Though the Word in 2020 #134 – Oct. 15 / Garbage in, Garbage out


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If you’d like to join us in our journey reading all the way through the Bible this year, drop me a line at reid.ferguson@gmail.com, and I’ll be glad to email back a copy of the reading plan we are using.

Ever heard of George Fuechsel? Probably not. Popularly, he is credited with coining the phrase: Garbage in, Garbage out. Around 1958 or 1959 while teaching at class at IBM. We’ve all heard it.

As the age of the computer was beginning, it was quickly learned that you only get good data out, if you put good data in. In fact, the first time the term – which is so common to us today – was ever used in print was in the Times Daily of Hammond, Indiana – Nov. 10, 1957. Before anyone ever heard George say it.

But Scripture addressed that very same issue when it comes to our hearts and minds millennia before the Times Daily or George Fueschel.

Well talk about that today as we consider 1 Peter 2 along with our other readings: Luke 22:47–62; Psalm 123 and Jeremiah 13–15:9.

I’m Reid Ferguson, and this is Through the Word in 2020.

In Luke 6:45, Jesus emphatically stated that out of the abundance of the heart, a person speaks. Lots of stuff comes out of us – especially in our communications with others. And it is worth the Christian’s effort from time to time to survey what’s been coming out of us. It may be a great indicator of what we’ve been taking in. And 1 Peter 2 demonstrates that dynamic.

vs. 1 sets it up: Put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Now those things don’t exist in a vacuum. They are demonstrations of our inward corruption. But like cancers, they can be fed. And when fed, they grow more noticeable and are expressed more readily. The more you think on or repeat those thoughts or put them into action, the more frequent and natural they become. The more prevalent they will show themselves to be. So if we are used to caving into wickedness, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and – oh yeah – especially discourse about politics and other things with slander – guess what? That is what we’ll talk about most too. If we take in a diet comprised of those things – well – garbage in, garbage out.

So it is vs. 2 gives us the contrast and the cure. Instead of feeding our souls on stuff like recorded in vs. 1 – “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk.” It is by that that we grow up into salvation. Not by drinking in the garbage stream of the World’s information sewer line.

Have you tasted the goodness of God? Then train your appetite to desire more and more of Him. And begin to go after it like newborns do their mother’s milk.

Milk in the Scripture is often a picture of God’s blessings. It’s why Canaan is referred to as the land of “milk & honey.” In 1 Cor. 3:2 Paul likens the Gospel to milk – it is the single, most basic life giving provision of God. In Heb. 5:12 milk is the “basic principles of the oracles of God.” And in 5:13 it is that upon which we as babes find perfect sustenance as we grow to take in the stronger “bread” of the Word which is not just the good news about Christ, but more of Christ Himself. That then also becomes our meat in due season.

Christ at the beginning. Christ as we grow. And Christ the fullness of God for us. This is John’s point in 1 John 2 where he writes to “little children”, young men” and “fathers.” We all grow in and by Christ. That never changes at any stage of life.

Let your hearts taste Him often and your souls be drawn out after Him. Let the taste of His sweetness spoil you for everything else.

Oh Father – feed us upon Christ every step of the way. Holy Spirit, break Him to us today as our daily portion – and let us be filled with Him!

God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.

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