Garbage in, garbage out/God in, God out
BY AL EARLEY
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prays to understand the will of God regarding His death. When He is done praying He is ready for the arrest, the scourging, the torture, the crucifixion, the abandonment, and His death. It is believed when He cries out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27:46) It is believed at this moment He is taking on the sins of the world. Let us never underestimate the ugliness of sin, never underestimate how awful, horrible, devastating, and evil sin is in our lives. NEVER!
You have probably heard the computer term “Garbage in – Garbage out”. You tell the computer to do the wrong things, it will come up with the wrong answers. A lot of what is wrong with our computers when something is wrong is that we have given our computer garbage, and that is what we get back.
The same is true with our lives. If we feed our brains a lot of garbage (sin and evil) that is what we will get back. Paul writes about this in Ephesians 4:22-24, “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
These last nineteen months I hear a lot of people speak of bad habits they have used to survive that sound like a lot of garbage. Let’s do a garbage check. Are you struggling financially, or always broke, existing from paycheck to paycheck? Do you seem to enter or leave painful relationships regularly? How is your weight exercise discipline? Are you drinking, smoking, or eating to find momentary relief from the struggles of life? If the answer is yes to any or all of these, then what you need is more “God In – God Out.”
Paul shares the clear antidote for the garbage in our lives. He writes in Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
A father remembers always fighting with his children about the movies they could watch. R movies were completely out. PG-13 movies were only allowed when they were thirteen, and then usually under his supervision (His kids would have to endure His dreaded commentaries on the parts of the movie that pushed the envelope of morality!!!) This would go on until they were eighteen. All three of his children would complain about how all the other kids got to watch those movies. He would respond, “We are not raising you like all the other kids. I don’t care what their parents think about R movies.”
One day one of the his now adult son said, “Dad, you know I would watch R movies all the time at my friend’s house.”
The father responded, “I know. My goal was not to control what you watched but to teach you Biblical values. How did you feel when you watched those movies?” He admitted he felt guilty and to this day doesn’t watch R rated movies very often. The father celebrated a great parenting victory.
How do we change? Something life changing happened 2000 years ago. Just before dawn the Holy Spirit breathed new life into the broken, lacerated body of God’s son. The burial clothes that were wrapped around his dead body simply fell to the stone He was lying on, and they were now empty. If you were there you would probably see them wrapped around Jesus’ body one moment, and then slowly float to the stone, like a slowly deflating balloon. Then sitting next to those burial clothes is Jesus, but there is no blood. Most of his wounds are healed. He has five very large scars on His hands, feet, and side, and a new body that is fitted for his resurrection life. He is no longer limited by time or space, He can be touched, He can eat, but doesn’t need to. Two angels roll away the huge stone as if it is nothing, not to let Jesus out, but to let you and I in so we can know the tomb is empty. He will help us change our lives so we can let God in and God out.
To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, see www.lagrangepres.org