My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don't waver. Stay on track, steady in God.
I urge Euodia and Syntyche to iron out their differences and make up. God doesn't want his children holding grudges.
And, oh, yes, Syzygus, since you're right there to help them work things out, do your best with them. These women worked for the Message hand in hand with Clement and me, and with the other veterans - worked as hard as any of us. Remember, their names are also in the book of life.
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!
Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess - happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it.
Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.
I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.
Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me - it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.
You Philippians well know, and you can be sure I'll never forget it, that when I first left Macedonia province, venturing out with the Message, not one church helped out in the give-and-take of this work except you. You were the only one.
Even while I was in Thessalonica, you helped out - and not only once, but twice.
Not that I'm looking for handouts, but I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.
And now I have it all - and keep getting more! The gifts you sent with Epaphroditus were more than enough, like a sweet-smelling sacrifice roasting on the altar, filling the air with fragrance, pleasing God no end.
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
Give our regards to every Christian you meet. Our friends here say hello.
All the Christians here, especially the believers who work in the palace of Caesar, want to be remembered to you.
Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.
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)