My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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We All Need a Good Friend
Irina, one of my dearest friends, visiting together this summer in Moscow.
Eph. 6:21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus will tell you everything. He is a dear brother and a faithful minister in the Lord. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, to let you know how we are, and to encourage your hearts.
Eph. 6:23 Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tychicus appears in Paul’s writings five times, a couple of times being referred to as “a dear brother and faithful minister.” Later, one of the early church historians lists him as one of the 70 disciples sent out by Jesus. It may well have been in that early ministry with Jesus that he accepted his role as one who would be sent out frequently to strengthen the growing work of the church. Whether by Paul’s side, or sent on his behalf, Tychicus faithfully supported the work and his friend, Paul.
When I think about the Apostle Paul, I think of this great man who seemed to single-handedly plant churches across the Roman world. Far too often we fail to see that he led a team of extremely committed individuals who gave of themselves self-sacrificially in service to God and the church. I’ve read the scriptures numerous times and it never dawned on me that I had read the name of Tychicus in five different passages of the New Testament. Somehow, he’s a good friend of Paul’s that seems to fly under the radar screen.
Just like Paul, we are not supposed to be lone-rangers in life, nor in the work of God’s kingdom. We could all use a good friend, or a partner in what we are doing.
When Paul embraced Christ, he also gravitated to a new way of life. These followers of the way were becoming a new family, one in which all the barriers of the world were destroyed. That’s why Paul could describe the new family as one where there were no Jews, Greeks, slaves, free-men, male and female — for all were now part of a new family. The church was supposed to act like a new family in which the followers of Christ were now brothers and sisters. It was this special bond of friendship, or of brotherhood or sisterhood, which was to provide for perseverance in the kingdom. Paul could trust Tychicus, because he was like a brother to him.
Not only was Tuchicus like a brother, but he was a faithful minister. In other words, he had become a valued member of the family of God. Paul could trust him to go and to minister in his place.
Maybe it’s this description of the relationship with Tychicus that can drive us to to understand why Paul felt strongly about peace in the whole community. The community, or family of faith in Ephesus, was to be united together by Jesus, the Prince of Peace. This would be reflected in the love that they had for one another, which was the result of their faith. What one witnessed was that grace abounded within the community, or family of faith.
We were created to be bound together in the strength of relationship. We all really do need a good friend, and the church ought to be fertile soil for the cultivation of these relationships. If it’s not, then let’s take the time to reevaluate whether we understand what it truly means to be in the family of God.
Lord, thank you for this reminder about friendship. Please, help me to be a good friend and to cultivate new friendships. Amen.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain. Observation:
There is a foundation to the house of this life, and that must be the Lord. Application:
I think it started this week when we got off the plane in Boise. A flood of memories began to overwhelm me as I reminisced about the way that things used to be. Many years ago, when we were living in Russia, we would come back home to the United States on furlough, and that always meant coming to Boise, Idaho. My parents were living here and had built a home with two guest rooms that we would call “home” for three months. Exiting the security area at the airport, my parents were always there, waiting with expectant smiles, for us to finally arrive. I can see my mom, clapping her hands, with a grin from ear to ear, just waiting to wrap her arms around every one of us. This week, I glanced at the waiting area as we exited the security …
Scripture: Phil. 4:10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11 Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14 In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress. Phil. 4:15 You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16 For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18 I have been paid in full and have more than …
Scripture: Proverbs 21:17Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. Observation:
Some have said that this verse speaks of the dangers of an Epicurean life-style. What does that mean? Generally we have attributed this to the teaching of Epicurus, a philosopher who was born in 341 BC. He encouraged people to find a static state of pleasure where one was satiated — or full. When the pleasures have been completely, or entirely satisfied, then one feels full. Later Epicurean societies adopted a motto: Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo ("I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”). In contemporary society this phrase has been adopted to be used at humanist funerals, or to be carved as an epitaph on a headstone.
The problem is that they don’t understand what Wisdom was trying to say. Pleasure alone would ultimately leave one wanting. The Epicurean life of rich foods and drink, as well as the investment in oils and cosmetics could not be sustained. T…