A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy courier [brings] healing.
Listen! Their warriors cry loudly in the streets; the messengers of peace weep bitterly.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ's behalf, "Be reconciled to God."
For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles--
I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received,
Then David said, "I'll show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me." So David sent his emissaries to console Hanun concerning his father. However, when they arrived in the land of the Ammonites,
the Ammonite leaders said to Hanun their lord, "Just because David has sent men with condolences for you, do you really believe he's showing respect for your father? Instead, hasn't David sent his emissaries in order to scout out the city, spy on it, and overthrow it?"
So Hanun took David's emissaries, shaved off half their beards, cut their clothes in half at the hips, and sent them away.
When this was reported to David, he sent [someone] to meet them, since they were deeply humiliated. The king said, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back; then return."
When the Ammonites realized they had become repulsive to David, they hired 20,000 foot soldiers from the Arameans of Beth-rehob and Zobah, 1,000 men from the king of Maacah, and 12,000 men from Tob.
"I wish before God," replied Paul, "that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am-- except for these chains."
So, for this reason I've asked to see you and speak to you. In fact, it is for the hope of Israel that I'm wearing this chain."
It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because I have you in my heart, and you are all partners with me in grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and establishment of the gospel.
so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is for Christ.
Most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my imprisonment and dare even more to speak the message fearlessly.
May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.
For this I suffer, to the point of being bound like a criminal; but God's message is not bound.
appeal to you for my child, whom I fathered while in chains-- Onesimus.
Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.
"Cry out loudly, don't hold back! Raise your voice like a trumpet. Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Then the LORD said to me: Do not say: I am [only] a youth, for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you.
Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
"Now, get ready. Stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not be intimidated by them or I will cause you to cower before them.
The children are obstinate and hardhearted. I am sending you to them, and you must say to them: This is what the Lord God says.
Whether they listen or refuse [to listen]-- for they are a rebellious house-- they will know that a prophet has been among them.
"But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don't be afraid of their words or be discouraged by [the look on] their faces, for they are a rebellious house.
But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse [to listen], for they are rebellious.
What I tell you in the dark, speak in the light. What you hear in a whisper, proclaim on the housetops.
Don't fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than men.
proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the things concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with full boldness and without hindrance.
so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak.
My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
On the contrary, after we had previously suffered and been outrageously treated in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition.
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.
Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.