After twenty-three years of pastoring, I have come to the conclusion that summer is a time when the devil works hard to get Christians out of fellowship with the Lord. Sometimes it is simply the fact that we are a bit off schedule, or perhaps there are other temptations and trials awaiting God’s people. Whatever the reason, we must intentionally determine to have a Christ-honoring summer. Here are some thoughts I recently shared with our staff at Lancaster Baptist Church, encouraging them in their summer walk with Christ.
1. Walk in holiness.
First Peter 1:14–17 says, As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
Holiness is a forgotten doctrine in the twenty-first century church. God wants His children to be distinct and consecrated unto Him. We must be careful in our choices regarding socializing, entertainment, and our daily conversation. Each decision should be made in light of God’s will for our lives.
2. Walk in helpfulness. (Romans 12:11–13)
I believe summer is a great time to look for ways to help other people. Perhaps you can visit a senior saint or do a chore or some good deed for a neighbor. Great memories are made through serving the Lord Jesus Christ. Many families will spend time relaxing and resting, which is also needed, but the great memories will be made through serving and helping.
3. Walk in honor and integrity.
Here, I am referring to accountability and dependability. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life…” Paul’s testimony was an open book, and ours should be as well. Be sure to communicate with your family, your Sunday school teacher, your pastor, and others regarding your schedule this summer. “Elevate dependability and eliminate doubt.”
4. Walk in humility. (1 Peter 5:5–6)
The Bible teaches that we are to humble ourselves and give honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Many times during the summer, we are filled with “self thoughts.” Paul said, “Neither count I my life dear unto myself…” Our major thought must be to please the Lord Jesus Christ this summer!
5. Walk in humor.
Proverbs 17:22a says, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” I trust that you will have some time apart with your family this summer: time to make some memories, laugh, have fun, and enjoy the many blessings of God. Yes, God is a God of holiness, and we should walk in honor and humility. Yet, God also desires that we would have balanced lives, and that balance includes the joy of the Lord on a daily basis.
I am praying you have a wonderful summer in Christ!