August 21, 2012
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No one would be impressed by my camera, an old point and shoot with scotch tape holding the battery cover on. I am an old fashioned type and the new cameras of this type lack the viewfinder, which I am accustomed to using. I can take photos with my phone and do so occasionally but have a hard time getting used to turning a phone into a camera!
I almost always have my camera with me ready to snap a photo that might be used on daily encouragement. I walked into church Sunday morning and saw a simple sight which wouldn’t necessarily be photogenic. Yet the sight warmed my heart. Several boxes of fresh corn with a simple sign “Help Yourself” brought in by a local farmer. It got me thinking of a series of photos of the actions of ordinary people who follow Christ.
Let us consider Tychicus today. You’ve read his name, which is found only five times, as you read through the New Testament, but I really doubt if most have paid much attention. It can be determined from these few references that he had a chronologically long and geographically varied ministry.
Tychicus and Paul had worked together a long time. We first find him referenced in Acts 20:4 when he was traveling with Paul on a missionary journey. We have no record of his background or time of conversion, although he was from the province of Asia. One resource indicated that tradition teaches he died a martyr.
Tychicus is one of the many ministry associates that Paul worked with. Paul wrote “He is a dear (literally “beloved”) brother, faithful minister and fellow servant”. These are impressive credentials coming from Paul, who is always sending him out as a faithful messenger (see Ephesians 6:21, 2 Timothy 4:12, Titus 3:12). In the daily passage and in Ephesians 6:21 we note that the express purpose was to take information about Paul’s condition and to encourage the recipients of the letters.
I suppose you could say Tychicus was a pretty ordinary person, but I would add that since he did his work heartily as to the Lord, God made him of extraordinary use to the kingdom. A good messenger delivers the message without distorting it. He has no personal agenda that might cloud the message. He doesn’t get delayed by his own personal interests, nor does he get into petty distraction or engage in gossip. Would your credentials hold for this duty?
Thank God for the millions of ordinary people in the Church like Tychicus, who take their callings seriously and do it heartily as to the Lord! We hope today’s message will open your eyes to the blessing you can be to others. Ordinary faithful people who seek to live like Christ. They teach Sunday School, count offerings, swab toilets, mow the lawn, run the sound system, visit prisoners, pick up the elderly for church, and perform a thousand other duties, large and small, to advance the Kingdom of God.
Yesterday Brooksyne and Ester attended the funeral of Virginia Miller, who at 93 years of age received her glorious promotion. For many years we have visited with Ginnie in the course of our chaplain service at a local personal care center. She had a delightful positive outlook even though she endured much suffering. At the service her pastor spoke of still seeing in his mind’s eye the years Ginnie drove up during the week in her blue car. She’d pick up the church bulletins, take them home and return them folded for Sunday’s Worship Service!
Are you weary in your walk today? Or do you sometimes think, “What’s the use? What can I do with what little I have to offer?” Listen, watch, and pray. God will show you or He might just speak to you through another Christian leader about a duty that you are able to meet. Be faithful in whatever God lays on your heart, just as Tychicus was.
In Paul’s final letter we find his name in a brief but telling verse. Others had abandoned him, but Paul writes “I sent Tychicus to Ephesus” (2 Timothy 4:12). Tychicus had his bag ready. Faithful! That’s the kind of people Christ’s Kingdom needs today.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father God, we thank You for our brothers and sisters who, because of Your redemptive love, share together in the work of furthering the kingdom of God. Thank you for those who see a need and are quick to respond. We also know of those who see the need but feel inadequate for the task. Would You empower and embolden them to take a step of faith by moving in the direction You’re leading to the point of commitment. We’re mindful of Tychicus’ example of faithfulness in his duties and his loving spirit toward Paul and his fellow servants. We also want to be faithful in our thoughts, our conversation, and our duties this day. We pray to You through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Note: Paul sent Tychicus from his prison, writing from a damp cell with his own earthly future very uncertain. Yet he is considering the needs of others before his own.
Most homes have colorful wraparound porches with string lighting.
Many took photographs of this “green” cottage/home. If you look carefully you might just see a few of the bubbles in the right top middle of the porch that were blowing in the air. They must have had a bubble machine since there were bubbles all afternoon!
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