Justin Tucker, LHC Worship Pastor
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Thermostats and thermometers are two tools that both deal in temperature but they have completely different roles. A thermometer measures temperature and a thermometer sets and regulates temperature. Thermometers are tools that tell us what the temperature is based on the external influences that it encounters. A thermometer doesn’t have the ability to change its surroundings, it only has the ability to react. If it’s hot, the mercury in the thermometer rises. If it’s cold, it drops. While both of these changes happen inside the glass tube of the thermometer, nothing outside of the thermometer impacts the world. On the other hand, a thermostat sets the temperature for a room. It determines whether a room will be hot, cold, or just comfortable. In the heat we’ve had here lately, it can also affect our bank accounts! Ha! A thermostat sets the tone, it doesn’t react. A thermostat can be adjusted to make the climate in a home or a room change. Thermostats are much more effective than thermometers.
As followers of Christ, we have been called to thermostats not thermometers. We have been called to be change agents in culture. We see this in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. In this passage we have both a calling and a warning. The calling is to impact the world, the warning is that the world will bowl us over. As Christians, we have to be able to walk into rooms and change the climate. We have to come in and raise the banner of Christ and claim that room as the Kingdom of Heaven because we are ambassadors of Christ and we are called to claim the ground that we stand on as His.
In Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” he writes: “There was a time when the church was very powerful—in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Wherever the early Christians entered a town the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being ‘disturbers of the peace’ and ‘outside agitators.’ But they went on with the conviction that they were ‘a colony of heaven’ and had to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be ‘astronomically intimidated.’ By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church’s silent—and often even vocal—sanction of things as they are. The judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.” Dr. King’s words were true in 1963 when he wrote them and I believe that they still ring true today.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times that we are thermometers instead of thermostats. Through Your Spirit, I ask that You would guide us and direct us to be the change agents that You intend for us to be. Fill us with Your Spirit and teach us to walk boldly into a world that opposes You, a world that lives by whims and not the truth. Thank you for saving us and charging us with being your ambassadors on earth to impact this world for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Ephesians 2:10- .10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.