Dear Members and Friends of IBCZ,
I want to take advantage of this opportunity in this, my first blog posting, to let you know how thrilled Daniela and I are to be here. Ever since our visit with you in April, we have been eagerly looking forward to joining you in the ministry of our Lord through IBCZ. We have no doubt that we are because of God’s gracious leading. And now we are looking forward to getting to know all of you. That will take a while, but our desire is to develop meaningful relationships with all of you.
In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Christians in Philippi, he wrote, “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” (Phil. 1:4-5). As Paul prayed for his Christian brothers and sisters in Philippi, he did so with joy because he saw them as partners in the gospel. In fact, they were partners in the gospel “from the first day.” In other words, from the time they first heard and responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ, they lived out their faith – sharing the gospel with others, ministering to those in need, encouraging one another, using the gifts God had given them to build up the church, living as witnesses for Jesus Christ.
This was true not simply for the leaders of the church at Philippi, but for all the believers there, for Paul addressed this letter not only to the “overseers and deacons,” but “to all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus in Philippi” (Phil. 1:1). All God’s people in Philippi were partners in the gospel, making their own unique contribution to the Lord’s work. They did so because they had personally experienced the amazing grace and love of our Lord, and having experienced that, they longed to share that grace and love with others.
As together we begin a new chapter at IBCZ, let us commit ourselves to following the example of the Philippian Christians by being partners in the gospel of our Lord. What a privilege we have – to be partners in the gospel of Jesus Christ! Of course, I know that so many of you are embracing and living out this calling already, and I am grateful for you. So, in response to His grace, may this be a time when we recommit ourselves to our Lord and to the work He invites us to undertake – for the cause of the gospel, for the sake of others, and for the glory of the Lord.
Your fellow partner in the gospel,