Wednesday, December 12, 2012

S.E.R.V.E God - P3 - Reinforce the Ministry

Ephesians 6:21-22a But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you. 22I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us...."

As we continue in this series on what it means to serve God or be a servant of God, we look once again at Tychicus, the faithful servant of God mentioned by Paul in Ephesians 6:21-22.  We have noted so far the following aims of service to God:

1. Seek the Lord First
2. Emphasize Faithfulness

Today we endeaver to note the third aim required for effective service to God, namely reinforcment of the ministry.

Reinforcing God's work derives from three vantage points: upward, inward and outward
Paul has described the type of servant of God that Tychicus is: a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord.  Now in verse 22 we see Paul explaining the purpose for which he is sending Tychicus: "so that you may know about us..."  The reinforcement of any ministry derives from three vantage points: knowing what it is to do from above, knowing who it is within itself and knowing how much advance is being made beyond the view of those doing the ministry.  Let me explain what I mean by these three vantage points.

To know what I am to do as a servant of God from above means gaining my direction from God through His Word. Colossians 3:1-2 states - "Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth."   If I know who I am and whose I am in my calling, I will be ready to reinforce the work of God.

But notice secondly that a servant of God or ministry is reinforced by how well it knows itself.  Paul's exhortation to a young minister Timothy speaks well to this point in 1 Timothy 4:16 "Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you."  Knowing who I am in terms of strengths and weaknesses, gifts and talents, what I am and what I am not - will aid in excercising a necessary Christ-like trait - humility. (compare Philippians 2:5-11) 

Then in reinforcing the ministry as God's servant we note that you must thirdly know what advances are being made beyond or outside the walls of the ministry.  In other words, do you find it encouraging when people come and testify to how much they have grown in their faith as a result of God's work through whatever ministry you are serving?  Testimonies supernaturally motivate us to want to serve God all the more.  (Compare Colossians 1:4-8, 2:1-2, 4:7-8)

Tychicus' role was to inform the Ephesians congregation of what was going on in Paul's imprisonment.  To know that he was not feeling discouraged, but rather joyful over having to suffer for Christ's sake would perhaps motivate them onto greater service for Jesus Christ.  A servant of God aims to look upwards, then inward and finally outward.  Reinforcing the cause of Jesus demonstrates the heart of a true servant of God.  May every Christian, including this blogger, be those servants to aim to serve so as to reinforce the efforts of ministry for Jesus' sake. 

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