Hey, there, Paul again! This time he's writing with his pal, Timothy, and he's sending this special letter to the church in Philippi.
Good news, Philippians! Paul is pleased as punch with you guys.
He compliments them on their generosity to him. Not to mention all the work they've done helping him spread the gospel.
Paul recognizes their good work and hopes that they've got even more in them. That way, when Jesus comes again, he'll be able to see how incredibly awesome they are right away.
Prisoner of God
Okay, here's a juicy little tidbit: Paul's writing this letter from prison.
Here's the thing, though: Paul sees his imprisonment as a good thing. For example, all the prison guards know he's there for Jesus, so that's a plus, right?
He also thinks that other Christians are inspired by his devotion to Christ. Um, okay…we guess that people are super psyched to go to jail for Jesus then.
Actually, some of Paul's Christian enemies have been taking digs at him while he's in prison, too. They've got "selfish" motives and they like to kick a guy when he's down.
But Paul's not sweating it. Even if these guys are acting like jerks, they're still telling people about Jesus in the process, and that's good enough for Paul.
So he's in a pretty good mood, even though things aren't looking that good for him.
Paul's in jail now and getting ready for his upcoming trial. It's quite possible that the authorities might decide to sentence him to death. Yikes.
Personally, Paul doesn't care whether he lives or dies. Actually, he might prefer death, since that means he gets to go hang with Jesus a little earlier than planned.
But living might be all right, too, since the Philippians would probably like to see him again. To be or not to be? That is the question, Paul.
Hey, enough talk about death—Paul wants to talk about his friends in Philippi.
He hopes that they're acting like upstanding Christian citizens while he's not there.
Paul also doesn't want them to back down from the naysayers who oppose him. He knows that the folks in the church are struggling now, but really, suffering for Jesus is a good thing. Hence the orange jumpsuit and shackles Paul is currently sporting.