The Power of Partnership by James Ryle

 “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).

Partnership. It is often the single most determining factor in the difference between success and failure.

Jesus illustrated the power of partnership when He “called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits” (Mark.6:7). The Lord understands our need for support, and the inherent difficulties and dangers of being alone in ministry.

In the beginning God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”  It is true to this day.  In order to have any lasting effectiveness in countering the works of darkness with the power of truth and light we must not only be called by Christ, but also sent forth in partnership with others to do His will.

fiery furnaceSolomon wrote, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ec. 4:9-12).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego proved the power of partnership when they withstood the threats of Nebuchadnezzar and survived the fiery furnace of Babylon. Eleazar, the son of Dodo, proved the power of partnership when he stood with David and the two defeated an entire Philistine army.

The idea of partnership is championed throughout Scripture. Moses had Aaron, and then Joshua. Joshua had Caleb. Ruth had Naomi; Esther had Mordecai; Aquila had Pricilla; Paul had Barnabas; and James had John.

You see, it takes teamwork to make the dream work. Are you in a partnership with others? It is really the only way you can ever truly win.

CalligraphyPenThe apostle John wrote a brief and powerful letter to a friend named Gaius. Along with the affectionate greetings and basic instructions, John especially wanted to commend Gaius for his partnership with the traveling preachers who had passed his way.

“Dear friend,” he wrote, “you are doing a good work for God in taking care of the traveling teachers and missionaries who are passing through. They have told the church here of your friendship and your loving deeds. I am glad when you send them on their way with a generous gift. For they are traveling for the Lord and take neither food, clothing, shelter, nor money from those who are not Christians, even though they have preached to them. So we ourselves should take care of them in order that we may become partners with them in the Lord’s work.” (3 John 1:5-8).

Five Point Summary from John’s Short Letter:

  • It is a good work for God when individuals provide moral and financial support for traveling teachers and missionaries.
  • The reports of such support are an example to the greater Body of Christ.
  • It is a cause for gladness when they are sent on their journey with a generous gift.
  • Generous individuals enable traveling ministers to be free from money-making commerce, and to focusing their time and energies in ministry.
  • Those who give to ministry become partners in the Lord’s work, and share in the rewards.

Someone said that a burden shared is halved, and a joy shared is doubled. That’s the power of partnership. It reduces the negative, and increases the positive. Are you helping carry somebody’s load? Is somebody helping to carry yours? “Two are better than one, for they have good reward for their labor.”

Partnership. It is often the single most determining factor in the difference between success and failure.

The apostle Paul’s happiest memories were of the Philippians, and his most joyful letter was written to them. They, more than any other Church, continually displayed the self-sacrificial generosity of Christ by freely partnering with Paul in his ministry.

“When I pray for you,” Paul wrote, “my heart is full of joy because of all your wonderful help in making known the Good News about Christ.” (Phil.1:3-4, NLT). He continues by saying, “As you well know, when I first brought the Gospel to you and then went on my way, leaving Macedonia, only you Philippians became my partners in giving and receiving. No other church did this.” (ch.4:15)joy of friendship

And then Paul concludes, “I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. What I want is for you to receive a well-earned reward because of your kindness and generosity.” (ch.4:17). One translation puts it, “it is not that I want to receive gifts from you, but I want you to have the good that comes from giving.”

The old King James call it “the fruit that abounds to your account” on the day the Lord returns!

May God give you the wonderful experience of being part of a team; using your unique talents and abilities in concert with others so that together you can accomplish what neither of you could do by yourselves alone. It does take teamwork to make the dream work; and the Lord is looking for team players these days!

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