Christian Humility and Christ's Humility
1 IF THEN our common life in Christ yields anything to stir the heart, any loving consolation, any sharing of the Spirit, any warmth of affection or compassion, 2 fill up my cup of happiness by thinking and feeling alike, with the same love for one another, the same turn of mind, and a common care for unity. 3 Rivalry and personal vanity should have no place among you, but you should humbly reckon others better than yourselves. 4 You must look to each other's interest and not merely to your own.
5 Let your bearing towards one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus.
Shining as Lights in the World 12 So you too, my friends, must be obedient, as always; even more, now that I am away, than when I was with you. You must work out your own salvation in fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you, inspiring both the will and the deed, for his own chosen purpose.
14 Do all you have to do without complaint or wrangling. 15 Show yourselves guileless and above reproach, faultless children of God in a warped and crooked generation, in which you shine like stars in a dark world and proffer the word of life. 16 Thus you will be my pride on the Day of Christ, proof that I did not run my race in vain, or work in vain. 17 But if my life-blood is to crown that sacrifice which is the offering up of your faith, I am glad of it, and I share my gladness with you all. 18 Rejoice, you no less than I, and let us share our joy.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I HOPE (under the Lord Jesus) to send Timothy to you soon; it will cheer me to hear news of you. 20 There is no one else here who sees things as I do, and takes a genuine interest in your concerns; 21 they are all bent on their own ends, not on the cause of Christ Jesus. 22 But Timothy's record is known to you: you know that he has been at my side in the service of the Gospel like a son working under his father. 23 Timothy, then, I hope to send as soon as ever I can see how things are going with me; 24 and I am confident, under the Lord, that I shall myself be coming before long.
25 I feel also I must send our brother Epaphroditus, my fellow-worker and comrade, whom you commissioned to minister to my needs. 26 He has been missing all of you sadly, and has been distressed that you heard he was ill. 27 (He was indeed dangerously ill, but God was merciful to him, and merciful no less to me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.) 28 For this reason I am all the more eager to send him, to give you the happiness of seeing him again, and to relieve my sorrow. 29 Welcome him then in the fellowship of the Lord with wholehearted delight. You should honour men like him; 30 in Christ's cause he came near to death, risking his life to render me the service you could not give.
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