2 Does your life in Christ give you strength? Does his love comfort you? Do we share together in the spirit? Do you have mercy and kindness? 2 If so, make me very happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and having one mind and purpose. 3 When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. 4 Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.
Be Unselfish Like Christ
5 In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus.
6 Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. 7 But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant. 8 And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross. 9 So God raised him to the highest place. God made his name greater than every other name 10 so that every knee will bow to the name of Jesus— everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. 11 And everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and bring glory to God the Father.
Be the People God Wants You to Be
12 My dear friends, you have always obeyed God when I was with you. It is even more important that you obey now while I am away from you. Keep on working to complete your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 because God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him.
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing. 15 Then you will be innocent and without any wrong. You will be God’s children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you, among whom you shine like stars in the dark world. 16 You offer the teaching that gives life. So when Christ comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran the race and won.
17 Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. If I have to offer my own blood with your sacrifice, I will be happy and full of joy with all of you. 18 You also should be happy and full of joy with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon. I will be happy to learn how you are. 20 I have no one else like Timothy, who truly cares for you. 21 Other people are interested only in their own lives, not in the work of Jesus Christ. 22 You know the kind of person Timothy is. You know he has served with me in telling the Good News, as a son serves his father. 23 I plan to send him to you quickly when I know what will happen to me. 24 I am sure that the Lord will help me to come to you soon.
25 Epaphroditus, my brother in Christ, works and serves with me in the army of Christ. When I needed help, you sent him to me. I think now that I must send him back to you, 26 because he wants very much to see all of you. He is worried because you heard that he was sick. 27 Yes, he was sick, and nearly died, but God had mercy on him and me too so that I would not have more sadness. 28 I want very much to send him to you so that when you see him you can be happy, and I can stop worrying about you. 29 Welcome him in the Lord with much joy. Give honor to people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to give me the help you could not give in your service to me.
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