ODJ: thank you, friends

October 24, 2013 

READ: Colossians 4:7-18 

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God (Philippians 1:3).

Albert Lee, former international director of RBC Ministries—the parent ministry of ODJ—was instrumental in helping the organisation to establish offices in 32 locations and to distribute resources to more than 150 countries. On his 60th birthday, he wrote these words, “As I reflect on the past 60 years of my life, my story could be summarised with these two words: greatly helped.”

Indeed, no ministry can ever be accomplished alone. Even the great apostle Paul needed help from his friends. He was assisted by his friend Tychicus—a man with a servant’s heart. He was as trustworthy as that FedEx man who won’t allow foul weather to prevent the delivery of your packages, and as faithful as that friend you would trust to stand in as interim pastor (Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12). Tychicus never sought prominence; he simply served.

Aristarchus was Paul’s travel companion from Ephesus to Jerusalem to Rome (Acts 19:29, 20:4, 27:2; Colossians 4:10). He stuck with Paul through thick and thin. Every leader needs a friend like Aristarchus who is there to share the burdens of the road.

Paul also had Epaphras, a man known for his zealous prayers (vv.12-13). You can imagine what an encouragement he was to Paul as they agonised together in praying for others.

Then there’s Doctor Luke (v.14). He joined Paul in his second mission trip and stayed till the end. He knew every pain and scar on Paul’s body. And, like Paul, he was highly educated and cultured. I’m sure they must have enjoyed sparring together over ideas.

Many of us will not be asked to do prominent things for God, but we can still be a Tychicus, Aristarchus, Epaphras or Luke. Together we can advance Jesus’ kingdom until He returns. —Poh Fang Chia

Read Proverbs 27:17 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 to see some benefits of true friendship. 
Make a list of people who have helped you become the person you are. Write a card, make a call or express your appreciation to them in some other way today.