Paul and People

When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Titus 3:12-15

Paul realized the value of people. Paul knew that if he was going to accomplish anything of eternal value, it was going to be because together he involved himself with other people determined to accomplish it. Paul did not view himself as the great apostle, who landed in a particular location and accomplished what he accomplished without any help or reliance on others. In my opinion, for too long we have allowed families to move to distant locations without a team of people to help them and they have languished away wondering why it is that nothing seems to be getting done. I am always encouraged (and more interested) in a missionary when I see that he is planning to minister as part of a team of people who are heading to a particular location. The truth is, God has gifted people in different ways, and team ministry is simply a recognition of the biblical principle that people are intended to by God to work together, using their different gifts to get his mission accomplished on planet earth.

On a more personal note, Paul’s closing words in v.15 indicate the type or relationship he had with the people in the church, not just with the people who ministered to them. These weren’t just people you saw on Sunday and didn’t interact with throughout the remainder of the week. This was not some kind of “greet those people who meet every Sunday.” This was a greeting of warm hearted affection sent to those who truly loved Paul. This is the type of relationships we need in our church. Warm hearted affection. Not sharp tongued criticism. Not malicious and hurtful gossip. We need a heart of love for each other. In the Bible, that’s how the gospel work God has given us progresses!

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