Another favorite chapter of mine!
I love you all, and I can’t wait to see you again. You make me so proud, like I’m a king and you are my crown – you are the reason I can be glad! Please be strong and live for Christ!
Specifically, Euodia and Syntyche, work together as a great team. My closest friend, help these women to work together because they have worked with me to shared the story of Jesus with the world. Also help Clement and the others who have helped me. I know you truly know God, and your names are written in His book of eternal life.
Here’s some final advice before I go. Be joyful because you know Christ! I will say it again! Be joyful! Let everyone see how gentle you are. Christ is near us. Don’t be anxious (that means worry) about anything, but no matter what is going on, pray and ask God for what you need, and be thankful to Him for what you already have. Whether or not you get what you need, you will be calm and you’ll know that God is with you, which means everything will be okay. It doesn’t seem like it makes any sense, but Christ gives us this special calm anyway, and it will protect us from being tempted by the things in the world that seem good but aren’t.
And finally, focus your mind on good things: true things, things that are worthy of honor, things that are right, things that are clean, things that are lovely and beautiful, things that are worthy of enjoying – if anything is excellent or worth cheering on – think about these kinds of things. Anything that I have done that might be a good example to you, practice it so you can get good at it, too. And God will be with you, helping you feel peaceful and calm.
I was so thankful when I heard that you were still thinking about me and concerned about me. You were always concerned, but you didn’t have any way to show it. I don’t need anything right now, because I have learned to be happy no matter what is happening to me. I have been needy before, and I’ve had plenty before. But I’ve learned that whether I’m needy or whether I have plenty, whether I’m full of yummy food or very hungry, I can be happy in all things, and I can do all things through Christ who makes me strong.
But I am still glad that you were concerned about my troubles. When I traveled from Macedonia, you were the only church who reached out to help me. And even when I was in Thessalonica, you helped me more than once when I was needy. It’s not that I want things from you, but I wish for you to have more. I have been paid plenty to live off and I have more than enough, now that Epaphroditus has given me the gift you sent with him. What he brought me from you brings me joy, and I know God is pleased that you are helping me like this. I know God will give you everything you need because Christ has plenty of the kind of riches that we need. God is so good, and I want Him to receive all of the attention forever! Amen!
Tell all of God’s people that I say hello. Also say hello for all of the brothers and sisters who are here with me, especially those from Caesar’s house.
I hope your spirits are filled with the grace that can only come from God. Amen.