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If we are able to worship with a congregation that supports one or more men to work within the congregation as evangelists, we are participating in an arrangement that can do great good. Obviously, we need to be grateful for the relationship we can have with gospel preachers in the congregation of which we are members. It's also important, however, for us to remember that it is a blessing to have fellowship with gospel preachers in other places. Whenever we have the opportunity to help with the support of faithful men laboring in other fields, we should look upon that opportunity as an extension of the work we are doing at home. We should be grateful for the additional privilege.
To the Philippians, Paul wrote, "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 was more specific about this when he said, "And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only" (Phil. 4:15).
It is sad that some Christians seem to have little interest in the Lord's work and His people in places other than where they are. Such individuals appear to think that there's no need to concern ourselves about anything except what is happening right around us. Yet, as the song says, the gospel is for all: "Say not the heathen are at home, beyond we have no call; for why should we be blest alone? The gospel is for all" (J. M. McCaleb). We miss out on great joys and blessings when we fail to take an active interest in the Lord's work worldwide.
The world is "opening up" in ways that we could not have predicted a few years ago. It is now possible for faithful saints to carry the gospel into places that were almost unthinkable before. These developments have broadened the horizons of the saints of the Lord in the United States. In most congregations, there is now a keener interest in the work of the gospel around the world. This is a wonderful development. Let's think this week about the need to carry the gospel everywhere -- and let's be thankful for the part we can play in that great enterprise.
Monday: 1 Corinthians 9:3-14
Key Idea: It is right for gospel preachers to receive wages for their work.
Questions for Family Growth: What basic principle is pointed to in v.9? What did Paul say in v.11 concerning spiritual things and material things? What privilege is granted to gospel preachers in v.14? What point is made in Gal. 6:6?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:24-26.
Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 11:7-9
Key Idea: It is right for gospel preachers to be supported by brethren in other places.
Questions for Family Growth: In v.7, what did Paul mean when he said he preached to those in Corinth "free of charge"? What is meant by the word "wages" (v.8 KJV)? According to v.9, who had helped Paul while he was in Corinth?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:27.
Wednesday: Philippians 4:10-20
Key Idea: It is well pleasing to God when we help support gospel preachers.
Questions for Family Growth: In vv.14-16, what did Paul say the brethren in Philippi had done to help him? According to v.18, what does God think about that kind of generosity? What is "the fruit that increases to your credit" in v.17?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:28.
Thursday: Philippians 1:3-7
Key Idea: Gospel preachers are thankful for brethren who have fellowship with them.
Questions for Family Growth: Why was Paul particularly thankful for the brethren in Philippi? What does the expression "partnership in the gospel" (v.5) mean? Consider also 4:15. What do you think Paul's feelings were for the Philippians?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:29.
Friday: Acts 13:1-3; 14:24-28
Key Idea: We should be eager to hear about the work of the gospel in other places.
Questions for Family Growth: From what congregation did Paul and Barnabas leave on their first preaching trip? To what congregation did they return? What did they do immediately after they got back from their work?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 11:30.