaged in discussion about giving to charity; why some people give money away regularly to churches, and to charitable projects. We talked about the Bible’s teaching about money and giving it away or back to God, how we should do that, and different attitudes to money and giving. As well as all that, the maths revision was done willingly and with a purpose other than to pass a test. It had been their idea, after all."
What's going on here?
Alison's class saw cooking as a way of serving others and giving to those in need, integrating maths, food technology, and moral development.
Alison engaged students in making connections (maths and cooking and biblical insights) and in serving the wider world, and so encouraged them to adopt an outward-looking attitude.
She reshaped her practice by combining different areas of learning, raising faith-related questions, and finding concrete ways to relate maths and cooking skills to a purpose beyond the classroom.
How do I do this myself?
What does this have to do with faith, hope and love?
The students demonstrated love and concern for those in need and translated it into action. The Bible says that faith without action is dead and calls people to be doers not just hearers of the word. Jesus' parable of the two sons picks up the theme and commends the son who helped the father, not the one who said he would and didn't (Matthew 21:28–32).
What difference does it make?
Alison showed that concern about an issue can be carried through into practice. She actively worked with colleagues to enable this to happen, which is difficult when time is precious but it modelled cooperation to the students. The students were able to connect their learning to real needs and improve their maths skills while acting from compassion.
Where could we go from here?
Having enabled this student initiative to happen and having demonstrated the learning that can result from it, Alison is in a position to develop other student initiatives that look outwards to others or raise awareness of important issues. It is important to display images of these initiatives and make them known in the school in order to stimulate students to think of others and to demonstrate the learning involved. She could consider how to expand the range beyond giving money from afar so as to keep compassion from turning into a superior attitude.
God is described as a giving God in the Bible. He loved the world so much he gave his only son (John 3:16). He provides for people and is called ‘The Provider’. For Christians, giving is in response to God’s giving to us. Giving and receiving are essential parts of Christian community life, not something that happens occasionally or reluctantly (2 Corinthians 9:5-15). The possession of gifts and material wealth bring with them responsibility; they are for serving the common good. Money is not bad but we should not ‘serve’ it (1 Timothy 6:10). The attitude of the Bible is summed up in Luke’s gospel: we are not defined by what we own (Luke 12:15).
Giving a minimum of one tenth was practised in the Old Testament (Leviticus 27:30-32). Some Christians follow this practice today. Others give what they can depending on circumstances and bearing in mind the Bible’s teaching about generosity and care for the poor (2 Corinthians 8:10-12).
Our society looks for freedom and happiness in wealth, fame and power. The Bible sees it in giving and serving others. The Bible teaches that ultimately people give account to God for how they have used what they have been given.
All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbours. John Calvin
Christian community is based on all being one in Christ and expressing that oneness in a compassionate lifestyle (Romans 12:9-10). It is lived in supporting each other, sharing in working together for others, giving of time, wealth and self.
… the duty is now emphasized of serving God in the world, in every position in life. Abraham Kuyper
One Anglican prayer describes the service of God as ‘perfect freedom’. Those words translate ‘cui servire, regnare est’: ‘To serve is to reign’. To serve God and others is the highest honour; it is what we were created for.
