Neno: Bibilia Takatifu

Wafilipi 1

1Kutoka kwa Paulo na Timotheo, watumwa wa Yesu Kristo. Kwa watakatifu walioko Filipi pamoja na maaskofu na wasaidizi wote wa kanisa. Tunawatakieni neema na amani itokayo kwa Mungu Baba yetu na kwa Bwana wetu Yesu Kristo. Shukrani Na Maombi.

Ninamshukuru Mungu wangu kila ninapowakumbuka katika sala zangu zote, nikiomba kwa furaha na shukrani kwa ajili ya ushi rikiano uliopo kati yetu katika kueneza Injili, tangu siku ya kwanza hadi leo. Nina hakika kwamba, yeye aliyeianza kazi yake njema mioyoni mwenu, ataiendeleza na kuikamilisha siku ile ataka porudi Yesu Kristo.

Ninajisikia hivi kwa sababu nawathamini sana moyoni mwangu. Kwa maana tumeshiriki pamoja neema ya Mungu wakati nikiwa kifun goni na wakati nikiitetea na kuithibitisha Injili. Mungu ni shahidi wangu kwamba natamani mno kuwa pamoja nanyi na kwamba upendo nilio nao kwenu ni upendo wa Kristo Yesu. Na sala yangu kwa ajili yenu ni kwamba upendo wenu uzidi kuongezeka siku hadi siku pamoja na maarifa na busara 10 ili mpate kutambua mambo yaliyo mema. Na pia mpate kuwa watu safi, wasio na hatia hadi siku ya Kristo. 11 Maisha yenu yawe na matunda ya haki yatokayo kwa Yesu Kristo, ili Mungu apewe utukufu na sifa. 12 Ndugu zangu, napenda mfahamu kwamba haya mambo yaliyonipata yamesaidia sana kueneza Injili ya Kristo. 13 Watu wote hapa pamoja na maaskari wa ikulu wanajua wazi kuwa mimi niko kifungoni kwa sababu ya kumtumikia Kristo. 14 Kwa sababu ya kifungo changu, ndugu wengi katika Bwana wametiwa moyo kuhubiri neno la Mungu pasipo hofu. 15 Ni kweli kwamba wapo ndugu wengine wanaom hubiri Kristo kutokana na wivu na kwa kutaka kushindana; lakini wengine wanamhubiri Kristo kwa nia njema. 16 Hawa wanahubiri kwa moyo wa upendo, wakifahamu kwamba Mungu ameniweka hapa kifungoni ili niitetee Injili. 17 Hao wengine wanamtangaza Kristo kwa tamaa ya kupata sifa wala si kwa moyo wa upendo, wakifikiri kwamba kwa kufanya hivyo wataniongezea mateso yangu kifungoni. 18 Lakini kwangu mimi hiyo si kitu. Lililo la muhimu ni kwamba kwa kila njia Kristo anahubiriwa, ikiwa kwa nia mbaya au kwa nia njema. Kwa sababu hiyo, mimi nashangilia. Pia nitaendelea kushan gilia, 19 kwa sababu najua kwamba kwa ajili ya sala zenu na kwa msaada wa Roho wa Yesu Kristo, jambo lililonipata litageuka kuwa njia ya kufunguliwa kwangu. 20 Shauku yangu na tumaini langu ni kwamba sitaaibika kwa njia yo yote, bali nitakuwa na ujasiri, ili kama ilivyo sasa, Kristo aendelee kutukuzwa kutokana na maisha yangu, kama ni kuishi au hata kama ni kufa. 21 Kwa maana kwangu mimi, kuishi ni Kristo na kufa ni faida. 22 Kama nitaendelea kuishi katika mwili, hii itaniwezesha kufanya kazi yenye matunda. Lakini sijui nichague lipi! 23 Yote mawili yananivutia: nata mani niyaache maisha haya ili nikakae pamoja na Kristo, jambo ambalo naona ni bora zaidi. 24 Lakini kwa sababu yenu naona kuwa ni muhimu zaidi nikiendelea kuishi. 25 Nina hakika kwamba, kwa sababu hii nitabaki na kuendelea kuishi pamoja nanyi nyote, ili mpate kukua na kuwa na furaha katika imani. 26 Na hivyo, kwa ajili yangu, muwe na sababu ya kuona fahari ndani ya Kristo Yesu kwa kuja kwangu kwenu.

Mapambano Kwa Ajili Ya Imani

27 Lakini hata ikitokea nini, hakikisheni kuwa mwenendo wenu unalingana na Injili ya Kristo. Ili kama nikija kuwaona au hata nisipojaliwa kufika, nipate habari kuwa mnasimama imara katika roho ya umoja, mkiwa na nia moja huku mkipambana kwa pamoja kwa ajili ya imani ya Injili, 28 bila kuwaogopa wale wanaowapinga. Hii ni ishara dhahiri ya kuangamia kwao, lakini kwenu ninyi, hii ni ishara ya wokovu wenu kutoka kwa Mungu. 29 Kwa maana mmepewa heshima kwa ajili ya Kristo, sio tu kumwamini, bali pia kuteswa kwa ajili yake. 30 Sasa mnashiriki mapambano yale yale mliyoona nikiwa nayo na ambayo mnasikia kwamba bado naendelea nayo.

The Message

Philippians 1

11-2 Paul and Timothy, both of us committed servants of Christ Jesus, write this letter to all the followers of Jesus in Philippi, pastors and ministers included. We greet you with the grace and peace that comes from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.

A Love That Will Grow

3-6 Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

7-8 It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

9-11 So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.

They Can’t Imprison the Message

12-14 I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.

15-17 It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them.

18-21 So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!

And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.

22-26 As long as I’m alive in this body, there is good work for me to do. If I had to choose right now, I hardly know which I’d choose. Hard choice! The desire to break camp here and be with Christ is powerful. Some days I can think of nothing better. But most days, because of what you are going through, I am sure that it’s better for me to stick it out here. So I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God continues. You can start looking forward to a great reunion when I come visit you again. We’ll be praising Christ, enjoying each other.

27-30 Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You’re involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.