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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts, with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you all things which are happening here.”—Colossians 4:7–9 (NKJV)
Real and sincere friendships are invaluable, yet rare. In our modern culture, the average relationship is often only on the surface and superficial. Many people do not experience the depth in relationships that the Lord calls us to and ordains for us. Why? Lack of commitment, lack of interest, time constraints, and fear of being open and vulnerable. Relationships take work and effort.
The Bible shares a great story of friendship between two young men: Jonathan and David. They loved each other as true friends. It was a rich phileo, or brotherly love. Jonathan willingly gave everything he had to David. In 1 Samuel 18:1 (MEV) we read, "When [David] had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, so that Jonathan loved him as his own soul." Jonathan was an encourager to David, and he helped protect him from his own evil father, King Saul.
The Lord has at least one person in your life who can be like a Jonathan to you and you for them. It has to start first with you and your willingness. God will lead you to the right person. The Lord knows your relationship needs and offers to lead you to who He has prepared for you. The Bible instructs us that “a man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV).
In concluding his personal letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul mentions two people in particular he loves and who’ve made a difference in his life and in the lives of others. He shared life with these people.
Tychicus: Paul describes him as beloved, faithful, and a comforter. He was a great encourager. He ministered to Paul and was a minister for Paul. He had a shepherd’s heart. He was imprisoned with Paul in Rome.
Onesimus: Originally from Colossae, he became a faithful and beloved brother. He had only been a believer for a short time and yet proved faithful. He had been a runaway slave, met Paul in a prison cell, became a Christian, and then lived a productive life. His name means “useful.” His life is a great witness to many of a life turned around after accepting Christ into his heart. He went from being useless to being useful.
Start serving now and watch how the Lord will use you. And along the way, I promise you’ll even make a few great friends like Paul did!
DIG: Would you count yourself as a faithful friend?
DISCOVER: Do you have at least one close friendship? One where you both have a real care for each other and an honest relationship?
DO: Like Tychicus and Onesimus, you were created for relationships and serving others. Be intentional about initiating relationships with others who God has placed in your life. Proverbs 18:24 (MSG) says, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.”