One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer
Explore similar examples:
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1When Jesus and his disciples came near Jerusalem, he went to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives and sent two of them on ahead. 2He told them, Go into the next village, where you will at once find a donkey and her colt. Untie the two donkeys and bring them to me. 3If anyone asks why you are doing that, just say, The Lord needs them. Straight away he will let you have the donkeys. 4So God's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 5Announce to the people of Jerusalem: Your king is coming to you! He is humble and rides on a donkey. He comes on the colt of a donkey. 6The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do. 7They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on. 8Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees. 9Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting, Hooray for the Son of David! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hooray for God in heaven above! 10When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, Who can this be? 11The crowd answered, This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee. Jesus in the temple (Mark 11.15-19; Luke 19.45-48; John 2.13-22) 12Jesus went into the temple and chased out everyone who was selling or buying. He turned over the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of the ones who were selling doves. 13He told them, The Scriptures say, My house should be called a place of worship. But you have turned it into a place where robbers hide. 14Blind and lame people came to Jesus in the temple, and he healed them. 15But the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were angry when they saw his miracles and heard the children shouting praises to the Son of David. 16The men said to Jesus, Don't you hear what those children are saying? Yes, I do! Jesus answered. Don't you know that the Scriptures say, Children and infants will sing praises? 17Then Jesus left the city and went out to the village of Bethany, where he spent the night. Jesus puts a curse on a fig tree (Mark 11.12-14,20-24) 18When Jesus got up the next morning, he was hungry. He started out for the city, 19and along the way he saw a fig tree. But when he came to it, he found only leaves and no figs. So he told the tree, You will never again grow any fruit! At once the fig tree dried up. 20The disciples were shocked when they saw how quickly the tree had dried up. 21But Jesus said to them, If you have faith and don't doubt, I promise that you can do what I did to this tree. And you will be able to do even more. You can tell this mountain to get up and jump into the sea, and it will. 22If you have faith when you pray, you will be given whatever you ask for. A question about Jesus' authority (Mark 11.27-33; Luke 20.1-8) 23Jesus had gone into the temple and was teaching when the chief priests and the leaders of the people came up to him. They asked, What right do you have to do these things? Who gave you this authority? 24Jesus answered, I have just one question to ask you. If you answer it, I will tell you where I got the right to do these things. 25Who gave John the right to baptize? Was it God in heaven or merely some human being? They thought it over and said to each other, We can't say that God gave John this right. Jesus will ask us why we didn't believe John. 26On the other hand, these people think that John was a prophet, and we are afraid of what they might do to us. That's why we can't say that it was merely some human who gave John the right to baptize. 27So they told Jesus, We don't know. Jesus said, Then I won't tell you who gave me the right to do what I do. A story about two sons 28Jesus said: I will tell you a story about a man who had two sons. Then you can tell me what you think. The father went to the elder son and said, Go and work in the vineyard today! 29His son told him that he would not do it, but later he changed his mind and went. 30The man then told his younger son to go and work in the vineyard. The boy said he would, but he didn't go. 31Which one of the sons obeyed his father? The elder one, the chief priests and leaders answered. Then Jesus told them: You can be sure that tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you ever will! 32When John the Baptist showed you how to do right, you would not believe him. But these evil people did believe. And even when you saw what they did, you still would not change your minds and believe. Tenants of a vineyard (Mark 12.1-12; Luke 20.9-19) 33Jesus told the chief priests and leaders to listen to this story: A land owner once planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it and dug a pit to crush the grapes in. He also built a lookout tower. Then he let his vineyard and left the country. 34When it was harvest time, the owner sent some servants to get his share of the grapes. 35But the tenants grabbed those servants. They beat up one, killed one, and stoned one of them to death. 36He then sent more servants than he did the first time. But the tenants treated them in the same way. 37Finally, the owner sent his own son to the tenants, because he thought they would respect him. 38But when they saw the man's son, they said, Some day he will own the vineyard. Let's kill him! Then we can have it all for ourselves. 39So they grabbed him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Jesus asked, When the owner of that vineyard comes, what do you suppose he will do to those tenants? 41The chief priests and leaders answered, He will kill them in some horrible way. Then he will let his vineyard to people who will give him his share of grapes at harvest time. 42Jesus replied, Surely you know that the Scriptures say, The stone that the builders tossed aside is now the most important stone of all. This is something the Lord has done, and it is amazing to us. 43I tell you that God's kingdom will be taken from you and given to people who will do what he demands. 44Anyone who stumbles over this stone will be crushed, and anyone it falls on will be smashed to pieces. 45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard these stories, they knew that Jesus was talking about them. 46So they looked for a way to arrest Jesus. But they were afraid to, because the people thought he was a prophet. The great banquet (Luke 14.15-24)
