About this time of year, students of all ages are happy to have a break from their studies. A little R&R is appreciated by many others as summer moves onto the calendar. Some make plans to travel great distances while others go on day trips. Still, others do “staycations”, visiting local points of interest, friends, and family. Whatever your plans, don’t forget to take God along with you. After all, He was the inventor of rest and renewal, so here are some Bible verses about vacation to get you off in the right direction.
Bible verses about vacation and rest
“Whatever you do, in your words or actions, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Whatever the topic, this verse is where to start. We were created for a relationship with God. Part of that is making sure all we do is to build that relationship in a positive way. When we give glory to God it strengthens our connection to Him. It also helps bring His light into a world of emotional and spiritual darkness. Even our vacations are to reflect that light.
The words “vacation” and “holiday” are used in different parts of the world to mean the same thing. Having its origins in the 14th century, the word “vacation” is not found in the Bible. But don’t let that bother you. Regardless of which word you choose to use, current dictionaries describe it as a cessation of activity. The truth be told, vacation actually is a change in activity and routine. Thus schools call the brief change “summer vacation or summer break.”
God knew we would need rest from our sometimes grueling responsibilities and busy schedules. Thus He gave us nighttime to allow for some rest every day (Genesis 1:5, Genesis 2:2-3,Psalm 127:2) He also knew that constant work would burn us out and so He demonstrated the need for us to rest 1 day out of 7.
Occasionally, there is a need for an extended length of renewal, such as going on a retreat or sabbatical. These kinds of rest are demonstrated in Scripture when land is given a full year’s rest from growing crops (Levticus 25). Not only is it good for the soil, but it is also good for the farmer as it gives him time to focus on other activities and planning.
“Play and recreation and days off and nights of sleep are re-creation of creative, fruitful labor for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom in the world.” John Piper
Did Jesus Go on vacation?
“But Jesus often withdrew to desolate places and prayed.” ESV (Mark 1:45, Luke 5:16)
There are times when we need a break from the noise and demands around us to just regroup, as Jesus did many times. In order to give to and serve others we must maintain our own physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Where did Jesus go for renewal? To the desert, gardens, mountain tops, and even the hull of a boat to nap. His renewal almost always included some form of nature. Fresh air, the beauty of plants and trees, the sound of water, the feel of a gentle breeze on the skin, and the sound of birds are all therapeutic to our psyches.
Bible verses about vacation and your finances
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other…” (Romans 13:8)
We may have vacations all wrong in our Western culture. Some people go into debt in the name of rest and relaxation. This is a trap. It makes the borrower a slave to the lender. R&R does not have to be costly. Jesus used the spaces close by for His retreats.
Christian service vacations
Service vacations are some of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and our families. They shine the light of Jesus to a lost world. This is about as “Christian vacation” or “Jesus vacation” as you can get.
Years ago, My parents took youth groups to Mexico to build a church youth camp there. This kind of vacation is definitely not a cessation of activity. In fact, you sometimes work harder physically, but the return in emotional satisfaction and spiritual growth is priceless.
I was blessed personally by a group of college students who paid their own expenses to come to help me close down the mission of my deceased parents. These students were such a help, giving up their “spring break” to serve others.
Service to others comes in all shapes and sizes. Check with your church first as they usually are aware of service projects locally or denominationally. Also, there are short-term mission organizations with numerous projects assisting those in need regionally and around the world.
When I was growing up I saved money every year to go to church camp. This was always a highlight of my summers. The spiritual emphasis was enriching. Adult versions of this can be found in Women’s retreats for a weekend or just the day. Time away from TV, social media, and the demands of the world can give your soul and spirit a huge boost.
For more intense Bible Study and personal reflection, many church denominations offer regional or national retreats. There is also a national retreat finder database where you can type in your state or country and look at their directory of available retreat centers. From there you can inquire about events on their schedule.
One retreat center where you can never go wrong is The Cove, Billy Graham Retreat Center, in North Carolina.
Ways to include God on any vacation
Planning is probably one of the most important factors for including God on your vacation. It also helps to keep Bible verses about vacation in mind. As humans, we must be deliberate about our relationship with God. Otherwise, we will forget our maker when life is easy and comfortable. It is a pattern that has been demonstrated down through the ages and recorded in Scripture time and again. That being said, let’s dive into intentional ways to include God on any vacation.
Before leaving home
1. Include your Bible and a notepad on your packing list. If you use your Bible regularly, it is easy to leave it behind on your nightstand or wherever you normally read.
2. Be flexible. Plan time slots that do not have any destinations or activities. This will allow for impromptu reading, going for a walk, or just exploring your surroundings for God’s fingerprints in nature.
3. Pray before leaving home, not only for safe travels but also for revelations of God’s love and character along the way. Also, pray for opportunities to share God’s love with strangers.
During the vacation
4. Take praise and worship music with you for times when you can’t read or do anything else. You can also listen to Scripture, Christian podcasts, or audio books. This would be when you are driving, or in my case riding since I get car sick if I don’t keep my eyes on the road ahead.
5. Be realistic about your vacation plans. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we envisioned. Look for ways to thank God for this re-direction. Maybe God is protecting us. Maybe He has something better for us. Here is another Bible verse about vacation that is good to remember.
“All things work for good and God’s glory for anyone who loves God.” Romans 8:28
I recently had plans to visit my friends in Galveston. Then my friend called to say she would be on jury duty that week. As she described how often people are dismissed from jury duty I told her, “I think God is saying not now.” A week before I would have gone on this trip, I fell and broke my arm. She also ended up in the courtroom every day.
6. Don’t compromise your standards. If you never miss a Sunday worship service when you are at home, don’t start now. Many churches have their services online. You can also make your own worship service by singing, reading your Bible, and praying. Choose movies to watch in your hotel room that you would be comfortable having Jesus watch with you.
7. Look for ways to serve others through random acts of kindness.
8. Be a good witness by cleaning up after yourself. This is how you would want to be treated if you were a park employee, hotel employee, or other service workers.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Matthew 6:12
7. Document the ways God is speaking to you or revealing Himself to you along the way.
When you return home
8. As you share with friends, family, and co-workers about your vacation, include ways God protected you, enriched you, and allowed you to serve others.
More Bible verses about vacation
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8
If you want a successful vacation, remember the Bible verses about vacation and take God along with you. You will be glad you did.
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