Living Environmentally Friendly
Jonathan A. Buckland
A few months ago my wife and I began to notice something slightly odd in our house. It was one of the hottest days of the years, so we didn’t notice it at first, but as the day progressed we realized that our house was becoming more and more hot as the day wore on. I was confused initially because I went over to the wall where our thermostat was located and I noticed on the digital display the temperature was registering 78 degrees! I thought it was rather odd, so I pushed the buttons down on the thermostat to 70 degrees hoping it would cool it off. As the day progressed I realized we had a huge problem on our hands….. it just kept getting more and more hot. My frequent trips to the wall unit found the thermometer working perfectly, but the thermostat was not working at all. We were receiving an accurate reading of what the temperature was, but we were powerless to do anything about it. Those next 2 days were extremely uncomfortable. It affected every aspect of our lives, from our ability to concentrate on work, to our ability to sleep at night.
A. Thermometer or Thermostat?
1. Thermometer checks the temperature in the room, but ultimately never changes the temperature of the room.
2. Thermostat defines what the temperature in the room should be and then pulls power from either a furnace or an air conditioner to change the temperature in the room to whatever the desired temperature should be.
3. Too Many Christians are living as Thermometer Christians and not Thermostat Christians.
a. Thermometer Christian – diagnoses how “bad” the world is or how bad people are or how tough things are, but leaves the situation diagnosed, but not changed.
b. Thermostat Christian – diagnoses the problem, adjusts it’s settings to what the proper environment should be, then accesses power from the Holy Spirit to bring desired change to the situation.
B. Samaritan Woman
John 4:1-30 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John—2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
1. The Samaritan Woman’s situation was not good (her environment was bad)
a. She was a Samaritan
b. She was promiscuous
c. Her lifestyle was one of shame and humiliation
2. The Samaritan Woman Encountered Jesus
a. Jesus diagnosed her sin (thermometer)
b. Jesus then gave her hope (thermostat)
3. From Influenced to Influencer
a. Samaritan woman was initially a product of her environment
b. When she encountered Jesus, He lifted her to another standard
c. She then elevated her life to a New Standard of living after her encounter with Jesus.
d. She Influenced many in the town of Sychar because of what had happened in her life.
John 4:39 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”
C. Salt and Light
1. Jesus Christ – loved the sinner but detested the sin. Jesus did not use fear to influence, he used Love.
2. The Church – we are in the world, but we are not of the world – there must be a distinct difference.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
You might be a thermometer if….
• The world’s morals set determine your morals
• Your circumstance steals your joy
• Approval comes from the stuff you possess
• Doing the right thing doesn’t seem worth the price to pay
• You would rather go with the flow, rather than take a stand for God!