1There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. 2One night he went to Jesus and said, Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not perform these miracles, unless God were with you. 3Jesus replied, I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom! 4Nicodemus asked, How can a grown man ever be born a second time? 5Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. 8Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. 9How can this be? Nicodemus asked. 10Jesus replied: How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven? 13No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. 15Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life. 16God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 18No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son. 19The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. 20People who do evil hate the light and won't come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. 21But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do. Jesus and John the Baptist 22Later, Jesus and his disciples went to Judea, where he stayed with them for a while and was baptizing people. 23John had not yet been put in jail. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was a lot of water, and people were coming there for John to baptize them. 25John's followers got into an argument with a Jewish man about a ceremony of washing. 26They went to John and said, Rabbi, you spoke about a man when you were with him east of the Jordan. He is now baptizing people, and everyone is going to him. 27John replied: No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. 28Surely you remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him. 29At a wedding the groom is the one who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom's voice. That's why I am so glad. 30Jesus must become more important, while I become less important. The one who comes from heaven John continued: 31God's Son comes from heaven and is above all others. Everyone who comes from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all others. 32He speaks about what he has seen and heard, and yet no one believes him. 33But everyone who does believe him has shown that God is truthful. 34The Son was sent to speak God's message, and he has been given the full power of God's Spirit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given him everything. 36Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them for ever.
1I don't need to write to you about the money you plan to give for God's people. 2I know how eager you are to give. And I have proudly told the Lord's followers in Macedonia that you people in Achaia have been ready for a whole year. Now your desire to give has made them want to give. 3That's why I am sending Titus and the two others to you. I want you to be ready, just as I promised. This will prove that we were not wrong to boast about you. 4Some followers from Macedonia may come with me, and I want them to find that you have the money ready. If you don't, I would be embarrassed for trusting you to do this. But you would be embarrassed even more. 5So I have decided to ask Titus and the others to spend some time with you before I arrive. This way they can arrange to collect the money you have promised. Then you will have the chance to give because you want to, and not because you feel forced to. 6Remember this saying, A few seeds make a small harvest, but a lot of seeds make a big harvest. 7Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. 8God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others. 9The Scriptures say, God freely gives his gifts to the poor, and always does right. 10God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so that you can give even more to those in need. 11You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift. 12What you are doing is much more than a service that supplies God's people with what they need. It is something that will make many others thank God. 13The way in which you have proved yourselves by this service will bring honour and praise to God. You believed the message about Christ, and you obeyed it by sharing generously with God's people and with everyone else. 14Now they are praying for you and want to see you, because God used you to bless them so very much. 15Thank God for his gift that is too wonderful for words! Paul defends his work for Christ
1If you are a slave, you should respect and honour your owner. This will keep people from saying bad things about God and about our teaching. 2If any of you slaves have owners who are followers, you should show them respect. After all, they are also followers of Christ, and he loves them. So you should serve and help them the best you can. False teaching and true wealth These are the things you must teach and tell the people to do. 3Anyone who teaches something different disagrees with the correct and godly teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4Those people who disagree are proud of themselves, but they don't really know a thing. Their minds are sick, and they like to argue over words. They cause jealousy, disagreements, unkind words, evil suspicions, 5and nasty quarrels. They have wicked minds and have missed out on the truth. These people think religion is supposed to make you rich. 6And religion does make your life rich, by making you content with what you have. 7We didn't bring anything into this world, and we won't take anything with us when we leave. 8So we should be satisfied just to have food and clothes. 9People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them. 10The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much that they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain. Fighting a good fight for the faith 11Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. 12Fight a good fight for the faith and claim eternal life. God offered it to you when you clearly told about your faith, while so many people listened. 13Now I ask you to make a promise. Make it in the presence of God, who gives life to all, and in the presence of Jesus Christ, who openly told Pontius Pilate about his faith. 14Promise to obey completely and fully all that you have been told until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 15The glorious God is the only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords. At the time that God has already decided, he will send Jesus Christ back again. 16Only God lives for ever! And he lives in light that no one can come near. No human has ever seen God or ever can see him. God will be honoured, and his power will last for ever. Amen. 17Warn the rich people of this world not to be proud or to trust in wealth that is easily lost. Tell them to have faith in God, who is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy life. 18Instruct them to do as many good deeds as they can and to help everyone. Remind the rich to be generous and share what they have. 19This will lay a solid foundation for the future, so that they will know what true life is like. 20Timothy, guard what God has placed in your care! Don't pay any attention to that godless and stupid talk that sounds clever but really isn't. 21Some people have even lost their faith by believing this talk. I pray that the Lord will be kind to all of you!
