What was the hottest outdoor temperature recorded on earth? What was the coldest outdoor temperature recorded? The final answer is registered on a common device we call a thermometer.
A thermometer simply rises and falls according to the environment around it. And as it does, the lowly thermometer essentially directs how we live our lives, since temperatures generally dictate the clothes we wear, the activities we entertain, and so forth.
However, it no longer has to be that way, at least not indoors! When-ever we are in an enclosed and controlled environment, the temperature rarely deviates very far from the international standard of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, even in the dead of winter or during the peak of summer! One very significant reason for this amazing phenomena is another common device we call a thermostat.
A thermostat uses an internal thermometer to sense the temperature changes around it. It then commands the resources connected to it to make whatever adjustments are required to maintain the indoor temperature at a desired setting. While the thermostat itself may have an unassuming size and appearance, the heating and/or cooling systems it commands are often massive and complex!
Accordingly, whenever we are working, shopping, playing or living in a controlled environment, the outside temperature need not adversely affect our lives! The mighty thermostat can now direct the clothes we wear, the activities we entertain, and so forth! Significant variations of outdoor temperatures are effectively neutralized by a thermostatically governed indoor system!
Which device are you most like, spiritually speaking; a thermom-eter that rises and falls with the conditions of the culture around it? Or, a thermostat that maintains an appropriate spiritual temperature by drawing upon the resources associated with it, regardless of the condi-tions around it?
Galatians 5:23 teaches us an interesting paradox. When we are filled with the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of the Spirit’s control, self-control! And Titus 2:11-12 spells out more of God’s resources and expectations for controlling our spiritual temperature this way: “God’s saving grace has appeared to all people. It teaches us to say no to godless ways and sinful longings. We must control ourselves. We must do what is right. We must lead godly lives in today’s world.” (NIrV)
By the way, the hottest recorded outdoor temperature was 135.9 degrees Fahrenheit in Libya in 1922. The coldest recorded outdoor temperature was minus 128.56 degrees Fahrenheit in the Antarctic in 1983. Physically, and spiritually, it’s best to stay far away from such dangerous temperature extremes!
Consider how Christ maintained a perfect spiritual temperature while He walked among us! Draw upon God’s Spirit and grace to help you set and maintain your spiritual temperature at the biblical standard of Christlikeness, regardless of the cultural climate around you!
Bruce Hendrich is the Pastor at Oak Street Baptist Church 804 Oak Street • Elizabethon, TN 37643 • 423.542.4022 • oakstreetbaptist.net