Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Partnership in Christ

Chuckle: "I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous -- everyone hasn't met me yet." -- Rodney Dangerfield
Good Quote: "The world knows our accomplishments; we know our ambitions; God knows our motives." --William Arthur Ward

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel . . . (Philippians 1:3-5 NIV).
In his letter to the Philippian Christians, Paul's salutation is followed by a great outburst of joy and love - a beautiful combination of thanksgiving and prayer. He expressed joy over their big-heartedness. He gave thanks for their generosity and faithfulness to the gospel from the time he first preached to them. They were never absent from his heart and prayers. He prayed that their spiritual life would increase until they were fully developed in love, knowledge, and spiritual sensitivity.
Remembering in Gratitude: Think with me about all the godly people who have influenced your life. I'm certain you have memories of such people -- without whom your life would be far less fulfilled. Wouldn't it be a beautiful gesture if each of us took the time to express our gratitude and love to them as Paul did to the Philippian Christians. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you." Paul cared for the Philippians with sincere, self-sacrificing love. He worked for them while he could and, in prison, he never forgot them.
Prompted in Prayer: In verse 4, Paul said he never prayed for them without thanksgiving and joy. The word for prayer in verse 4 implies an expression of need. In the New Testament, this kind of prayer is always addressed to God but is not intercession. It is entreating God for a special blessing. Joy is one of the key dominant notes in the letter. The word for joy occurs in Philippians sixteen times. Paul was a happy prisoner in Rome as he had been in Philippi. Inner Joy and peace are characteristics of the devoted Christian regardless of external circumstances.
Sharing in the Gospel: In verse 5, Paul expressed to his Philippian friends the immediate reason for his thanksgiving and joy. It was their partnership with him in the sharing of the gospel. They had shown themselves true missionaries. Interestingly, the Greek word for partnership is koinonia. To find an exact equivalent in English for this Greek word is difficult. It is translated as partnership, fellowship, communion, fellow-working, and sharing together. It means sharing or participating with someone in a common experience. As believers, we are partners in Christ as we share the good news (gospel) message of Jesus Christ. Think for a moment about this truth. A genuine partner carries his/her part of the load -- is always faithful -- and recognizes the value of those with whom he/she is partnered.
Their partnership included (1) their acceptance of the gospel by faith, (2) their making the aims of the gospel their own, (3) their active witness in Philippi; (4) their cooperation in the teaching and preaching of the gospel, (5) their participation in suffering, (6) their expressions of sympathy for Paul in his work, and (7) their sharing in meeting other Christian needs. What an example and challenge Paul lays out for us. My prayer is that we all would be so faithful.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home