My wife, Debbie, and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Through the years God has truly blessed us. Three of God's great blessings in our lives are our children Danielle, Katelyn, and Caleb. After school is out each year, during the summer break, we have been blessed to enjoy a vacation trip together as family. I look forward to this time each year to be with my wife and children, to enjoy activities together, and to simply "relax." Generally speaking, vacation is a time to get away from the sometimes hectic pace and frustration of everyday life. While it is nice to "get away from it all," it is also nice to be able to come back home. As the old saying goes, "There's no place like home!" I would like to offer you some things to remember as you and your family go on vacation together.
First, don't forget about God. Make sure that you take God with you when you go. What do I mean by this? When you go on vacation, do you make plans for worship and Bible study on the Lord's Day? What about midweek service? I have vacationed in tourist areas where the local church will have 600 people in attendance on Sunday morning, but Sunday evening there will be only 100 present! Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together ..." Vacation time is not exempt from this command. Be faithful in your church attendance while you are away. Take your Bible with you on vacation and assemble for worship and Bible study with the local congregation. The brethren will greatly appreciate your support, and it will help you to be strong as a child of God. By the way, don't forget to pray while you are away too!
Second, don't forget, while on vacation, always behave as a Christian should. We must live "soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world" (Titus 2:12). I have known of church members who have gotten away from home, thinking, "No one knows who I am. I can do what I want to, and nobody will know." They will then do things that are not pleasing to God. Those things in life that are sinful for the Christian to do at home are also sinful to do while away on vacation. Let's remember that wherever we are and wherever we go we are representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's also remember that God sees, hears, and knows all that we think, say, and do. The writer of Hebrews reminds us, "All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13). Paul penned, "Every one of us shall give account of himself unto God" (Romans 14:12). Don't do something on vacation that sooner or later you will regret!
Third, don't forget about the church at home. Continue to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ, as you desire their prayers for you. Remember that the local church still has the same financial obligations while you are away on vacation as they do when you are at home. There are bills to pay and works to be done, all of which takes financial resources. The only way that God has authorized in His Word for the church to be supported financially is through free-will offerings on the Lord's Day. Paul commanded by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him" (1 Corinthians 16:2) and "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). I encourage you to leave your contribution with one of the members of your congregation, or make it up the next Lord's Day when you return home. Let's not be guilty of robbing God (cf. Malachi 3:8) by using our contribution for ourselves while on vacation.
There is a credit card commercial that encourages the use of their product when you leave home on vacation with the slogan, "Don't leave home without it." Remember, take God with you wherever you go. Don't leave home without HIM! -1311 Sanlor Ave., West Milton, Ohio 45383.
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