Summary: Paul describes Networking, Peace, Love, Faith, and Grace to all with eternal love for Jesus
Ephesians 6:21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.
23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
Networking has been a business catchphrase for the past several decades. You can build your business much more effectively if you learn to connect with people from various backgrounds as quickly as possible. Paul seemed to understand this in the first Century. He was a perennial networker. The Ephesian Elders understood this. He spoke to them in Acts 20:13-38 (go there & read if you like). In his farewell speech he reminded them how he worked day and night with his own two hands to provide for his needs and those of his ministry team. He had a team there, and it was his business that took care of their expenses. The meeting with the Ephesian Elders is itself an example of valuing the connections with people.
I’m an introvert. Nothing charges my batteries better than a few hours alone with good writing to read, and music to practice. Crowds drain me. But my introversion doesn’t matter. God designed us to be connected beings. We can build each other up and help each other only when we are profoundly connected with one another. John said it this way, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Love is patient and kind, not boastful or envious or proud or paying attention to the wrongs of others. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13). All of the qualities of love, even those qualities of non-love, are expressed in connection with others. Love can’t be done alone with your feelings. Love is active. So, introvert or extrovert, we must learn to be connected with others if we want to realize the power of Gods’ love in our relationships. Paul sends Tychicus to seal the network connection. You can’t help but feel Paul would have gone himself if he weren’t in prison.
Peace, Love, Faith, Grace to all with eternal love for Jesus
Many people claim to love God. If you demonstrate that by loving others, you will experience peace that passes understanding. Years ago I was sitting with a friend, Dean, at his wife, Jenny’s, funeral. Dean and Jenny came to faith in Christ at our church. Dean had been an atheist. His transition to faith was radical and beautiful. He was a big, burly believer. Jenny was vibrant and energetic, with a heart so full of sweetness it spilled over on everyone she met. She also smoked like a chimney. She got cancer, but didn’t know. She was in terrible pain for several months, but was only diagnosed two weeks before her death. Her death was a shock to everyone. I spoke at her funeral, and afterwards we all had lunch together. I sat across from Dean, and he had a peaceful smile on his face. I told him it was good to see him smiling. He said “Oh, was I smiling? I’m sorry!” I told him not to apologize. Peace is a gift from God. It is nurtured by faith and expressed most fully in our most difficult trials. When peace is inside us, it flows out through our eyes and smiles. Peace will be there in the one who loves Jesus.
What is love? The word here, is agapé. Some of you are immediately thinking “ah, that’s God’s love”. I suppose that’s true. Agapé is the love God offers us, but that doesn’t help us define what love is, it just tells us it’s what God does & is. The Bible teaches that men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). The word there is also agapé. I’d suggest that love is absolute, whole-hearted devotion. Put that in the verse that appears a little earlier in John-3:16, “For God was so absolutely whole heartedly devoted to the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him doesn’t have to die, but can have age-abiding life.” It works. God is absolutely, whole-heartedly devoted to you. He shows this by action. You can’t really say you love until you have behaved the same way. This is the love Paul wishes for each of the readers of this letter.