“But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
—1 Peter 1:15-16
Taking time . . . making time to be holy. This is a daily disciple of devotion. Many have the understanding that being holy is being “goody-goody”. The entomology of the word actually means to be “set apart for sacred service”. Being holy is not about our goodness, but God’s grace. We equate a set of rules as a standard for being holy, while God establishes a sacred relationship as the only source of being holy.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that “all our righteousness’s are as filthy rags.” (Is 64:6) Even on our best days, we are not good enough . . . apart from the undeserved grace and unlimited love of God.
Young gives some insight, “It’s in the quiet moments of God’s presence that holiness is accomplished within you. As we focus our heart and mind on Him, He begins to design, to recreate and to transform us into a new creations.” She continues, “This process requires blocks of time set aside for communion with Him.”
The Example of Holiness. As Peter wrote, he quoted from a Book of The Law, “Be holy, because I am holy.” (Lev 11:44) History tells us that every attempt at consecration fell short until the Perfect Lamb of God provided for holiness. Moses wrote about holiness based on law . . . Peter wrote about holiness based on love. Jesus said, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” (Matt 11:19) Jesus . . . Friend of sinners . . . forged a new strategy.
The Expression of Holiness. As Peter exhorts us to holiness, he also gives us an expression of holiness. He writes just a few verses later, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Pet 1:22-23) The greatest evidence of holiness is the expression of love. Acceptance from a sanctified heart, not a set of rules. Relationships based on grace, not born out of guilt. The living Word is read out loud by our love.
Notice the encouragement from this hymn written by William D. Longstaff in 1882 . . . speaking of God, spending time with Him, sharing His love, being steady with Him . . . these are sentiments from over 2000 years ago that were penned over 200 years ago and are still true, today.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Following the example of Jesus and extending love . . . that’s a sacred trust and calling . . . that’s being holy as He is holy.