It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special.
When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.
and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit! - taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.
Do you know that all over the provinces of both Macedonia and Achaia believers look up to you?
The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don't even have to say anything anymore - you're the message!
People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God.
They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)