International Children’s Bible
Serve Others with Joy
1 From Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ.
To all of God’s holy people in Christ Jesus who live in Philippi. And to your overseers and deacons.
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank God every time I remember you. 4 And I always pray for all of you with joy. 5 I thank God for the help you gave me while I preached the Good News. You helped from the first day you believed until now. 6 God began doing a good work in you. And he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again. I am sure of that.
7 And I know that I am right to think like this about all of you. I am sure because I have you in my heart. All of you share in God’s grace with me. You share in God’s grace with me while I am in prison, while I am defending the Good News, and while I am proving the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows that I want to see you very much. I love all of you with the love of Christ Jesus.
9 This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10 that you will see the difference between good and bad and choose the good; that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11 that you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to bring glory and praise to God.
Paul’s Troubles Help the Work
12 Brothers, I want you to know that what has happened to me has helped to spread the Good News. 13 I am in prison because I am a believer in Christ. All the palace guards and everyone else knows this. 14 I am still in prison, but most of the believers feel better about it now. And so they are much braver about telling the Good News about Christ.
15 It is true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous and bitter. But others preach about Christ because they want to help. 16 They preach because they have love, and they know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News. 17 But others preach about Christ because they are selfish. Their reason for preaching is wrong. They want to make trouble for me in prison.
18 But I do not care if they make trouble for me. The important thing is that they are preaching about Christ. They should do it for the right reasons. But I am happy even if they do it for wrong reasons. And I will continue to be happy. 19 You are praying for me, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me. So I know that this trouble will bring my freedom. 20 The thing I want and hope for is that I will not fail Christ in anything. I hope that I will have the courage now, as always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth. I want to do that if I die or if I live. 21 To me the only important thing about living is Christ. And even death would be profit for me. 22 If I continue living in the body, I will be able to work for the Lord. But what should I choose—living or dying? I do not know. 23 It is hard to choose between the two. I want to leave this life and be with Christ. That is much better. 24 But you need me here in my body. 25 I know that you need me, and so I know that I will stay with you. I will help you grow and have joy in your faith. 26 You will be very happy in Christ Jesus when I am with you again.
27 Be sure that you live in a way that brings honor to the Good News of Christ. Then whether I come and visit you or am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will hear that you continue strong with one purpose and that you work together as a team for the faith of the Good News. 28 And you will not be afraid of those who are against you. All of these things are proof from God that you will be saved and that your enemies will be lost. 29 God gave you the honor both of believing in Christ and suffering for Christ. Both these things bring glory to Christ. 30 When I was with you, you saw the struggles I had. And you hear about the struggles I am having now. You yourselves are having the same kind of struggles.
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. 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.
He was equal with God.
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be held on to.
7 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.
He obeyed even when that caused his death—death on a cross.
9 So God raised Christ to the highest place.
God made the name of Christ greater than every other name.
10 God wants every knee to bow to Jesus—
everyone in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
11 Everyone will say, “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. You obeyed God when I was with you. It is even more important that you obey now while I am not with you. Keep on working to complete your salvation, and do it with fear and trembling. 13 Yes, God is working in you to help you want to do what pleases him. Then he gives you the power to do it.
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing. 15 Then you will be innocent and without anything wrong in you. You will be God’s children without fault. But you are living with crooked and mean people all around you. Among them you shine like stars in the dark world. 16 You offer to them the teaching that gives life. So when Christ comes again, I can be happy because my work was not wasted. I ran in the race and won.
17 Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. Perhaps I will have to offer my own blood with your sacrifice. But if that happens, 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 other person like Timothy. He truly cares for you. 21 Other people are interested only in their own lives. They are not interested in the work of Christ Jesus. 22 You know the kind of person Timothy is. You know that 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 is my brother in Christ. He 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 helped him and me too, so that I would not have more sadness. 28 So I want very much to send him to you. 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 Epaphroditus. 30 He should be honored because he almost died for the work of Christ. He put his life in danger so that he could help me. This was help that you could not give me.