On Vacation From God

Eric Dougherty

This is the time of year when many families begin to plan their summer vacations. It's great to get away from many of the stresses of life, the demands of work, the pressures of school, and the confinement of our religious beliefs. Whoa! The confinement of what? How are religious beliefs confining? They shouldn't be, but many treat their faith as if it were an extreme burden from which we occasionally deserve a break.

Do we behave differently when we're away from home? Do we frequent businesses and establishments that promote ungodly living? A Christian ought to maintain high standards the year round. Do we make it a point to worship with local Christians when on vacation, or do we have the attitude that no one is going to find out. Even worse, is it acceptable among the brethren we regularly work and worship with to skip the Sunday we are away as long as we are in attendance the other fifty-one?

There are many reasons we should assemble with other Christians when on vacation.

First, it is pleasing to God. "Not forsaking the assembling of [ourselves]" applies to every Sunday of the year.

Second, it strengthens our faith to realize that there are others who believe and practice the teachings of God's word as faithfully as we do.

Third, it shows others, especially our children, that we have our priorities in line with God's.

Fourth, it strengthens the brethren whom we are visiting. I have found this especially true since moving to Newport, NC. Due to our location along the outer banks, summer is an exciting time that brings many visitors to our assembly. We provide mutual edification and encouragement to one another.

This year let's make a point of searching for and worshipping with a congregation of the Lord's church as part of our vacation agenda. "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, but exhort one another daily while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin," Hebrews 3:12-13. 1634 New Bern St., Newport, NC. 28570.


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