Summary: Missions, Togetherness, The Gospel
A PARTNERSHIP WITH PURPOSE - Partners in the Gospel
Philippians 1:1-8 (p. 818) October 16, 2016
During the summer of 1904 an unlikely partnership was formed at the World’s Fair St. Louis. The summer was unusually hot and people were searching the fair for something to help cool them off and Arnold Fornachou had just what they were looking for, ice cream. People lined up for what seemed like miles to get some of his cool and satisfying ice cream but there was one problem. Arnold was not prepared for the demand and ran out of paper bowls and was forced to wash a few porcelain bowls over and over again. The result was too few bowls and people were getting tired of waiting.
Next to Arnold’s ice cream booth was the booth of a pastry chef named, Ernest Hamwi and he was making a Persian wafer desert called zalabia. Ernest also had a problem, his pastry was not selling. He noticed the problem Arnold was having and took some warm zalabia and rolled it into a cone shape. He then went over and showed Arnold how the zalabia could hold a scoop of the ice cream. On that hot day during the World’s Fair, the ice cream cone was born because a partnership was formed.
SHOW PIC OF RICK AND KARI & ICE CREAM
Kari and I are very grateful to Arnold and Ernest! Their partnership brought us joy last week…
What amazes me about God’s plan for the salvation of mankind is that He wants to partner with us. He’s provided sweet forgiveness and eternal hope but He puts it in a cone like me…and you.
Have you ever seen that last cone in the box? The top is broken and the bottom has been mashed out of it…That’s me! Most would just throw that cone away, but not God. He fills it with good news…and it’s the answer for something a lot hotter than an unusual summer day.
No wonder the Apostle Paul used a pretty similar illustration when he said
2 CORINTHIANS 4:5-7 (p. 804)
No one buys the ice cream cone for the cone (or at least not many of us). No one finds a treasure and says “Man, what an amazing box,” and throws the gold away.
Doesn’t it just amaze you that God would choose to put his priceless treasure…the gospel in clay jars like me and you? It’s a partnership that only happens because of his grace and His mercy.
It’s this partnership the Apostle Paul found joy in…as he remembered sharing this ministry with Timothy, and the leadership and all God’s Holy people in Philippi.
As we journey through this series called “A Partnership with Purpose” let me begin with this truth…having a partnership with God in sharing the gospel is always about:
I. BUILDING MEMORIES IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE
Think about your favorite memories for just a minute…and I’ll bet they don’t focus as much on where you were and what you were doing…but who you were with…If you’ve ever been on a mission trip you don’t smile because you remember the drywall you ripped out…you remember the old couple or the kids…and you remember the team of people you sweated with…laughed with…cried with…There is true joy when you bring good news to people…with God’s people.
[As I write this I’m getting ready to head to Eastern Kentucky with a team of Gardenside folks…men and women I love and I’m excited to be with…on the piece of paper we’ve given to everyone it says Projects: (construct a porch roof for an elderly gentleman…and I know constructing that roof is important…but I also know “the elderly gentleman” is more important…and when we return…we’ll remember who we served much more than how we served…if we do it right!]
It’s the memories of those relationships with people that are more important to build than porches or buildings…but real love is always preached most effectively with a hammer in your hand…John writes in his first letter these words:
1 JOHN 3:16-18 (p. 856)
Saying I love you is easy…saying it and backing it up with your actions makes it true…it’s how we know what love is…God said it…and then He became flesh and backed it up by walking towards a cross. How can God’s love really be in any of us if we see someone in need and don’t have compassion to help? This is the difference between belief and faith…it’s the difference between attending church and being a disciple of Christ.
It’s why committing ourselves at Gardenside to becoming “A family committed to loving Jesus and others so our neighbors, community and world can experience “GOOD NEWS,” must be more than words on a banner…This must become what the Spirit of Christ compels us to do in action and in truth.