Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from July 4-10 are provided by Pastor Barry Kang, who heads Symphony Church in Boston. Barry, a graduate of Stanford University and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Sunny (an amazing worship leader, chef and math wizard). They are the proud parents of Caleb and Micah.
Devotional Thought for Today
Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant 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.
Sometimes when we hear a sermon or read the Bible, the knowledge we gain is left theoretical or conceptual. When Tychicus delivered this letter to the church in Colossae, the Colossians might reasonably have thought they’d have time to reflect upon these words and consider their implications. However, they wouldn’t have this luxury. They would be tested right away.
For along with Tychicus was a man they hadn’t expected to see: Onesimus, a runaway slave from Philemon’s household—now returned, and a Christian with a recommendation from the Apostle Paul to boot! They all knew Philemon of course. He was a respected follower of Christ and a wealthy home-owner and host to a church that met in his house. If they didn’t know Onesimus’s story, they would have heard soon enough.
It is likely that Tychicus would have read the letter from Paul in their public gathering. As they listened, their eyes would have shifted in Onesimus’s direction on more than one occasion.
Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (3:11-14)
Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. (4:1)
and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. (4:8)
So how would they receive and welcome the runaway slave? Praise God for an immediate opportunity to obey and give honor to our God!
The Word of God is not meant to be hypothetical or theoretical.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
His word challenges us and transforms us. The quicker we obey, the quicker the transformation takes root. Is there a step (or steps) of obedience God has been asking you to take? Let us be a people who obey and right away!
Father, You delight not in our sacrifices but our obedience. We want to be a people who are transformed through Your word. Help us not to keep Your word only in our minds, but give us Your grace to immediately live Your good and perfect will. Thank You for the example of Jesus who obeyed that will even unto death. Thank You that His obedience meant our salvation. As we think upon Jesus, may we also likewise put on Christ each day, this day. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Psalm 103