Thanking God for Faithful Fellow Followers

Philippians 2:19-24

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.

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Pastor Joseph Ombasa, and his wife Hylene, with Diane and Caroline Ong’ondo (whose husband served as a translator for Diane) in Kenya

I am privileged to work with an incredible ministry staff team at St. John Lutheran Church. We are blessed with a dedicated ministry support team working together for the mission of God at St. John. For these ministry partners I am deeply thankful. I am deeply thankful for Diane my wife and ministry partner as well. She is a great blessing to me and to many!

I understand how Paul felt about Timothy. He also expressed the same appreciation for Epaphroditus in the next verses. He calls him his brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier. Timothy is one unlike all the others – genuinely concerned for others’ welfare.

There is great blessing as well as great wisdom in working in partnership with others in the cause of the rule and reign of Christ. One can encourage the other. A colleague can help his partner in ministry test his thoughts, plans, conclusions, and aspirations. A ministry partner can pick up the pieces that inevitably fall to the ground, and stand in the gap for his coworker. As Solomon says, “A chord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Too often we attempt to go it alone in our Christian walk. Our witness is easily derailed, our ability to stand up against temptation is eroded, and our resolve to honor Christ is undercut. But thank God for those brothers and sisters in Christ who walk alongside of us and offer us the encouragement and support we need to stay true to God.

Do you have someone who stands beside you in your walk with Christ? Is it time to express your thanks to God for that person? Should you let others know of this person’s partnership? Might you say thank you to him or her? An email or a phone call if not a hug or handshake might well be in order.

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