2013 Sermon Series
- December 15, 2013
With loving devotion to each other, we remain a divine family with eternal purpose.
Becoming reliant on autopilot is as dangerous for Christians as it is for pilots. We must never become busy at the risk of endangering souls around us.
At the end of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul presents his friend Tychicus as a model for the whole book of Ephesians. He was not a superhero, just an ordinary man who made a profound impact through simple service. This is the message for us to take to heart: Nothing done in the local church is insignificant. Even simple tasks are necessary and count for eternity.
Tychicus Exuded Spiritual Endearment (verse 21)
Tychicus was dear to Paul, who called him “the beloved brother.” He was welcomed at local churches as he carried letters from the apostle. He also helped carry the gift for the Jerusalem church. These everyday tasks are not glamorous, but they are essential for ministry. An active and willing servant will always be dear to the church.
Tychicus Expounded on Ministry Matters (verse 21)
Part of Tychicus’ service was bringing news between Paul and the churches. He was well-informed because he cared about his brothers and sisters. Transparency comes naturally when people are involved in ministry together. Ministry is reciprocal, and you learn more about those you serve with.
Ministering together maintains the unity that Paul emphasized in Ephesians 4:1-3. It also tempers the sobering reality of dark forces just discussed. We don’t allow ourselves to be distracted, but serve together towards one goal.
Tychicus Expressed Care
Tychicus delivered solace to the Ephesians on Paul’s behalf. Sometimes serving souls hurt and need encouragement. God’s servants carry His own care to each other. Like Tychicus, true servants desire no reciprocation. Whenever an individual focuses on their own goals, the whole body suffers; but when souls comfort one another, the body moves forward to an eternal goal.
Caring service in the church is essential because what she does is for an eternal end. The church was and is focused on one goal: spreading the Gospel. The Ephesian church was blended, since Paul uses both Hebrew and Greek goodbyes, but they are all known together as Christians. The church was objective in its love. They chose to love each other because they loved Jesus Christ. Their service was not based on any conditions. This flowed out of their reverence for Jesus Christ as their Lord. The church serves Jesus as Lord, embraces Him as Savior, and awaits His return as the Messiah.
- What is the first thing people think about you? Does spiritual endearment follow you everywhere because you are known as a servant? What can you do to think of others and serve them more?
- How well do you know what’s going on in your local church? Do you care about what’s going on here? Investment in the Body is one of the virtues Tychicus models for us. After all, what are we here for? God is too powerful, and His grace is too wonderful, for you to be known for anything but virtue.
- How do you express care to your spiritual brothers and sisters? Do you know someone who is hurting? How can you reach out, not expecting anything in return?
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore:
- Acts 20:4, 2 Corinthians 8:16-24, Colossians 4:7-9 – Tychicus’ service to Paul and the churches.
- Acts 20:17-38, 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, Psalm 42-43, 1 Kings 19 – Serving souls hurt sometimes.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11 – Christians choose to love each other.
Quotes to Ponder:
[Tychicus’] sole purpose was relieving Paul’s restrictions and furthering the Kingdom of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Hymn to Encourage: “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks”
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
all seated on the ground;
the angel of the Lord came down,
and glory shone around.
“Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
had seized their troubled mind.
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
to all of humankind.”
“To you, in David’s town, this day
is born of David’s line
a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
and this shall be the sign:
“The heavenly babe you there shall find
to human view displayed,
all meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
and in a manger laid.”
Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
appeared a shining throng
of angels praising God on high,
who thus addressed their song:
“All glory be to God on high,
and to the earth be peace;
good will henceforth from heaven to earth
begin and never cease!”