320 THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE
May love and peace be granted you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope, if the Lord permits, to send Timothy to you before long, that I too may be cheered by news about you. I have no other like him who will take a genuine interest in you, for every one is looking out for his own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. But you know how Timothy has stood the test, how like a son working with his father he has served with me in spreading the good news. So I hope to send him shortly, as soon as I see how it will go with me; though I am confident, if the Lord permits, that I myself will come to you before long.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice. Let all know that you are patient. Do not be anxious, but always make your requests known to God in earnest prayer and thanksgiving; so shall the peace of God, which is beyond all human understanding, keep guard over your hearts and your minds in union with Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there be any virtue or anything worthy of praise, consider the value of these things. Practise also what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and then the God of peace will be with you.
It is a great joy to me as a Christian brother to know that you are again thoughtful of me. Indeed, you have always been thoughtful, but you did not have an opportunity to show it. Not that I speak of want, for I have learned, wherever I am, to be content. I know how to live simply; I know, too, how to live in prosperity. I have learned in all things the secret of being content, both when I have plenty and when I am hungry, when I am in prosperity and when I am in want. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.
But you acted nobly in sharing my affliction. Even when I was in Thessalonica, more than once you sent money for my needs. It is not the gift I am seeking, but the growing reward that is to your credit! I have enough of everything, and more than enough. I am fully supplied by what I received from you through Epaphro-ditus. It is like fragrant incense, a sacrifice acceptable and well pleasing to God. My God will supply your every need out of his glorious wealth in Christ Jesus. Now to God our Father be glory forever and ever.
Already my life-blood is poured out and the time for me to go