ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 240


And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything
that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For
everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in
chains because of Christ. And because of my imprisonment, most of the
believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message
without fear.
It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others
preach about Christ with pure motives. They preach because they love
me, for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.
Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ.
They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my
chains more painful to me. But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached
either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. For I know that as
you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to
my deliverance.
For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will
continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that
my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living
means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more
fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn
between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far
better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.
Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue
to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I
come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ
Jesus because of what he is doing through me.
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in
a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come
and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the
faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your
enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed,
but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been
given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege
of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my
struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.

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