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Imitating Christ's Humility
1So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5Have this mind among yourselves, which was in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,a being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Shining as Lights in the World
12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. 20I have no one like him, who will be genuinely anxious for your welfare. 21They all look after their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But Timothy's worth you know, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me; 24and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself shall come also.
25I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphrodi'tus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26for he has been longing for you all, and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29So receive him in the Lord with all joy; and honor such men, 30for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete your service to me.