And masters, treat your servants considerately. Be fair with them. Don't forget for a minute that you, too, serve a Master - God in heaven.
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.
Don't forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I'm locked up in this jail.
Pray that every time I open my mouth I'll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.
Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don't miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity.
Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.
My good friend Tychicus will tell you all about me. He's a trusted minister and companion in the service of the Master.
I've sent him to you so that you would know how things are with us, and so he could encourage you in your faith.
And I've sent Onesimus with him. Onesimus is one of you, and has become such a trusted and dear brother! Together they'll bring you up-to-date on everything that has been going on here.
Aristarchus, who is in jail here with me, sends greetings; also Mark, cousin of Barnabas (you received a letter regarding him; if he shows up, welcome him);
and also Jesus, the one they call Justus. These are the only ones left from the old crowd who have stuck with me in working for God's kingdom. Don't think they haven't been a big help!
Epaphras, who is one of you, says hello. What a trooper he has been! He's been tireless in his prayers for you, praying that you'll stand firm, mature and confident in everything God wants you to do.
I've watched him closely, and can report on how hard he has worked for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.
Luke, good friend and physician, and Demas both send greetings.
Say hello to our friends in Laodicea; also to Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
After this letter has been read to you, make sure it gets read also in Laodicea. And get the letter that went to Laodicea and have it read to you.
And, oh, yes, tell Archippus, "Do your best in the job you received from the Master. Do your very best."
I'm signing off in my own handwriting - Paul. Remember to pray for me in this jail. Grace be with you.
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)