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I’m going to invite you to turn to Colossians chapter four, and we’re going to conclude the series that we’ve been on together. And related to Jesus, Jesus is Greater. The Book of Colossians is a beautiful book that really points to the significance of who Christ is and his preeminence in this world. And so I’m going to call this morning’s message just our this is our kick back and chill message as it relates to Colossians, because what we’re going to seek to do as we enter into Chapter four today is make application to everything that we’ve learned together. As we look through these passages of Scripture. This is kind of like the so what section of, of Colossians, the way Paul writes his books, typically what you find within his epistles is he he preloads his letters with theology. And then on the back end of that comes the application, how that relates to us in our lives. And the reason he does this is because it’s really significant to our identity as people. When we discover who God is and discovering who God is, we find who we are in light of who He is. And it’s far better, I believe, than any system that this world creates, because a lot of what we try to emulate within ourselves, apart from God, is this identity in worth based on what we do as human beings. But God gives us our identity and worth based on who he is.
We aren’t human doings. We are human beings. And so our value, our worth, our significance, our purpose, our meaning, all of that is discovered in the identity of who God is because He is the one who created us for his good purposes. In fact, that was what Colossians Chapter one told us, and the identity of of Jesus in verse 15. We’ve looked at this together. This was the hymn of the early church. This was a song they would have sung together in the image of who God is. Paul lays out this identity. He says He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. The firstborn meaning not that he was the first being born, but this word for firstborn means his actual preeminence, his authority, this word for firstborn is found in, and I believe Psalm 89 and Psalm 84, and reference to David and being the son of Jesse, he is referred to as the firstborn. I think it’s in Psalm 89 and verse 27th May be way off on that. But but David, being the firstborn of the son of Jesse, David wasn’t the firstborn child. David was actually at the end. And so he’s referred to the firstborn not because of his place in birth, but his preeminence, his position of authority. And the same is true with Jesus. He is the firstborn of creation. He is preeminent, the image of the invisible God.
All things were created by him and through him invisible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through him and for him. And he is before all things. And in him all things hold together. Jesus is everything. And so Paul lays that foundation for us in the first two chapters of Colossians, and then he makes this statement of of so what if this is really who Jesus is and you really believe that’s who Jesus is, then this should impact the way that you respond to it and the way you identify yourself in it and the way you live your life. It’s kind of like you get to the town of the book and it’s just reminding you now this is how you keep the main thing. The main thing. And the truth is, in Christianity itself, if if we’re not careful, it’s easy to derail ourselves from from the beauty of who Christ is enjoying that relationship with him and proclaiming the glory of God in this world. And in the end of Colossians Chapter two, Paul laid out a few areas in life in which we can tend to do that. And and even taking Jesus in religious circles, we can we can take Jesus and make it about religion rather than Christ himself, as if Jesus is intended to serve religion rather than us coming to God.
And he he points out mysticism and asceticism and legalism and moralism, all these things that we make more important than Jesus, that really, when you break them down, have nothing to do with Jesus. Even in pop culture today, we have the ability to make social issues more important to us than than Christ. I just tuned in to the news a few times this week just to see what was going on. And apparently things I’m supposed to care about more than Jesus, I think. By the way, it’s been broadcast. Our Taylor Swift broke up with her boyfriend. Something about a gorilla. Something about some presidents. Right. What bathroom you use. I mean, all those things are more important than Jesus, you would think. By watching news. I mean, even the way if we’re not careful as believers, we make social. Injustices or conversations like the driving point. We give people more moralism than Christ. We die on those hills rather than the beauty of who Jesus is. But the truth is, when we look at the significance of who Christ is, if you want to see real change in the world, it’s not by primarily making social injustices the issue though they are important. It’s Jesus that transforms the heart. And it’s Jesus that impacts lives. And if I go to a world that. Placing moral issues in front of Jesus. I rob myself and others from seeing the significance of who they are in light of who who they are in light of who Christ is.
