Looking unto Jesus — chapter by chapter

The Ministry of Personal Presence

…Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will make all things
known to you…that he many comfort your hearts. Ephesians 6:21-22


Tychicus was the courier of Paul’s letter to Ephesus. Interestingly Paul sends him not solely to carry his letter, but that he would also “comfort your hearts.” He was to share not only information from Paul, but equally he was to share from his own heart to their hearts. One might call this “the ministry of personal presence.” It is through personal presence how God Himself works in us. We need more than information, even as perfect as it is as in the case of the Bible. According to Jesus from John 14:18, simply to leave us with the Word would have been to leave us as orphans. God desires to dwell with us, among us, and even within us. Scripture is a means to that end of a personal relationship with “God with us.” John 1:14 reveals the tremendous truth of our God who “became flesh and dwelt among us.” This same God leaves with us the indwelling of His personal presence of the Holy Spirit.

God has designed us to be a part of His body. Clearly we are to live in and grow in this community, primarily exhibited in the local church. We are to refresh others and to be refreshed, to encourage others and be encouraged, to care for others and to be cared for, to give empathy and receive it, to love and be loved, to be accountable, affectionate, hospitable and even vulnerable. God designed us, all of us, to need each other.

In our day of non-personal, tech-communication–be sure to invest real time with real people. Represent our Lord and remind others of Him. The Holy Spirit uses us to invite and encourage others. Invite the presence of others into your world, and join them in theirs.

We are apt to overlook the names in Paul’s sphere of close friends. Continually he pours words of encouragement upon them. They were real and he knew them…prized in his heart and mind. Their names flowed through his pen and his lips–Tychicus, Phoebe, Apelles, Priscilla, Julia, Aquila, Patrobas, Titus, Epaenatus, Mark, Andronicus, Urbanus, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Asyncritus, Linus, Nereus, Timothy, Philemon, Lucius, Jason, Sosipater, Tertius, Gaius, Stephanas, Fortunatas, Mary, Achaicus, Luke, Archippus, Onesimus, Barnabas, Nymphas, the households of Onesiphorus and Aristobulus, Epaphras, Silas, Epaphroditus, Erastus, Trophimus, Eubulus, Pudens, Claudia, Rufus, Lydia, Quartus, Simeon, Amplias, Stachys, Apelles, Hermas, Hermes, Herodian, Narcissus, Persis, Junia, Olympas, Phlegon and Philogus– nearly sixty in his ever-growing list.

The greatest friend of all–Jesus. Delight your soul–look at Proverbs 18:24, John 15:13-15 and I John 3:16.

Maranatha!

A song for meditation