Ah, Summer! That great season of stepping out of routines and off the throttle. At last! Some time to rest, enjoy a leisurely day or two and get away from it all.
That tends to be our mindset at this time of the year. It is certainly healthy to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by longer days, warmer weather and relaxed work hours to care for our own needs a bit. However, this relaxed mindset and lack of routine can pose some challenges in our relationship with God.
If you are like me, STAYING and REMAINING are two words to avoid when the sun is shining and the beach is calling. STAY & REMAIN? No thank you! I want to get out of here. Away from it all.
Yet, in order to maintain a growing edge, we must STAY in fellowship with one another and REMAIN rooted in God’s Word.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. - Hebrews 10:23-25
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. - John 15:4
The application of these words is not optional or seasonal. They imply a perpetual habit of staying in fellowship and remaining in Jesus. It is so easy to get off track during the summer when community groups are on hiatus and that epic tome that has been collecting dust on your bookshelf is beckoning. So how can we stay on track this summer with the staying and remaining that God desires for us?
Here are a few tips to keep us going:
Go to church - Sunday happens every week. We are here and we would love you to make a habit of joining us. If not in person, then by enjoying our live service feed online. If you are out of town, find a like-minded church to visit. You may actually find refreshment in that.
Read your Bible - You should all have one and if you do not, just ask us for one or tap into the YouVersion app that you can download on your device. The Word of God is readily available; we just need to open it. Moreover, it travels well!
Use Your Brain - Don’t just read the Bible; get it into your head by memorizing some verses. Pick a verse a week and keep repeating it to yourself until it becomes part of your thinking. Amazingly, there is refreshment in that too!
Move! - It’s okay to pause and take time to reflect and read or catch a snooze, but we need to remember that our bodies are God’s temple so let’s take care of ourselves physically by staying active.
Starting this coming week on our social media platforms, we are extending a 5-3-1 Challenge to you. Each week, we will encourage you to spend 5 days with Jesus, 3 days engaging in some physical activity and memorizing 1 Bible verse. We will make it easy for you by providing some scripture references from our “Read It, Live It” guide for you to read and memorize. Keep an eye out for those posts and know that you are not alone in this.
Enjoy the STAYING & REMAINING!