And so the preeminence of Christ must take importance above everything. It’s it’s the point of who we are as people. And if I’m being really honest with you, if I get to places in my life where I love living for the Lord, but, you know, there are times in life and in my life where those times are more exciting than others. And the reason I find myself losing that that drive or that excitement or that energy is I tend to lose perspective of what I’m doing here on this earth. And Paul, when he’s writing to the Colossians. If you remember how this story began, Epaphras comes to Paul in prison. He’s in Rome and a pastor was the man who started the church in Colossae. Paul preached in the city of Ephesus. A perverse happened to hear Paul’s message. Epaphras goes to the city where the Colossians are and that church is born. Paul’s never visited this place, and it started with this tremendous energy reaching this area, seeing lives transformed in Christ. And then all of a sudden they sort of hit this wall and Epaphras comes back to Paul and he’s saying, listen, all these things were going really well. And then these people entered the church and they made these other issues more important legalism and moralism and asceticism and mysticism and all these different ideas.
And they’ve really just lost lost their joy in Jesus. And so, Paul, I’m just here sharing this with you. And so Paul comes back, he writes the letter, he starts the letter on the preeminence of Christ, the beauty of who Jesus is. And then he just sort of peppers into chapter two and three, just pointing out to the importance of Christ. And so he says in chapter two and verse six, there we were, There we were. I don’t know what that is, but let me read it to you, therefore, as you have received Christ. So walking them. As now you’ve seen this Jesus painted within these passages of Scripture. So walk in him and he gets to chapter three and he says this Let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body and be thankful. Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you with all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. So the truth is, when it comes to us as human beings, we are going to make an impact. Somehow in some way. But the question is, is it going to be a good one? And is it worthwhile? And as we looked at these passages in the book of Colossians chapter one, chapter two, the preeminence of Jesus reminded us as we were going through those chapters, that the purpose of these passages aren’t to play the whack a mole game where you come into a religious world and you understand who Jesus is and the beauty of who Christ is, and that God created us not for religion, for relationship.
But you don’t use verses like that to prove that you’re right and they’re wrong and beat people up with them. You use passages on the beauty of who Christ is to serve one another and understanding the significance of who Christ is and all of our lives, because all of us are coming to Jesus at different points on our journey at different places and different seasons of our lives. And we need reminded constantly of Christ and His preeminence and his love for us and plan for us in this world. And to use that to make a difference. In my life, living in this Utah Valley for the last ten years or so, I’ve found passages like this are not only important for me, but but it’s the place that I encounter them that really helps me to make impact in my own heart for the significance of where Jesus has placed me in this world. Like if you live in Utah Valley, it should be about everyone here. Unless you’re here on vacation. If you’re from this area, this is the place that God has you to make an impact for him in this world.
This is your valley. This is the place that God has called you to in my heart, to strengthen my heart in that knowing. Sometimes it wanes, Sometimes in just a matter of two seconds, I can just blow that how to how to refocus myself. And reorient myself and just to think about the significance. And something I love to do is I love to go out in the peaks over these valleys and just look look out of the horizon and think about the area that God has me. I like if you live out in the Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, when you come across the the knoll down towards Pioneer Crossing, just that the overlook over into the lake towards towards Provo or, or up towards the mountains on traverse or on the back end of that there’s a there’s a hill called Potato Head Hill that is weirdly named but or enzyme peak up in Salt Lake. I love getting up in those places and just looking down in the valley because I’ve before moving here, I’ve studied this valley. I know how it’s growing, I know how much it’s increasing. I know within the next ten years, Lehigh is going to double. And since I’ve been here, it’s doubled in population because the thing that wakes me up in the morning, the thing that drives me, the thing I love more than anything, is, is to live on mission with God’s people, to reach the place that God has called us to.
I wake up for this city. I love living for this area. To think how Christ has led my heart in what He’s done in my life and the opportunity in the in that place now to share that with other people. But I’m not always in those positions. Sometimes I get selfishly focused, sometimes I lose heart. You I get go through different seasons. But to get up on the mountains and just look down in this valley and to think through books like Colossians and the significance of Jesus. As I look into this area and you know, if you get up into enzyme peak up in Salt Lake and you and you look out from Salt Lake County down into Utah County between those two counties, 1.8 million people, and the growth is not slowing down anytime soon. And when you study just this, that horizon of people with just in those those two counties every day in Utah, 54 people die. And every day out of those 54 people. One of them. Statistically one of them. Claims to know that Jesus that’s described in the book of Colossians. Do you missiologists? Lifeway Research, who does a lot of studies on the church in America today. They claim the Salt Lake City Valley, the most unreached place in all of America.
