STORY: Your Half of the Candy Bar Is Bigger!
I have a fond memory of Dad bringing home a candy bar in his gray lunchbox after working swing shift for my brother and I to split. This was a rare treat and we took the privilege seriously. Mom and Dad taught us the best rule about sharing. One of us got to slice the candy bar in two and the other had first pick. Because of this, the halves were about as equal as you could get without measuring! Wade and I didn’t even wonder why Dad didn’t bring home a goodie for each of us—it was so common to share that we didn’t know any better.
It’s a good thing I learned about sharing early because life ever since then has been one sharing opportunity after another. In fact, I was so programmed to share that it never dawned on me I could have my own bag of salty snacks when my husband liked the puffy kind of cheese curls and I liked the crunchy kind. For years neither of us enjoyed them since we couldn’t share. It seemed extravagant to buy something only one of us liked. What a silly aha! moment when a store sold them two for the price of one, and I bought one of each kind. We didn’t have to share!
Today’s study shows what it’s like to share glory with Jesus.
STUDY: Jesus Shares His Glory
Christ is Your Life
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. (Colossians 3:4 NLT)
- What does it mean for Christ to be “your life”?
- What happens on the day Christ will be revealed to the whole world?
- How does it make you feel, to know you will share in not just a little of His glory, but all His glory?
We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2:12 NLT)
- It must be an important statement, for Paul to use three verbs to communicate this truth. What are the three communication styles mentioned here? He’s not being redundant. What does each word mean?
- According to this passage, how are you to live your life?
- What exactly is a life God would consider worthy? Worthy of what?
- What has God called us to share? What do you think that means?
Called to Share
He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:14 NLT)
- When you heard the Good News, what were you called to do?
- Because of your salvation, what can you share?
Partners with Christ
Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (1 Peter 4:13 NLT)
- How can a person truly be glad (not simply glad, but very glad) for their trials?
- What do the trials qualify you to be?
- As a partner with Christ, what wonderful joy will you see?
A Kind Calling
In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. (1 Peter 5:10 NLT)
- Have you ever thought about your calling coming from God’s kindness? What do you think that means?
- What has God called you to share?
- It says we get to share in His eternal glory by what means?
- This verse emphasizes that His glory is eternal. What does that mean to you?
- What does Peter assure you will happen after we suffer a little while? (List them.) How does that help you endure suffering? Notice he says we will suffer a little while. It may seem like a long time while you’re going through it, but in the scope of eternity, it will be just a blip—a wink of time.
Equipped with Excellence
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT)
- What power equips us?
- What has God given us? (Not just a little bit of what we need, but everything.)
- How do we receive this?
- What was the means of our calling? Peter couples the word “excellence” with the term “marvelous glory.” How is it excellent and how is it marvelous?
- Based on this glory and excellence, what else has He given us? Again, Peter uses adjectives to describe promises—what are the adjectives used? How are His promise great and precious?
- What do these promises enable you to share? How does the Holy Spirit indwelling in us help us to escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires?
STEPS: Enter into His Glory
- Make Christ your life. If there’s any part of your life you haven’t yielded to His will, this would be a great time to share it with Him.
- Live your life in a way God would consider worthy. You know what falls short of that. Is it time for a change?
- Look at your current trial with new perspective. Knowing your suffering qualifies you to be a partner with Christ makes this temporary suffering worth the eternal glory coming.
- Look for the ways Jesus is strengthening you. He doesn’t expect you to stay stuck in weakness. He can rescue you from your victim status and elevate you to be a champion.
Copyright 2016 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.