Read: Romans 8:38-39; Hebrews 12:5-11
GIGO: We all have heard it, and we know it is true. The answer that comes from the input of data is only as flawless as the data that is entered. Hence the saying- Garbage In Garbage Out. May I introduce a few alternate definitions for GIGO?
1. GIGO. Garlic In Garlic Out. I learned this truth many years ago. I had gone to lunch with a friend, and we ate at a restaurant that served delicious soup. One of the cook's favorite ingredients was garlic, and for my taste, to quote Goldilocks, it was just right. That afternoon, after returning home, I decided to hop on the treadmill. Guess what scent greeted my husband when he went in the small room where I had been exercising? GIGO. The pungent scent came out of my pores! The fact that I had enjoyed that garlicky delight was obvious.
2. GIGO. Grace In Grace Out. The truth is the same when we think about grace rather than incorrect data or garlic. When we taste and see that the Lord is good, Psalm 34:8 and take in the truth He tells us concerning ourselves and Who He is, the sweet scent of grace comes pouring out of our lives. The more we ponder what grace looks like and how the Lord demonstrates it, the more it will naturally flow out of our every-day actions and reactions.
Is there a better time than right now to be nourished by God's grace? Where to start! I am tempted to share a long list of precious scriptures so we can glimpse an abundance of truths; instead, let's delve into only one truth and allow ourselves to be immersed in it.
God's Grace is pictured by the truth that He securely holds on to us, Romans 8:38-39.
The Father loves His children with a fierce love that won't let us go. If we do what displeases Him, He doesn't abandon us, Hebrews 13:5.
In Hebrews 12:5-11, we are reminded that God delights in us, His children. Because of that, He does discipline us, but His desire is that the end result of this discipline will produce what is good in our lives. The discipline God brings into our lives has purpose and parameters. It is not applied by someone who is out of control and angry. Instead, behind God's discipline is love that will not let us go. Sadly, many people haven't experienced anything like this kind of love in their families of origin. Many fathers were never there for their children, and some children have lived and right now are living under the threat of being disowned.
Many years ago, my stepmother who was a kindergarten teacher, knew about a child who wasn't technically abandoned. She did live in her family's home, but she had to eat all of her meals alone at a little table. Though not physically abandoned, the loneliness of not having love demonstrated was a part of this precious little girl's life. The Father's love is not like that. He wants us to ask Him for the good gifts He desires to give us, Matthew 7:7-11. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father has promised that His love is secure. We are not one step away from being cut off from His love. Unlike what many have been taught, God is not waiting for us to mess up so He can withdraw His love from us.
Luke 15 pictures the love that the Father has. He longs to receive us even when we have dishonored Him, Luke 15:20.
This week, I listened to an interview with author, Max Davis. He spoke about the Father's love, using his earthly dad as an example of how that love looks. Davis told of a time in college when, though he had received a scholarship for football, he had decided to quit the team. He had had enough. He knew that his dad would be very disappointed in his decision, and because he didn't look forward to the talk they would have, he drove around and around. Finally, he entered his home. It was too late for talk; so, he went to bed. What would the morning bring? Would there be words of shaming?
The next morning, Max David woke to the sweet scent of bacon cooking. A breakfast treat for him to enjoy. When the subject of quitting the team came up, there was no shaming or berating. In the end, Davis' father listened and talked with his son. Max would do what was right. He would ask the coach to reinstate him, and his dad would ride with him back to the college; however, Max would face the coach alone, buoyed by the knowledge that his dad was with him and loved him.
We have a Father like that. Romans 8:1 reminds us that we are under no condemnation when we belong to His family. Though we stumble badly at times, His desire is that we run quickly back to Him where forgiveness and cleansing is readily available to us, 1 John 1:9. He will never take us back on probation or shame us; instead, His love will lift us up. Since we never earned the Love that God has for us, Ephesians 2:8-9, we can't earn it back when we have sinned. Instead, we are invited to immerse ourselves in the Father's limitless grace. Buoyed up by His love, we start from where we are and are enabled to do what is right.
Thank You God for this facet of Your grace. May Your Holy Spirit nourish us with this truth so others might come to see our Heavenly Father.