Take Time to Be Holy

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

The son of a wealthy ship merchant, William Longstaff was a committed believer and an active member of his church in northwestern England. He also financially supported the evangelistic efforts of D.L. Moody and others.

After being moved by a sermon he heard about God’s holiness, Longstaff felt inspired to write a poem that reflected what holiness meant to him. He later showed this poem to Moody’s associate, Ira Sankey. Through this interaction, the poem was published in several journals in 1882.

Years later, halfway around the world, George Stebbens came into contact with this poem while he was in India. He found the words to be the ideal expression of his desire to write about holiness. His music led to the birth of the hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy.”

Longstaff reflected on ways we should be concerned about holiness. It meant making holiness a priority, always abiding with God and feeding on His Word. It meant fellowshipping with other believers and “forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.”

Looking around, he saw how the world may be rushing on, so we must “spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone” and let Him be our guide. To seek to be like Him so others can see His character through our lives. It meant being committed to follow Him in every situation. To calm our souls in His presence and let Him shape our thoughts and motives. That our lives should be “fountains of love,” that we might be “fitted for service above.”

To many, the concept of “holiness” may seem old-fashioned. But essence of this word is a reminder of the character of God. It reminds us that we are called to seek to live in ways that are pleasing to Him.