1 Does Christ speak to you? Does love call to you? Do you have a part in the Holy Spirit? Do you have any love and care for others?
2 Then make me very, very happy. Live in happiness with one another. Have the same love for each other. Think the same way. Agree together about things. All have one purpose in mind.
3 Do not try to prove you are better than others. Do not be proud of yourselves, but be humble. Think of other people as being better than yourselves.
4 Each one of you should not think only about himself, but about other people also.
5 Think the same way Jesus Christ thought.
6 He was in every way like God. Yet he did not think that being equal to God was something he must hold on to.
7 He gave this up and became a servant. He was born a baby.
8 And when he was a man, he was humble. He was even willing to die, yes, to die on a cross.
9 That is why God has made him very great. God has given him a name above every name.
10 Everyone in heaven, everyone on earth, and everyone under the earth will kneel before the name of Jesus.
11 Everyone will admit that Jesus Christ is Lord. They will praise God the Father for this.
12 My dear people, you have always obeyed me. God has saved you from wrong ways. Now show this by the good things that you do. You must live that way, not only when I am with you, but much more now that I am not with you. Think of how wrong it will be if you do not. Try hard to work out how to do it.
13 For God is at work in you. He helps you want to do it. And he helps you do what he wants you to do.
14 Do everything without grumbling or making trouble.
15 In that way you will be completely good. No one will be able to say anything wrong about you. You will be Gods good children living amongst bad people. Among them you will shine like lights in the world.
16 You will have the message of life for them. I will be proud of you when Christ comes. My work and trouble will not be for nothing.
17 The life you live because you believe in God is like a sacrifice. Even if I am killed, it will be like wine which people pour on a sacrifice. I am happy to do this for you, and I am happy about you.
18 In the same way you must be happy. And you must be happy about me.
19 I hope the Lord Jesus will let me send Timothy to you soon. I will be glad to hear about you.
20 I have no one like Timothy. He is troubled to know about you.
21 All the other people think only of themselves and not of Jesus Christ.
22 But you know what a good man Timothy is. You know that he has worked with me in telling the good news. He has worked just as a son works with his father.
23 So I hope to send him to you as soon as I see what happens to me.
24 And I trust that the Lord will let me come to you soon myself.
25 I thought I must send Epaphroditus, our Christian brother, back to you. He has worked with me and has also been a soldier of Christ with me. He was your messenger and he brought your gift for my needs.
26 I am sending him back because he has been lonely without you all. And his heart has been troubled because you heard that he was sick.
27 He was very sick! He almost died! But God was kind to him. He was not only kind to him, but also to me. God did not let me have one trouble after another.
28 I want even more to send him to you so that you will be happy when you see him again. And I will not be so troubled any more.
29 So receive him with much joy because he is a Christian brother. Give respect to men like him.
30 He almost died doing the work of Christ. You wished to help me, but you could not come. He came instead. He was willing to put his life in danger in order to help me.