GOODNESS GRACIOUS

By Tommy Rush

Recently my wife and I were shopping at Home Depot for a thermostat for our new heating and air-conditioning system. I know I’m about 20 years behind times, but I was dumbfounded by all the choices. We looked at “Smart Thermostats,” “Wi-Fi Thermostats,” “Programmable Thermostats,” “TouchScreen Thermostats,” and “Voice Activated Thermostats.” As the young man explained to my wife all the features of the “Smart Thermostat,” I was searching the isle for the little round one that you set with a dial. I’m sure they still exists somewhere, but I can already hear my electrician say, “Old thermostats will not work with new HVAC systems.”

Thermostats have changed a lot over the years, but the purpose is still the same. Thermostats are designed to set the temperature and maintain temperature. Thermostats are very different from thermometers. A thermometer is an instrument used to tell the temperature. They don’t set the temperature. Thermometers don’t change anything,

Today, I believe God is calling his people to be thermostats. We have enough thermometers. It seems every new’s report is a report of a world on fire. If we’re not careful our own conversations are all about the problems and how bad things are around us. I would rather be a thermostat than a thermometer. I honestly believe God’s people are called to be people who set the temperature more than complain about it. Nothing changes the temperature more than bringing the peace and presence of Jesus into our conversations and situations each day.

Two weeks ago I was encouraged by participating in our Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. Few things can change situations faster than prayer. Prayer changes things! The next week, churches throughout our city and parish came together to pray for our local schools and the start of a new school year. I deeply appreciate Pastor Ail Harris, Jr. for organizing and calling pastors and churches in our community together for prayer. In the Throne Room of God, there are no politics or labels, only grace and peace. Prayer, better than anything I know controls the temperature of a home, a church, and a community.

We also control the temperature when we make the choice to demonstrate God’s love. God’s love is not like the world’s love. The world says love is a feeling. God says love is an action, a choice, it’s what we do. God’s love is patient, kind, not jealous, it does not brag or act unbecomingly, it does not seek it’s own, is not provoked, does not take into account wrongs suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with truth, a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Jesus calls us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. God’s love is a choice, not a feeling. We set the temperature when we choose to love others in Christ.

I would really like to be a better thermostat in my home and community. And if I could choose what kind of thermostat I would like to be, I would want to be “Voice Activated.” Activated every moment, in every situation by God’s voice!


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