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.
Scripture: Job 38:1-2 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Observation: Trying to give a reason for Job’s circumstances, his friends had provided every explanation imaginable to the human mind. Now, it was time for God’s response and reality is brought into focus. The friends were bringing counsel to Job, but they did not have knowledge. There was far too much that they did not understand. Following this question God reminds Job that God alone has power over creation, and this knowledge is far beyond Job’s understanding. Therefore, the words of Job’s friends are hollow with misunderstanding. They do not know God, and should not presume to speak for God, for their counsel becomes words without knowledge. Application: If our first instinct is not to run to the Lord in difficult circumstances, we may be allowing ourselves to be counseled by words without knowledge. There are plenty of people who are willing to give us ad…
Scripture: Acts 9:32 Now as Peter went here and there among all the believers, he came down also to the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, for he was paralyzed. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!” And immediately he got up. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. Observation:
In this text by the physician Luke, Paul has just recently been converted. Suddenly the narrative shifts to the Apostle Peter who is, no doubt, the leader of the followers of the Way. This passage sets the stage for the expansion of the ministry to the Gentiles. It is in Joppa that Peter has his vision that eventually leads him to the house of Cornelius but at this moment, Peter has no idea where this is going. Peter is simply going about his business, visiting the believers who live outside of Jerusalem, making it to the town of Lydda.
It is in Lydda, not far from …
Scripture: Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Observation:
This passage from Paul’s epistle to the Galatians is frequently quoted and used to remind us of the unity which is found when we belong to Christ. Any barriers that may have existed are to be brought down. The power of prejudice is to be destroyed and a new life is to be found when one belongs to Christ.
Jerome put it this way, “ When one has once put on Christ and, having been sent into the flame, glows with the ardor of the Holy Spirit, it is not apparent whether he is of gold or silver. As long as the heat takes over the mass in this way there is one fiery color, and all diversity of race, condition and body is taken away by such a garment.” (EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS 2.3.27–28) What happens is that the former…