How Christians should live
1 My dear Christian friends, I love you very much. I want very much to see you again. You make me very happy. You show that my work among you had good results. Please continue to live in a way that pleases the Lord. This is what I have taught you to do.
2 I say this to Euodia and to Syntyche: ‘You belong to the Lord, so please agree with each other. Stop arguing.’ 3 I ask you too, my true friend, please help these two women to agree together. They have worked with me to tell people the good news. They have worked very hard to help me. They worked together with Clement, and with the other people who helped me in the work. All those workers' names are written in God's book of life.
4:3Paul is speaking to someone who is his special friend. He does not say what his friend's name is. He may be a leader in the church at Philippi.
4:3‘God's book of life’ has the names of people who will live with God for ever.
4 Always be happy because you belong to the Lord. I will say that again, ‘Be happy!’ 5 Be kind and patient in a way that everyone can see. Remember that the Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything. Instead, pray to God about everything. Ask him to help you with the things that you need. And thank him for his help. 7 If you do that, God will give you peace in your minds. That peace is so great that nobody can completely understand it. You will not worry or be afraid, because you belong to Christ Jesus.
8 Now my friends, I want to say this to you. Fill your minds with thoughts about good things. Think about things that are true, clean, right and lovely. Always think about things which people know are very good. 9 Remember what I have taught you. Remember the message that you heard from me. Remember what you saw when I lived among you. You also must do those same things. God is the one who gives us peace in our minds. He will be with you.
Paul thanks the believers at Philippi
10 I am very happy that you want to help me again. I praise the Lord for that. I know that you wanted to help me before. But you have not had a chance to do anything until now. 11 When I say that, it is not because I need anything. I have learned to be happy, whatever things may happen to me. 12 I know what it is like to need things. I also know what it is like to have more than enough. I have learned this secret. I know how to be happy whatever happens. I can be happy when I have enough food to eat, and also when I am hungry. I can be happy when I have plenty of things, and also when I have nothing. 13 I can do all these things because Christ makes me strong.
14 But certainly, you have been very kind to me. You have helped me now, when I am in trouble. 15 Also, you Christians in Philippi know that you already helped me earlier. That was the time when I started to tell people God's good news. When I left Macedonia, you were the only group of Christians who helped me. We were able to help one another, and no other group of Christians did that for me. 16 Even when I was at Thessalonica, you helped me. More than once, you sent gifts to me because I needed things.
4:15Macedonia was the north part of the country called Greece now. Philippi was a city in Macedonia.
4:16Thessalonica was also a city in Macedonia. Paul had taught the good news at Thessalonica too.
17 It is not your gifts themselves that I want. But I want you to do good things so that God will bless you in return. 18 Epaphroditus has brought the gifts that you sent to me. I have received those gifts, so that I no longer need anything. You have sent me more than enough. Your gifts are like a sacrifice with a nice smell that you have offered to God. God accepts that kind of sacrifice. It makes him very happy. 19 My Lord God in heaven has plenty of good and valuable things. Because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will give to you everything that you need.
20 Our Father God is very great! It is right that everyone should praise him always and for ever! Amen. This is true.
Paul finishes his letter
21 Say ‘hello’ on my behalf to all of God's people there who belong to Christ Jesus. The believers who are here with me say ‘hello’ to you. 22 All God's people here say ‘hello’ to you. The Christians who live in the king's house say a special ‘hello’ to you.
23 We pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to be kind to you, so that your spirits are strong.