This weekend was our church’s annual Ladies Retreat Day. Our theme was “It’s All About Time!” Every lesson was an enormous blessing, at least to me, whether I was listening or teaching it! We normally have 4 speakers, but this year we only had three people in our church who were available to speak and didn’t have time (or funds) to bring in a fourth. So, we did a lot of praying about the last session. In the end, the Lord led us to go through the hymn that we had chosen for the day and to sort of drag it through Scripture. That, by the way, is the best test for the quality of a spiritual song – does it line up with God’s Word. I got to present this lesson and was amazed as I studied out the lines of “Take Time to Be Holy”. I was so blessed by what I found that I thought I would share the outline here. Perhaps some day, I’ll do an entire series of blogs on it. 🙂 But for now, here is the outline of “Take Time To Be Holy”:
1. Take time to be holy,
Take time: 1. Take one’s time: to go as slow as one wants or needs to; to use as much time as required, 2. Take your time: to not hurry (thefreedictionary.com), 3. Take time: To set time aside for something specific that might otherwise be neglected.
- Jesus “took time” to be holy: Matthew 14:23 – “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come he was there alone.”
- Jesus called his disciples to “Take Time”: Mark 6:31 – “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
2. Speak oft with thy Lord;
- I Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”
- Psalm 119:164 – “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. Here’s an easy way to keep track:
- As I get up
- As I eat breakfast
- At mid-morning
- At Lunch
- At mid-afternoon
- At Supper
- At bedtime
3. Abide in Him Always,
A. John 15:4-8 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine. No more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much furit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
4. And feed on His Word.
A. Milk – 1 Peter 2:2,3 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
B. Meat – Hebrews 5:14a “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age…”
C. Make sure you make the jump – 1 Corinthias 3:2 “Ihave fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Hebrews 5:12- 14 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their sense exercised to discern both good and evil.”
5. Make friends of God’s children,
A. “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
B. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
6. Help those who are weak,
A. “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.” Isaiah 35:3
B. “I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
C. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1
D. “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10
7. Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
A. Live a life that is “acceptable” to Him, that He can bless: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1,2
8. Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
A. Busyness is a sign of the last days in which we are living: ”But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Daniel 12:4
B. “For thus saith, the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
9. Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
A. Jesus sought time alone to pray, we need to follow His example: “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” Luke 5:16
10. By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
A. Christ set an example for us to follow: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” 1 Peter 2:21 If I held up a picture for a brief moment, put it down and asked you to draw it, would you be able to? How can we imitate Christ if we are not looking at His example?
B. Our goal ought to be to “grow up” into His image: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13
11. Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
A. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
B. Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” 1 Peter 3:1,2
12. Take time to be holy, let Him be thy guide;
A. “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Psalm 25:9
B. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way in which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8
13. And run not before Him, whatever betide.
A. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7
B. “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” Psalm 37:9
C. “Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” Psalm 37:34
14. In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
A. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.” Job 13:15
15. And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.
A. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7
B. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
16. Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
A. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7
B. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord forever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3,4
17. Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
A. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
B. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
18. Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
A. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.” Psalm 36:8-10
19. Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
A. “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21