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The Lone Ranger and Tonto – Partners

Partner – a person who takes on an undertaking with another person with shared risks and profits. In Acts 13 in the city of Antioch in verse 1 it says that a group of prophets, including Barnabas, were there and while they were ministering the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  Then they laid hands on them after fasting and praying and they sent them away.  Partners in the faith and in the work of the Lord.  Paul and Barnabas equally called, equally equipped in their own way to take the message of Christ to a lost and dying world.  As we read more in the book of Acts, we see God using Paul and Barnabas in a powerful way for His glory.  He called them….Partners.  In the Christian life we sometimes develop a called relationship with another person and that relationship is something God uses for His glory by combining the gifts of two or more people to do more than one person could do.  In the marriage relationship, when the two become one, there is a partnership of lives and hearts that God can use in an awesome way.  Husband and wife, and partners in the faith.  That is the kind of relationship God allowed when my wife and I committed our lives to each other.  Through the years that partnership has seen great successes and yes, even some defeats, but the strength of the relationship is strong at the core and is vital to both of our lives and the development of our faith in God.  My wife keeps me on track, especially on my blind sides.  Those areas I don’t see that could hurt my faith and ministry.  She looks out  for my well-being as a partner in my walk with Jesus.  I do the same for her as her husband, and the head of my household, and protect the relationship that I have with her.  We are husband and wife in life, but  partners in ministry. I can’t make it without her and she can’t make it without me.  We are both called!!  In ministry there are those people that God joins us with to bring out the best in us as we bring out the best in them and God uses those “partners” in a mightier way than He could as individuals.  Both called, both important.  The partnership that is formed by God is an amazing thing, and to realize  what it is, and how important it is will cause us to nurture it as we step forward in our walk with God.  Paul and Barnabas were at their strongest when they were both doing what God had gifted them to do.  Those gifts were at a heightened state as they complimented in each other.  That is a good example for Christians when serving in a local church.  We must be partners in our efforts to serve God and that partnership, called being likeminded, causes the gospel to flourish and come alive in our fellowship.   Paul and Barnabas came into cities and immediately saw fantastic results in the midst of much persecution and hatred toward them as followers of The Way.  They relied on each other to get the work done and their partnership made both of them more effective in the ministry.  Their heart for serving together was interrupted by a disagreement over the consideration of someone else who was not a part of that partnership and they parted ways.  Which shows, even in the best of partnerships, we must guard that partnership and protect the importance of it by being open to the other person’s needs and opinions.

The Lone Ranger was awesome, but he needed Tonto.  Tonto was a great indian scout, but he needed the Lone Ranger.  Each had their own strengths, but together they had super strength.  Never underestimate the importance of our working together!  That’s why in Paul’s letter to the church at Phillipi in chapter 2 verse 2 Paul wrote “complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking of one thing.” PARTNERS

Proverbs 27:17 SAYS, Iron is sharpened  by iron; one person sharpens another.  If you are  a pretty sharp person in your own thinking, think how sharp you would be if you partnered with another Spirit-filled person to serve God.  The results would be incredible and the effect would be tremendous.  Of course, satan does not want this partnership to happen, so he sows dissension, mistrust, jealousy, and hatred wherever he can to insure this partnership never happens. That is why each of us need to partner together to pool our gifts and resources for serving the Lord.  A church full of these partnerships is a church that is “on the move.”  As the famous worldly philosopher, Larry the Cable Guy says, “Get er done!”  Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”  No matter what your attitude is today it can be changed and as Paul said in Romans 12:21 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  The god of this world wants “every man for himself” but our God wants PARTNERS!  Join hands with another believer and see what God will do with a true partnership.   You will be pleasantly surprised…

The Pilgrimage continues….

David Warren

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