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Session 1:

Share Your Victories

Your Best Self | Message Series

“Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.”

Luke 8:39

Introduction

During the Your Best Self series, we’re exploring ways that Jesus can help us become the person we were created to be. We’ll start off this first Your Best Self group session by focusing on a story from the Bible where Jesus accomplishes that theme dramatically – Jesus frees a demon-possessed man and helps him become someone who can share the good news of God’s love with people around him.

But what if our own stories aren’t quite that intense? Does following Jesus and being part of this group require that we have that kind of story in our past? Of course not! Instead, we’ll learn together today that sharing ANY faith experiences can play a major part in supporting the people around us. Whether dramatic or mundane, we have the opportunity to help everyone in the group grow closer to God as we share our stories.

FACILITATOR'S NOTES

Share Your Story

Start the conversation by using these suggested questions:

1. What have been the greatest personal victories or accomplishments of your life? If someone was going to do a 3 minute news story about your life’s highlights, what would be in it?

2. What are some much more mundane “victories” in life that make you happy or get your excited? Are there small success stories in life that you wish you could share with more people – about your family, your job, your relationships, or your hobbies?

Watch the Video

Hear God’s Story

As you may have heard from the Sunday messages, during the Your Best Self series, we’ll be focusing on the stories of Jesus from the book of Luke. Our hope is that, by the end of the series, we’ll be much more familiar with Luke and the important stories he collected, so we’ll be able to learn even more when we encounter them at other times in our lives.

Today, specifically, we’re going to read a very dramatic story from Luke, chapter 8. In this story, Jesus encounters a man struggling with the spiritual ailment of demon possession. While we don’t encounter that kind of extreme spiritual affliction much today, we can still imagine the chaos and suffering it would cause in someone’s life.

Read Luke 8:26–39.

  • One of the first things we learn about the demon-possessed man is that he has been “living in the tombs outside the town” (vs. 27). Why do you think he was living there? What could the connection between his affliction and his living situation have been?

  • The demon in the man seemed to be very scared of Jesus. Why do you think that was?

  • Being afraid is a reoccurring theme in this story. What other examples can you find? Why do you think this idea of being afraid is repeated? By the end of the story, did the man still need to wrestle with fear?

  • At the end of the story, Jesus doesn’t let the man come with him. Why do you think that is?

Create a New Story

In this section, let’s talk about how we’ll apply what we’ve learned from God through the Bible passage. We’ll decide on a few practical steps we can take this week to live out God’s truth.

  • Jesus seems entirely unafraid of the challenging situation that the demon-possessed man is in. You likely haven’t faced down a demon-possessed person, but are there more mundane situation in your life that cause you fear?

  • The man’s complete reliance on Jesus’ power ends up allowing him to be set free. Jesus is in control, even above the scariest thing the man has ever faced. Have you ever seen Jesus show his care and control over a difficult situation in your life?

  • Jesus implores the man, once healed, to share his story with his family. In what ways have you been able to share with your own family about your spiritual experiences? Has that been easy or difficult?

  • Jesus obviously sees sharing our stories as an extremely high priority. Are there stories in your life that you could share with you group? What would be the benefit, over the next 5 weeks, or hearing even the small victories that people in your group experience?

Make sure to close your meeting in prayer, thanking God for the miracle he performed in that man’s life from the Bible, but also the ways that he’s drawing each member of the group toward him. Pray that he would inspire us to share our own stories of our spiritual journey with one another, and that we’d be bonded together as we learn more about each other. Thank him for the ability to gather and experience him together.

For Parents

We also designed weekly activities to have fun and guide spiritual conversations with your elementary or preschool child based on each week’s Groups Series content.

WEEK 1 - KIDS ACTIVITIES

Daily Devotions

Day 1
When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. (Romans 1:12)
Who are the people that have helped encourage you in your faith?
Day 2
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
Have you ever shared your faith with someone in your life? How did that feel?
Day 3
And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. (Philemon 1:6)
How could sharing some of my spiritual journey with others be a way to show “generosity”?
Day 4
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:16)
Do I let others see my good deeds? Does this come from pride, or is there a way to shine while being humble?
Day 5
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
How could sharing part of our spiritual experience inspire people to follow God?
Day 6
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. (Psalm 77:11)
How could sharing my spiritual experiences help other people think about God more? How could hearing from others in my life encourage me?

Ready for the Next Session?

ALL DISCUSSION GUIDES
SESSION 2