Friends of Faith Ministries International Missions Partners
are truly vital to the Kingdom of God! As a partner with FOFMI Missions you are indeed a
Partner in the Gospel!
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.” Phil. 1:3-5
In contrast to many of the other churches the apostle had planted, the Philippian congregation gave Paul an almost unmixed joy. This joy was infused into his prayers as he contemplated their“participation in the gospel.” To what was Paul referring?
The term rendered “partnership” is more commonly translated“fellowship.” In modern use “fellowship” has become debased, meaning something close to “warm friendship”. But in the first century it had commercial overtones. The word was used to describe business partnerships and mutual commitments such as marriage vows.
The authors of the New Testament utilized this term to depict the mutual partnership of shared Christian commitments. Biblical scholar, D. A. Carson, states, “The heart of true fellowship is self-sacrificing conformity to a shared vision… Christian fellowship, then, is self-sacrificing conformity to the gospel. There may be overtones of warmth and intimacy, but the heart of the matter is this shared vision of what is of transcendent importance, a vision that calls forth our commitment.”
Hence, Paul experienced joy because the Philippian church shared sacrificially in the advance of the gospel. While he as with them several had “shared in his struggle in the cause of the gospel” (4:3). After his departure they prayed for him consistently (1:19); maintained contact with him through messengers (2:25-30); and sent financial support for the ministry (4:16). In short, fellowship was more than a feeling—they rolled up their sleeves and became personally involved in the advance of the gospel.
Fellowship in the gospel takes place within local congregations, but also between them. Paul, for example, collected funds from several churches to alleviate the poverty of the Jerusalem church. The advance of the gospel in our time and context is the shared vision that transcends local congregations and denominational affiliations.
- Pray on a daily basis that God's blessing be upon you.
- Provide spiritual and life enrichment resources for you online.
- Bless you with a free gift from time to time (such as music or message downloads or other gifts)
- Provide partner conferences, meetings and events online and offline
- Serve Christ through serving mankind.
- Provide you with a tuition paid course through Interfaith University Bible Training School (Optional)
- Pray for us always.
- Support our outreach efforts especiallly in your area
- Prayerfully sow financially into our outreach efforts.
- Always uplift us with the words that you speak.
In several passages in the Bible, the Lord has made precious promises to those of us who are godly givers—those who obey His commandments, bring their tithes and offerings into the storehouse, and give in other ways as directed by God. Let's look at three of these promises:
God's Blessings Will Come On Us And Overtake Us
"And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God" (Deut. 28:1-2).
God Will Rebuke the Devourer For Our Sakes
"And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal. 3:11).
According to the New Testament, you and we have the power and authority to cast out demons (Mark 16:17). We have discovered that this is an effective and powerful way to keep Satan and his demons from taking from us the health, wealth, and blessings. Christ died to provide for us our rightful inheritance as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. We also know that Jesus has delegated to us the power and authority to bind and loose on earth (Mark 16:19). This is also a tremendous blessing and privilege.
But as marvelous as those blessings are, here in this Old Testament passage God assures us that if we are faithful in our tithes and offerings, He Himself will rebuke the devourer (Satan) for us, for our sakes.
God Will Increase Our Storehouse of Seed
"For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on, good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest" (2 Cor. 9:10).
Here Paul assures us that if we follow a consistent lifestyle of giving, the Lord will see to it that our storehouse of seed is continually replenished. Why? So we will have more and more seed to invest, to produce more and more fruit. Not so we can live in luxury and ease while the rest of the world goes hungry, but so we will have more and more fruit to give away, to meet the needs of others. That's the Christian lifestyle: giving and receiving, being blessed to be a blessing, prospering for the sake of all those in need.
Increasing the Fruits of Righteousness
Previously, we have discussed a promise of the Lord to those believers who give: our giving results in an increase in the fruits of our righteousness according to 1 Corinthians 9:10. In Isaiah 32:17 and 28 we see at least four "fruits of righteousness."
And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness, and assurance forever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Let's look at this important passage in the New International Version: "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest."
As we become faithful and consistent godly givers, our lifestyle of giving actually begins to create an atmosphere of peace in us and around us. This is particularly true, and especially important, during times of adversity, when the economy is bad, when things are falling apart. When "all hell breaks loose," people will naturally be drawn to those who manifest the "peace of God." This peace will come upon us and overtake us because we are linked to the God of all peace and are living in harmony with Him.
When he (the Lord) giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?(Job 34:29). According to Isaiah 32:17-18, one "effect" of the work of righteousness is quietness of spirit.
If there has ever been a time in the history of the Church when people everywhere have needed and hungered for quietness of spirit, it is now. With all the turmoil, harassment and adversity that the Body of Christ has recently experienced, what a wonderful blessing it would be to possess quietness of spirit.
With this God-given sense of quietness, we can lay down at night knowing that all of our needs are being provided for us. We can be at ease in our minds and hearts. Not just occasionally. Not just when things are going well, when the economy is on the upswing, when the stock market is rising, but at all times, regardless of our outward circumstances.
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (1 John 5:14-15).
Although we have needs, just as everyone else does, we also have something that not everyone else possesses - a sense of confidence. Confidence in the Lord, and confidence in my own well-being. Despite our problems, we are still absolutely convinced that God will meet our needs in accordance with His riches in glory through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Many times we meet other people who are experiencing need, and we sympathize with them because we know what it is to be in that situation. Often we will give to them because we know their need is great and the pressure is getting to them. We also know that by giving to them, we are tak-ing action toward fulfilling my own lack. We have a deep-seated confidence in my giving, because we are persuaded that the Lord will return our gift to us somehow, some way, because He is faithful. So by giving we are actually helping to meet both of our needs, the other person's and our own.
"Whereof he hath given assurance unto all men" (Acts 17:31).
We don't know how many times we have had a great need, and then received from the Lord the very amount necessary to meet that obligation. Almost invariably, before we could use that money to settle our debt, we would come into contact with someone else whose financial need was even more pressing than ours - with one difference. We would realize that we knew something the other person didn't know. We knew how to believe and receive from the Lord; he or she didn't.
Many are the times we have given away to someone else what we ourselves desperately needed. How could we do that? How could we put the needs of others ahead of our own? We could do that only because we had a God-given assurance that by meeting the needs of others, we were guaranteeing that our own needs would be met by the Lord. Carolyn and we know that God will meet our needs. We are fully persuaded. He has done it for us so many times before, how could we ever doubt Him?