Glorify God with your Summer!2
Ah....summer! That time of year when things seemingly slow down, holidays begin, and a break is to be had. Summer is the perfect time to do all kinds of things that other times of the year simply don’t allow. So, is there a Christian way to think about even this season? Certainly, the believer should always live in view of the reality that life is a vapor (James 4:14), making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16). And, at the same time, the believer lives this life with joy recognizing that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). Summer, in all its glory, is one of those gifts! Don’t waste it!
Be intentional. As with all scarce resources in this world, time is precious because it passes quickly. Summer comes and goes before we know it, so believers should look toward seasons like this one with intentionality. Be strategic in the way you spend your time with your family or friends. Are there ways you could specifically encourage your spouse or children spiritually? Perhaps, you and your spouse could go on a date in which you recount ways you have seen God at work in his or her heart over the past year. This glorifies God as it makes much of the grace he shows us. If you are single, seek out ways to spend extended time in the Word of God and prayer, taking extra time to meditate on the revelation of God in His Word. This could be the season when you set aside time to do extended reading in Scripture, taking a longer book of the Bible and reading through it in one or two sittings. Or, this could be a time to look for ways to encourage your friends spiritually or specifically seek out time with an unbelieving friend to talk with them about the gospel. As with anything worth accomplishing, it requires planning and intentionality. Make plans to intentionally move toward others and toward God for the glory of God, and ask God to bless your efforts as you venture on him in this way.
Be restful. I recently read from the great English Puritan John Owen the following: “Our greatest hindrance in the Christian life is not lack of effort, but lack of acquaintance with our spiritual privileges.” Summer is a great time to cultivate deep rest in your own heart as you spend time at the feet of Jesus learning more deeply of what he has done for you and is now to you. Christians are those who dare to rest in a world of hurry and chaos. This does not mean Christians are lazy! It means Christians are those confidently at rest in the identity Christ has purchased for us and are living this life not according to the narrative of this world but according to the narrative revealed in Scripture. We never outgrow the gospel, the good news of what God has done for sinners in Jesus. We only grow deeper in the gospel...And, summer is a great time to understand more deeply what this means for all of our lives and how it redefines and empowers our lives. The gospel gives true rest and only as we grow in our grasp of the great salvation God has won for us will we learn what it means to “enter that rest” (Heb. 4:3).
Be thoughtful. Summer is the perfect time to think! Think about the year thus far, look forward to think about what is to come. Summer can provide the perfect opportunity for considering “how you live - not as unwise but as wise” (Eph. 5:15). Of course, we can only know wisdom as we look to the one who is wisdom himself, Jesus Christ (I Cor. 2:7 - 8). Summer allows a regrouping of sorts as you think about how to spend what remains in the year ahead. Think about how you might glorify God in the remainder of the year, cultivate relationships for the glory of Christ, and seek to grow in grace.
God is kind to so order our lives such that “to everything there is a season” (Ecc. 3:1). During this season, consider how you can make most of the time! And while you are at it, enjoy your summer and all that this fantastic season brings with it!