1 Timothy 4 - Are You A Thermometer Or A Thermostat
Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?
I Timothy 4
Example of the pressure we feel from others. - me getting my drivers
licence renewed and failing my eye test.
- people had come into the church at Ephesus and introduced the deadly
Jesus AND following OT laws.
Here, Paul unwraps a bit more of what he had heard was happening in this
Not just Jesus AND following OT laws, but Jesus AND following OT laws AND
not marrying AND not eating certain foods AND believing myths.
3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain
foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who
believe and who know the truth.
The result? People were falling for it - Christians were losing their
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith
A new craze had struck.
It had become the latest thing!
Everyone was doing it!
In chapter 4 - Paul is saying to Timothy one thing.
"Timothy, be a thermostat, not a thermometer"
What's the difference?
. Thermometers reflect the temperature of their surroundings.
. Thermostats change the temperature of their surroundings.
How do we become a thermostat?
1. Train in Truth
Set your dial on truth.
In a culture where people are following after lies, Timothy, you need to
know what is true and to hold on to it tighter than a pitbull.
Timothy, Christians are losing their faith all around you, because they are
being sucked in by lies that Satan has invented.
. Lies that say marriage is wrong
. Lies that say your whether you make it to heaven or not depends on
whether you have fries with your burger or not or a certain kind of
mayo on your salad.
What are you going to do?
What do you have to do when you are swimming in a sea of lies? You've gotta
know and hold on to the truth.
Paul writes: 'What is the truth here in this situation? God doesn't care
what food you eat. Thank him for it and enjoy it.
If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good
minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of
the good teaching that you have followed.
Interesting thing -
It's not enough to know a bit of truth. You have to get into training.
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather,
train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value,
but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the
present life and the life to come
It's not enough to have it all together physically. To survive, you are
going to have to be strong spiritually as well.
The padlock saga
. Where do you sweat the most? The gym? Or in your room as you read the
Bible, and when you pray as you walk along the street?
. When do you put in the most effort? At the pec-dek? Pounding the
pavements? Or when you are fighting a sin?
. Do you put as much effort into being good as you do into looking good?
2. Accept Authority
Timothy - an unconfident person.
. If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is
with you. (1 Corinthians 16:10)
. Recalling your tears .(2 Tim 1:4)
. For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power (2 Tim
And here he says:
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young (1 Timothy
Not some tough-as-nails, I'm-not-taking-any-stick-from-anyone person.
. A person who in his heart found it hard to make tough choices.
. To go against the opinions or other people.
. Took the criticism of other people to heart and it gutted him.
But to this soft-hearted guy, Paul says,
. 'Timothy, I want you to command and teach'
11 Command and teach these things.
. Set an example . 'in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and
set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and
. Use your spiritual gifts
14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic
One of the most courageous things I have seen in the last two years
happened at the Xtend youth conference in Tauranga last year.
I was leading a two-day training workshop on preaching and there was a girl
of about 16 sitting there. She was an attractive girl - long blond hair . a
person who you would look at and say she had every reason to be confident
But she revealed to me that she had an absolute terror of speaking in
public. I asked her 'what do you want to get out of this workshop then? Why
are you here?'
She answered in a small voice, "I think God wants me to begin to preach."
The first day of the workshop was learning stuff, but the second day was
the day set aside for people to actually get up and preach a short sermon
they had prepared overnight.
This girl came back the next day, and all through the sessions, after every
message given by others I would ask her, "What about you? Do you want to
give it a go now?" And every time she gave a small nervous smile and shook
her head. Finally, everyone had gone except her. I said to her, "Why don't
you just get up and read a passage from the Bible?" It took two minutes to
convince her, but finally she got up and shakily began to read a passage,
not making eye contact with anyone. She read for a minute and sat down with
Courage to put aside the opinions of other people:
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young.
Because when you stand face to face with Jesus in heaven and he asks you
what you did with the things he gave you, it will do you no good to say, "I
followed what other people told me."
He will say, "Child, I wanted you to follow what I told you."
He may well say, "Don't your realise?
. When I birthed you into this generation in 21 century New Zealand, I
gave you authority to influence this generation in 21 century New
. When I formed in you by my Spirit a life of love and faith and purity,
I gave you the authority to be an example in life and love and faith
. When I gave you gifts, I gave you the authority to use your gifts and
the expectation that you would.
Folks, you and I need to take up our authority to be thermostats in this
Because if we don't, you can bet your bottom dollar that some rock star on
the other side of the world who tells kids that suicide is cool . will.
3. Persevere Passionately
15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that
everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine
closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both
yourself and your hearers
Understand. If you choose to live your life as a thermostat and not a
thermometer - someone who influences others for God rather than gets
influenced - your life has incredible potential.
Movie clip Illustration - Braveheart.
This is an image of a thermostat.
When everyone was going one way, he chose to inspire them to go another.
His life was the example.
This is what Paul asked of Timothy.
This is what God asks of us.
Will you persevere with passion.
Using the authority and the gifts God has given you .
Trained in God's truth
To be a thermostat that changes lives?