SUMMER CONNECTIONS: Partners

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:1 2 (NLT)

Yee-haw! Yahoo! Howdy partner! Ahh, the language of Stampede. It can seem like a foreign dialect, but the occasional word actually belongs in cowboy lore. For example, “partner” is a frequent term used by riders when referring to their horse.

Developing such a partnership between a horse and rider involves many hours in the saddle. And it is by no means one-sided! The rider must earn their mount’s respect—-commands must be consistent and given to the horse kindly but firmly. A well-trained horse will respond gently and honestly. Essential to this partnership is trust—-the horse knows its rider will not ask more than it is able to do and the rider is confident that the horse will do as requested. As a rider, I am thrilled when I am partnering with my horse.

Yet, “partner” is more than a cowboy term—it is a Biblical concept. The Apostle Paul begins 2 Corinthians 6 by identifying himself as God’s partner. Reading verses 3-13 provides insight into what this partnership involved. For Paul, it required consistent, faultless ministry. It meant enduring troubles, hardships and calamities. He proved his partnership when God’s power was seen working though him patiently, kindly and lovingly. He lived and spoke honestly. He opened his heart to others regardless of their response to him. It seems to me these verses provide evidence that Paul had a confident, trust-filled partnership with God.

But a partnership involves more than one. What is God’s part? 1 Corinthians 1:9 says: God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. However, 2 Cor. 6:1-2 clinches it! God’s part is our salvation, a message extended to us with great kindness. Consequently, we are invited into a partnership with our Lord and God. This is an invitation we should not reject. God does more than invite though, for once accepted, God, as he did with Paul, through the Holy Spirit empowers the partnership. How amazing, that we who belong to God can partner with him.

Prayer: Lord God, how awesome it is to be invited by you to be your partner. May I respond as Paul did to your invitation. Help me to embrace all that this partnership involves so that others will be drawn to you. Amen.

TO DO: Search the word “partner” in your concordance. Discover the many ways we can partner with God.

Recommended Reading: Dianna Booher. Your Signature Life: Pursuing God’s Best Every Day. Wheaton: Tyndale. 2003. Available at the public library.

Contributed by Daryl Ginter

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