Thursday, June 2, 2022

Partnership in the Gospel

 I'm getting close to finishing the seminary degree I've been working on the past few years, and to that end, I've been taking THREE CLASSES this quarter. What was I thinking? Who knows!?

I've actually really enjoyed getting to FOCUS a lot of my time on learning and growing as the students have dispersed for the summer. One of the books I've read is a commentary on Philippians, and the description of Paul's relationship with that church made me think of those who have partnered with me to bring the good news to college students--namely you!

Reflecting on Philippians 4:10-20, Cohick writes, "On a personal level, some people struggle to accept any gift, because they feel it will tie them to the giver. We have all received gifts 'with strings attached' [that place] the recipient in the difficult position of pleasing the giver rather than God... In this passage Paul declares that they alone, the Philippian church, have supported his ministry from the beginning. Yet the church gives no evidence of directing or manipulating Paul's ministry, teaching, or actions. They do not think of him as responsible to meet certain criteria or goals as contingencies for their gifts. Their relationship is such that Paul can level direct warnings and critiques at their disunity without seeming to fear financial reprisal. Probably part of this godly reciprocity rested in their shared conviction that their gift to Paul was really their gift to God, to the gospel, in obedience to Christ."

I got to the end of that and just sat back thinking, "I've gotten to experience that. What an incredible and rare blessing." Some of you have joined with me in this ministry for many years; others have joined more recently; all have shown this same attitude.

Thank you for living out this little piece of the gospel. Just as the Philippians' partnership was bearing good fruit in cities far away (even in Caesar's own household! Phil 4:22), your gifts and prayers are changing the life trajectories of young men and women on these campuses, and especially at UTD. You don't get to see all the fruit you bear but the Lord sees it all. I pray all of our generosity would continue to build and overflow into all the little nooks and crannies of our world until God's kingdom is everywhere and every tongue joyfully acknowledges that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father! (Phil 2:11)

Student Testimony

Pictures from May

My UTD Men Staff Team for the past year at our End of Year Party

I got to baptize Harrison and Nhala in Mandy's pool. They are both such sweet friends!

We went to SICM again! I got to hang out in Seattle with some UTD and Richland guys.

Sarah and I got a rare moment together at SICM. Even though we are both there, we're very focused on our students, but we happened to be on this ferry at the same time. Doesn't the background look fake!?

Rikk Watts and his wife Katie drove down from Canada one day to have lunch with me and some of my campus directors. Geoff Mumley from CCF joined us!

This was the crew of UTD guys I stayed in a house with all week at SICM. We plan to ask all of them to lead cores this next year!

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