World mission is the task of all Christians. There is no opting out. God calls some to spend their lives abroad. Some are called to support the front-line workers by their giving. God calls us all to pray. Whatever our role, spreading the good news of Christ is our mission.
The apostle Paul had a strong sense of partnership with the people in the churches. Take his letter to the Philippians, for example. He speaks of their ‘partnership in the gospel’ (Philippians 1:5). And in the fourth chapter he calls the gift they had sent their ‘sharing with me’. In Paul’s mind, we’re all in it together. So giving is sharing in the task God has given us. Our gifts fulfil our gospel vision by enabling someone else to go, or a project to be completed.
Elsewhere Paul inspires us with the impulse of gratitude. He reflects on Christ ‘who loved me and gave himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20). And he calls believers no longer to ‘live for themselves but for him who died for them’.
He points us to the example of Jesus Christ who ‘though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2 Corinthians 8:9).
So why give?
• • gratitude
• • • • example