Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:8-11 NIV)
Will Your Summer Become Your Fall?
So let me go ahead and throw it out there; when summer rolls around, sometimes I’d rather be in the pool than in the pulpit. When it’s 90 degrees outside, I feel more comfortable in a pair of shorts and flip flops than dress shirt and Florsheim shoes. The lure of the beach, river, pool or anything that has the combination of letters and numbers equating to H2O is certainly more refreshing than anything we’ll ‘dive’ into at Sunday school, Bible study or even worship…
…Well, that’s certainly what Satan wants us to think anyway. The distractions of summer are some of the most potent weapons the Evil One uses to distract us from staying in God’s Word and God’s House. Leisure and sports can quickly overtake us and ‘over-time’ us, leaving us little time, energy and/or resources to worship or to serve or to give or to live for Jesus Christ, and to be His hands, feet and voice to a world that ‘still’ doesn’t know about Christ’s love. The devil knows that we are already set up and ready to crash. It’s been a long school year for both students and parents (and teachers!) and all just need a break. For the serving hands and loving hearts who gave their time and energy to our church on Wednesday nights, a “Hallelujah!” rang out as that final meal was served and that last class taught.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with taking a well-deserved blow. (Heck, I’ll actually be on 2 week sabbatical when this blog is published) Here’s the thing though; God intentionally created a time of rest, and the first thing most of us need to realize is, part of that time we have off from school, work, serving, etc., needs to be invested in just down time. The Psalmists, inspired by the Spirit of God wrote, “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). Often times, we need a vacation from our vacation and occasionally we take that ‘second’ vacation time by missing church. Before we know it, a couple of Sundays turn into a month of Sundays, and before we know that, we have completely gotten out of the habit of going, giving, serving or just showing up to worship the God of the universe.
Hopefully by the time you read this, if even from your lounge or beach chair, you’ll have had a few weeks to relax, or spend at kid’s activities or to do whatever it is you do to take a little ‘me’ or family time. I just want to encourage you to not get tricked into focusing just on ‘me,’ but to commit to ‘Thee,’ our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who despite popular belief (a rumor started by Satan, I’m sure) does not take the summers off. Commit to worship. Commit to serving. Commit to Giving. Commit to sharing the Gospel. Commit to Jesus Christ.
In just a couple of weeks, our youth will venture off to Mission-Fuge. Commit to praying for them and the leaders who will be guiding and chaperoning them. In just a few weeks, our church will host over 20 homeless folks. Commit to taking part in that mission by serving and providing a needed food and/or paper item. Don’t let the devil knock you off stride with your walk with God. Don’t let your summer become your fall.
God bless. Pastor Win