Friday, December 14, 2012

S.E.R.V.E God - P5 - Exemplify Jesus Christ

2 Timothy 4:12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

It was almost five years since Paul had written the Book of Ephesians.  When he wrote that letter he was under house arrest in Rome.  In this second letter to the second generation pastor Timothy, Paul is writing from a Dungeon.  The ministry veteran Paul is writing what are most likely his final words.  Many of his ministry partners have come and gone.  Out of all of them, Tychicus was one of the very few who remained ready to go wherever Paul needed him.  For over a decade Tychicus has been the "faithful servant of God and beloved brother" to the Apostle Paul. (Ephesians 6:21)  Tychicus has been shown thus far to be a prime example of a servant of God in the following ways:

1. He Seeks God first.
2. He Emphesized Faithfulness.
3. He Reinforced the ministry.
4. He Validated God's people

In this final part of our blog series, we will consider the final letter of our acrostic S.E.R.V.E in defining what it means to serve God, namely: Exemplify Jesus Christ

How did Tychicus exemplify Jesus Christ and how are you and I to do the same?
If seeking God first represents the foundation of the servant of God, with faithfulness, reinforcement of the ministry and validation of God's people as the associated aims, then exemplifying Jesus Christ represents the servant's goal.  Tychicus without a doubt exemplified Jesus Christ, which explains why Paul was eager and confident in sending him in his place to the churches he had established.  As we briefly consider how Tychicus exemplified Christ, you and I can take note of what it means to be Christ-like in our service to God:

1. Humility - Humility is the greatest Christ-like trait in the realm of our mindset in ministry.  Paul writes in Philippians 2:5 "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus."  The word translated "attitude" could just as easily be translated "mindset".  Whatever our minds are set toward, our hearts will follow.  Just as Christ humbled Himself, so are we to be humble in our thoughts, which lead to humble actions.  Tychicus, as far as we can tell, never hesitated to go where he was being sent.  As long as it progressed another square inch for God's Kingdom, Tychicus was ever the eager servant, regardless of what it cost him. 

2. Love - If humility represents the most Christ-like trait of the mind, then love represents the most Christ-like trait of the heart.  Love is considered the greatest of the virtues which issue from the heart. (1 Corinthians 13:5)  Love was the center motivation for the cross. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8) Love is to be the center motivation for obedience (John 14:21-23)  Tychicus was referred to as the "beloved brother".  He was much loved due to the fact that he showed much love.  As God's servants, our hearts need to be full of God's love in order to accomplish the work He has called us to perform. 

3. Diligence - A servant of God should be ready to labor for the Lord.  Tychicus was among the most hardest working ministry partners of the Apostle Paul. He was constantly encouraging and comforting God's people. (Ephesians 6:21-22; Colossians 4:7-8)  Even in Paul's final days, Tychicus was still at Ephesus, undoubtedly helping out Pastor Timothy, the recipient of Paul's final letter.  1 Corinthians 10:31 gives us one of the clearest exhorations concerning diligence -"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  

Conclusion - What it means to S.E.R.V.E God
As we close out this study, we can look back and understand what it means to S.E.R.V.E God:
1. Seek God first
2. Emphasize Faithfulness
3. Reinforce the Ministry
4. Validate God's people
5. Exemplify Jesus Christ

To be Christ-like means approaching our service with a humble mindset, a loving heart and a diligency to do the work.  May you and I be servants of God who bring pleasure to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

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