Partnership in the GospelMarch 14, 2017 Pastor's Pen
Partnering Together for the Advancement of the Gospel
In 1 Corinthians 9:23, in the context of speaking about Christian liberty, the Apostle Paul writes, “I do all things for the sake of the Gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.”
In this beautiful statement, there is both a personal and collective application. On the “personal” side, we see that Paul’s highest priority is the great enterprise of the Gospel. He wants to see the cause of Christ advanced on this earth. But this is not just an individual effort, it is also collective. Paul is a “fellow partaker” of the Gospel. This is true of all true followers of Christ. We are all in partnership with one another for the “progress of the Gospel.” Do you view yourself in this role as a believer? Is your highest priority, in whatever context God has placed you, to see Christ magnified in the lives of people? Do you strive with all of your being to “partner” with other believers for the advancement of the Name of Christ?
This past Shepherd’s Conference, by the grace of God, I spoke to many men who were a huge encouragement to my heart. Why? Because by and large their attitude is that they are just a “small part” of what God is doing to advance His Gospel through their respective ministries. Some of them are going through excruciating life and ministry trials. Yet, amidst all of their sufferings and afflictions, they are committed to seeing Christ formed in themselves, as well as in those to whom they minister.
Every year, when the Lord grants me the privilege of attending the Shepherd’s Conference, I am confronted with the great reality that I am, indeed, very small. I am one man, ministering in one congregation here in Burbank. And yet, God is using our local church, in partnership with brothers and sisters in Christ, all over the globe for the “greater progress of the Gospel” of His Son.
May this greater purpose be our greatest passion and joy. We have a mission to fulfill as we anticipate our King’s return. May God allow us to be faithful to it, beloved. I cannot wait for next year’s Shepherd’s Conference, where once again I will be reminded of the reality that we are part of something so much bigger and glorious, and that it is a privilege to serve Christ on this earth.