Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
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for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
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Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
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so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
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as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.
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But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
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So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.
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I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.
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For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
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But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel.
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I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.
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And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
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But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.
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For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.
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Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.
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So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him,
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because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
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