7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother. He is a faithful worker. He serves the Lord together with us. 8 I am sending him to you for one reason. I want you to know what is happening here. I want him to encourage you and make your hearts strong. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother. He is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. 10 Aristarchus is in prison with me. He sends you his greetings. So does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. You have been given directions about him. If he comes to you, welcome him. 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. They are the only Jews who have worked together with me for God’s kingdom. They have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras sends greetings. He is one of you. He serves Christ Jesus. He is always praying hard for you. He prays that you will hold on tightly to all that God has in mind for us. He prays that you will keep growing in your knowledge of what God wants. He also prays that you will be completely sure about it. 13 I am happy to tell you that he is working very hard for you. He is also working hard for everyone in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, sends greetings. So does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea. Also give my greetings to Nympha and the church that meets in her house. 16 After this letter has been read to you, send it on. Be sure that it is also read to the church in Laodicea. And be sure that you read the letter from Laodicea. 17 Tell Archippus, “Be sure that you complete the work the Lord gave you to do.” 18 I, Paul, am writing this greeting with my own hand. Remember that I am being held by chains. May grace be with you.
So there are 2 things that strike me in this passage. Firstly, in spite of his extreme circumstances Paul’s great concern was for was for his fellow believers, their encouragement, growth and welfare, not for his own safety and security. His ability to minister was not dependant on his circumstances being sweet.
Secondly, although Paul’s circumstances were desperate in prison, God had placed along side him people to support and encourage him. Paul’s situation gave others an opportunity to minister.
So here is the challenge: who is there in my world that needs my encouragement and support? Regardless of my circumstances or how I feel, I need to give out to others, with the growth of the Kingdom my first priority.
And here is the encouragement: regardless of what I face today (or tomorrow) God will not abandon me or you. It’s my experience, that just as God sent Paul’s friends to care for and support him, He will place someone in your world to encourage you too when you need it most.
Heavenly Father thank you that you never abandon me or leave me without hope. Help me Lord to look beyond my circumstances today to be a blessing to someone else. May my actions bring Glory to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
Written by Christine Knight