I pray you are doing well during this Spring semester. I am looking forward to the warmer weather hopefully coming this month!
For this article I want to draw your attention to the book of 2 Peter. This is a letter thought to have been written shortly before Peter’s martyrdom. In the introduction, Peter assures the reader of the power which has been given them in Christ Jesus. He tells them that in Christ they have all things which pertain to life and godliness and so they must continue to be transformed as they grow and mature in Christ.
At the conclusion of that exhortation he says,
"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things." (2 Peter 1:12-15)
Peter recognizes that his time on the earth is drawing to a close and he commits to reminding his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of the truth of the promises of God in hopes of stirring them to continue to pursue Christ and to be bold in facing opposition. His goal is that after his departure, they may be able to recall those things at any time.
What a powerful focus for Christian fellowship. As I considered this passage I began to ask myself what my goals were in the relationships I have with other believers. Am I even focused enough to have goals in those relationships?
This passage highlights the intentionality necessary in our relationships with other Christians. Whether these be lifelong friendships or acquaintances, we should be asking ourselves a question of accountability - “Is my interaction with this person reminding them of the truths and the promises of God so that after our interaction is finished they will be more able to recall and stand firm in the promises of God?” If this becomes our question in every relationship it will bring focus to the things we say, do, and think about those around us. It should bring about intentionality in every relationship. Whether simply in passing or in the context of lifelong friendships, our words should strengthen and build one another up in the things of God.
It also serves as a healthy reminder of the type of people I should surround myself with. Am I seeking out those relationships which will constantly point me to Christ? Do the people I allow influence over my life desire to see me walk in the fullness of Christ? Are they people who are willing to speak the truth at all times even when it might contradict the path I’m pursuing?
The reality is no Christian is designed to follow Christ alone. We were created to do it as a unit, as a body. We are to constantly strengthen and encourage one another with the truths of God. Let’s take an account of both our intentionality with our brothers and sisters and those whom we have surrounded ourselves with. Let’s commit to “make every effort so that after my departure you may be able to recall these things.”
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