02
Mar
16

Partners In The Gospel

I love the book of Philippians.  It was a letter written by Paul to the church at Philippi.  It was a major city in what is now northeast Greece.    It was a city founded about 400 years before this letter by the father of Alexander the Great, Philip II.  In Acts 16, Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke (the author of Acts) traveled to Philippi in order to establish the Christian church there.  On the Sabbath, they went to the river where Jews would gather to pray.  It was there that they met Lydia and she and her household became the first converts to Christianity, not only in Philippi, but in Europe.
It is clear from Philippians that Paul had a great deal of affection for the Philippian Christians.  Look at what he says to them at the beginning of this letter:

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 from the first day until now… – Philippians 1:3-5 (NIV)

He loved the Philippians and was grateful for their “partnership in the gospel.”  We see later on that the Philippian Christians were generous toward Paul and his ministry.  They had a real heart for people who did not know Jesus throughout Macedonia.  So they supported Paul’s ministry of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.
We need to have a heart like the Philippians.  We need to understand that the most important thing we do as Christians is to share God’s love with those who do not know Christ.  We do this through the ministry of outreach from our local churches.  We do this by supporting missionaries across the world.  Matthew 28:19-20a (NIV) says:

…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

We who are followers (disciples) of Jesus are to be making others what we are: disciples.  We do this in a variety of ways.
  • Invitation of co-workers, family members or neighbors to come to  church events or worship services (most people will say yes, but just haven’t been asked)
  • Praying for opportunities to share the Gospel
  • Giving to missionaries
  • Volunteering your time in your church’s children’s ministry so that little kids can hear about Jesus and their parents can, too
  • Tithing to your local church to keep the lights on, the building warm and to pay the staff
  • Sharing your testimony with someone who doesn’t know Jesus
  • Leading a small group Bible study to teach others about Christ – both Christians and those who don’t believe yet

What steps will you take to become a disciple-maker?  How will you partner with God to share the Good News of Jesus?  How will you be God’s partner in the Gospel?  The world needs to know Jesus.  We know Jesus.  We need to make sure that they meet.

PRAYER: Father, I want a heart of evangelism that beats for lost people.  I want opportunities to share the good news of Jesus.  Thank You for the people in my life who brought me to faith in Jesus.  Bless them today in Jesus’ name, amen.
Philippians 1:1-11 (NIV)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

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 from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

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