“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. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.”
Last week I attended the Georgia Baptist Annual Meeting down in Jonesboro. I was going to pop in for a couple of hours to maybe see some friends and visit some booths that might help me in the next steps of my transition. I don’t think I got 5 or 6 steps into the building before I heard my name called out. I turned and saw about a dozen friends from a former church I had worked at. They were part of the 90+ person choir that would be leading the conference in worship later that evening. I took a few minutes hugging and catching up with them before I moved on. I got about 5 or 6 more steps into the building and saw some minister friends from Rome. We chatted for a bit and I looked over and saw a booth of a discipleship organization that I had been a part of. I went over and introduced myself and talked about our mutual connections. While I was there I bumped into 2 of the pastors at my former church and talked with them. Determined to at least make it across the foyer I excused myself and saw a couple of friends from my youth ministry days. We had been area coaches for the student ministry network for the GBC. They had both transitioned to pastoral roles so I asked them to give me a little advice. We talked for quite a bit and I was blessed by their counsel and encouragement. Without going into too much detail (probably too late for that!) I never made it fully across the building. In my time there I saw friends from my seminary days, other folks that I had worked with at the state and local levels, friends I had made on mission trips, and even made some new friends from various ministries and churches around the state.
On my drive back home, I was overflowing with joy at the reminder of the many brothers and sisters I have the privilege to partner with in ministry. I was reminded that I wasn’t alone. I was part of a larger family – all involved in the gospel work. We are there for each other in the good and the difficult. Those that I had seen that night, and so many more, I hold in my heart, for we are all partakers of God’s wonderful grace, the grace that calls us, transforms us, unites us, and sustains us as we go about His work wherever we are.
- List some people, current and from your past, that you have ministered together with.
- Take some time to remember them with joy, and pray for them where ever they are.
- Choose someone from that list and reach out to them, letting them know what they mean to you.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?