It was important to the Apostle Paul that before he closed letters to the churches he was writing to that he would often recognize people who were special to him in the ministry. These things were not just additions that Paul added from his own purposes, but things that the Holy Spirit put in his heart and preserved them in the inspired Word of God for us. There’s nothing wrong whatsoever about showing appreciation to those who have meant so much to us in life and ministry. In these closing verses Paul once again does this. Paul penned it and the Holy Spirit preserved it.
I’m interested in a man that we truly know little about. He is only mentioned five times in the New Testament (Acts 20:4; Eph 6:21; 2 Tim 4:12; Titus 3:12 & our text). Tychicus is mentioned here by Paul as “a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord”. Eph 6:21 describes him in a similar way, Tychicus, “a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord”. That seems to be his life story, his legacy. We usually think of a legacy being possessions, property or money left for those who come after us, but a legacy is anything handed down from an ancestor or predecessor.
Could I ask you today—what is your legacy? What are you leaving for those who will follow you? Parents leave a legacy for their families. Church members leave a legacy for those who follow them. Preachers leave legacies for those who follow their ministry. Churches leave legacies for members yet to come. Someone once said that a legacy is “planting seeds in a garden that you never get to see.” I’m sure you have someone in your mind today that has left their mark in some way on your life.
What kind of legacy are we leaving? What kind of legacy do you want to leave? I want to point out a few things about “Leaving a Lasting Legacy.”
A LEGACY IS MADE BY OUR CHARACTER.
Notice what Paul says about the character of Tychicus. Paul called him “a beloved brother” in verse 7. The word “beloved” that Paul used is the Greek word agape, which tells us what Paul and others thought of this man. It says a lot about someone’s character when people say they are so greatly loved. The word “brother” means one of the same womb. Do we realize how tremendously great the bond between Christians is? The old hymn says, “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.” It’s so sad to hear of brothers and sisters in Christ getting in one another’s faces in anger.
This man Tychicus was so greatly loved by the Apostle Paul and the early churches that Paul twice called him a beloved brother. Sadly, there are those who have their names on our church roles that we’d strain to say that about but thank God for those that we can say about them that they are greatly loved. A lasting legacy is made by our character.
A LASTING LEGACY IS MARKED BY OUR CONDUCT.
In other words, a lasting legacy is like a representation of the landscape of our lives. Something that is easily noticed by others. Is that the kind of legacy we are leaving? Is that the kind of roadmap our lives are providing for those who know us best? What does Paul say about this man Tychicus? Look at the text again.
Paul called Tychicus “a faithful minister and fellowservant of the Lord”. Someone has said, “The greatest ability in the world is dependability,” and this man Tychicus was an immensely gifted man in that ability. He never penned a book that was part of the canon of scriptures, but he faithfully discharged his service to the Lord to the point that the great Apostle called him a faithful minister and fellowservant.
Do you know why Paul could say this? It says about Tychicus in Acts 20:4-“And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus”. Early in the ministry of Paul Tychicus was traveling with Paul. Indications are from our text is that Paul is sending Tychicus to carry this letter to the church at Colossae so that he might bring them word about Paul, who was then in prison, and to comfort and encourage them. He would then carry the letter on to Laodicea, vs 16. Then in 2 Tim 4:12 just before Paul would face death, he mentions sending Tychicus on another journey. I think of all that Paul has been through—beatings, stoning, arrested, shipwrecked, imprisoned, but Tychicus has been faithful to stay with the great man of God. That’s why Paul could say these words about Tychicus.
The letters which Tychicus bore to Asia would outlast the Roman Empire! We are talking about his faithfulness to the Lord some 2,000 years later. The world may not see what we do as important, but God does, and He never forget our works. The Church is far richer because of Colossae and Paul and his fellow servant Tychicus. The life of this common man who loyally served Christ and Paul graces all of our lives today. A lasting legacy is made by our character and marked by our conduct.
A LASTING LEGACY CAN BE MARRED BY OUR CHOICES.
Part of the group of men who traveled many miles with the Apostle Paul through his missionary journeys was another man named Demas. Notice vs 14 in the same chapter we’ve studied about Tychicus. At the same time the events of this letter were taking place another letter was being sent to a man named Philemon who lived in Colossae. In that letter, Paul wrote in Philemon 24-“Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers”. But then something changed. In 2 Tim 4:10, we read some words that must have been so heartbreaking for Paul to write when he said, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world”. All of the good that could have been remembered about Demas has suddenly been marred by that statement. That is what we remember about Demas, don’t we? That became his legacy.
I wonder, do we really realize how important our choices are? They can help make a legacy or they can mar a legacy. A person can have a great legacy of serving our Lord, but mess it all up by making some bad choices in life. A church can have a glorious legacy of honoring the Lord but lose it by making the wrong choice in a pastor.
So, I conclude again by asking you, what kind of legacy are we leaving? What kind do we want to leave? What kind do you want to leave for your family, your friends, and your church? I read that someone said, “Legacy is not leaving something for people. It’s leaving something in people.” We often think of legacies in material terms. Big houses or huge savings accounts. Leaving a lasting impact in the lives of others for Christ is a much more powerful legacy than any material possession of life.
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