i. Sharing the Life of Jesus?
ii. Let’s Talk
It’s on the homepage of the website. We see it every Sunday at the top of the bulletin. It’s on our stationary and business cards. It’s that wonderful phrase “sharing the life of Jesus.” But what do we mean when we say it as often as we do? I’ve been thinking about sharing the life of Jesus. It’s something the Bible talks about.
There are a couple of different Greek words used in the New Testament and that are translated as “share.” One of the words means to give and is also used when speaking of sharing with those in need. The other word means to join in or participate and reflects one of the deep joys and mysteries of the Christian life.
Let me give you a “sharing the life of Jesus” sampler from the Scriptures:
Writing to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9), Paul talks about being delighted to have shared the Gospel. Here sharing the life of Jesus is that giving kind of sharing. When we share the life of Jesus we are giving a gift, the greatest gift we have to give. You’ll notice that Paul adds that he and Silas and Timothy also shared their lives. That’s how we share the life of Jesus with others. In word and deed we pass on what we have received. You know the old D.T. Niles definition of evangelism as one beggar telling another where he found bread.
But then there is that joining in kind of sharing. The New Testament talks a lot about sharing the life of Jesus by joining in or participating. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:20-22 ) Jesus tells us that the faithful follower will share in his happiness. Sharing the life of Jesus sounds pretty good to me.
Paul tells his Colossian friends (Colossians 1:11-13) that they share in the inheritance we have in Christ. Once again to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:14 ) as he speaks of sharing in Christ’s glory. Sharing the life of Jesus means sharing in his inheritance and his glory. Pretty amazing stuff.
The writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 12:10) tells us how God’s discipline allows us to share in his holiness. Okay. I certainly need holiness. I sometimes wish there were an easier way to come by it, but sharing the life of Jesus does mean sharing a disciplined life.
But there’s also this:in Romans 8:16-18 we are told that in order to share in Christ’s glory we must also share in his suffering. And that, too, is what we tell ourselves and the world when we say we’re “sharing the life of Jesus.”
When you go to the website, as you come to worship and open your bulletin, think about sharing the life of Jesus. We have a gift to give our neighbors and friends; the Gospel – life in Jesus. And we live our lives sharing the life of Jesus – participating with Jesus in his happiness, amazingly in his glory and in his inheritance. But we also are called to share with Jesus in his suffering. There’s a cost to discipleship.
Sharing the life of Jesus? It’s the call of God in our lives.
ii. Let’s Talk
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