It is obvious that we live in an age when advances in technology have changed almost everything we do. Various appliances and machines now relieve us of much of our labor. Smart phones keep us in constant contact with everything in the world. We can text and call others at any time. GPS's get us to our destinations quickly. And computers and the internet make tedious jobs much simpler and faster. And we can even save the time it used to take shopping by ordering online and having it delivered directly to us. And with all of these advances we should have so much extra time available to spend with family and in leisure. But we don't! We are busier than ever. Our calendars are packed full and we live life at a hectic pace. And what often suffers the most are relationships. And healthy ones do take time. That is true for husband and wife, for parents and children, and for friends. We need "quality time" with others - time to get to know them, time to share, time to help, time to listen. Relationships need nurturing and the time we give them suggests what priority, or lack of priority, we place on such things. But a more penetrating question is how is our relationship with Jesus Christ? Do we have time left for Him or does He get anything left over? Does the urgency of other things keep us from "quality time" with Him? It is in our fellowship with Him that our desires and ambitions are turned toward heavenly things. In turn, it is from these fundamental attitudes that our daily choices and decisions come. When Peter and John were hauled into court for preaching the gospel, their conduct and their speech revealed they had long been in the company of Christ. The Bible says the members of the Sanhedrin "realized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). Is that true of us? The Apostle Paul says believers "beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory" (II Cor. 3:18). In the words of William Longstaff (1822-1894), "By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see." When others observe our behavior, or hear our conversation, will they realize that we have been with Him? Longstaff was a Christian layman in England, and a great supporter of the work of Dwight L. Moody. He was also for a time an associate of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. Born into a wealthy family, he used his resources in various causes, helping others in many ways. On one occasion, Mr. Longstaff heard a sermon on First Peter 1:16, where the Lord says, "Be holy, for I am holy." It impressed him deeply. After that, he set himself the goal of living a truly godly life. He wrote this week's hymn, in 1882, based on insights God was giving him. It reminds us to "Take Time to Be Holy." May that be our challenge, desire and priority, not only this week, but everyday of our lives.
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) 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.
Listen ti it here. LISTEN