Spiritual Growth Agendas, Topical Curriculum

Making the Most of Life

Main Point: We cannot make the most of our lives without God. If we truly want to live life to the fullest, we must live it with Him.

Discussion Starter: Dave Kalama’s Philosophy on Life
Dave Kalama lives in paradise. In fact, if you ask him, his life IS paradise! That’s because he lives in Hawaii and spends his days in the water surfing, fishing, and swimming…while teaching others to do the same.

He calls himself a professional waterman. If it can be done in the water, he does it. And he loves every minute of it. But his life’s choices aren’t without consequences. He has to make some concessions to live the kind of life he does, namely making lots of money.

But if you ask him, his lifestyle is worth every dime it costs him. Let’s take a look to see if you agree with him.

The Clip:
The clip can be accessed online at this address: http://screen.yahoo.com/clean-break/dave-kalama-070000603.html

Transitional Statement:
Some of us look at that clip and think Dave is “living the life.” In other words, life couldn’t get any better! Meanwhile, others of us look at that clip and think he’s a fool. I want to challenge you to look past what Dave spends his days doing, and instead, focus on why he does what he does. I want you to think about what drives Dave, and then compare that to what drives you. Without a doubt, Dave wants to make the most of his life. You’re probably the same. But the truth is, if we want to make the most of our lives, we have to spend it with God. That’s the only way to really live life to the fullest.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and whether or not you’ve ever been surfing.

  2. ASK A FEW: What would it take for you to surf one of those 17-foot waves?!?!

  3. ASK A FEW: Dave basically gave up trying to make money so he could focus on what he enjoys the most: being on the water. Is that wise? Why or why not?

  4. ASK A FEW: Dave said in the homestretch of life, people won’t look back to see how big their bank account was, they will look back on what mattered most. What matters most in your life?

  5. ASK A FEW: Dave said he’s often asked if his life is worth it. Do you think his life is worth it? Why or why not?

  6. ASK A FEW: It sounds like Dave is willing to forsake everything to have a life on the water. Is there anything in your life that is worth forsaking everything else for? If so, what – or who – is it?

  7. ASK A FEW: Dave’s final words in the clip were, “We’re not here forever. You better make the most of it.” How do you do that? How do you make the most of your life?

  8. ASK A FEW: How does God fit into the plan to “make the most of our lives”?

  9. Read the following passage:

      Matthew 4:18-25 (NIV)

      18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. 23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

  10. ASK A FEW: Do you think it was easy or hard for these guys to give up fishing to follow Jesus? (Leaders: Explain that fishing was the ONLY thing these men knew. It was how they made their living, and they were evidently fairly good at making money, because it appears they owned all their equipment and a fleet of other boats, as well.)

  11. ASK A FEW: How did Jesus change these men’s lives? Was it a big change, or not?

  12. ASK A FEW: What did the men have to give up to follow Jesus?

  13. ASK A FEW: Why do you think those men left their jobs on the Sea of Galilee “at once” and “immediately” to follow Jesus?

  14. ASK A FEW: Ironically, these men left a life at sea to follow Jesus. Do you think Dave Kalama would leave his surfboard – if that’s what it took – to follow Jesus?

  15. ASK A FEW: What did Jesus expose the men to after they decided to follow Him? (Leaders – You’ll have to look at verses 23-25 for this answer. Also, feel free to point out the ensuing miracles from Jesus’ ministry that are described throughout the rest of the Gospel.)

  16. ASK A FEW: Do you think these four men ever had any regrets about leaving their old lives by the sea to follow Jesus? Why or why not?

  17. ASK A FEW: Jesus knew that those four men’s lives were not being lived to the fullest, so He called them to be with Him. Is your life being lived to the fullest? Why or why not?

  18. ASK A FEW: How would your life change if you were to “literally” leave your old life and follow Jesus like these men did?

  19. AROUND THE CIRCLE: Name one specific thing you’re willing to walk away from in order to follow Jesus.

Wrap Up:
From the outside, it looks like Dave Kalama’s life is perfect. He gets to live in the ocean and catch waves all day…not to mention a tan! But, as we’ve talked about tonight, NO LIFE is worth living if it’s without Jesus.

We saw that truth played out in the lives of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, four of Jesus’ first disciples. They had jobs, paychecks, food, and security, but when Jesus came along, they gave up that lifestyle to embrace the one Jesus offered. They knew that life without Jesus wasn’t worth living. They knew they weren’t experiencing the fullest existence.

But that changed when they followed Jesus. The Bible tells us that these men (and others who followed Jesus) got a front row seat to Jesus’ miracles, teachings, and resurrection. That beats fishing every single day of the year!

There are plenty of things that can drive us in life: money, fun, the opposite sex, fame, etc. I’m not trying to be mean, and I’m not judging him AT ALL, but Dave Kalama’s philosophy on life still falls short of a great existence. He says he’s given up money and fame to live a life on the water, his way of making the most of life, but if he’s not living that life with God, it’s still for nothing.

What about you? Are you living your life for God? If He were to ask you to walk away from the one thing that you know the best, the one thing that you love the most, would you? In other words, are you willing to give up everything you hold dear to have a life with God?

Spending your life with Him is the ONLY way to make the most of it.

(Leaders: At this point, explain salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross, burial, and resurrection. Invite them to leave their old lives for a truly exciting life with Him.)

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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