Thursday, December 13, 2012

S.E.R.V.E God - P4 - Validate the Saints

Ephesians 6:22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

For the past few days we have been interested in unfolding what it means to serve God.  Tychicus has been our model for this study, since he is commended by the Apostle Paul as a faithful minister or servant in the Lord.  The word for servant in Ephesians 6:21 comes from the same Greek word (dee-auk-a-nos) that is translated "deacon" in such passages as 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  All Christians are called to be servants of God, with Deacons being the visible examples to the flock as to the nature of such a calling.  Tychicus has been show thus far to be a prime example of a servant of God in the following ways:

1. He Seeks God first. 
2. He Emphasized Faithfulness.
3. He Reinforced the ministry.

By continuing to use our acrostic S.E.R.V.E, we come to the fourth aim that marks a servant of God, namely in how we are to validate the saints.

How Tychicus was used to validate God's people
To validate someone means to affirm, to comfort to give proof to the cause or action that they are doing.  The church at Ephesus was located in a very pagan city.  It would had been easy for disillusionment to set in.  Furthermore, wondering about the plight of the Apostle Paul in prison could had fueled even further instability in the young congregation.  But Paul had a stretegy: send Tychicus to validate or "comfort" these people in their efforts to be faithful to Christ. (Ephesians 6:22)  The Greek word for "comfort" literally speaks of someone calling another person to walk along side so as to be a friend. 

In Paul's letter written to the Colossians, this same man Tychicus was being assigned the same task for the Colossians church in Colossians 4:7-8 "As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information. 8For I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts." 

A church composed of God's servants ought to be the most encouraging place
When we are validated in our life and service for Jesus Christ, we desire to live and serve Him all the more.  Of all the places in the world, when we come together as the church, the atmosphere ought to be one of encouragement and validation.  1 Peter 2:16 plainly tells us to live as servants of God.  Servants of God aim to be a support, a validation and encouragement to the cause of Christ being lived out by other fellow servants of the Lord.  Repeatedly the Book of Hebrews urges Christians to come together for the sake of mutual encouragement. (Hebrews 3:12-13 and 10:24-25) 1 Thessalonians 5:11 plainly tells us as Christians: "Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing."  May you and I in our service to God remember that we also serve one another for the purpose to encourge, edify and validate the work of the Lord in one another.   


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