God’s story is glorious, surprising, victorious, and beautiful. His story, when we really listen closely, is our story.
Do you remember a time you got lost? Perhaps it was a crowded day at the mall, and you wandered away from Dad and Mom for just a moment, and they were gone. You felt the paralyzing fear of looking around and failing to see the north star of your parents’ strong presence. You were lost.
Maybe it was a school trip to the zoo and you inadvertently lingered at the monkey cage while the rest of the class moved on. Before you knew it, you were alone. People were everywhere, but not a face in the crowd was familiar. Lost!
It might have been a drive late at night, and a wrong turn spun you around, and, truth be known, you had no idea where to go next.
These moments of lostness can leave a pit in your stomach and bring fear to your soul… until the store clerk finds your parents, your teacher taps you on the shoulder and says, “Keep up with the class,” or a gas station attendant pulls out a map and shows you how to get back on the interstate.
What is even worse is coming to a point in life when we realize that we have lost our way as a human being. We might know our mailing address and how to get to school, work, or church, but we are not sure why we are on this planet. We have no sense of our purpose.
It is in these moments that we look to God, the Master Storyteller, and discover that the best way to understand our story is to listen to his. As we understand God’s story and where we fit within it, the haze begins to clear and our story begins to make sense.
Talk About It
Tell about a time in your childhood when you got lost and how you felt when you were finally found.
As you watch the video teaching segment for session 1, featuring Max Lucado, use the following outline to record anything that stands out to you.
- An uninformed Munchkin
- When everything changes
- Getting lost in Grandma’s story
- What knowing does to us
- Knowing God’s story
- The central message of God’s story
- Your story indwells God’s story
Watch Session 1
- Share about a time when someone told you about your family history and certain things about you and your family members began to make sense.
- Tell about a time you were reading the Bible (God’s story) and a light went on in your heart as you realized that this was really your story.
Everything changes when you know the rest of your story. — Max Lucado
- If the story of the Bible is going to make sense, it is important to know how it begins and how it ends. In your own words, how does the Bible begin? What are the epic themes that launch us into the story of the Bible (Genesis)?
In your own words, how does the Bible end? What are the epic themes that conclude the story of the Bible (Revelation)?
- How does your family history help you have a sense of who you are and where your life is going? How does knowing the story of God’s family in the Bible help you know who you are and where you are going?
God wants you to know His story. Knowing connects us, links us, bonds us to something greater than we are. Knowing reminds us that we aren’t floating on isolated ponds but on a grand river. — Max Lucado
- Max talked about being dropped into Munchkin Land and being very confused because he did not actually know the storyline of The Wizard of Oz. How can reading the Bible without any context or background become a frustrating or dangerous enterprise?
- What is one of your favorite stories in the Bible and how do you see yourself and your personal story informed by this portion of God’s Word?
- Read: John 3:16-17. In the video, Max said that this portion of God’s story contains one of the central messages of the Bible.
What core messages do you find in this passage?
How can these messages help us understand who we are and how we are to live in this journey through life?
- Read: Ephesians 1:11-14. How do you see God’s story and our story woven together in this passage of the Bible?
Your story indwells God’s. This is the great promise of the Bible. — Max Lucado
- What approach to learning God’s Word has most helped you dig in and grow in your love for the Bible?
- How can your group members pray for you, encourage you, and keep you accountable in reading the Bible and seeking to know God’s story in greater depth?
Take time as a group to pray in some of the following directions:
- Thank God for his Word, the Bible. Ask Him to help you know and love His Word so that you may grow to see your story woven into His story.
- Pray for people you care about who are wandering and lost because they do not know God’s story.
- Confess where you have avoided or neglected digging into God’s story in the Bible. Pray for a renewed commitment to read and study the Scriptures with fresh passion.
- Lift up group members who have shared a desire to grow in their knowledge of and love for God’s Word. Pray that they will take the steps needed, and exercise the discipline required, to go deep into the truth of the Bible.
Your life emerges from the greatest mind and the kindest heart in the history of the universe: the mind and heart of God. — Max Lucado
Take time to think through three or four of your favorite stories in the Bible. Why are you drawn to these stories? How do you see your story connected to these stories? How did God work in these accounts and what are ways you have seen God work in similar ways in your life?
Contact a patriarch or matriarch in your family and ask if you can spend time with them, face to face or over the phone. Ask questions about your family, their life, and those who have gone before you.
Listen with an open heart and seek to discover more about what has formed you and those you love.
Consider inviting each group member to make a personal commitment to read and reflect on the Bible in the weeks your group meets. Don’t have a required reading plan, but have each person set a personal goal. Then, when you meet, ask every person to tell about
how they are doing in meeting their own goal and, if possible, to share one lesson they learned in their reading and how it impacts and informs their personal story.
* * *
Do you feel like a lost Munchkin sometimes, unsure of where you fit in God’s great story? Let’s join the challenge to dig more into the Bible so we can understand God’s story and His love for us more. Come share your thoughts and comments on our blog