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Summary: If we are going to accomplish anything in this life it will take the help of our friends.

A SMALL CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: PART 1

Text: Col. 4:7-11

Introduction

1. "And Someone died for all your friends but even better yet He lives again.

And if this song does not make sense to you, I hope His Spirit slips on through, He loves you. He loves you, He loves you" (A Song For A Small Circle Of Friends, Larry Norman).

2. Paul concludes this letter to the Colossians, as he does many of his letters, by thanking and praying for his friends.

3. In this conclusion Paul makes reference to 10 friends. In this message we will talk about the first five of them. He talked about...

A. The Friend With The Servants Heart

B. The Friend With The Sinful Past

C. The Friend Who Has Your Back

D. The Friend Who Is Forgiven

E. The Friend With Strong Commitment

4. Let's stand together as we read Col. 4:7-11

Proposition: If we are going to accomplish anything in this life it will take the help of our friends.

Transition: The first friend that Paul talks about is...

I. The Friend With A Servants Heart (7-8).

A. Beloved Brother And Faithful Helper

1. Paul concludes his letter to the Colossians by talking about his friends, and the one at the top of the list is Tychicus.

2. In v. 7, Paul writes, "Tychicus will give you a full report about how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper who serves with me in the Lord’s work."

A. Tychicus means "fortunate." Indeed, he was fortunate to have ministered with Paul for so many years. He is mentioned five times in the New Testament.

B. Although the references are brief, they give us a rich profile of the man.

We first meet Tychicus in Acts 20:4. Paul was in Ephesus near the end of his third missionary journey.

C. He planned to return to Jerusalem via Macedonia, where he intended to collect an offering. With the offerings from Galatia and Achaia, he would present it to the needy believers at Jerusalem.

D. By doing so, he hoped to cement the bond between the predominantly Gentile churches outside of Palestine, and the predominantly Jewish church at Jerusalem.

E. He also planned to take some Gentile believers from Greece and Asia Minor as representatives of their churches to the Jerusalem church. Among them was Tychicus.

F. Tychicus's willingness to travel with Paul to Jerusalem shows his servant's heart. Such a journey was not to be undertaken lightly. Travel in the ancient world was far more difficult and dangerous than in our day.

G. The trip to Jerusalem would be very grueling, and it would take Tychicus away from his family, friends, and church for a long time.

H. Along the way, Paul was repeatedly warned that trouble awaited him in Jerusalem. Although Tychicus must certainly have heard those warnings, he remained with Paul.

I. Helper: is from the Greek word diakonos, and means a servant. Although it refers to a servant in general, in the NT it also refers to a servant to God and His people.

3. In v. 8, Paul talks about Tychicus's purpose in going to the Colossians. Paul says, "I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you."

A. Not only will Tychicus deliver the letter of Colossians, he will also bring the Colossians information about Paul's affairs and update them on his circumstances.

B. That would include bringing them information on Paul's health, his hopes, and his future prospects.

C. He would also encourage their hearts by adding a personal word of encouragement to what was written in the letter and answering their queries about Paul's condition.

B. Called To Serve

1. Illustration: You need to answer a very important question this morning. Are you more interested in being served or being a servant? A first grade teacher asked her students, "What do you do to help at home?" One little girl said, "I dry the dishes." One of the boys said, "I sweep the floor." Another one said, "I feed and water the dog." Every student in the class had something to contribute except for one boy sitting in the back. The teacher looked qt him asked, "What do you do to help out at home?" He said, "I stay out of the way." That's a problem in the church. Too many church members just stay out of the way. A Gallup poll discovered that only 10% of church members are active in any kind of personal ministry in their church. 50% said that they have no desire or interest in serving in any ministry.

2. If you want to be like Jesus you have to be a servant and get involved!

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