1As thousands of people crowded around Jesus and were stepping on each other, he told his disciples: Be sure to guard against the dishonest teaching of the Pharisees! It is their way of fooling people. 2Everything that is hidden will be found out, and every secret will be known. 3Whatever you say in the dark will be heard when it is day. Whatever you whisper in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops. The one to fear (Matthew 10.28-31) Jesus continued: 4My friends, don't be afraid of people. They can kill you, but after that, there is nothing else they can do. 5God is the one you must fear. Not only can he take your life, but he can throw you into hell. God is certainly the one you should fear! 6Five sparrows are sold for just two pennies, but God doesn't forget a single one of them. 7Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows. Telling others about Christ (Matthew 10.32,33; 12.32; 10.19,20) Jesus continued: 8If you tell others that you belong to me, the Son of Man will tell God's angels that you are my followers. 9But if you reject me, you will be rejected in front of them. 10If you speak against the Son of Man, you can be forgiven, but if you speak against the Holy Spirit, you cannot be forgiven. 11When you are brought to trial in the Jewish meeting places or before rulers or officials, don't worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say. 12At that time the Holy Spirit will tell you what to say. A rich fool 13A man in a crowd said to Jesus, Teacher, tell my brother to give me my share of what our father left us when he died. 14Jesus answered, Who gave me the right to settle arguments between you and your brother? 15Then he said to the crowd, Don't be greedy! Owning a lot of things won't make your life safe. 16So Jesus told them this story: A rich man's farm produced a big crop, 17and he said to himself, What can I do? I don't have a place large enough to store everything. 18Later, he said, Now I know what I'll do. I'll tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I can store all my grain and other goods. 19Then I'll say to myself, You have stored up enough good things to last for years to come. Live it up! Eat, drink, and enjoy yourself. 20But God said to him, You fool! Tonight you will die. Then who will get what you have stored up? 21This is what happens to people who store up everything for themselves, but are poor in the sight of God. Worry (Matthew 6.25-34) 22Jesus said to his disciples: I tell you not to worry about your life! Don't worry about having something to eat or wear. 23Life is more than food or clothing. 24Look at the crows! They don't plant or harvest, and they don't have storehouses or barns. But God takes care of them. You are much more important than any birds. 25Can worry make you live longer? 26If you don't have power over small things, why worry about everything else? 27Look how the wild flowers grow! They don't work hard to make their clothes. But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn't as well clothed as one of these flowers. 28God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. Won't he do even more for you? You have such little faith! 29Don't keep worrying about having something to eat or drink. 30Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father knows what you need. 31But put God's work first, and these things will be yours as well. Treasures in heaven (Matthew 6.19-21) Jesus continued: 32My little group of disciples, don't be afraid! Your Father wants to give you the kingdom. 33Sell what you have and give the money to the poor. Make yourselves money bags that never wear out. Make sure your treasure is safe in heaven, where thieves cannot steal it and moths cannot destroy it. 34Your heart will always be where your treasure is. Faithful and unfaithful servants (Matthew 24.45-51) Jesus continued: 35Be ready and keep your lamps burning 36just like those servants who wait up for their master to return from a wedding feast. As soon as he comes and knocks, they open the door for him. 37Servants are fortunate if their master finds them awake and ready when he comes! I promise you that he will get ready and make his servants sit down so that he can serve them. 38Those servants are really fortunate if their master finds them ready, even though he comes late at night or early in the morning. 39You would not let a thief break into your home, if you knew when the thief was coming. 40So always be ready! You don't know when the Son of Man will come. 41Peter asked Jesus, Did you say this just for us or for everyone? 42The Lord answered: Who are faithful and wise servants? Who are the ones the master will put in charge of giving the other servants their food supplies at the proper time? 43Servants are fortunate if their master comes and finds them doing their job. 44A servant who is always faithful will be put in charge of everything the master owns. 45But suppose one of the servants thinks that the master won't return until late. Suppose that servant starts beating all the other servants and eats and drinks and gets drunk. 