This is My Story - “The Meaning of a Full Life”


What does a full life look like? Good question, right? Here’s my guess: it’s at least more than a bucket list of locations and luxuries. We’re talking about soul-level joy, the kind of fullness that satisfies and answers our biggest questions about the past, the present, and the future.

1.  How do I deal with my failures? (Romans 8:1-3) 

  • A full life is a life that has a way of dealing with the past: our past failures, mistakes, and embarrassments. In other words, it deals with our sins. 
  • The problem with ‘sins of the past’ is that they keep sneaking into our present. We repeat them, pass them on, and live them out in ways we never intended. But Jesus offers us freedom from the past through the power of forgiveness! 
  • The pathway to this kind of life begins with genuine confession. Confession allows us to experience true forgiveness, resulting in freedom from the power of sin and cyclical struggle.

2.  What will I do with my life? (Col 3:12-14, Luke 6:35-38) 

  • Thomas Aquinas suggested that there are four main ‘idols’ we all pursue: Money, Power, Pleasure, and Honor/Fame.  None of these things are inherently evil… but they are not worth living for. Although they claim to offer a full life, they can’t deliver.
  • Jesus offers us a different way of living, described in Colossians 3:12-14 and Luke 6:35-38. A one-word summary of ‘the way of Jesus’ might be generosity
  • Jesus isn’t just talking about money (though you can apply it there as well). He’s describing a general posture toward those around us: one that is generous, forgiving, uncritical, and compassionate –even toward our enemies.  
  • So you could say that generosity is a way of making the most out of those things we often pursue–money, power, pleasure, and fame.

3. Is the future good? (Romans 8:24-25)

  • At some point, we realize that not everything in this world will work out like we had hoped. We are left with injustice, sadness, and broken dreams. 
  • This creates a problem for us: because as author Tim Keller said, “We are future-oriented beings. We want to be part of a story that goes somewhere.” And it’s true: we long to know that this story ends well. 
  • That is the promise of Christ - as good as this life can be, the best is yet to come! The story is not bad: it is simply unfinished.


These passages may provide additional insights related to the subject of this week’s message. All verses are NLT unless otherwise noted.

Proverbs 11:24-25; John 10:7-10; Micah 2:8-13; Isaiah 61: 1-3, 7-8; Luke 4:18-19; Revelation 21: 5-6

Video of the Week: Tree of Life by the Bible Project; Podcast of the Week: “The Tale of Two Trees” 


  1. In what way have you seen the ‘sins of the past’ continue in your life or in the lives of others? Why do you think this happens, when clearly we don’t want it to?

  1. Take the ‘Idol Survey’ as a group: how would you rank Thomas Aquinas’ four idols (Money, Power, Pleasure, Honor/Fame) in order of importance to you personally?

  1. Read Colossians 3:12-14 and Luke 6:35-38 as a group. What one word would you use to summarize this way of living? 

  1. Pastor Ben noted that generosity is not just about money: it’s a way of viewing everything we have for the good of others. What thing in your life do you find most difficult to be generous with? (Time, money, attention, praise, personal items, conversation, reputation, influence).

  1. On Sunday we talked about how ‘confession’ frees us from the past, and ‘generosity’ frees us from unfulfilling idols. Have you ever experienced freedom because you confessed something? Have you ever experienced freedom because you chose to be generous?

  1. When you think of the hope of the future that Christ offers, what is one tangible thing to which you are looking forward?
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Be Full – “Who Do You Say I Am?”

Have you ever stopped to consider how our lives are filled with “pivotal” moments and circumstances? In our personal lives, in our faith lives, in our collective lives together there are moments and events that change the course of the rest of our lives. Scripture includes moments like that as well, and one of the most significant and important ones in the gospels is found in Mark chapter 8. That moment includes the question that drives our lives as followers of Jesus, and that gives us our “mission.”

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October 22, 2023
This is My Story – “Old Stories and New Stories”

This weekend we continue with The Story Project series by stepping back to look at THE Story – God’s Grand Story of the Bible. The age-old question to explore as we do is, “How do I make sense of a story thousands of years in the making, one that takes place in lands far away?” And most importantly, “What does that story – the story of the Bible – have to do with my story??”

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