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Friday, August 23, 2019
Steven Binkley is a young neighbor who won a photo competition with this Canada Goose photo on Donegal Creek, the stream alongside the trail across from our house.


Message summary: 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!

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"Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord" (Colossians 4:7).

How many of you have ever heard of Virginia Miller? We 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. After her death at 93 years of age her pastor spoke of the years Ginnie, who was already quite old, would drive over to the church each week, pick up the church bulletins, take them home and return them folded for Sunday's Worship Service!

Yesterday I shared a line from a song I've been enjoying by Casting Crowns, "I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody all about Somebody who saved my soul." It's such a catchy phrase that I found myself repeating it often yesterday in the course of my chaplaincy work. I take the word "nobody" to be descriptive of the way we are all relatively not famous (unless some really famous person is lurking out there reading our encouragements that I don't know about!) 

When we study Bible characters there's a tendency to focus on the well-known ones like Moses and David and Paul. That's understandable since we have more material to draw from. But all through the Bible there are a lot of lesser known characters that we can learn from.

Let us consider Tychicus today. If you've read through the Bible (or even the New Testament) you've read his name, which is found only five times, but I really doubt if most have paid much attention. That's the way it tends to be for those with lesser roles. 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 had 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. Some, like Virginia, fold the bulletins!

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.

I want to shake hands and pat Tychicus on the shoulder when I get to heaven. Who knows, maybe they hug in heaven! I want to thank him for his faithfulness in God's service. He carried messages from Paul to churches that later became the Scriptures we read today. Both the epistles to the Colossians and Ephesians were messages that Tychicus hand delivered to the churches.

There are a lot of people I want to see and thank when I get to heaven. A few are well known, scores more, like Tychicus are virtually unknown. Bluntly speaking, most of you reading this message are virtually unknown. Ouch. Well, I sure am in that category! Yet, like Tychicus, I want to be a faithful servant for Christ letting my light shine, whenever, however, and wherever He gives me opportunity. What about you?

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily 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 and do so without applause or attention. 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.  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.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Nobody"  Video  Casting Crowns/Matthew West

Why You ever chose me, has always been a mystery
All my life Iíve been told I belong at the end of the line
With all the other Not-Quites, with all the Never-Get-It-Rights
But it turns out weíre the ones Youíve been looking for all this time

 ĎCause Iím just a nobody, trying to tell everybody
All about Somebody who saved my soul
Ever since You rescued me You gave my heart a song to sing
Iím living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus
Iím living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus

Moses had stage fright, and David brought a rock to a sword fight
You picked 12 outsiders nobody wouldíve chosen
And You changed the world
Well, the moral of the story is
Everybodyís got a purpose
So when I hear that devil start talking to me, saying
ďWho do you think you areĒ
I sayÖ

 Iím just a nobody, trying to tell everybody
All about Somebody who saved my soul
Ever since You rescued me You gave my heart a song to sing
Iím living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus
Iím living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus

So let me go down, down, down in history
As another blood-bought faithful member of the family
And if they all forget my name, well, thatís fine with me
Iím living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus

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Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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