A thermometer “measures” and “displays” the temperature. A thermostat “regulates” and “changes” the temperature. Some people merely display the temperature of our culture; others seek to change it by the way they live. God calls His people to reflect, not the values of the culture, but His righteous standards, especially when cultural values contradict God’s revealed truth. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this truth in Philippians 3. He told the Philippian believers and us that we must live as citizens of heaven. As Christians, we have dual citizenship. We are citizens of the world because we were born here. We enjoy the earthly benefits that God has provided for humans here on earth. But when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become citizens of heaven. Paul urged the Philippians — and us — to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News of Christ. As citizens of this world, we obey the laws, we pay our taxes, and we foster wholesome living and justice; but as citizens of heaven, we love one another, we share the Good News of the Gospel, and we live Christ-centered lives. We base our worldview, not on the changing values of our culture, but on the truth that God has revealed in the Bible. We take our cues from Jesus Christ our Lord, and seek to live by His righteous standards. Like the thermostat, we seek to make a difference where we live.
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