If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.
Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.
Everyone should look out not [only] for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,
who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage.
Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,
He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death-- even to death on a cross.
For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow-- of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth--
and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God who is working in you, [enabling you] both to will and to act for His good purpose.
Do everything without grumbling and arguing,
so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.
Hold firmly the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn't run in vain or labor for nothing.
But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.
Now I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon so that I also may be encouraged when I hear news about you.
For I have no one else like-minded who will genuinely care about your interests;
all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
But you know his proven character, because he has served with me in the gospel ministry like a son with a father.
Therefore, I hope to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.
And I am convinced in the Lord that I myself will also come quickly.
But I considered it necessary to send you Epaphroditus-- my brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier, as well as your messenger and minister to my need--
since he has been longing for all of you and was distressed because you heard that he was sick.
Indeed, he was so sick that he nearly died. However, God had mercy on him, and not only on him but also on me, so that I would not have one grief on top of another.
For this reason, I am very eager to send him so that you may rejoice when you see him again and I may be less anxious.
Therefore, welcome him in the Lord with all joy and hold men like him in honor,
because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up what was lacking in your ministry to me.