46If that happens, the master will come on a day and at a time when the servant least expects him. That servant will then be punished and thrown out with the servants who cannot be trusted. 47If servants are not ready or willing to do what their master wants them to do, they will be beaten hard. 48But servants who don't know what their master wants them to do will not be beaten so hard for doing wrong. If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better. Not peace, but trouble (Matthew 10.34-36) Jesus continued: 49I came to set fire to the earth, and I wish it were already on fire! 50I am going to be put to a hard test. And I will have to suffer a lot of pain until it is over. 51Do you think that I came to bring peace to earth? No indeed! I came to make people choose sides. 52A family of five will be divided, with two of them against the other three. 53Fathers and sons will turn against one another, and mothers and daughters will do the same. Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law will also turn against each other. Knowing what to do (Matthew 16.2,3; 5.25,26) 54Jesus said to all the people: As soon as you see a cloud coming up in the west, you say, It's going to rain, and it does. 55When the south wind blows, you say, It's going to get hot, and it does. 56Are you trying to fool someone? You can predict the weather by looking at the earth and sky, but you don't really know what's going on right now. 57Why don't you understand the right thing to do? 58When someone accuses you of something, try to settle things before you are taken to court. If you don't, you will be dragged before the judge. Then the judge will hand you over to the jailer, and you will be locked up. 59You won't get out until you have paid the last penny you owe. Turn back to God
1The Lord told Moses 2to say to the community of Israel: If you ever want to free someone who has been promised to me, 3you may do so by paying the following amounts, weighed according to the official standards: fifty pieces of silver for men aged twenty to sixty, and thirty pieces for women; twenty pieces of silver for young men aged five to twenty, and ten pieces for young women; fifteen pieces of silver for men aged sixty and above and ten pieces for women; five pieces of silver for boys aged one month to five years, and three pieces for girls. 8If you have promised to give someone to me and can't afford to pay the full amount for that person's release, you will be taken to a priest, and he will decide how much you can afford. 9If you promise to sacrifice an animal to me, it becomes holy, and there is no way you can set it free. 10If you try to substitute any other animal, no matter how good, for the one you promised, they will both become holy and must be sacrificed. 11Donkeys are unfit for sacrifice, so if you promise me a donkey, you must bring it to the priest, 12and let him determine its value. 13But if you want to buy it back, you must pay an additional twenty per cent. 14If you promise a house to me, a priest will set the price, whatever the condition of the house. 15But if you decide to buy it back, you must pay an additional twenty per cent. 16If you promise part of your family's land to me, its value must be determined by the amount of seed needed to plant the land, and the rate will be ten pieces of silver for every twenty kilogrammes of seed. 17If this promise is made in the Year of Celebration, the land will be valued at the full price. 18But any time after that, the price will be worked out according to the number of years before the next Year of Celebration. 19If you decide to buy back the land, you must pay the price plus an additional twenty per cent, 20but you cannot buy it back once someone else has bought it. 21When the Year of Celebration comes, the land becomes holy because it belongs to me, and it will be given to the priests. 22If you promise me a field that you have bought, 23its value will be decided by a priest, according to the number of years before the next Year of Celebration, and the money you pay will be mine. 24However, on the next Year of Celebration, the land will go back to the family of its original owner. 25Every price will be set by the official standards. Various offerings The Lord said: 26All firstborn animals of your flocks and herds are already mine, and so you cannot promise any of them to me. 27If you promise me a donkey, you may buy it back by adding an additional twenty per cent to its value. If you don't buy it back, it can be sold to someone else for whatever a priest has said it is worth. 