GOD’S STORY IN YOU
Jesus is the ultimate hero. He left the comfort of heaven for a new land on Earth, began working miracles at age 30, and He sacrificed His life for all of humankind—present and future. Jesus’ story is the best story ever told, but did you know each of us has a role in that story? Depending on our decisions, we can be a character who disappears after the first chapter, the villain or the hero of our own story, or friend and family to the ultimate hero, Jesus Christ. How will your story intersect with God’s?
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. Remember when you were a child and storybooks were like magic, spawning new lands and creatures in your mind? Did you ever imagine yourself as the hero in one of those stories? What story and what character did you imagine? What do you think that choice says about you as a child?
2. Look back on your story so far. Has there been a time when you were like the innkeeper who turned Joseph and Mary away, when you had a chance to meet Jesus, but were too caught up in the things of this world to invite him in? Why do you think people pass up such an opportunity?
3. Read Luke 1:37-38. When Mary, mother of Jesus, accepted Gabriel’s promise that she, a virgin, would give birth to God’s child, she put everything on the line. As an engaged woman, she could have been stoned as an adulteress, rejected by Joseph, or shunned by her family. But she didn’t care about any of that. How much did you risk, or are you willing to risk, to choose God’s call on your life?
4. Jesus’ story intersected with ours when he came from heaven and sacrificed His life on the cross for us. But our stories also intersect with His during the course of our lives. Can you describe the time, or times, your story intersected with Jesus’? How did that change your life? Have you been an innkeeper or a Herod? What’s keeping you from being a Mary?
5. Read Matthew 28:16-20, which describes the Great Commission, God’s call on His followers to share His story with others. Examine your life story and examine God’s role in it. How big or little impact does he make on your story? God’s not meant to be a subplot; he’s meant to be the turning point. What steps can you take this week to begin making God more Central in your story?
Luke 1:37-38 – “For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Matthew 28:16-20 – Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
To dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, check out the “Relate to God” outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path. Here’s an excerpt:
In scripture, God uses a surprising word to describe the relationship between himself and Abraham. He refers to Abraham as “my friend” (Isaiah 41:8). Similarly, toward the end of his earthly life, Jesus wants his closest followers to know how much he values their relationship when he says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). To authentically follow Christ is the cultivation and experience of a genuine relationship with God. Yes, there is reverence, awe and worship of God, but there is also a daily walking and talking with God that overtime has its own unique intimacy. This relationship is cultivated with God through prayer and Scripture, and like any relationship, can grow cold without intentionality and effort. But when we engage the highly intentional practice of talking and listening to God, we then develop our own relationship with him that is ever-present throughout our daily lives.
To complete the outcome in its entirety, visit gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outomes/relate-to-god