Remembering God While On Vacation
We have a begun a study
of some sins associated with summer time.
Obviously, these are not exclusive to this season, because sin is
always sin. But during the
summer time, the opportunities for particular sins are more prevalent
because of opportunity. In
our last lesson, we began our study by noting the dangers of immodesty
due to the hot temperatures.
In this article we want to notice the importance of remembering God even
when we are on vacation.
The summer season, because school is out and attractions are open
and more accessible, is traditionally the time when families take
vacations. Sometimes we plan
to go visit family and at other times we simply go and see things we do
not normally get to see.
Vacations are good and needed from time to time.
Rest is a Biblical subject.
But when you go on vacation, do you take a vacation FROM God?
you are planning your vacation do you first seek to see if a faithful
congregation is available where you are going?
There are some who give little or no thought to worshipping God
while on vacation. Perhaps
some reason that since they are away from home they are under no
obligation to worship Him, especially to find a congregation to assemble
with. Let us think about
this for a few moments.
We are commanded to assemble.
Heb. 10:24-25 still says, “Let
us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves, as is the manner of some, but
exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day
approaching.” We often
emphasize that this text does NOT speak of a particular weekly assembly,
but WHENEVER we assemble together.
That is why you ought to consider this verse every time we meet.
We don’t need to go into all the reasons why one should WANT to
assemble with brethren as often as possible, but I do want to mention
that we SHOULD consider this verse even while on vacation.
This becomes even clearer when we consider WHY we are assembling.
Who are you worshipping?
The primary reason we
assemble is to worship God – every act of worship directed toward Him
(as a benefit, we are edified).
Mark Roberts in an article dealing with this noted, “God is not a
hometown.” The point being
that if your see the primary reason for assembling is to worship God,
that is not going to be nullified just because you are away from home.
You ought to WANT to include Him in your travels.
further emphasize this, please consider the following:
We ought to partake of the Lord’s Supper on the 1st day of
(Acts 20:7). That is an act
that is designed to be done when we assemble together (see 1 Cor.
11:17-34, esp. 33, also 22, etc.).
It is not exclusive to when you are home.
Even Paul, WHILE TRAVELING, assembled with the saints at Troas
and partook of the Lord’s Supper with them (Acts 20:6-7).
Matt. 6:33, “But seek first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness…”
Is God a priority in your life at all times?
If He is, would you not WANT to render worship to Him, even while
away from home? We don’t
take a vacation from seeking God first.
That is why we consider Him in every aspect – where we go, what
we do, when we go, etc.
Will we sacrifice for Him?
We are so blessed to live under a Law where we are not required
to offer animal sacrifices.
But that doesn’t mean we do not offer sacrifices.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us to present our bodies as living
sacrifices. This according
with putting God first. It
is a text that tells us, if He is our Master (cf. Rom. 6:16-18, 22), we
WILL give up whatever hinders us from serving Him.
It also means we will give Him that which is precious to us in
our lives –including our time.
There is a real sense in which our time of assembly on a regular
basis is a sacrifice – we could be doing other things, especially since
it is the weekend or evening.
The Hebrew writer gives us an example saying, “Therefore
by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is,
the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such
sacrifices God is well pleased.”(Heb. 13:15-16)
For some assembling comes without question – you can count on
them to be there every chance they get – they simply won’t let worldly
pleasures and wants get in the way of being here.
BUT, for others, they might find any and every reason (or shall
we say excuse) to NOT assemble.
I ask you to consider, if you have given God your Sundays and
other services when you are at home, does He not still deserve them when
you are on vacation?
Friends, you know the importance of worshipping God.
Don’t let a vacation diminish that.
It makes a huge impact on our children.
Our children need strong examples of faithfulness to God.
As parents we have been entrusted
with a soul that will spend eternity somewhere.
More than anyone else, parents have the greatest opportunity to
influence the direction of their children as they grow up.
And parents are given examples and commanded to strive to raise
godly children (Eph. 6:4, Prov. 22:6, 2 Tim. 3:15, etc.).
I sometimes call the way we attend worship services a “spiritual
indicator” meaning something that you can look at which gives you a good
indication of how important God really is (others include prayer, Bible
study, caring for others, etc.).
Certainly, our assembling is not all there is to being a
Christian, but because of its public nature it speaks to OTHERS about
how important God really is to you.
And those “others” would certainly include your children.
Do your children observe CONSISTENT faithful attendance? Do you
attend every time you can while at home? Do you miss the assemblies
while on vacation? If so, I
will guarantee your children notice.
In my 25+ years of preaching, I have observed more than a few
examples of parent’s attendance habits.
I have seen faithful parents who were there every time and their
children followed their example.
And I have seen the examples of parents who attended poorly and
so did their children when they left home.
In fact, parents who attend poorly RARELY have children who
attend faithfully. If we
truly care about the souls of our children, we are going to do
EVERYTHING we can to turn them in the right direction.
Friends, that HAS TO include the church being important to you.
Your children need to see that while on vacation as well as when
you are home.
Þ Brethren in other
places are edified by our presence. There is great
encouragement when visitors come our way.
I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see visitors,
especially on vacation, who take the time to assemble with the saints.
It shows that they have taken God with them on their vacation.
Is there any doubt that God is pleased with such conduct?
This is true in any congregation striving to stand for the truth
and ESPECIALLY true in smaller congregations.
There is no “down side” to taking the time to assemble and giving
God your Sundays while on vacation.
You get to meet your
brethren who are striving to serve God in other places.
Quite often you meet brethren who know brethren you know.
Someone once said after meeting someone who knew their fellow
brethren, “Boy it’s a small world” to which the other replied, “It’s a
big family.” In the Bible we
find evidence of brethren caring about their brethren in other cities
(they passed around letters, they helped with needs, they visited other
places – cf. Paul, Apollos, Phoebe (Rom 16:1), etc.)
You get to hear the word of God from a different perspective.
And you get to worship with brethren in those locations.
You never know what an encouragement you are to them.
They may be struggling with discouragement, and a smiling face
may brighten their day. This
is especially true overseas where preachers are struggling with a
handful of saints. I ask you
to again consider Hebrews 10:24 here, “Let
us CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER in order to stir up love and good works, not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…but exhorting one another…”
By assembling with other brethren, can you exhort and stir them
up to love?
Truly, we ought to give consideration to other brethren as we plan our
Þ Don’t forget about
Another point I would like to briefly mention is that when you go
on vacation, don’t forget your contribution back home.
1 Cor. 16:1-2, 2 Cor. 9 still applies even though we are away.
If a congregation has needs (and which one doesn’t) they depend
upon consistent contributions to fulfill those needs.
They budget based upon how brethren give.
When you leave for vacation, the needs of the local work are
still there. For many of us,
the amount spend on vacation is astronomical compared to what we “lay by
in store” on a weekly basis. What
if you have to “sacrifice” a little on vacation so that you can make
sure your brethren at home are taken care of?
What if, in that little congregation you give a little to them
too to help them? Will such
really hurt you? Or will it
help you feel better (in a good way) knowing that in you abundant
blessings, you are privileged to share with others.
Conclusion: And thus we can see some things to
consider about assembling with other brethren while on vacation.
IF you are blessed with time for a vacation, don’t take a
vacation God at the same time.
He deserves better than that.
Even while away, He still deserves you BEST!
Think about it!