By Pam Horton
It’s summer! School’s out (even the online version), many churches aren’t meeting, and small group Bible study groups often take a break for the summer. That means it’s time to take a break from reading the Bible, right?
Have you fallen into this summertime trap?
The ways of the world tell us to relax, vacation, take a break in the summer. For many things, that’s OK. People need a break from the stressors life can throw at us. However, staying in God’s Word is not a stressor. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. Reading your Bible should help you find that sense of peace mentioned in Philippians 4:7: “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (NLT).
In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask “our Father” to give us our “daily bread” (Matthew 6:9-13). Many preachers teach that our daily bread is the needs for the day, one of which is to read the Bible.
In Luke 9:23, Jesus commands us, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”
In Romans 6:11, Paul encourages us, “So let it be the same way with you! Since you are now joined with him, you must continually view yourselves as dead and unresponsive to sin’s appeal while living daily for God’s pleasure in union with Jesus, the Anointed One” (The Passion Translation).
In Mark 6:31 the disciples have just returned from preaching and healing people; Jesus suggests that the disciples follow him to a secluded place to rest. Only in one verse, in The Passion Translation, does the verse read “take a break.” Even then, the crowd followed them, and Jesus fed the 5,000. I would guess that in their time of “rest” Jesus would have been talking to His disciples, which was His way of teaching them.
As Christians, we must not let ourselves fall into the summertime trap. We must continue to walk closely with our Lord, lest we forget we are to walk in righteousness and live above reproach (see Colossians 1:21-23). Does this mean you have to spend hours reading your Bible? Only if you want to. There are different ways to stay in the word. You could:
- Read a daily devotional
- Listen to a podcast
- Join a summer study group
- Sing along with a contemporary Christian music radio station
Just because it’s summer, don’t “take a break” from God.
In whatever way you choose, stay close and keep Him fresh in your mind. You can even go to the beach and reflect on the beauty of God’s creation.
Horton grew up believing in Jesus. As a teenager and young adult, she turned away from her faith for a few years. Once she came back around to understand that it’s not about religion, but a relationship, she began a never-ending quest to grow closer to God. Through this process, she has learned to stress less and choose joy. Pam has published seven nonfiction books that are available through Amazon. She has also written articles for the Military Counseling Initiative and Youth Worker, as well as being featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandparents. Pam and her husband, Jim, own NewDirection Life Coaching, where they encourage others to move positively forward.