The largest mission field in the United States you are in. In fact, it’s so low in percentage in biblical Christianity here that the only other place you can go to experience it are in Islamic countries that live under Sharia law. You don’t know what Sharia law is. That means if you don’t follow Jesus, you’re either imprisoned or you lose your life. Someone finds out. And this is the area. So when you read a passage like this in the book of Colossians, the preeminence of Jesus, his identity described to us, this is very important to our identity and standing for it in Christ. Not to beat people up with. But to serve. And this is my valley. And this is what wakes me up in the morning with God’s people living on on mission for him, for the sake of the city, to the glory of God. And so, Paul, when he’s thinking about the church that just started off on an a godly rampage for the glory of God, these couple of chapters, he’s encouraging them in their identity of Jesus. And then he’s saying, now, now let’s make application. Because if you really believe that this is who Jesus is, this should impact your life. This should transform your heart, this should change the reason why you wake up in the morning and what you want to live your life for.
So we just ask the question. How do I live my life? That makes an impact for Jesus. Colossians Chapter four, verse two. Paul starts. He says. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in that with an attitude of Thanksgiving. Praying at the same time with us as well that God will open up to us a door for the words that we may speak forth, the mystery of Christ for which I have also been imprisoned. That I may take it clear in the way I ought or make it clear, excuse me, in the way that I ought to speak. Paul says in this impact that we need to make for Christ. We need to understand the importance of just starting this journey with prayer. Like God is sovereign. All things are made by him and for him. And you’re a part of of this plan with a sovereign God who can control all things by his hand. And so in verse two, he says, Watch and pray. Devote yourselves to this. This is this this diligent attitude of persistence and not giving up because we know we connect in prayer to a sovereign God. Keep alert in it with an attitude of Thanksgiving. This this word of keeping alert comes from the book of Nehemiah in chapter four, when when Nehemiah and the Israelites had been taken captive by the Babylonians, they had been drug out of Israel. The temple had been destroyed.
And now under Nehemiah, they’re allowed to go back. They’re going to rebuild the city of Jerusalem. They’re going to rebuild the temple. But as they go back to the city, they start to be attacked by outsiders that have come into this area. And so Nehemiah developed this this thought for the people as they rebuild the walls of Jerusalem In Chapter four and verse nine, he told them to watch and pray, watch and pray as if in one hand you’re trusting in God, praying to him, but you’re also keeping one eye open, looking for any danger for the people around you. And so he’s attributing this same attitude to that of prayer. That you keep alert, but you’re you’re keeping this attitude of prayer. And look what he says now with Thanksgiving. This thought of Thanksgiving, I think is very important for us in the area of prayer. Because when you think about some of the ways we treat people that have when you don’t have. Right. Maybe there’s a kid to a parent or maybe even a position in life where you’ve had some needs. If all you do is go to that person, that relationship to just ask for things when you want it, you know, it creates an awkwardness there. Like they know every time you come to them, you’re probably going to ask for something and and then you start to feel weird about coming to them and then they start to feel weird because they know every time they open the door that there’s going to have that conversation of where you’re going to need something again.
And it creates an awkwardness in that relationship because the relationship hasn’t hasn’t been about just enjoying each other. It’s really just been about coming to when you have a need for someone and and and with your relationship to God. If we’re not careful, it can turn out to be the same thing where you’re just coming to God and all it is, is about asking God to give you what it is that you want in your life. Right? The whole relationship. Part of it is not really even there and experiencing the presence of God because all it’s used for is like God is this genie in the bottle who just grants you the magic wish. If he gives in to his reluctance to want to do so based on the number of times that you’ve prayed to annoy him. Right? The start of Thanksgiving. Is to recognize the goodness of which God has brought forth in your life. And to enjoy his presence in that with Thanksgiving. When Paul is talking about Thanksgiving in this passage of scripture, I think it’s important to remember that he’s writing it from prison. John Piper said, You know, at any time in our lives, God is always pouring out 10,000 blessings on our lives.
