Paul’s letter to the Philippians is prompted by the fact that he has received some form of aid from the church (Phil 4:10-18) and wants to thank them. “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”(Phil 1:3-5). He is grateful and joyful in prayer about the Philippians because “from the first day” they have been partners with him in the gospel. They have repeatedly attempted to share their money with him in hopes of having a part in the work he is doing for Jesus.
“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”(Phil 1:7). Paul’s passionate appreciation for them—and assurance about the Lord’s work in them (Phil 1:6)—are justified because they are “all partakers with (him) of grace.” Paul and the Philippians have shared in receiving God’s grace and now have shared in his imprisonment and in his bold preaching of the gospel. They are on the same team.
The biblical concept of partnership (or partaking or fellowship) involves sharing mutual experiences (like salvation) and extends out to sharing our money, time, and wisdom. It is more than saying we are on the same team; it is saying that I have a hand in your work and you have a hand in mine.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Who are the people with whom I partner in the gospel?
One Thing to Pray For: Gratitude for those who do the Lord’s work in difficult places