DEVO: A Tale of Two Systems

DEVO: A Tale of Two Systems

Ephesians 2:1-10 & John 3:16-21
(click above for full reading)
For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish
but may have eternal life.

A Tale of Two Systems

(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)  
Today’s texts show a large distance between the way the system of the world works and the way God’s system works. On Sunday, we used the texts to come up with these lists…
God’s System:

The World’s System:

If we had to narrow God’s system down to one word – it’d be grace. Grace is a word we hear a lot but can’t always find the words to describe clearly… and yesterday I read this extended passage from Frederick Buechner, which I’d like to include in today’s devotional because he describes grace in such an accurate and lovely way:

“Grace is something you can never get but only be given.
There’s no way to earn it, or deserve it, or bring it about, any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.
A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams.
Most tears are grace.
The smell of rain is grace.
Somebody loving you is grace.
Loving somebody is grace. Have you ever  
tried to love somebody?
A crucial eccentricity of the Christian
faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace.
There’s nothing you have to do.
There’s nothing you have to do.
There’s nothing you have to do.
The grace of God means something like:
Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you.
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us.
It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.”

God’s system is grace.
Free, unconditional grace.
Grace born out of God’s love for us.
And AMEN to that.ATaleOfTwoSystems

Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. How have you experienced grace? (from God, from others?)  What did it feel like?
2. In looking at the two lists, which system looks like the one you want to be a part of most?
3. What are some ways in which you could move closer to God’s system and further from the world’s?

There’s a certain amount of “now what?” that comes when we have received this free gift of grace. What are we to do with this grace we have been given? Time and time again we are reminded through Scripture and song that we are to be light spreaders… to go into the dark and broken corners of the world and bring God’s love and light and grace along with us. So find a dark place or broken, hurting person this week and be light. Show them what God’s system is all about.


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