Take Time To Be Holy

W. Terry Varner
August 27, 2017

The hymn “Take Time To Be Holy, ” is a great hymn. Note the beginning of each verse:

Take time to be holy,
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in me always,
And feed on His word.

Take time to be holy,
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone.

Take time be holy,
Be calm in thy soul.
Each tho’t and each motive
Beneath His control.

Our World: Your world is like mine and the world in which everyone else lives, it is filled with activity. No one, it seems, has a quiet moment. Your calendar, cell phone, and other tech products have few filled spaces. In fact, we are bothered when we have something not planned. The world is filled with competitors, ambitiousness, aggressiveness, multi-taskers, etc. In such a world, who has the time to be holy? The above hymn contrasts taking time to be holy with world that rushes on.

The hymn was written in 1892 during the industrial revolution when there were steamboats, locomotives, etc. All of this moved at what we call a snail’s pace when compared to high speed cars, jet engines, rocket ships, computers, etc. We can shift from a real world to a virtual world in no time, BUT, being holy takes time. We often feel do not have time to be holy.

Jesus Took Time To Be Holy. Our Lord lived for 30 years and little known of His life except for His birth and the incident in the Temple when He was 12 years old (cf. Luke 2). Jesus was busy once His ministry began. He took time to be holy by attending the weekly Sabbath worship (Luke 4:16-32), He preached of His coming kingdom (Matt. 4:17), and He went about doing good (Acts 10:31). However, in this very busy life, He separated Himself from others and from His necessary work for refreshment and communion with God the Father (Luke 6:12; Matt. 14:23; Mark 6:46; et. al).

What Do We Mean: “Take Time To Be Holy?” As Christians, we must realize that holiness (being holy) takes time. It does not just happen. It does not come from osmosis. It requires of us some quiet time of prayer, meditation, and reflection on spiritual matters as set forth in the Bible. We must posses the knowledge of God which comes as we grow” in the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:18). When we take time to be holy, we are taking time to be like God for He is holy.

While each life is filled with activities, we must use caution by prioritizing our time so that we do not make an idol of our daily activities. Activities can absorb us to where we overlook the needed and necessary spiritual values. We can soon neglect prayer, Bible Study, and worship because we are too “busy” (active) with other matters.

When John the Baptist was killed by Herod Antipas, Jesus upon hearing about it, “departed from there in a ship to a desolate place by Himself” (Matt. 14:13). Why? He needed and wanted time. He set an example for us to imitate as we grow in the grace of God (2 Peter 3:18). He wanted time with God the Father. He needed quiet time to pray, to reflect, to refresh, and to meditate. One of the goals of the Christian ought to be holiness. We are to “be holy” (Eph. 1:4). Let us take time to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). God expects this of each of His children. Try it. Our lives will be better for doing so.