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Session 4:

Flip Your Perspective

Your Best Self | Message Series

“But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.”

Luke 6:27-28

Introduction

Jesus’ teachings were radical. He taught about spiritual realities, eternal life, and the characteristics of God in ways people had never heard before. But even more radical than his spiritual teaching were his practical commands – he often taught people to live the exact opposite way than they were used to. Nowhere is that more clear than the section of Luke that we’re going to read today. In the verses that we’ll read together, we’ll see Jesus asking us to flip our entire perspective and live in a bold, loving way that defies almost every cultural norm.

In the end, though, if we follow Jesus advice and adopt his upside-down way of living, we’ll experience God’s goodness and joy in a way we may not have thought possible.

FACILITATOR'S NOTES

Share Your Story

Start the conversation by using these suggested questions:

1. Have you ever seen a science experiment that works, despite being completely counterintuitive? How did you react to learning about that for the first time?

2. Is anyone in the group colorblind, or does anyone have another very minor sensory perception challenge (lack of smell, difficulty hearing, etc.)? How do you think it would feel to suddenly have that challenge completely removed? How would you respond to your new perspective or experience of life?

3. Are there any basic things you were taught as a child that turned out to be completely untrue? How did you react, when you came to that realization?

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Hear God’s Story

The verses we’re going to read today are selections of Jesus’ teaching that Luke, the author of this book of the Bible, has compiled into one section to highlight the theme that runs through them all: that Jesus wants us to live in a surprising, perspective-flipping way. These may be familiar sayings to some of us, but the practical implications of actually living this way would be transformational.

Read Luke 6:20-23; 27-31; 37-38.

  • In verses 20-23, Jesus repeats the idea of God blessing people for acting in these counterintuitive ways – accepting poverty, mourning, and being willing to accept mockery. Why do you think he ties these challenges directly to God’s blessing?

  • In verses 27-31, Jesus gives us radical commandments on how we should handle our “enemies.” If you actually responded to stressful or disagreeable people in the way Jesus recommends, what do you think their response would be? What would other people, observing your odd behavior, think of you?

  • In verses 37-38, Jesus tells us that if we do the exact opposite of our normal, sinful inclinations, good will be the outcome. Does this represent a perfectly transactional religious faith? Do we really always receive good back in such clear ways?

  • Jesus’ original audience was often poor, persecuted, and mistreated, yet he challenged them to respond very counter-intuitively to those situations. Why do you think Jesus talked to them about such tangible, present challenges that they were facing? How would this teaching have been different, if he had talked in more general concepts?

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 gives a whole list of perspective-flipping challenges in these verses. Which sounds the most challenging to you?

  • Of the blessings and benefits that Jesus promises, what sounded the most attractive to you? Which do you need the most? What corresponding command is Jesus asking you to follow?

  • Why does Jesus challenge his followers to be willing to be on the receiving end of so much negative behavior? Does defending ourselves or standing up for our rights play a part in this section of Jesus’ teaching?

  • What opportunity might you have this week to face one of the challenges that Jesus describes? How can the people in the group encourage you to act out Jesus’ commands and experience a closer connection to him in the process?

Make sure to close your meeting in prayer, thanking God for the amazing benefits he promises, if we follow his commands. Ask him for strength and bravery to adopt his flipped perspective, and ask him to be close to us as we try to live for him.

— For Parents —

It’s easy to compartmentalize our own faith from that of our children. Oftentimes the only crossover is when we ask, “What did you learn today?” when picking them up from Journey Kids environments.

Instead of keeping your faith separate from your children, one of the best opportunities you have to model faith is to intentionally share about what God is teaching you. In this section, you will find a simple activity to create space to talk about the Sunday messages with your children. Your kids can understand more about what a relationship with God looks like and more about who God is to you.

WEEKLY KIDS ACTIVITY & DISCUSSION GUIDE

Week 4 – Daily Devotions

Day 1
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
What comfort can we take from God thinking so much differently from the way we’re able to think?
Day 2
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17)
Why did God respond so counterintuitively to our sin?
Day 3
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. (1 Timothy 1:15)
How can we see Jesus’ flipped perspective by the way he decided to save us?
Day 4
That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
How can our weakness make room for God’s strength in our lives?
Day 5
When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22)
How can our weaknesses actually be of benefit to others?
Day 6
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Even when God’s plans seem odd or confusing, how can we gain the perspective that he has a good plan for our lives?

Ready for the Next Session?

ALL DISCUSSION GUIDES
SESSION 5