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Love in Our Families and Workplaces
1Children, if you want to be wise, listen to your parents and do what they tell you, and the Lord will help you.
2For the commandment, “Honor your father and your mother,” was the first of the Ten Commandments with a promise attached: 3“You will prosper and live a long, full life if you honor your parents.”
4Fathers, don’t exasperate your children, but raise them up with loving discipline and counsel that brings the revelation of our Lord.
5Those who are employed should listen to their employers and obey their instructions with great respect and honor. Serve them with humility in your hearts as though you were working for the Master.
6Always do what is right and not only when others are watching, so that you may please Christ as his servants by doing his will. 7Serve your employers wholeheartedly and with love, as though you were serving Christ and not men. 8Be assured that anything you do that is beautiful and excellent will be repaid by our Lord, whether you are an employee or an employer.
9And to the caretakers of the flock I say, do what is right with your people by forgiving them when they offend you, for you know there is a Master in heaven that shows no favoritism.
Spiritual Warfare
10Now my beloved ones, I have saved these most important truths for last: Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you.
11Put on God’s complete set of armor provided for us, so that you will be protected as you fight against the evil strategies of the accuser! 12Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage. 13Because of this, you must wear all the armor that God provides so you’re protected as you confront the slanderer, for you are destined for all things and will rise victorious.
14Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. 15Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace.
16In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the Evil One! 17-18Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken Word of God.
Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers. 19And pray also that God’s revelation would be released through me every time I preach the wonderful mystery of the hope-filled gospel. 20Yes, pray that I may preach the wonderful news of God’s kingdom with bold freedom at every opportunity. Even though I am chained as a prisoner, I am his ambassador.
The Messenger, Tychicus
21-22I am sending you a dear friend, Tychicus. He is a beloved brother and trustworthy minister in our Lord Jesus. He will share with you all the concerns that I have for your welfare and will inform you of how I am getting along. And he will also prophesy over you to encourage your hearts. 23So may God shower his peace upon you, my beloved friends. And may the blessings of faith and love fill your hearts from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus, the Messiah. 24Abundant grace will be with you all as each of you love our Lord Jesus Christ without corruption. Amen!
Love in Christ,
Paul