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Christian brothers, you know that my visit with you was not wasted. Just before we came to you, we had been in the city of Philippi. You know how they worked against us and made us suffer. But God helped us preach the Good News to you without fear, even while many people hated us and made it hard for us. You remember what we said to you was true. We had no wrong desire in teaching you. We did not try to fool you. God has allowed us to be trusted with the Good News. Because of this, we preach it to please God, not man. God tests and proves our hearts. You know we never used smooth-sounding words. God knows we never tried to get money from you by preaching. We never looked for thanks from men, not from you or from anyone else. But because we were missionaries of Christ, we could have asked you to do much for us. Instead, we were gentle when we came to you. We were like a mother caring for her children. We had such a strong desire to help you that we were happy to give you the Good News. Because we loved you so much, we were ready to give you our own lives also. You remember, Christian brothers, we worked night and day for our food and clothes while we preached the Good News to you. We did not want to make it hard for you. 10 You know, and so does God, how pure and right and without blame we were among you who believe. 11 As a father helps his children, you know how we wanted to help you and give you comfort. We told you with strong words 12 that you should live to please God. He is the One Who chose you to come into His holy nation and to share His shining-greatness.

13 We always thank God that when you heard the Word of God from us, you believed it. You did not receive it as from men, but you received it as the Word of God. That is what it is. It is at work in the lives of you who believe. 14 Christian brothers, you became just like the churches in the country of Judea. You had to suffer from the men in your country as those churches had to suffer from the Jews. 15 It was the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the early preachers. The Jews made it hard for us and made us leave. They do not please God and are working against all men. 16 They tried to keep us from preaching the Good News to the people who are not Jews. The Jews do not want them saved from the punishment of sin. The lives of the Jews are full of more sin all the time. But now God’s anger has come to them at last.

17 Christian brothers, because we have not been able to be with you, our hearts have been with you. We have wanted very much to see you. 18 We wanted to come to you. I, Paul, have tried to come to you more than once but Satan kept us from coming. 19 Who is our hope or joy or crown of happiness? It is you, when you stand before our Lord Jesus Christ when He comes again. 20 You are our pride and joy.

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