Mike Hurt,

Each summer, families throughout the Crossroads enter into vacation mode. Life slows down. Trips are scheduled. Fun is pursued. For some, vacation mode includes extravagant trips. For others, vacation mode is a quiet day on the bay. Summer is the time to take a break from the pace and pressure of our over-scheduled, pressure-filled lives. It’s time for vacation mode.

This summer at Parkway, we have been learning how to live in vacation mode by resting and relaxing in our relationship with God. The type of life where we escape stress and do away with worry by trusting God. The type of life where joy isn’t determined by what we are doing but instead our joy is based on what God is doing in us and around us. The type of life where hope isn’t fleeting and hope is more than a feeling because hope is based on who Jesus is and what He promises to do in our lives. The type of life where we live by faith instead of simply by sight.

Want to discover how to live on vacation mode not matter what you are doing? It’s possible. It’s possible to be in vacation mode while working. It’s possible to be in vacation mode when raising kids. It’s possible to be in vacation mode when dealing with the struggles and trials of life. It’s possible because God’s Word clearly teaches us how to rest and relax through our relationship with God. Let me share the Cliff Notes version of each message.

To learn about a life full of joy, turn to the book of Philippians. In this short book, Paul is writing from prison and yet he speaks joy and commands believers to choose and practice joy. As Chuck Swindoll puts it, the pace and pressure of life squeeze the joy out of life. If this is you, slow down, turn to the book of Philippians and discover more on what the Bible teaches about true and lasting joy.

Live with peace with God and people is possible according to the book of Colossians. In this letter, Paul lifts Jesus high so that everyone will discover that peace with God and peace with people is possible because of what He has done for us. Looking for new ways to live in healthy relationships, pay close attention to Colossians 3:9-14. It reminds us that we are the reason that we aren’t experiencing peace and that there are some things that we can stop doing and some things that we can start doing to experience peace in life.

Through the book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul challenges believers to live on purpose. This simple purpose: live to love God and learn to love people. Our faith and our love for others are linked. If you struggle to love people but claim to love God, you’ve got work to do with both God and people.

All of this is only possible if we learn the key takeaway from Paul’s next letter, 2 Thessalonians. Paul affirms the church for their faith despite persecution and their love despite troubles. Believers today must hold fast to faith because life is uncertain. Faith isn’t something we experience one time. Faith is something that we express every day if our lives are going to be marked by joy, peace, hope and love.

In just a few weeks, with the start of school, vacation mode will end for many, but vacation mode living never has to end if you discover how to rest and relax through your relationship with God.

Mike Hurt is the senior pas tor of Parkway Church.

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