This Sunday we examined Paul’s final greetings in his letter to the Ephesians. He tells them that he sent Tychicus to Encourage their hearts. We look at what makes a “heart encourager”. I hope your heart is encouraged as you listen.
Ephesians 6-21-24 (Mp3 File for Download)
Open your Bible’s please to Ephesians chapter 6. We are going to read verses 21-24.
This is the section of the letter that is called “final Greetings”. Here Paul is closing his letter to the church in Ephesus like many of us might finish out an email or a letter written by hand on paper. He Closes it with a personal note. Apparently he sent this letter through Tychicus, who most likely carried it to the church and may have read it out load along with a few other remarks that he mentions. In this closing comments there are a few things that are underlying what he is saying that I want to draw out.
Next week we will recap the whole book, so I will spare you that now. but you may remember that Paul has really shared a lot with this church. He has shared a ton of theology, as well as some pretty foundational things for how to walk out that theology. He has talked of grand, high level Gospel stuff, as well as nitty gritty stuff, speaking to even the children. And as he closes out this book, he wants to finish with something on their minds. He wants to give them something that will not really tie it all together, but remind them of a few things.
The first thing I want to point out to you in this text which is not a direction that Paul is giving, but an example that is set, and by that token a lesson for us to learn. That is this. Paul sent Tychicus to them not just to deliver the letter. He could have sent anyone, but he chose this man for a reason. and he tells us part of that.
Tychicus was a beloved brother. He was dear to Paul, and was sent for a reason. Now, I don’t know much about Tychicus, but I can guess a few things, based on the reason Paul sent him to them.
Now the phrase that struck me as I was studying this text was this: “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.”
This tells me two things.
Tychicus was in tune with what was going on in Paul’s life.
Tychicus was beloved because he was a heart encourager.
The main thing that I ask myself when I read this is “when people interact with me, do I encourage their heart?” Which also led me to the question, “would Paul have sent me to Ephesus?” There is a difference between people who are people you hang out with and people who encourage your heart. There is a difference.
I would wager to say that the majority of the people we spend time with do not encourage our hearts. Especially if you are in a service related field. Many times if you are serving people, they are only looking to take from you, and are not looking to build you up.
So, What are some characteristics of a person who encourages other’s hearts? Well, I think if you look at what follows in his farewell, you can find some attributes that contribute to encouraging hearts.
Gospel Focussed friends:
Peace be to the Brothers: Friends that encourage your heart are ones that bring peace to Chaos. They are friends that can talk you off of a ledge, and remind you of the gospel. The best way to bring peace to a troubled friend is to remind them of who they are in Jesus. Do you bring peace, or chaos to your relationships?
Love with faith: Gospel Focussed friends are ones who love you towards faith in Christ. When a heart is troubled, and needs to be encouraged, needs love, but not the type of love that says to do whatever feels right, and trust your heart. The type of love that encourages hearts says, “God loves you, trust Him.” Are you the type of friend that encourages love and faith in the people you interact with?
Do you come to your brothers and sisters with Grace, and encourage them to Love Jesus more?