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Session 5:

Strengthen Your Commitment

Your Best Self | Message Series

“Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

Luke 8:8

Introduction

Each of us would likely say that we want the best for ourselves and the people around us – we want to be healthy, we want to make wise decisions, and we want to live a good life. But not all of our actions live up to that desire – we’re often guilty of letting our morals slip, choosing bad habits over healthy ones, or treating other people poorly. Though our struggles may not ever go away completely, is there a way to continue moving closer to our ideal, rather than giving up and losing focus?

In the passage we’ll read today, Jesus describes what it’s like to hear his words, put them into action, and thrive. We can learn together how to keep our commitment to God strong and let him keep transforming our lives. But, Jesus also describes the many challenges that would keep us from reaching that goal. As we read today’s passage, let’s think of ways that we can work together into the future to keep supporting each other in life and faith.

FACILITATOR'S NOTES

Share Your Story

Start the conversation by using these suggested questions:

1. What parts of living a life following Jesus come the most naturally to you? What are the most challenging aspects?

2. Have you ever had a friend or family member have a good relationship with God, but then walk away from that connection? What did that look like in their lives?

3. What are the best long-term, healthy habits you’ve established in your life? What areas of your life do those habits directly benefit?

4. What role do other people play in your healthy habits? Do you have people that encourage you or participate in your healthy habits?

Watch the Video

Hear God’s Story

In Luke 8, Jesus is talking to a big crowd, made up of people with all differently levels of commitment to him: some were just interested because he was a curiosity as a famous traveling speaker, while others were genuinely invested in trying to follow him with their lives. Each of us falls somewhere on that spectrum, too, and Jesus’ teaching in the section we’re about to read can help us understand the best way to grow closer to him over the long term.

Read Luke 8:4-15.

  • Jesus’ disciples were genuinely confused about the parable Jesus tells about the sower. What other, incorrect interpretations could they have had to the story he told? How could someone misinterpret his words for their own benefit?

  • When the disciples ask Jesus for an explanation, he tells them that some people are not able to understand his message. Why does this teach us about why Jesus taught in parables? What would the benefit be of Jesus speaking in a way that makes his meaning less obvious?

  • Some people may see this parable as deterministic (as if the seeds, and therefore people, have no agency when it comes to their fate), but Jesus describes the challenges each type of seed faces in a way that suggests that he wants his listeners to avoid those pitfalls. How should we receive the message of this story, since we may not be sure what seed represents us?

  • How does Jesus describe the group of people that end up positively growing in their faith? What does he say they do?

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.

  • The biggest challenges that the seeds face are a lack of deep roots and being distracted by the less-important cares of this world. Can you recognize some of these dangers in your own life? How could we combat those together?

  • Are there other people in our lives who we can support and help them avoid the pitfalls that Jesus describes? What are some ways we could encourage those people, rather than judge them?

  • Jesus’ end goal for the seeds is that they would grow to maturity, then produce an even bigger harvest, meaning that they would be able to impact others and let them share the life they’re experienced in connection with God. Have we experienced any of that harvest together in our group? How have we shared our growth together?

  • Jesus says that the most successfully growing seeds “cling to” Jesus’ message – which implies an ongoing commitment. How could we support each other in an ongoing way, even as the end of the Your Best Self series arrives?

Make sure to close your meeting in prayer, thanking God for the Your Best Self group experience. Ask him to help us continue to grow closer both to him and to each other. Ask him to guide us as we make ongoing decisions to grow in our faith.

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 5 - KIDS ACTIVITIES

Group Housekeeping Questions

1. Do any members of the Your Best Self group want to continue meeting as a Life Group?

2. If not all of your group members are able to continue, should those who are interested join another group or add other group members to your gathering?

3. Most regular Life Groups meet weekly or every other week. What day/time would work best for your group going forward?

4. Would any of you like to start facilitating a new Life Group, either instead of or in addition to participating in this group?

5. Are there other people in your lives, that weren’t able to join a Your Best Self group, that you could invite to participate now?

6. How can you support each other going forward, even if you aren’t all able to continue in this group?

Week 5 – Daily Devotions

Day 1
Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
What are some habits that help you remain in connection with Jesus?
Day 2
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
How can we help each other remember and strengthen our commitment to God?
Day 3
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23)
How can I see the commitments of my daily life as benefiting my connection to God?
Day 4
Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:25)
How can I make Jesus part of every aspect of my life?
Day 5
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)
As I face difficulty, how can I continue to dedicate my life to following Jesus?
Day 6
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. (Romans 8:26)
How is God involved in me following him? How can I see God as supportive and loving as I try to follow him?

Congratulations!
You completed this study.

We hope your group continues to meet, encourage, care for, and love one another as you experience more of what it means to follow Jesus.

Why not continue with your group discussing the Sunday messages?

Explore content in the links below for weekly discussion guides based on the Sunday message as well as other great resources to aid your spiritual growth.

SUNDAY MESSAGE DISCUSSION GUIDES
MEDIA & LEARNING RESOURCES