Onward, Forward, Upward in Christ!

“Let your yearly motto be, ‘Onward, Forward, Upward!’ to the last hour of your life.”

This phrase jumped out at me as I read Old Paths by J.C. Ryle. Ryle is one of my favorite authors, and his words consistently inspire me.

Again, Ryle had me thinking. What is my motto, my aim, my focus? What is my pursuit in my faith and my Christian walk? Do I really want more? Do I long to move forward? Do I seek to reach upward?

It reminds me of the end of C.S. Lewis’ book The Last Battle where the children kept cheering in excitement, “Further up and further in!” Joy, awe, and amazement bubbled up from within them, and they wanted more, and more, and more.

It also reminds me of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:13-14, “…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul is shouting his motto, “Onward, Forward, Upward in Christ!”

Earlier in Philippians chapter 3, Paul reflects on his training as a Pharisee, and in verse 8 he says, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I might gain Christ.” He again is proclaiming the theme of his life, “Onward, Forward, Upward in Christ!”

I long to be like Paul – focused on Christ, finding daily strength in Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I long to live “Onward, Forward, Upward in Christ!”

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