Continuing with the Matthew 19:14 Project, here is Philippians 1 for kids.
This letter is from Paul and Timothy to the people in Philippi who follow Jesus. We hope God gives you grace and peace.
Whenever I think of you, I thank God. I am so thankful that you have teamed up with me to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and I have joyfully prayed for you since the first day that God will finish the good things He has started in you. I know He will.
I know it is right for me to feel this way about you, because we share God’s grace (that is, the gift of eternal life from God that we do not deserve) when I am in jail and when I am preaching. No matter what, our hearts are connected, and God knows from my prayers how much I wish I could be with all of you, and how much I love you as I think of you.
This is what I pray: that you love each other deeper and deeper and that you get to know God more and more. This way, you’ll know what is the best thing to do and you’ll always do it, which will keep you clean for the day Christ comes back. Everyone will be able to see the good things you do – just like fruit on a tree – because you know Jesus Christ, and it will show the world who God is.
You know I’m in jail. This has happened so that more of the world will know the good news – that Jesus came as God to rescue the earth and died in our place for the wrong we have done. Everyone here knows that I am in jail because I preached about Jesus, and when other brothers and sisters in Christ saw my chains, they became brave enough to preach the truth about Jesus without being afraid.
Some people are preaching because they are jealous of the attention I’m getting and they want to try to win, but others are preaching because they know that what I’m saying is actually true and right. The ones who know my words are true preach because of love, because they know that I’m here to tell the truthful good news. The jealous people are preaching because they want to make themselves look great, and they don’t really mean the words they are saying, but they want to cause trouble for me while I’m in chains. I don’t think it matters either way, because what is important is that the story of Christ is being told, no matter what the reason is for the people preaching. Christ’s story is being told, so I am excited!
Yes, and I’ll keep on being excited, because I know that your prayers for me will get me out of jail. I won’t be ashamed, no matter what happens, because I choose to be brave – I know that the world will see who God is because of my body – whether I am alive or dead. If I live, I’m living for Jesus. If I die, I get to see Him. I can’t lose! If I keep living, I’ll be able to tell more people about Jesus, so that won’t be a loss. So which one will I pick? I don’t know! I’m torn between the two: I want to leave earth so that I can be with Christ in person, which is definitely the better way to be, but I need to stay longer on earth so that I can be with you. I’m sure this is the right choice – I’ll stay with you and be so excited about how much you are learning about Christ and about how to live like Him, and then I’ll be useful for God on earth.
No matter what, make choices that are worthy of the good news of Christ. Then, whether I get to see you in person or just hear about all the wonderful things you are doing, I’ll know that you are strong and that the Holy Spirit is with you. He’ll be helping you to work together in faith to tell the world about Jesus, and you won’t be afraid of the people against you. Your unity (that is, your strength of working together and with the Holy Spirit) will be a sign that those working against you will not win, but you will be saved by God. You’ve been given a gift to believe in Christ, but also to suffer in Him. This is the same gift I was given – the same struggle I had, and I still have.