Paul to the Philippian church, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:3-5
Our world loves partnerships, whether good or bad. We’ve been exposed to many different partners over the years through television, movies, books, and people. Remember these: Holmes and Watson, Calvin and Hobbs, Bert and Ernie, Frodo and Sam, Scooby-Do and Shaggy, Mickey and Minnie, Pinky and the Brain, Lucy and Ethel, Pricilla and Aquila, Paul and Barnabas, and many more. All of these partners share together in a joint interest. They work together toward a common goal. Actually, partners are a great support in our lives.
We all would like to have a Dr. Watson or a Tonto to help us in our endeavors in this life. Think about the Lone Ranger. He is called Lone but he isn’t alone; he has Tonto. He doesn’t operate alone at all. He’s also not the last ranger. There were other Texas Rangers who came after him. We often feel like the last Christian, but are we? No; we have a family. We aren’t meant to be alone, but in the partnership of believers for the gospel’s sake. Paul considered the entire church at Philippi as his partners in the gospel. That’s definitely more than a two-some!
There are many benefits to the church family. The greatest ones are the unity in our pursuit and proclamation of the gospel. By pursuing the gospel, we mean to proceed in accordance with the gospel’s teachings. In other words, we are to live like followers of Christ. That is definitely a pursuit because it doesn’t come naturally to us. Then we are to, with unity, proclaim the gospel which means to make it known. We are all partners in this. As a partner for the gospel we are to support one another, encourage one another, and carry one another if necessary.
How big is our partnership? It’s big! As followers of Christ, we are partners with our local body of believers and with all other believers around the world. That’s a huge number with which to partner. We have to remember that God is a big God and he’ll give us grace in this partnership. So what can we do to remind ourselves of this big partnership? The same thing that Paul does, pray. We can take the time to pray for the believers around the city, state, country, and the world. When we pray for others, we are connected to them. There are those around the world who are suffering for the gospel and need our prayers. Others may be meeting in a small house church with the lights out and need our prayers. Life is hard in many ways for many of those who are in partnership with us and they need our prayers. What about the partners within your own church body? Are you praying for them? Regardless of where we are or what we are doing, we can pray for God to move within the church family for the furtherance of the gospel.
Are you grateful for your church family?
How often do you pray for the universal church?
When was the last time you prayed for those who are suffering around the world for the gospel?
As a follower of Christ, you are a partner in the gospel. Pursue and proclaim the gospel today, tomorrow, and until eternity. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” Revelation 7:9-10