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Are You a Thermometer or a Thermostat Christian?

Introduction: Are you a thermometer (circumstantially led) or are you a thermostat (influencer of your surroundings) believer? Let me explain. A thermometer is circumstantially led. Depending on the temperature, the mercury moves up or down. It moves according to the whether circumstances that it is set in. Everything around a thermometer controls how the thermometer works, whether it moves up or down. A thermostat influences its surroundings. Unlike the thermometer, the thermostat controls the heat or coldness around it. What type of believer are you? Do you influence your surroundings? Or, are you influenced by your surroundings? Many aspire, but few attain. Rev. Dr. Paul Fritz I would like to suggest that the reason behind many thermometer Christians is their own discouragements. All Christians will be discourages, but the Bible gives us answers to these discouragements. Here are the top 8 discouragements in a Christians mind and what Gods Word says about them. 1. I must be loved and accepted by those in my life who are most important to me. I must live up to their expectations. - This mindset is very dangerous and counter biblical. Although it would be nice for every one of your family members and friends to be happy with your lifestyle, it wont ever happen. There will always be the ones who look down on you or despise you out of jealousy, envy, and ignorance. - The Bible tells us in Matt. 5:11-12, Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

- If the important people in your life are not accepting you because of your devotion to God, you are blessed! This might sound crazy, but really it shows that you have a changed heart. You have a changed life. Do not be surprised if you are persecuted and have to suffer. Believers often do not understand why they have to suffer. When they suffer, they are surprised and astonished and wonder why God does not protect them from the suffering and persecution. This is especially true when persecution is fiery and painful. As long as the believer is on the face of this earth, he will be called upon to face fiery trials. Being a genuine believer in a corrupt world is difficult. The world just cannot understand the demands of Christ for self-denial and discipline and in particular Christs insistence that they give all they are and have to His cause. So, when a person really begins to live for Christ the world often wants little to do with them. It may be next door, in the office, in school, in the government or in a hundred other places. Why does God allow the believer to suffer persecution? To test, try and prove us.

- Persecution measures our faith. Any persons faith can be measure by how much they are willing to sacrifice or bear for it. Suffering persecution for Christ shows how strong or weak our faith really is. Persecution proves our faith and attracts others to Christ. When we suffer and are persecuted, others can see the strength of Christ in us. They see that our faith in Christ is a living reality and they are drawn to Christ, to His salvation, love, care and strength. When others see us suffer for the hope of salvation and eternal life, the Holy Spirit uses our suffering to speak to the heats of the persecutors and observers. He convicts them, and some eventually turn to Christ. - Jesus told His disciples in John 16:33, I have spoken to you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. 2. I must be perfectly competent and successful before I can be happy with myself. - This is an outlook that usually means you are depending on your own works to in turn make yourself right with God. Nothing we can do will ever make us right with God. - 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. - Paul tells us in this verse while writing to the Corinthian church, our adequacy does not come from ourselves. If you are waiting to be happy with yourself until you are successful and competent, it will never come. Every human being is made with a yearning for something more inside. We have a void in our hearts that we can never fill ourselves. Where does this adequacy come from? Paul tells us that it comes from God! Paul also goes on to say how we are now under the covenant of the Spirit, not of the letter (the law, old covenant). We are made right with God by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit and from that our life will produce pleasing fruit and we will live pleasing to God out of love because He made us right. When you are living under the letter or old covenant, you are living right to make yourself right with God. We dont have to do that. Jesus fulfilled the law for us. Live by the Spirit. - Paul writes to the Philippians in 4:12-13, I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in every and any circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Our idea of success might not be Gods idea of success for our lives. We must learn to live humbly and contently with what we have instead of always trying to acquire more. Those who are faithful with little will be given much. Put your trust in Christ and not yourself. 3. It is easier to avoid certain difficulties and responsibilities rather than face them; if I ignore them, they may go away. - We need to not run from, but face our responsibilities and difficulties.

