Just a few days ago, we celebrated Thanksgiving and remembered the blessings God has given each of us this year. And today, organizations are hosting a “Giving Tuesday,” asking people to give money to help them accomplish their missions. On a day where so many organizations we know and love are asking us to give, we want to take a moment to thank you for your impact for the gospel.
You train men for gospel ministryThe Apostle Paul knew that giving was important for funding God’s work in local churches and missionary endeavors—so much so that his epistle to the Romans was a support letter. In it, he said, “I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you” (Rom 15:24a). But even though he exhorted believers to give in support of gospel ministry, he was also quick to thank them for their generosity and faithfulness to the Lord’s work.
That is what we want to do today. We are not unaware, friends, that you have devoted your time and resources to supporting The Master’s Seminary. You have prayed for and given to the work God is doing here, and we never want to slide into apathetic ungratefulness regarding your investment.
So we echo Paul’s thanks: here are two of the many ways that we are thankful for your ongoing support of TMS.
You are partners for the gospel
When Paul thought about the Philippians, he remembered a church that he called “partners in the gospel”:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. – Philippians 1:3-5
The word “partner” is a telling term—Paul thought of these church members as fellow workers (a phrase he actually uses in Phil 4:3). The Philippians were doing work critically important to Paul’s ministry. Part of this is that they were doing work similar to Paul’s work by preaching the gospel in their region; early in his letter, he exhorts them to continue “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Phil 1:27). But the Philippians were also the only church who had “entered into partnership” (Phil 4:15) with Paul by giving to him at the beginning of his ministry.
For Paul, partnership in finances was partnership in the gospel. He had monetary needs, and the Philippians had financial resources. Their generous giving enabled Paul to focus on preaching the gospel and shepherding churches, and in this way, they became fellow workers in his ministry.
We have a saying around TMS: “You train men for gospel ministry.” Although you are not on our campus teaching Hebrew or Greek, we mean every word. Without your giving, we would not be able to pay faculty and staff salaries, provide scholarships, or even cover our bills. You enable us to do these things—you fund the education of students at TMS. You really do train men for gospel ministry, and we are so thankful for your partnership with us in that endeavor.
You are an encouragement by your example
In 2 Corinthians 8-9, perhaps the Bible’s lengthiest discourse on the topic of giving, Paul takes a moment to reflect on how giving for the sake of the gospel produces thankfulness:
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others…
-2 Corinthians 9:11-13
We glorify God because of your submission to Him through your giving, and your generosity in your giving.
We see your cheerful giving to the pastoral training at TMS. Those of us in the fundraising office are honored to have a view into your obedience. We see those of you who have been giving every month for two decades. Your willingness to contribute to God’s work at TMS encourages us when the going gets tough. When we look at our budgets or a downturn in the market, we take heart that there are so many of you who have committed to be God’s means for funding the men who are here to train for gospel ministry.
We are also tremendously encouraged by your generosity. Whether you have modest means or more, we know that you give in abundance. We think of a lady whose husband passed away and, instead of accepting flowers, asked friends and family to give a small gift to TMS. That money went to support a student from Egypt who plans to return home and further theological education in his country. We think of another woman whose husband also passed away and left her the proceeds from patents he registered throughout his life. After prayer and consultation with her pastor, she told us she wanted to leave all that money to TMS in her will.
What other word can we have for you but “partner”? It is not just your money, but your example, that encourages us to be faithful to the work that God has entrusted to us. You are part of our TMS family. You train our students for gospel ministry.
Giving Back on Giving Tuesday
Instead of asking you to give today, we want to give back to you and show our thanks for your partnership. The Master’s Seminary, with the help of Crossway, would like to give you a free download of The Gospel According to God by our president John MacArthur.
We thank God for you because of your partnership in the gospel and the generosity of your contributions. Thank you for all you do and give. You train men for gospel ministry.