The Pathway To Maturity
I was recently reading a letter written by a man who often enjoyed the fellowship of God’s Spirit. He wrote to a group of Christians to encourage them in their new found faith. The letter is called Colossians, and the man’s name was Paul. In the first chapter Paul opens for the Colossians the vision God has for his people, and the price it takes to achieve that vision.
There have been all kinds of books written about the power of vision, about how to get it, keep it, communicate it, and experience it. Vision is simply a picture of a preferred future; the good news is that God has a vision for our lives. Paul unpacks the God-oriented life vision for a Christian like this:
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28).
The word translated as mature is the Greek word teleios. This word is sometimes translated as perfect, sometimes as complete, sometimes as mature. It includes the idea of the end; something finished, something completed, something full grown.
The God-vision for our lives – and the object of Paul’s ministry – was that every Christian would be mature in Christ. He’s not just describing our positional standing in Christ; he’s describing the transformation of our character to be like that of Christ – the being conformed to his imaged he also describes in Romans 8:29.
As a local church, Centrepoint shares this vision: we're about partnering with people in the process of becoming complete. God has a dream for our lives that we would be presented mature in Christ; helping Christians grow in Him is what we’re all about.
It would be nice to stop there and bask in the picture Paul has painted of growing and Christianity. But he doesn’t stop – he goes on to give us the price tag for the vision:
For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me (Colossians 1:29).
Looking like Jesus is beautiful – but it comes with the price of toil and struggle. If it was easily had, everyone would already have it. It’s not – it comes with the price of sacrificial labour and endless giving. God's encouragement to you, today, is that the vision is worth the price. The pathway to maturity isn't an easy walk . . . but it is a walk worth having.