Growing into Christ (3)
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3.14
Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167)
“And so in friendship are joined honesty and agreeableness, truth and pleasantness, sweetness and will, affection and action. All of these qualities come together in Christ, they are advanced through Christ, and in Christ they are perfected.”
In the Gospel of John, the apostle describes those who have come to Jesus as believing into Him. Theirs is no mere superficial faith, but goes to the very heart of Jesus, and resides there. Those who believe into Jesus (Greek: eis) are those who understand what Paul was writing about in our text: That the goal of our faith is in Jesus, in growing into Him, so that we are immersed and surrounded by Him, and are being transformed into His image. All our hope of joy, purpose, meaning, and life is in Christ Jesus, and we are growing into Him, helping and encouraging each other each step of the way. Friends help one another in becoming disciples of the Lord by pressing on together toward that prize, the high calling of knowing Christ, abiding in Him, being clothed with Him, walking with Him, showing and declaring Him to the world. This is the real prize of friendship, and the goal of disciple-making.
How might you improve some of your friendships so that each of you became more consistently focused on this prize?
T. M. Moore
Are you a soul friend?
Pastoral Hope Initiative
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.All quotations from Aelred of Rievaulx, Spiritual Friendship, tr. By Mark F. Williams (Scranton: The University of Scranton Press, 1994, 2002).