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 ESV)
As Paul writes the letter of Philippians to the church in Philipi, he is writing to a group of people that he cares greatly about. Most of what these people know about the gospel and following Jesus is a direct result of Paul’s ministry in their city. Now, the Philippians are propelling Paul forward in his faith and ministry through their “partnership in the gospel.” This probably included encouragement, prayer, financial support for Paul, and most certainly a faithfulness in sharing the good news of Jesus with others. As Paul prays, his heart is moved by intense joy over what God is doing through his friends in Philipi and the impact they are having in his life and ministry.
At the end of this letter, in Philippians 4:14-16, Paul writes the following:
“Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.”
Even when everyone else bailed on Paul, these faithful friends stood by him; they shared in his trouble and supported him. They were true partners in the gospel. Take a moment to consider the following: Who are are some of the people that have shown a great deal of faithfulness to you when it counted most? Who are some of the specific people whom God has used to propel you forward in your faith?
During this season of Thanksgiving take some time to remember the faithful friends whom God has placed in your life. If you have not spoken to them in a while, consider calling, emailing, or writing a letter to let them know you are thankful for their “partnership in the gospel.”