- While teaching His disciples, Jesus said, if anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:23). - Take up our cross daily means to carry our own load. We are to accept that we will reap what we have sown. Most of the time you hear the saying you reap what you sow, its usually in a bad setting. I am here to tell you that it could be good. Just like a farmer plants a corn kernel and expects corn to grow, so we can expect to grow whatever seed we have sown. How have you sown your time, energy, finances, talents, hobbies, and intellect? You reap what you sow. - Remember that if you want to follow Jesus and you have sown bad seeds, you will have to take up that cross when the sowing season comes. If you plant something it is going to grow. Dont expect it to just go away. Just like a plant, it may take a while for your seed to grow, but it will. - If you sow bad seeds expect to see bad crops. If you sow good seeds expect to see not only exactly what you planted (good), but expect to see two and three fold of it. 4. I must be prepared for the worst by constantly dwelling on what may be bad, dangerous, or feared. - Paul teaches us in Philippians 3:13, Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. - Think of a runner who runs track for a second. I f the runner even focuses on their opponent for one second and turns their head to look how close they are, the wind catches their face and immediately slow them down. They must keep their face straightforward and keep their eyes on what lies ahead. - Just like the runner, we must not dwell on what lies behind us; it will only slow us down in getting to where we are headed. Paul says, one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. Consider this: Although we should not focus and dwell on what is bad, we ought to take a look in the rearview mirror every once in a while to see how God has delivered you in the past. This will encourage you to know that He is still with you in your present situation. Reach forward to what lies ahead! 5. I have been shaped by the past and it is too late to change. - Paul goes on to say in Philippians 3:14, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - It is never to late to change. Paul tells us to press on toward the goal Press on! Never give up. Ask God to restore your soul with the love of Jesus Christ. - He exchanges our: - Failures for His success

- Emptiness for His fulfillment - Sorrow for His joy - Sadness with His gladness - Defeats with His victory - Rejection with His acceptance - Inabilities with His abilities - Shame for His forgiveness - Disadvantages with His advantages - Weakness for His strength - Loss with His gain - Trouble with His triumph 6. It is terrible when things do not go the way I have planned. - Jesus prayed, Abba! Father! All things are possible for you; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will (Mark 14:36). - Jesus prayed for the will of God over his own. We too should not get in a fussy attitude when things go differently than we planned. Obviously God had a better plan. We need to look to Gods will and not our own. - If you are stuck in traffic, dont weave in and out. Maybe God has planned this traffic jam to keep you out of a major fatal accident that is going to happen ahead. If your check doesnt come on time, maybe its because He knew you would blow it. Then it shows up the day after you get your bills and you say to yourself, Good thing I didnt waste my money. - Talk to God about your concerns. Ask Him where He is at in certain situations. Ask Him for understanding in your difficulties. - Paul says in Romans 8:28-29, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, he also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son - God is in control and we must realize this before we fuss about things not going our way. 7. I have no control over my happiness. Whatever happens to me, determines that. - Do not let what happens to you determine your happiness.

- Paul wrote, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; perseuted but not forsaken; struckdown, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

- Satan wants you to give up, but we must not give in. Remember that we have already won. 8. I must find the quick and perfect solution to my problem.

- Paul gives us the best solution in Philippians 4:6-7, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ. - This verse is probably a very familiar verse to all of you. Paul is telling us to be anxious for nothing. Now, Im the kind of person who thinks I can figure it all out. If everybody would just back up, I can do it. Youll just mess everything up. If I can get my hands around this thing, Ill figure it out. Paul is telling us here to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. We are to put it in Gods hands. With God all things are possible. We are to take all of our needs to God in prayer. Paul is telling us that God wants to know our needs. I want you to see three words here in this verse. - Prayer We are to bring everything to God in prayer. - Supplication The word supplication just means a petition or request. God wants us to bring our requests to Him. - Thanksgiving We are to have a thankful spirit about us. We are to be thankful that God is there for us. He is there to listen to our petitions. There is something about a Christian that just has a thankful and joyful spirit about them. One day my buddy and I were just driving down the road and laughing about something, having a good time. A guy drove up next to us and screamed out, What are you in such a good mood for! Then he rolled up his window and speed off. Now that guy was just having a bad day, but we as Christians ought to have that thankful spirit about us. - Paul is just saying here that the peace that a Christian has, guards our hearts and minds. We have this peace about us along with the, joyfulness, thankfulnesswe also have a peace in our hearts and minds. This peace comes from knowing we have God to come to prayer in, we have God to thank for this intimate relationship, we can rejoice through knowing our eternal future. Christ gives Christians a peace in their hearts and minds. We know we dont always have to figure it out. We can bring it to God in prayer. Hell figure it out. This peace surpasses all of our bad thoughts. Fix your eyes and mind upon Jesus.

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