REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on March 1, 2015, is provided by Mei Lan Thallman, a friend of AMI. Mei Lan is a graduate of Asbury College (BA) and Asbury Theological Seminary (MA) in Kentucky.
Spiritual Food for Thought the Weekend
“Being a Faithful Teammate”
Col. 4:7-18 (NIV)
“Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.  I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.  He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.  My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)  Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me.  Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.  I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.  Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.  Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.  After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.  Tell Archippus: ‘See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.’  I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.”
It was a blessing for me to read about Billy Graham and his 3 decades of enduring lifelong partnership with his ministry teammates, of which the most familiar to the public are: Cliff Barrows, Grady Wilson, and George Beverly Shea. In this present age, we are bombarded and accustomed to hearing about the failures of leaders from all sectors of life. So I found it refreshing, inspiring and hopeful in reading about modern day saints who have faithfully finished their God-given calling with such humility, grace, and integrity. It’s no surprise to find that their personal and ministry success of serving together at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association were birthed out of the spirit, mind set, and effort of being a team. Ruth Graham, Billy Graham’s daughter described her father’s ministry team in this way: “Not only has the ministry been a team effort, but what strikes me is that it has also been an effort made largely by the same team”.
As I read about Billy Graham’s team, I began to yearn prayerfully about being part of a dream team like what they had. Through a deeper look at Colossians 4:7-18, I got a glimpse of apostle Paul’s missionary team, and how God powerfully used their team efforts to reach the lost, as well as to plant and nurture the young churches. In the meantime, God began to shift my mindset to prayerfully work on becoming the kind of teammate it takes to make the dream team; that is, what I can do or contribute to have that team building attitude.
My prayer is that God would help me to be like these men: a faithful and encouraging teammate like Tychicus and Onesimus; a courageous and loyal teammate like Aristarchus, who when the ships are down one can count on him to be there even in suffering; a comforting teammate like Justus; a prayer warrior and pastor teammate like Epaphras; a single- minded, passionate, and daring teammate like Paul, who is not afraid to challenge others to fulfill their God- given potentials and hold them accountable; a brave, yet a tender-hearted teammate like Barnabas, who is not afraid to come along side to work through conflicts, in order to make a stronger team (i.e., Paul and John Mark). I want to imitate these people in becoming a better teammate in my family, small group, Sunday School, and church.
Our God is glorified and we are sanctified when with one Spirit, heart and mind, we work together as a team (Jn. 17:20-25). Let’s take time to thank God for the teammates He has already blessed us with, as well as boldly asking Him to continue to grow and use us as a team builder in running the great adventure of faith.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be a faithful teammate to those who are on my team, whether spiritual, familiar, or work-related. Thank You for being my exemplary leader through and through. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 62-63