And at best, we’re probably aware, aware of 2 to 3. This idea of recognizing what God has done. You know, if you think about what what perspective means in in our lives, we could have a thousand great things happen in in our lives in relationship to God. But that one thing goes wrong and we just get fixated on it, right? It’s like the world crumbles sometimes. It’s as if when one bad thing happens or there’s an adverse situation in which we’re going through, we we forget about the beauty of God’s hand that’s been with us along the journey as if he’s been dependable in all of the things. But now in this circumstance, this one’s going to be different. But Paul reminds the believers watch and pray with Thanksgiving. Church of the Colossians. Remember where God’s brought you so far. He’s not finished with you yet. As long as there’s breath in your lungs. God’s got a plan to continue to work through you in this world. Paul and sharing this prayer then diverts the attention to himself. Asking for boldness. Asking that believers would pray for him, that a door would be opened, that he may speak the the mystery of Christ. It says in verse three. If the apostle Paul, who is an apostle, is asking for prayer over this, how much more important would it be for just regular people like you and I? I mean, this is the apostle Paul we’re talking about here.
This is the brave one. This is the one people would say through Paul, the world is transformed. God really worked through this man. And even Paul saying. And I need prayer. That I may speak the mystery of Christ. Now, what is this mystery? If I told you, I’d have to kill you so I can. Colossians chapter one has already told you. Verse 26 and 27 specifically. That Christ would be in us. Right. And the Old Testament. It was it was a mystery that how God was going to unfold, his plan, what specifically it was going to look like for us. But when the New Testament talks about the mystery, that mystery isn’t isn’t hidden from us, it’s been revealed Jesus has become flesh. Jesus has died for us. Jesus has paid the penalty. The veil in the temple has been torn. Jesus has made that sacrifice. His resurrected from the grave. And now Christ dwells within us. His spirit, His presence is with us. That we have opportunity to connect to God at any moment, no matter where you are. You are a temple of God. That mystery, that mystery has been revealed. And so Paul is saying, listen, I need boldness in my own life to share the beauty of what Jesus has done in me and that he desires to do in others. And in this moment, I’m even imprisoned for this, that I may make it clear the way I ought to speak.
First John chapter five and verse 14 says that we as people, when we pray, should pray according to God’s will. Mean, there is a heart’s desire that the Lord carries in this world. And really what prayer is about isn’t about tapping into the reluctance of God to say God pretty please a thousand times until he gives me what I want. That’s not really the primary purpose of prayer. Now God wants to hear if there’s needs in your life. God certainly wants to hear those things. But according to First John, chapter five, the purpose of prayer isn’t for us to explain to God what we need. But for us to tap into what God is doing in this world, what God desires to do and get on board with it. So prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance. It’s laying a hold of His willingness. It’s connecting with him in relationship on this journey in this world, that we may glorify him and the things that we do. And so Paul in these moments is saying, listen, even in prison. Sometimes we look for the perfect situation where everything’s got to be perfect. We’ve got to be in this homeostasis where all things are happy and then I can live out God’s will. And Paul’s saying, No, that’s not the way it works in this world, that wherever I’m at, God’s got me in a position to make an impact for him on this journey in Christ.
And lay hold of how God is leading. And willingness. Even to the point. But Paul being in prison for sharing Jesus. Is still asking God to give him the strength to share Jesus to those who have imprisoned Him for sharing Jesus. Philippians chapter four and verse 22 tells us that Paul has even entered into Caesar’s household, that that believers, believers are coming from from the prisons that are imprisoning Paul, the soldiers that are imprisoning Paul during Paul’s life. If someone was kept in prison like he is, they would take a a soldier or a guard and they would chain it to a prisoner. And Paul is being chained to a Roman guard in this passage. And Paul’s like, okay, these guys are hooked up to me for eight hours. That’s three people a day. Guess who I get to talk to today? And Paul would share it. And he’s asking for boldness. And he says in Philippians, another book that he writes during this time that Caesar’s household now has the goodness of Christ being declared to him, People are coming to Jesus. And so he goes on in verse five, he says, 2 to 4. Listen, pray, think about the importance of prayer, how you can connect to a sovereign God to see his will accomplish in this world. But then listen to this.
