Paul is happy because of the Christians at Philippi
1 My friends, I love you very much. And I want very much to meet you again. You make me very happy. You show that my work among you had good results. So I am very happy because of you. My good friends, please remember what I have told you. If you do remember it, you will continue to believe Christ strongly. You will continue to live for the Lord, because you are united to him.
Agree with each other
2 I say this to Euodia and I say it to Syntyche: ‘You are like sisters because you are united to the Lord. So I ask very strongly that you agree with each other.’ 3 I ask you too, my good friend, to help these women. You have worked with me to tell people the good news. And these women have worked with me too. They have worked very much so that people would believe the good news. They worked with Clement, and they worked with all my other workers. All those workers' names are in God's book. This book says who will live with him always.
4:3Paul is speaking to someone who is his special friend. He does not say what his friend's name is. Perhaps it is someone who had travelled with Paul to tell people the good news. Then that person had stayed at Philippi. Some people think that it might be Luke. Luke wrote the book in the Bible called Acts.
Be happy and think good thoughts
4 Always be happy because you are united with the Lord. I will say it again, ‘Be happy!’ 5 Always be kind and patient. So everyone will see that you are very kind and good. Remember that the Lord is near. 6 Do not be afraid about anything. Do not let anything cause you trouble inside yourselves. Instead, tell everything to God. Pray to him. Ask him for everything that you need. And when you pray, always thank him. 7 If you do that, God will rule you. He will rule your minds by Christ Jesus. He will rule what you feel like. He will cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves. God is so great that he can do that for us. But we cannot understand how he does it.
8 Now friends, I want to say this to you. Think about the things that are true and honest. Think about the things that are right and good and lovely. Everyone can see that some things are completely good. Think about these things. 9 Do those things that you learned from me. Remember the things that I said. Remember the things that I did. You must do those things too. And so the God who causes us to be without trouble inside ourselves will be with you.
Paul thanks the believers at Philippi for their gifts to him
10 I am very happy that now you want to help me again. I thank the Lord that you want to help me. I know that you helped me before. But it is a long time since you had a chance to help me. 11 I am not saying this because I need anything. I have learned to be happy, whatever things may be happening to me. 12 I know what it is like to need things. I know what it is like to have plenty. I have learned to be happy at any time and during all things. I have learned this secret. I can be happy whether I have enough food or not. I can be happy whether I have plenty of things or nothing. 13 I can do everything because Christ makes me strong.
14 But certainly, you have been very kind to me. You have helped me at this time, when I am in trouble. 15 You helped me also earlier, when I was starting to tell people the good news. When I left Macedonia, you helped me. You were the only group of Christians who helped me then. You people who live at Philippi know that yourselves. No other group of Christians gave gifts to me as you did. 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 also.
17 It is not your gifts themselves that I want. But instead, I want you to do good things so that God will be happy about you. So he will be good to you even more, because you have helped me. 18 Epaphroditus has brought the gifts that you sent to me. I have received those gifts, and now I do not need anything. You have sent me plenty. It is more than enough. Your gifts are like a sacrifice with a nice smell, that people offer to God. God accepts a sacrifice like that, because it makes him happy. 19 My God, who has plenty of very good things for us because of Christ Jesus, will supply everything for you. By Christ, God will give to you everything that you need.
20 Everyone should always say that our God, our Father, is very great! They should never stop saying that! This is true.
21 On behalf of me, say ‘hello’ to everyone who belongs to Christ Jesus' people. The Christians who are here with me say ‘hello’ to you. 22 All God's people here say ‘hello’ to you. And those 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 very kind to all of you, so that your sprits are strong.