Gratitude for Spiritual Parents, a Gospel-Posse, and Partners in the Gospel

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I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:3-6

Heavenly Father, the phrase, “partnership in the gospel,” jumps out at me in this passage this morning. Teaching at my alma mater this week, Westminster Seminary, Philly, has stirred my heart with gratitude for the spiritual parents, gospel-posse, and partners in the gospel who’ve helped me come alive to riches of the gospel and the wonders of your love. You began the work of our salvation, and you will finish it; but you’ve been pleased to use various people in our lives as a major means of grace.

What a tapestry and treasure-house of grace-friends you’ve given me. Some were well-loved and grounded in the faith as children; others grew up in gospel-less religion or stone-dead churches. Some lived a life of cavalier hedonism before coming to Jesus, others were slaves to the bankruptcy of materialism and a higher place in the org chart. Some were rescued from the unrighteousness of self-righteousness, others, from angry cynicism and agnosticism. We all equally need Jesus.

Indeed, as 2018 is just underway, all of us praise you for the gospel of your sovereign and sufficient grace. Though each of us matters, only Jesus is the point. Thank you for rescuing us from dreams that didn’t include you, religion that didn’t require Jesus, and from anything that kept us allergic to grace. Thank you for the freedom we now enjoy to both boast in Christ and in our weaknesses.

And, Father, thank you for promising to complete the good work you began in each of us. Nothing can separate us from your love, remove us from your family, or keep us from heaven. May we live the rest of our days as conduits of your mercy and grace, as instruments of your peace and love, and as heralds of your kingdom and kindness. As you’ve used many friends in our lives, so use us in the lives of others. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name.
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