Conduct yourselves with wisdom towards outsiders making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Paul talks about your actions and your words. The way you choose to live your life and what you choose to say through your life. Conduct yourself with wisdom towards outsiders making the most of every opportunity. And the way you live demonstrate the goodness of who God is. Making the most of every opportunity literally means buying your time. It has to do with it’s a business, a business word or a business transaction where someone sees if they make an investment in this particular area, it’s going to have magnified the amount that’s invested into it. So he’s saying use that opportunity as a way to just magnify your investment because God doesn’t allow his word to return void. Demonstrate the goodness of who God is. And then he says and share it. Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt. So that you’ll know how to respond to each person. And the grace of God is a beautiful thing. You know, most people in this world see life as this performance rat race. They see their worth based on their accomplishments. And likeness to that. When they fail, they feel like they’re worthless or failures. But in the grace of God. You have an opportunity to come into people’s lives and to share with them.
And successes and failures. If there is one who loves you beyond all that. He loves you because he’s created you beautifully in him. He loves you because he’s created you for him. Unconditionally. Sacrificially. And so much so. He’s given his life for you. But the thing that all of us have to face is this, that we’ve all been separated from him and experiencing that love. It’s what sin is. Send something we all experience in life. It’s something that we’ve dealt with. In the depths of our hearts, we’ve seen it in the passing of loved ones when they die. The way that the soul grieves, we’ve seen it in our own actions when we’ve done things that we’ve. Regretted. We’ve seen those things. And before. A perfect God. We can’t ever hope to stand before him. But he loves you relentlessly. So much so that in that sin he has pursued you. Because he’s created you for him and he desires to be with you. And so he’s come to this earth and he’s died for that sin. He’s made the payment for those things that have separated you from him. And he really he really leaves you one place in life. He gives you the option. Do you want eternity with him? Do you want to experience eternity with a God that loves you? That. Like that. That cares for you like that.
And in Revelation 21, verses three and four, that tells us he wants to wipe away every tear from your eye where there’s no more pain, no more sorrow. That God wants you to experience life with him forever. His name is Jesus. Not only does our life need to demonstrate the beauty of who God is. Our words need to to state the beauty of who Christ is. In Ephesians chapter two and verse ten, it tells you, for you are created in Christ Jesus for good works. Like Jesus has worked this this miracle in your heart by dying for your sin to experience life with him. God has has created you to to display that glory. Now, in the way that you demonstrate your actions in this world, your your words in this world and this this Ephesians chapter two and verse ten, where it says You’re created in Christ Jesus for good works. It literally is the word for poem. You are God’s poem, God’s masterpiece, God’s demonstration in this world of the significance of who Christ is. What Paul is saying to us in this passage of Scripture is if you want to know how God desires to work in this world, it is through you. You are the one he made in his image. You are the one he breathed his spirit into. You are the one he has died for. If there’s anywhere in this world that should demonstrate the significance of Christ to others, it is the person that knows Jesus.
There is no better place. And so in conducting yourselves and speaking these words, redeeming this time in Christ, and he compares it for us to that of salt. Salt during the time of the Romans. Sometimes when you went to work to pay you for for service. Salt was so valuable that they would pay you in salt. And you’d be looking at it now like, okay, give me my check. Right. But they would pay you in salt. And the reason salt was so important is because it preserved life. And you don’t have a refrigerator, but you shot the deer and you want to eat the meat, man. And the salt prolongs life. And it adds flavor. Not only that, in the book of Leviticus, in chapter two and verse 13, the Bible tells us that salt was even used as a way to to make sacrifices in the temple before God. It’s as if you’re saying, God, I’m taking this this blessing that you’ve given me to demonstrate your worth by offering it back to you. And we do this in our actions and conduct in the New Testament, what we say about Jesus, how we handle our lives and demonstration of Jesus. And in doing so, it preserves life and it flavors life in the grace of God. There is no grace. Like the grace of Christ.
