By Rick Christian
After a long, gray winter comes the onset of summer and the warmth of the sun and the blossoming of colors we all love to behold. I must admit, I enjoy that time of year and anticipate it greatly as it draws closer. Sometimes though, we have a tendency to forget our convictions in the summer months. This ought not be, for the Lord is not pleased with the “seasonal” Christian. It is at all times we must let our light shine to exemplify the fact that we are a peculiar people! (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:9)
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:2 “ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” The term “memory” here is from the original which means to “hold fast” and involves a strict, constant, steadfast adherence to the faith of God. This is not a flippant recall but a determination to stand continually on the precepts of God by continuing to mold one’s intellect, emotions and will around Jesus Christ! The problems which occurred at Corinth were their failures to remember the things which they had been taught by the apostle Paul. Remember, they had received the things he preached (I Cor. 15:1), but failed to remember to hold fast to them. Paul stated in v. 2 that their salvation rested upon the remembrance of the things which he had taught them!
In an effort to remind us of things we ought never to forget (especially in the summer), let us note the following:
Let’s Not Forget to Be Modest
“Modesty” simply “decent, restrained” (Webster). “unassuming; restrained; decent; retiring in manner and not excessive” . . . Greek (kosmios) “orderly, well arranged, decent, modest.”
In the warm climate one often finds on the part of some, a casting off their attire. Men and boys parade in public with no shirt on or pants so short or tight that it leaves nothing for the imagination. Women and girls wear halter tops or short shorts and dresses so short they find themselves tugging at material which will not stretch any further in an effort to cover themselves. This seemingly is an admission that this apparel is immodest!
Men, boys, women and girls may be enticed to attend a mixed swimming pool and parade in attire which is less covering than what they wore to bed the night before! Remember, God sees you whether you are in your local town at the swimming pool or away at the crowded beach. Hebrews 4:13 “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Don’t forget, immodest dress causes men to sin (Matt. 5:27,28; Prov. 7:6-23; Rom. 14:21). Immodest dress causes women to sin (Rom. 14:21; 1 Tim. 2:9 “In like manner … “). Let’s not lose our ability to blush this summer. Let’s not forget that immodesty is sinful and can cause one to lose his soul!
By searching God’s word we can see that the terrible con-sequences of the sins of immodesty are many. Many mothers will be lost who did not set the proper example in dress. Many men will be condemned who fell prey to immodesty of women and who failed to restrain those in his household in this respect. Now is the time to “live soberly, righteously and godly!” (Tit. 2:11,12)
Let’s Not Forget to Assemble
“Let’s play ball,” may be on the lips of some as soon as summer arrives. Sports mania! Now, before everybody has a heart attack let me say that I enjoy sports just like the next person. Basketball, baseball, you name it, I like it, but, I will not allow it to become an obsession!
Sometimes folks becomes so obsessed with it that that’s a lot more important to them than mid-week Bible study, attending a gospel meeting or any other service for that matter.
If you are a Christian, you understand the Bible commands that we assemble (I-kb. 10:25). Jesus says in John 14:15 “If ye love me keep my commandments.” Failure to assemble is the sin of omission. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Assembly is essential for the proper function of the church (Eph. 4:12-16). How then can this function and mission be successfully accomplished if 1 do not meet and serve and worship with the saints?
Don’t let the Lord become second in your life this summer. If your child’s sport function, or any other function is put first in his life, what message are you sending? Talk to that coach, leader, teacher, whoever and explain to them that assembling is important to you. Most people will understand when you say, “I think ball is important but I think the service of the Lord is more important!” Matthew 6:33a “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. . . ” Colossians 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
Let’s Not Forget the Lord While We’re on Vacation
What a privilege it is to live in a country that affords us the freedom of travel, to see places we have longed to see. It’s refreshing. But, when you go on vacation, do you think ahead about where to assemble with saints? (Remember what you just read above about the command to assemble.) The congregation here where I am a member has a directory of churches which is very helpful. I know when we leave to go on vacation my wife fixes the family food to eat as we travel. We certainly must not forget that food! I doubt when you leave on vacation you forget the physical food thus, lets not forget to attend feeding time on spiritual things as well! I should have a compelling “desire” for such food (Matt. 5:6; 4:4; 1 Pet. 2:2-3).
Do you plan on being just as morally sound away from home as you do while at home? Let’s not feel that geographical location can allow me to engage in things I wouldn’t otherwise do at home. Because I am away from those who know me should not permit me to behave in ways which I wouldn’t if I were home! This is not the will of God!
Jonah tried to run away from the Lord but the Lord knew where he was all along! David states in Psalm 139:7-10 “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If 1 ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” Think seriously of the message we send our children, if they see us behave in an immoral way while away from home. It’s going to be rather difficult to expect them to act godly at school, a friend’s house, college etc. when they witness their parents behaving unseemly while away from home!
Before I conclude let me also state that we must not forget the Lord while we’re on vacation with respect to our giving on the first day of the week (I Cor. 16:1,2). Do you make sure your contribution to the Lord is prepared for the first day of the week even while on vacation? Sometimes individuals may feel a vacation looses them from the responsibility to give locally on the first day of the week.
Remember friend, when you leave your own residence and travel afar, you may leave behind bills to be paid but those bills still must be paid; thus, money is prepared ahead of time to take care of those bills. In the work of the church there are bills that must be paid even if I go on vacation! Prepare ahead that the week you are gone the work doesn’t suffer because you didn’t plan ahead in recognition that you would be gone (I Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9).
I hope everyone has a safe and joyous summer and most of all I hope that we who profess to be Christians will not fail in our profession this summer or any other season of the year!
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 10, p. 21-22
May 20, 1993