A Summer Vacation that Pleases God: Building A Working Theology of Vacation

Josh Greiner May 16, 2017

The Two Ditches of Man: Work Too Much Or Not Enough

Proverbs 6:10–11 “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest”—

Your poverty will come in like a vagabond (wondering traveler like a robber) And your need like an armed man.

Ecclesiastes 4:5–6 The fool folds his hands and consumes his own flesh.

One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 6:7–9 All of man’s labor is for nothing more than to fill his stomach— yet his appetite is never satisfied! So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool? And what advantage does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive?

It is better to be content with what the eyes can see than for one’s heart always to crave more.

This continual longing is futile—like chasing the wind.

POINT: God calls his people to both work and rest, to balance both. Too much of either will not work.

From the Beginning God Created This Balance.

Genesis 2:2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

The repetition underscores that the end of his work was related to the completion of creation, not due to fatigue. There was simply nothing left to do; the created order was whole, requiring only the sustaining grace of God’s superintendence. The verb “rested” means “the cessation of creative activity”

When God “sanctified” the day, he declared that the day was especially devoted to him…

By the commemoration of “Sabbath,” God and his creatures share in the celebration of the good creation, and God’s people are enjoined to enter into the rhythm of work and joyful rest. Embracing God’s sabbath rest meant experiencing the sense of completeness and well being God had accomplished at creation in behalf of all human life[1]

POINT: Rest/Sabbath are a gift from God to step back from the daily labor, and enjoy Him and his creation. Part of how we glorify God is by enjoying him AND HIS CREATION.

Discuss: What are some of the lies that we believe about resting too much, or not enough?

The Difference Between Resting and Vacation

Def: Vacation is an extended time with family or friends to rest from daily work, and focus on loving God and loving others in a way that is unique and different from daily activities.

Key Points:

1.)Extended                            2.)  Loving God                  3.)  Loving Other                              4.)  Unique

NOTE: God did not build vacation into his economy of the world. You are not required to take a vacation! Vacation is a good gift from God that has a purpose beyond you.

POINT: Vacation should be a time when you are drawing nearer to God, your spouse, and your children because of the extended time that you have away from your daily labor. It is not about visiting the most attractions, taking the longest naps, eating the best food, or finding the most luxurious resort. It is about deepening and strengthen relationships through love and service as well as enjoying God’s creation and the good gifts that he gives to his children.

Discuss: What are some false ideas about what vacation is?

Discuss: What are some of the negative ways that these lies come out in our actions?

Discuss: What are some steps that you can take to ensure that you have a vacation that is pleasing to God?

Application: What are some key scriptures that we could use to focus on having a vacation that pleases God?     

Idea: Could Vacation be used for ministry?

Discuss: What should be some common elements that each vacation has in it to glorify God?

Discuss: What are some of the common blessings that come from a vacation that is done “God’s way”?

Discuss: What should you do if you have failed at this in the past or fail in the future?  


[1] K. A. Mathews, Genesis 1-11:26, vol. 1A, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 180.

Josh Greiner


Pastor of Faith West Ministries - Faith Church


BA - Political Science, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary
Th.M. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Ph.D. - Biblical Counseling, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (in progress)

Josh oversees the Faith West Campus for Faith Church in Lafayette, IN. He is an ACBC certified counselor and teaches in Faith’s Biblical Counseling Center. He is an adjunct professor for Faith Bible Seminary and also serves as the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for the Faith Community Development Corporation and the Director of the Faith West Community Center. Josh is married to Shana and has four children: Winston, Cecilia, Lorelai, and Edwin.

Read Josh Greiner's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Greiner to Faith Church.