From: Sha'ul and Timothy, slaves of the Messiah Yeshua To: All God's people united with the Messiah Yeshua and living in Philippi, along with the congregation leaders and shammashim:
Grace to you and shalom from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
I thank my God every time I think of you.
Whenever I pray for all of you I always pray with joy,
because you have shared in proclaiming the Good News from the very first day until now.
And I am sure of this: that the One who began a good work among you will keep it growing until it is completed on the Day of the Messiah Yeshua.
It is right for me to think this way about you all, because I have you on my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and establishing the Good News, you are all sharing with me in this privileged work.
God can testify how I long for all of you with the deep affection of the Messiah Yeshua.
And this is my prayer: that your love may more and more overflow in fullness of knowledge and depth of discernment,
so that you will be able to determine what is best and thus be pure and without blame for the Day of the Messiah,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Yeshua the Messiah - to the glory and praise of God.
Now, brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped in advancing the Good News.
It has become clear to the whole palace and to everyone else that it is because of the Messiah that I am in chains.
Also, my being in prison has given most of the brothers in the Lord confidence, so that they have become much more bold in speaking the word of God fearlessly.
True, some are proclaiming the Messiah out of jealousy and rivalry, but others are doing it in goodwill.
The latter act from love, aware that I am put where I am for defending the Good News;
while the former announce the Messiah out of selfish ambition, with impure motives, supposing they can stir up trouble for me in prison.
But so what? All that matters is that in every way, whether honestly or in pretense, the Messiah is being proclaimed; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice,
for I know that this will work out for my deliverance, because of your prayers and the support I get from the Spirit of Yeshua the Messiah.
It all accords with my earnest expectation and hope that I will have nothing to be ashamed of; but rather, now, as always, the Messiah will be honored by my body, whether it is alive or dead.
For to me, life is the Messiah, and death is gain.
But if by living on in the body I can do fruitful work, then I don't know which to choose.
I am caught in a dilemma: my desire is to go off and be with the Messiah - that is better by far -
but because of you, the greater need is to stay on in the body.
Yes, I am convinced of this; so I know I will stay on with you in order to help you progress in the faith and have joy in it.
Then, through my being with you again, you will have even greater reason for boasting about the Messiah Yeshua.
Only conduct your lives in a way worthy of the Good News of the Messiah; so that whether I come and see you or I hear about you from a distance, you stand firm, united in spirit, fighting with one accord for the faith of the Good News,
not frightened by anything the opposition does. This will be for them an indication that they are headed for destruction and you for deliverance. And this is from God;
because for the Messiah's sake it has been granted to you not only to trust in him but also to suffer on his behalf,
to fight the same battles you once saw me fight and now hear that I am still fighting.