A thermometer or a thermostat?

By Dave Henning / March 26, 2022

“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.”-  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mark Batterson concludes Day 19 of Do It for a Day as he observes that we’re quite good at telling God about our problems.  Consequently, Mark states, we:

  • explain our problems as if God has no clue what’s wrong
  • complain about them as if He doesn’t care
  • remind Him as if His memory lapsed

Therefore, Pastor Batterson counsels, exercise your authority.  Because when you doubt that allows your circumstances to get between you and God.  However, Mark underscores, faith lets God get between you and your circumstances.  So, to make exercising your authority a habit, shift the atmosphere.

On Good Friday 1963, police in Birmingham, Alabama, jailed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for peaceful protest without a permit.  In response, Dr. King wrote an open letter from his jail cell.  Hence, Mark asks:

“Are you a thermometer or a thermostat? . . .  Are you conforming to culture?  Or are you interrupting the pattern with faith, hope, and love?

Thermometers reflect the temperature. . . .  Most people surrender to their circumstances, no questions asked. . . .  As Christ-followers, we’re called to a higher standard.  We shift the atmosphere by operating in the opposite spirit. . . .  We must represent the kingdom of God with so much love, so much joy, so much hope that it provokes questions for which the gospel is the answer.”

In conclusion, Pastor Batterson stresses, you discount the price Jesus paid on Calvary if you operate at less than full authority.  Thus, it’s time to live like Satan’s a defeated foe!”  Exercise your authority!

Today’s question:  Do you see your witness as a thermometer or a thermostat?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A twofold litmus test for prayer”

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Dave Henning

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