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Thermometer or Thermostat

Daily Reading2 Chronicles 29 

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. (2 Chronicles 29.3) 

Devotional Thought: Just as each of us has a distinct personality, so do the organizations and institutions we’re part of.  And … the culture of the organization is the most powerful determinant of its destiny—it will override strategy and vision every time.  You can have a solid strategy and a compelling vision, but if you have an unhealthy culture your strategy will never work and your vision will never be realized. 

When Hezekiah assumed the kingship of Judah, he stepped into an organization with a sick culture.  A people God had raised up to be a beacon to the nations had become very much like those nations—there was nothing different or distinct about them.  Hezekiah immediately set about the business of re-forming the culture of God’s people.  Verse 3 indicates he began this process promptly upon assuming the throne.  And the following verses detail some of the specific steps he took. 

In many ways, the most challenging aspect of being a Christ-follower in today’s world is the challenge of being an agent of cultural change.  At the same time, it is the essence of our calling.  As the apostle Paul says, we are to be God’s children in a warped and crooked generation as we shine like stars and hold firmly to the word of life (Philippians 2.14-15). 

It’s the difference between being a thermometer and a thermostat.  Thermometers register the surrounding temperature while thermostats help regulate it.  Thermometers document the temperature while thermostats help determine it.  Thermostats do what they do so that the surrounding temperature begins to change. 

May we, like Hezekiah, be people who don’t merely reflect the condition of the surrounding world but serve to alter it—who live in such a way to where the way things are begins to change. 

John Whitsett 

Prayer: Lord, I don't want to simply reflect the conditions around me.  I want to be used of you to change them.  Use me to effect positive change in my world.  Amen. 

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 79:1-7

1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2 They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the heavens for food, the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.

3 They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.

4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.

5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?

6 Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call upon your name!

7 For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.

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