28Anything that you completely dedicate to me must be completely destroyed. It cannot be bought back or sold. Every person, animal, and piece of property that you dedicate completely is only for me. 29In fact, any humans who have been promised to me in this way must be put to death. 30Ten per cent of everything you harvest is holy and belongs to me, whether it grows in your fields or on your fruit trees. 31If you want to buy back this part of your harvest, you may do so by paying what it is worth plus an additional twenty per cent. 32When you count your flocks and herds, one out of ten of every newborn animal is holy and belongs to me, 33no matter how good or bad it is. If you substitute one animal for another, both of them become holy, and neither can be bought back. 34Moses was on Mount Sinai when the Lord gave him these laws for the people of Israel.
1My friends, we want you to know that the churches in Macedonia have shown others how kind God is. 2Although they were going through hard times and were very poor, they were glad to give generously. 3They gave as much as they could afford and even more, simply because they wanted to. 4They even asked and begged us to let them have the joy of giving their money for God's people. 5And they did more than we had hoped. They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us, just as God wanted them to do. 6Titus was the one who got you started doing this good thing, so we begged him to help you finish what you had begun. 7You do everything better than anyone else. You have stronger faith. You speak better and know more. You are eager to give, and you love us better. Now you must give more generously than anyone else. 8I am not ordering you to do this. I am simply testing how real your love is by comparing it with the concern that others have shown. 9You know that our Lord Jesus Christ was kind enough to give up all his riches and become poor, so that you could become rich. 10A year ago you were the first ones to give, and you gave because you wanted to. So listen to my advice. 11I think you should finish what you started. If you give according to what you have, you will prove that you are as eager to give as you were to think about giving. 12It doesn't matter how much you have. What matters is how much you are willing to give from what you have. 13I am not trying to make life easier for others by making life harder for you. But it is only fair 14for you to share with them when you have so much, and they have so little. Later, when they have more than enough, and you are in need, they can share with you. Then everyone will have a fair share, 15just as the Scriptures say, Those who gathered too much had nothing left. Those who gathered only a little had all they needed. Titus and his friends 16I am grateful that God made Titus care as much about you as we do. 17When we begged Titus to visit you, he said he would. He wanted to because he cared so much for you. 18With Titus we are also sending one of the Lord's followers who is well known in every church for spreading the good news. 19The churches chose this follower to travel with us while we carry this gift that will bring praise to the Lord and show how much we hope to help. 20We don't want anyone to find fault with the way we handle your generous gift. 21But we want to do what pleases the Lord and what people think is right. 22We are also sending someone else with Titus and the other follower. We approve of this man. In fact, he has already shown us many times that he wants to help. And now he wants to help even more than ever, because he trusts you so much. 23Titus is my partner, who works with me to serve you. The other two followers are sent by the churches, and they bring honour to Christ. 24Treat them in such a way that the churches will see your love and will know why we boasted about you. The money for God's people
1Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. 2Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. 3I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we are each part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. 6God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully. Rules for Christian living 9Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10Love each other as brothers and sisters and honour others more than you do yourself. 11Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home. 14Ask God to bless everyone who ill-treats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you are cleverer than others. Make friends with ordinary people. 17Don't ill-treat someone who has ill-treated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18and do your best to live at peace with everyone. 19Dear friends, don't try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, I am the one to take revenge and pay them back. 20The Scriptures also say, If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads. 21Don't let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. Obey rulers