There are Two Ways Through Life – the Way of Grace and of Nature

On Sunday we talked about a parable of Jesus found in Matthew 20 – “The parable of the vineyard workers”. You can download the sermon here. In this sermon we also saw and talked about  a clip from the movie the Tree of Life, discussed the danger of earning rewards from relationships, and talked a lot about grace.

Yet after the sermon there were two thoughts that really lingered for me. We discussed how you can actually “use” relationships and people. That if you love what you get from someone – you don’t love them, instead you love what you get. So if you love how God gives you eternal life – you love eternal life, not God. The point was that there is a danger in letting the rewards or results of a relationship becoming the reason for a realtionship.

So as I was driving home on Sunday I asked myself: Is there any part of my relationship with God – where the focus has shifted from loving God to loving what he does for me? Have I at all gotten caught up with the benefits of my relationship with God without appreciating being in a relationship with God?

That was the first thought that I found challenging, and worth reflecting on. The second was how we ended on Sunday, focusing on the fact that there are two ways through life – the way of grace or the way of nature. While there are two ways through life, there is only one way into the Kingdom and that’s through grace. So the question then is am I living in the way of grace or nature?

Neither of these questions are easy: are we using relationships or appreciating them? Are we living according to what is fair, or by grace? Are we giving or focusing on what we get?

Sometimes though the most difficult questions are the most worthwhile…

Discussion Questions:

  • Adult Questions:
  • What excites you about God’s grace?
  • Who in your life needs to be given God’s grace – without expectations – as an example of the Kingdom? How can you give them grace?
  • How can you make “giving grace” a regular part of your life?
  • Questions for Young Families:
  • Share with them what grace is. Use an example from their lives. For example when you let them do something even if they didn’t deserve to because of their behaviour. Ask them in what times might they might need to show grace to others (i.e. when playing and sharing, when someone calls them a name, etc)?
  • Weekly Challenge:  Give grace to someone who doesn’t deserve it…free them and yourself

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