Like if you say, okay, living my life on mission for Jesus in this valley, what does it look like? And Paul says it in three ways, right? I mean, you’re praying about the things that you think the Lord desires to see happen in this valley. You’re carrying the heart of God in prayer towards what’s going on around you. That you’re living your life that says, I do. I belong to this king. And that you’re sharing the significance of what he has done with those around you. And then verses 7 to 14, Paul goes to these illustrations of of just individuals. They’re not really illustrations, as Paul says them, but I’m going to use them as illustrations. Paul is going on these missionary journeys. He starts to collect individuals that are joining him on mission to share Christ with those around them. And so he goes through all these individuals that people in areas and churches would have been aware of because they would have traveled to these regions and proclaimed Christ. And so he starts to share about these people. He says, As to all my affairs, listen, I want to give you an update now on what’s happening with everyone that’s doing this with me, with Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond servant. The Lord will bring you information. So this individual is going to go to the Colossians and share this letter and give information.
Paul didn’t want to disclose everything that was happening to him, but he wanted to send this individual to share more. By the way, as we’re going through these individuals, you’re going to see there’s really two character qualities that really shine forth from these individuals that make them so impactful for Christ as they’re living their lives. And so you see these three areas of of prayer, of proclaiming God’s word and living out God’s word. And now you get to look at individuals doing it in the flesh. So he says in verse eight, for I have sent him to you for this very purpose that you may know about our circumcision and that he may encourage your hearts or circumstances, sorry circumstances, and he may encourage your hearts. And with him Onissimus our faithful and beloved brother who was one of your number, they will inform you about the whole situation here. Aristarchus. My fellow prisoner sends you his greetings. And also Barnabas cousin Mark, about whom you receive instruction. If he comes to you, welcome him and also Jesus, who is called justice. These are the only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God who are from the circumcision, and they have proved to be an encouragement to me. Epaphras Who is one of your number? Epaphras is the one that started the church. A Bondslave of Jesus Christ sends you his greetings. Always laboring earnestly for you in prayers that you may stand perfect and full assured in all that will of God.
For I testify for Him that He has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings and also Demas. There are just a couple of character qualities I want to point out from these individuals. If you look at the way Paul describes them, there’s just two things that are prominent. The way that all of these individuals live their lives. Paul uses several adjectives for them, but they’re committed toward one another and love for one another. I think Paul even refers to Luke and I believe it’s in verse 17 or 14. I can tell you real quick, Paul refers to Luke in verse 14 as the beloved. Meaning they’re showing this relationship of commitment and love towards one another. But in addition to that, towards the Lord and in fact, Tychicus here is called the bond servant in the Lord. This word for bond serve. It’s kind of an interesting word. It really is in reference to a slave, we think or hear the word slavery and you read it in scripture. Sometimes we have the mentality of taking what we’ve learned in American culture about slavery and attributing it to passages like this. The chapter, the beginning of Chapter four, The end of Chapter three, talks about slavery. And while slavery is nothing I want to promote, nothing I think is a glorious thing by any stretch of the imagination.
It’s a horrific thing that happened in American church history to look or American history, I should say, and church history, but to look at slavery in biblical times and attribute that to what happened in America is not a direct it should not be considered a direct correlation, nor should it be compared in that way, because the slavery that’s talked about in this scripture is a little bit different. And I just want to think through this mentality within this passage of Scripture, not encouraging slavery ever for any reason. But what happened within the biblical times is this when someone got went into debt or a nation got conquered, the tendency was to take someone in debt and they would become a bond servant or a slave. Or when a nation was conquered, they would could they could become slaves as well to serve. And when someone would become a servant because of debt, let’s say someone went into debt and they would become a slave, it was not given to any particular race of people or ethnic group of people. It was open to anyone. Anyone could have gone in debt and anyone could have become a slave for any reason. A slavery during this time, if a slave would have been kept well by a master or whoever was over them and they paid off their debt and they’re set free, that slave would have a choice.
They could either go free or they could stay with the individual who was master over them. When someone would choose to stay with that individual, they would become what’s referred to in the Bible as a bond slave. They they willingly became a bond servant or bond slave. And so they were giving usually some sort of mark to identify that they had enslaved themselves to that master for the rest of their lives. Now, you can ask the question, why would someone do that? Well, it’s because that that master took such good care of the individual that they would receive better care staying with that master than they would if they were to go out and try to find some other job. They got paid so well and taken care of so well where they were that they would choose to stay in the position that they were in had nothing to do with race. But an individual who was in debt found himself working off that debt and realized in the position that they were in with that master that the care that they received, the payment that they got in that household was better than any job they were going to find in the area. And so they would choose to stay with that master because of the goodness of that individual. What it’s saying about Tychicus in this passage of Scripture.
