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Becoming Holy

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12‬:‭14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Holy. We know that describes God and all the things pertaining to God. We call God’s Word the Holy Bible, which communicates the truths about Him. What we know of His unfailing grace, mercy, love, and covenantal promise is within the pages. The wisdom and sacredness of its pages set it apart, making it more than literature. But what does it mean for us to live a holy life? 

A beautiful old hymn in our Methodist Hymnal, “Take Time to Be Holy,” lends insight to answering that question.

Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;

Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.

Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,

Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Remain in a continual state of prayer. How are we to know what is holy without asking? Look to God’s word for answers and pray that what you seek will be illuminated. Draw close to sisters and brothers in Christ, share our joys and concerns, and pray together.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.

By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;

Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of the world. The media blasts the biased opinions of talking heads that cause our blood pressure to rise. Turn it all off and tune in to the only source of hope, Jesus. Only in Him can we find calm and peace amid chaos.

We imitate those we admire. That explains why supermodels, sports figures, and entertainers sell products we don’t need. In buying the item, we want to become in part to be like them. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more he becomes imprinted in our souls. He does much more for us than any product sold can do.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;

And run not before Him, whatever betide.

In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,

And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Let God take the lead in our lives. We sometimes are guilty of rushing headlong into something because it’s what we want, and when we hit the bottom, we look behind to see where God is, acting surprised when we don’t find Him there. We need to be followers with the Holy Spirit as our leader. 

Life is full of joy and sorrow; continue to follow Christ in every situation. Give thanks for those times of happiness, in times of trial–though it’s difficult–give thanks as well. Trust in Jesus, double up on reading God’s word; the answer we seek is there. 

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,

Each thought and each motive beneath His control.

Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,

Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

We can find peace in trusting God and turning everything over to Him. When we find serenity in ourselves, we can understand how living at peace with others is possible. Having experienced God’s steadfast love, we learn to love those we previously found unlovable. 

When we study God’s word, continually converse with Him, and submit (humble) ourselves to His will in all things, we are on our way to becoming holy. Becoming holy is not a single trip but an extended journey.

Heavenly Father, we thank You for redeeming, sanctifying, and setting us apart as Your blood-bought child. Our deepest desire is to live a truly holy life dedicated to You in our thoughts, words, and actions. Help us, Lord, to pursue peace with everyone, and may our lives reflect the holiness that comes from knowing You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

Longstaff, William D., and George C. Stebbins. “Take Time to Be Holy.” The United Methodist Hymnal, 13th ed., United Methodist Publishing House, South Nashville, TN, 1995, p. 395. 

There’s a note that the lyrics are based on 1 Peter 1:16, “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’”

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