Monday, March 25, 2013

Mannaword.com

I have been able to purchase a domain name "Mannaword" from Wordpress for this blog. So please go to Mannaword.com and reset your feeds so it will receive my future posts.

I am about to begin a study in 1 Peter. You won't want to miss a drop, so please reset your data now.

Thanks so for reading and studying with me.
Iris

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Closet Ministry

Colossians 4:10-18 is mainly Paul's greeting and sharing about people in His life that the folk in Colossae knew, and what they have done to help him further the gospel. There are two items of interest I want to highlight. 

The first one is 4:12-13 where Paul talks about a man named Epaphras. "Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always striving for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. For I testify about him, that he has worked hard for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those in Herapolis." NHEB  Epaphras has proven himself to be a true servant of the Christian communities in three locations. He is a true intercessor. He is mentioned here, in the first chapter and at the close of Philippians. Some believe this is just a shortened form of Epaphroditus mentioned earlier in Philippians 2. 

It matters not. What does matter is that we seen this work is a "closet work," unless someone, in this case Paul, mentions the action. Paul sees this man's prayers for others as an enabling work for them. Oh that we would get this understanding in today's Body of Christ! He evidently was praying for entire Christian communities. His heart was big in Jesus, and he knew that his prayers made a difference in their development in Christ. 

When we see a lack in any Body of Believers, may we remember this man and join the Holy Spirit in prayer for their sufficiency in that area. We are so prone to criticize and find fault. If we see something that needs changing, let's begin to pray for them regarding that. People on their knees (figuratively if not otherwise) seldom cause problems with their mouths. Those who complain, usually have not prayed for those in question. May we begin to be as Epaphras in our prayers and be a part of the establishment of His Body. 

The other small passage is verse 17, "Tell Archippus, 'Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.'" Whatever the service (ministry) the Lord has given us, we need to hear this encouragement and directive. We need to be diligent in fulfilling what He has spoken - whether it is public or private in nature. Again, that matters not, but what does matter is our participation in the Body in His appointment and call. 

Then Paul ends this marvelous time of sharing with these people with, "The salutation of me, Paul with my own hand: remember my bonds. Grace be with you." May we remember in prayer all those who are imprisoned in our world for the Gospel's sake, and may we extend grace to all.

In another day or so, I will begin our study in 1 Peter. Join me then. Grace to all!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Unusual - Name & Ministry

"All my affairs will be made known to you by Tychicus, the beloved brother, faithful servant, and fellow bondservant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts, together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you everything that is going on here." Colossians 4:7-9 NHEB

Tychius is a person Paul uses often to send places to take care of things for him. Tychicus is first mentioned in Acts 20:4 where Luke tells us that Tychicus was among several men accompanying Paul from Asia. Then we have Paul mentioning him in Ephesians 6:21 and once again sending him on a mission. In 2 Timothy 4:12 it is stated that Paul is sending him to Ephesus, and in Titus 3:12 once again he is being sent. 

He was a very useful servant of the Lord assigned to Paul and the need he had as an apostle to keep in touch with the people he had brought into the Kingdom. In our passage today, Paul calls him, "beloved brother, faithful servant, and fellow bondservant in the Lord." Now that is a beautiful description of a diligent and faithful servant of the Lord. 

Tychius evidently had been assigned to Paul by the Lord Jesus, and took his work for Paul very serious and was all that he needed to be in the service of Paul. That was his call. We do not have a record of him teaching or ministering to other people, although that also might have been a part of his ministry to Paul and through his mission to Paul. His was a job of diligent service, especially in traveling and communicating in the name of another person. 

Isn't it interesting? The service of one Christian brother on assignment to serve another Christian brother is considered a ministry unto Jesus as a bond-servant. (For those who are unfamiliar with this term, please read Exodus 21:2-6 and Deuteronomy 15:12-17). This placement was not one of abuse or control, but rather of love in Jesus - freely given and freely received. 

May we see that our service to one another, especially if we have received such an assignment from the Lord, is counted as ministry unto Him. This would change a lot of things in the Body of Christ. Lord, open our hearts and our eyes, to our calling to serve one another in your love, and teach us faithfulness and diligence in that service.