As he tasted the goodness of Jesus. And Jesus is Lord. And he’s laid himself down. To Christ. Jesus is my master. He is good. Onissimus, who is also described as from the book of Philemon. Onissimus was discovered by Paul in Rome. He had escaped from Philemon’s house. He was a slave. He actually had run away as an escaped slave. Paul meets him in Rome. He comes to know Christ and Paul sends him back. Philemon. And so now even in this story, not only are you seeing Tichicus, but you also see Onissimus, who’s going back with Tichicus to put himself as a subject literally back under slavery to represent who’s greater king? Who is Christ? When you go throughout this passage. I think one of the more important for me. Is the individual of a path for some chapter or chapter four, verse 12. Path verse was the one who started this church. And what type of heart did he demonstrate? As Paul has just suggested us, three things to keep as important. It says this about a bondslave of Jesus sends you his greetings. Always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers. That you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify to you that he has a deep concern for you. And for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis. You know what I think a path first up in the morning.
I think it was his love for the city. I think he could look out over the plains and just get a perspective of what Jesus has done in his heart and what Jesus can do in the hearts of people around him. Maybe there was a place in his life. That he could go to. Look out over the peak. And say, God, this is where you called me. 1.8 million within two counties. Every day, 54 people die. One of them. One of them claims to know Christ in the book of Colossians. It says when you read about the life of a Paris. He has deep. Concern for you. Talking about the church living on mission. Has deep concern for you. Always laboring earnestly for you that you may stand perfect and fully assured in the will of God. This perfection is complete. Sought for perfection isn’t sinless, but it means complete. This is maturity in Jesus. Or Second Corinthians chapter five and verse 20 says this We are ambassadors for Christ as though God were making an appeal through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. If you don’t like the night shot, there’s a day shot. If you don’t like the shot, how about that? I read a story this week on Norman Geisler, who I like to end sometimes, was talking about Christian leaders throughout church history and Norman Geisler. It’s like I’m telling a story and he’s not dead yet.
But Norman Geisler is 83 years old. He’s still alive, and he started the Southern Evangelical Seminary as a great writer. And he’s done a lot for Christianity, especially in America. And now he’s an older saint in years. But when you read his story, it’s incredible what happened in his life as a young boy. A church van used to drive around in his neighborhood and it stopped by and picked him up. And the first thing he ever went to in a church was a vacation Bible school. But as he shared his own story, that church continued to pick him up every Sunday for for really the rest of his life as a young adult, before he into young adulthood, before he could drive or had a vehicle all the way up into high school, his senior year of high school, 400 times they counted, this van would go by his house and picked him up throughout his life to take him to church or over 400 times. But but something unique happened in the 400th time This van came to his house to pick him up. And I have no idea how they counted 400, but that’s what the story said. Okay. 400 time they came to his house and picked him up and he came to the church to worship with everyone. And it was that time he put his faith in Christ.
You think about what it took and persistence and patience for someone 400 times to drive to someone’s house to pick them up. And the 400th time they put their faith in Christ. I mean, what if that van stopped at 399? One of the greatest leaders in Christian history over the last century. Will not place their faith in Christ that day. And who knows how things would have been written from there, because I know the Southern Evangelical Seminary has put out thousands of people around the world proclaiming the Gospel for Christ. I say all that to say, Guys, we get to places in our lives where sometimes we know the beauty of who Christ is. But we lose heart. And we need perspective. And we need the encouragement to recognize that sometimes it takes someone to get in a van to drive 400 times. Because Jesus has done far more for you. With deep concern for his city. I perforce got off his butt and 400 times. He continued in. And he saw God make change. And for you, wherever you are, if Jesus is who he says he is and you believe it. Keep driving the van, because the Bible tells us we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were making an appeal through us. We beg you, on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.