Let’s start off today with a little scripture.
Do not click out of this blog! It’s only a few verses and they are important for what I want to say. So, hang in there with me. 🙂
We are going to read from Colossians.
Colossians 4:7-18 (ESV)
(7)Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant[a] in the Lord. (8)I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, (9) and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
(10) Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), (11) and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. (12) Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. (13) For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. (14) Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. (15) Give my greetings to the brothers[b] at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. (16) And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. (17) And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
(18) I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
I found this passage very interesting. I’m sure I’ve read it many times during my lifetime. In fact, I have likely just skimmed over it because it was just a bunch of names—blah, blah, blah—you know, I wanted to get to the “meat” of my Bible reading.
But today was different. Today I saw The Names. Did you see them? Paul took the time to mention person after person, and not just their names: Tychicus, beloved brother and faithful minster and fellow servant. Onesius, faithful beloved brother. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner. Mark, the cousin of Barnabus. Epaphras, a servant of Christ Jesus. Luke, the beloved physician. He described each one of them. He clearly knew them. He took interest in each one of them. He wanted the people of the church to know them, not only by name, but by “who” they were. And, God saw to it that Paul’s letters with these names were preserved for thousands of years for us to read about today.
Don’t you think if He sees their importance He sees mine and yours? He knows you by name. He knows who you are, where you are, and what you are about. Nothing you do goes unnoticed. Never feel invisible. What is the most important thing you can be known for? I know for me, I want to be known as Lisa, a child of God.
One more thing. Notice how Paul signed the letter, “Remember my chains.” Of course, we know that he was in prison during this time. But, perhaps it goes even deeper than that. He did have physical chains on. But, he also seemed to feel responsible for the church and for God’s people. I think he must have felt a lot of pressure, especially because he couldn’t be there personally to help the people of the church. His “chains”. His stress. His anxiety. His worries.
Each of us have “chains”. When you look at your spouse, child, co-worker, neighbor…remember their “chains”. You don’t know what they are dealing with on the inside. Sometimes all we see is the outside…the protective shell they put on to cover up the inner pain. Let’s not be so quick to judge and instead take the time to look at people through God’s eyes so we can recognize that perhaps they are in a personal prison—a prison that we can bring light to through Jesus.
Lisa Bull sees her life as a journey along God’s divine plan. While considering herself an expert on nothing, she enjoys laughing and has made “choosing joy” her motto. Lisa has experienced God’s unfailing love and grace in her life and wants nothing more than for others to enjoy that same gift in their lives.
Lisa is the daughter and granddaughter of ministers. She has multiple relatives in ministry on both sides of her father’s family including several pastors, pastor’s wives, and missionaries. In fact, ministry in her maternal grandmother’s family can be traced back several generations. She loves being a wife and mother of two terrific young men.