Thursday, September 4, 2008

Colossians 4:7-9

Day 22

As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts; and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of your number. They will inform you about the whole situation here.

This last part of Paul’s letter is a section in which he expresses personal greetings and information. We know more about some of the people he mentions, as they are mentioned in other portions of scripture.

Tychicus was the bearer of this letter by Paul to the Colossians. He traveled to Colossae with Onesimus. We read about Tychicus in Acts 20:4. He was originally from Asia, and he traveled with Paul on his third missionary journey as Paul returned to Macedonia from Greece. In Ephesians 6:21, Tychicus is again mentioned as a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord. He was sent to Ephesus by Paul and was there during the writing of 2 Timothy. Paul promises in Titus 3:12 that Tychicus would be sent to Titus with the aim of accompanying Titus to visit Paul.

Onesimus, the one with whom Tychicus traveled to Colossae, has a very interesting story. He was a slave, owned by a Colossian man named Philemon. Philemon was a devout Christian who actually had a church meet in his home. Onesimus escaped, and while in exile, met Paul and became a believer. Paul was sending Onesimus back to Colossae in hopes that he will reconcile with his owner. Paul wrote a separate letter to Philemon, which is included in the Bible just after the letter to Titus. Paul told Philemon, “I am sending you my very heart,” and expressed that he wished he could keep Onesimus with him, since Onesimus was now “more than a slave, but a beloved brother.” Paul offers to make things right for Philemon by having him “charge what he might owe you to my account.”

Both of these men obviously meant a great deal to Paul and had stayed with him for a while as Paul endured house arrest. While Paul had a huge impact on the church during his ministry, he spent much time with individual men and women, carefully teaching them. Paul cared deeply for those with which he ministered.

So did Jesus. He dealt with people on an individual level, winning one heart at a time. And so should we. One person at a time, one heart at a time. Each one is precious in God’s sight. Not one is insignificant.

Who is God placing in your path today? What does He want you to do for them?

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