Partners in the Gospel
As we launch a new theme for the year, “Partners in the Gospel,” one character particularly comes to mind that illustrates the idea of partnership: the jailor at Philippi (Acts 16). His life was radically transformed from foe to friend through divine intervention. This came to him by way of a big earthquake and the sudden realization of his own lostness: “what must I do to be saved?” he cries out in anguish. To this Paul responds: “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Acts 16 tells us the authorities had beaten Paul and Silas to a pulp on false charges. But the transforming power of Christ in the jailor’s life caused him to host his prisoners and take care of them, as he “rejoiced” in his salvation, “he washed their wounds.” This example is a textbook definition of partnership in the Gospel. We are being transformed by our belief in Jesus and those who were enemies become friends, even to a place of washing their wounds. Christ’s own sacrificial love has transformed us.
Reflection for the week:
How do you define a good partnership with someone? Too often we reduce our relationships to mere transactional moments (texts, emails, perhaps a phone call). God calls us to true partnership in the Gospel. There was a mind-shift in the jailor’s behavior. Where are you in this journey from transactional to relational partnerships? Who is it that you should reach out in a genuine, self-sacrificial way? Remember that the quality of your relationships is based on how God draws us into a deeper partnership with Him. Acts 16 tells us of another person at Philippi, Lydia, a woman of great means, whom “the Lord had “opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14). This week, allow the Lord to draw you closer to Him, into this everlasting partnership in Christ, His good work from beginning to end: “he who began a good work in you will bring to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ.”