This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #364 titled, “How to Make the Lord Your Shepherd .” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
The Bible reads in Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Charles Spurgeon said, “The church has a deep well of joy, of which none can drink but her own children. There are stores of wine, and oil, and corn, hidden in the midst of our Jerusalem, upon which the saints of God are evermore sustained and nurtured; and sometimes we have our seasons of intense delight.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Are we so in love with the Lord Jesus that He could ask anything of us and we’d do it? If God tells you to get up at 4:00 a.m. and intercede would you do it?”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Asuza Street church quickly became a revival center visited by Christians from around the world. The Pentecostal movement was born, and it became the fastest-growing Protestant movement of the century. In fact, religion writers in an Associated Press survey in 1999 voted the Asuza Revival as one of the hundred most important religious movements of the millennium.”
As Paul says goodbye to the Ephesian believers, for what may be the last time, we notice another trait of the man who wrote most of the New Testament. Paul had an outward focus and an intense care for the well-being of others. Paul sent Tychicus to these believers, not only so they could know his affairs, but so that he could “comfort their hearts.”
There was much that could make these believers ‘uncomfortable’. They were young in the faith. They would face persecution if they had not faced it already. Many churches during that time struggled financially and otherwise because, in some places in the Roman Empire, Christians were shunned because they would not worship the old gods. On top of that, the Ephesian believers would have been worried about Paul’s condition since he was in prison.
So, Paul is concerned about their mentality. He does not want them to be afraid and worried, so he sends Tychicus to comfort them. The word ‘comfort’ comes from the Greek word ‘pa-ra-ka-le-o’. It is the same word used to describe the work of the Holy Spirit. Among other things, it means: ‘to console, to encourage, and to strengthen.’ Paul wanted these believers to be strong in the Lord. He did not want them to be weakened by their concerns for him or for anything else. So, even as he is in prison, he sends someone to comfort, strengthen, and encourage them.
As believers today, we ought to be concerned about those who have reason to worry or fret; and we should go out of our way to be a blessing and encouragement to them.