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4:1  Masters, give what is good and fair to your slaves. Remember that you have a Master in heaven.
4:2  ·Continue praying [Be devoted to prayer], keeping alert, and always thanking God.
4:3  Also pray for us that God will ·give us an opportunity [L open a door for us] to tell people his ·message [word]. Pray that we can preach the ·secret that God has made known about Christ [L mystery of Christ; 1:26]. This is why I am in ·prison [chains; C Paul is probably writing from house arrest in Rome, about ad 60; see Acts 28:30–31].
4:4  Pray that I can speak in a way that will make it clear, as I should.
4:5  Be wise in the way you ·act with [behave towards] people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity.
4:6  When you talk, you should always be ·kind [gracious] and ·pleasant [winsome; engaging; or wholesome; L seasoned with salt] so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should.
4:7  Tychicus [Acts 20:4; Eph. 6:21; 2 Tim. 4:12; Titus 3:12] is my ·dear [beloved] brother in Christ and a faithful ·minister [servant] and ·servant with me [fellow slave/bondservant] in the Lord. He will tell you all the things that are happening to me.
4:8  This is why I am sending him: so you may know how we are and he may encourage ·you [L your hearts].
4:9  I send him with Onesimus [Philem. 10], a faithful and ·dear [beloved] ·brother in Christ [L brother], and one of your ·group [or own people; or fellow-citizens]. They will tell you all that has happened here.
4:10  Aristarchus [Acts 19:29; 20:4; Philem. 24], a prisoner with me, and Mark [Acts 12:25; 13:13; 15:37–39], the cousin of Barnabas [Acts 4:36; 9:26–27; 11:22, 25, 30; 13:2–4; 15:36–39], greet you. (·I have already told you what to do [L You have received instructions] about Mark. If he comes, welcome him.)
4:11  Jesus, who is called Justus, also greets you. These are the only ·Jewish believers [L ones of the circumcision] who work with me for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
4:12  Epaphras [1:7], a ·servant [slave; bondservant] of Jesus Christ, from your ·group [or people; or city], also greets you. He always ·prays [prays earnestly; L wrestles/struggles in prayer] for you that you will ·grow to be spiritually mature [or stand complete/perfect] and ·confident that you are in God’s will [L fully assured in all the will of God].
4:13  I ·know [can testify/bear witness that] he has worked hard for you and ·the people [or the churches; L those] in Laodicea [2:1] and in Hierapolis [C a city north of Colossae, in present-day southwest Turkey].
4:14  Demas [2 Tim. 4:10; Philem. 24] and our ·dear [beloved] friend Luke [2 Tim. 4:11; Philem. 24], the doctor, greet you.
4:15  Greet the brothers and sisters in Laodicea [2:1]. And greet Nympha and the church that meets in her house.
4:16  After this letter is read to you, be sure it is also read to the church in Laodicea. And you read the letter ·that I wrote to [L from] Laodicea.
4:17  Tell Archippus [Philem. 2], “Be sure to ·finish [fulfill] the ·work [ministry; service] ·the Lord gave you [L you received in the Lord].”
4:18  I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember ·me in prison [L my chains]. Grace be with you.