The Work of Love: Colossians 4 (3)
Opening Prayer: Psalm 5.7, 8
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
Sing Psalm 5.7, 8
(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
O Lord, Your lovingkindness escorts me in this place.
I bow before Your highness and praise Your glorious grace!
In righteous ways You guide me; Your pathway I will know.
No good will be denied me as I with Jesus go.
Read Colossians 4.7-9
1. How did Paul describe Tychicus?
2. What was he sending Tychicus to do?
Tychicus was a Greek from Asia Minor who joined Paul’s team at some point during his ministry in Greece (Acts 20.4). Paul worked with him as he did Timothy to prepare him for the ministry of the Word to the churches in Asia Minor, including the Ephesians and the Colossians (cf. Eph. 6.21).
Paul described him as “a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” (v. 7). Paul sent him from Rome to the Colossians, probably bearing this epistle, both to apprise them of his situation and to encourage their hearts to continue faithful in the Lord (v. 8). He also served as the traveling companion of Onesimus, whom Paul sent back to Philemon in Colossae, to restore him to his former master as a brother in Christ (v. 9, cf. Philemon).
Consider the commitment of Tychicus. He learned from Paul, embraced his vision and ministry, and performed faithfully whatever Paul assigned. It would have taken courage and perseverance to travel from Rome to Asia Minor. Upon reaching his destinations (Colossae and Ephesus), he would have cheered the churches with the news of Paul’s faith and further encouraged them by appropriate teaching from the Word of God. Tychicus had learned from the best, who also calls us to imitate him, like Tychicus, so that we might fulfill our own calling from the Lord (1 Cor. 11.1).
Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“…that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts” (Col. 4.8). God has given us the special task of trying to know and understand another person’s trouble, sorrow, sadness, or grief; and then to offer comfort to their hearts through wisdom supplied by the Holy Spirit.
The dictionary defines comfort as to give strength and hope to; to ease the grief or trouble of; to give strengthening aid and consolation in time of trouble or worry.
Often the comfort we offer has come by being comforted ourselves: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1.3,4).
Paul was comforted by friends who met some of his physical needs. He tells us, “…for they refreshed my spirit” (1 Cor. 16.18).
We can offer comfort to others by being constant in our faith and hope and trust in the Lord. “But you, brethren, are not in darkness…you are sons of the light…let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us…Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thess. 5.4-11).
God commands us to “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” (Is. 40.1)
Being attentive, showing concern, giving love: these are the ways to comfort others as God comforts us: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23.4).
We are called to take up the job, where Tychicus left off, to be a beloved brother, faithful minister, fellow servant and encourager of hearts that need to be comforted.
1. When has someone comforted or encouraged you in the Lord?
2. Why is it so important that we do this for one another?
3. Whom can you comfort or encourage in the Lord today?
Now what Paul wishes to say is that there is no benefit in those things, for all those things fall apart, unless they are done with love. This is the love that binds them all together. Whatever good thing it is that you mention, if love be absent, it is nothing, it melts away. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on Colossians 8
Let Your love abound in me today, O Lord, as I…
Closing Prayer: Psalm 5.1-6, 11, 12
To whom is God sending you today? Prepare to be an encourager to them that they may rejoice in the Lord because of you.
Sing Psalm 5.1-6, 11, 12
(Angel’s Story: O Jesus, I Have Promised)
O Lord, attend and hear me, consider how I groan.
Receive my cries and near be, and love me as Your own.
By morning, Lord I seek You, for You will hear my voice;
My every need You speak to, and make my soul rejoice!
In sin You take no pleasure; no evil dwells with You.
Vain boasts You will not treasure, nor those who boasting do.
Sin kindles Your hot anger, You crush all those who lie;
the violent live in danger of Your all-searching eye.
Let those rejoice who seek You and shelter ‘neath Your wing.
Their tongues shall rise to speak to Your praise; Your grace they sing.
Your people You will bless, Lord, all those who to You yield;
preserve them with Your best Word, and guard them like a shield.
T. M. and Susie Moore
You can listen to last week’s summary of our study in Colossians by clicking here.
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Except as indicated, all Scripture are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.