The word “holy” has, in a lot of ways, been misunderstood

It’s gotten to the point where, if you use it in the correct way, you are looked at as though you said something very odd.

Much like the word SAINT, the word “HOLY” is one of those words that has come to mean “perfection,” and so when you tell someone “I am a Christian, I am a holy person, I am a saint” they hear what you’re saying and think “That person is very arrogant, he thinks too highly of himself, he thinks he’s above sin and weakness, etc.”

But those ideas that have been attached to the word “holy” or “holiness” are not at all indicative of the word. The word us used 549 times in the Bible: 376 in the Old Testament and 173 in the New Testament, and it means simply “to be made different.”

Now the word “different” implies that you are different from something, and in the spiritual usage of the word, to be holy means to be made different from sin or sinfulness or ungodliness.

That doesn’t mean that you’re perfect; it doesn’t mean that you don’t sin from time to time, in moments of weakness. What it means is you’re different, you, the saved child of God, are distinct. In what way?

You’re saved and thus are different from someone who is still lost. Becoming different doesn’t stop as soon as you are saved, either. On the contrary, a saved person is commanded to STAY different, to act, think, and live differently.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Ephesians 1:3-4

Christ saved me, and made me different, so that I could forever remain different or, as Peter says…

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Peter 1:15

BE holy – that’s an action I am to undertake. That spawns the question:   How do I BE holy?

And the answer is I must TAKE TIME to be holy.




“Take time to be holy,
speak oft with Thy Lord,
abide with Him always
and feed on His word”

Now there are two things listed here, but they’re two sides to the same coin

First, speak often with God:

“Pray without ceasing”, we are commanded by Paul (I Thessalonians 5:17). Pray constantly. Never look back on a period in your life when you say “I didn’t pray often enough.”

Whether we’re praying for our enemies (interesting, that’s the subject on Jesus’ mind the first time he teaches about prayer–Matthew 5:44), or for the lost (Matthew 9:37-38), or for our brethren (Acts 8:24), whatever the circumstance, whomever the person, we are commanded to pray. We should speak often with God. The Catholic Church reformer, Martin Luther, was said to have prayed for three hours every day. How many of God’s people can make that claim? Not that we should count the minutes and hours and brag, but instead we should pause and take a personal inventory of our lives and of how we spend our time. Do we spend more or less time talking with God that we do with trivial things.

You can be sure that the people who want nothing to do with God or with Christianity don’t give the concept of prayer even a second’s thought. On the other hand, Jesus was said to rise from sleep and enter into prayer every morning (Mark 1:35). Is my prayer life closer to Jesus’ habits or to the sinners of the world? I am supposed to be distinct from them; my prayer life should reflect that.

Take time to be holy…speak oft with thy God!



“Take time to be holy,
speak oft with Thy Lord,
abide with Him always
and feed on His word”

I need to study God’s word. Me – Matthew Martin – I need to study my Bible. Why? Because I’m a preacher? No. Because I’m a Christian.

Just as I need food if I am to live, I need His food if I am to live for Him.

I have to feed on His word.

A lot of people will use the excuse “I’m not good at memorizing Scriptures” as a justification for not studying the Bible. Nonsense. First of all, a person can remember their phone number, their address, even the name of the first girl who kissed them. Don’t say you can’t remember a Bible verse here and a Bible verse there.

And even if that were the case, a wire basket may not hold much liquid, but if you keep running water through it, it’ll stay clean!

We need to be feeding on God’s Word. Doing so will help keep our lives on the right track (Psalm 17:4-5), and keep the dangers of life from sneaking up on us (Psalm 119:107).

We need a daily intake of the Word. A holy person should study the Bible to find out how he is to live; he does not go into a Bible study with his mind made up. He doesn’t open the book, ready to have all his beliefs confirmed. So many people try to do that: they try and make the Bible fit them, instead of letting themselves be fitted to the Bible. When a person studies the Bible correctly, he lets God talk to him and tell him how to be Holy.

Take time to be holy…feed on His Word!



Take time to be holy the world rushes on
spend much time in secret with Jesus alone,
by looking to Jesus,
like Him though shalt be,
thy friends in thy conduct
His likeness shall see

A Holy person doesn’t just talk WITH God, he also thinks LIKE Christ. Thankfully, though He walked the earth 2,000 years ago, we don’t have to be in the dark about what He was thinking. Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-11 about the mindset of Christ and gives us His example to follow as we live our lives.

Paul describes a Person Who, though He was God, chose to leave His Heavenly throne to exist as a man. He chose to come to earth, not to reign as a powerful king on earth, but to be born into poverty, to live as a nobody, and to die as a criminal. Along the way He did no complaining, He cursed not His fellow man. He simply went on His way serving people, all the way to the Cross where He made–not only the ultimate sacrifice–but the ultimate act of service.

If I want to be holy, I have to think like Him. I have to humble myself. I have to be a servant, and if need be I have to–like Him–die for the cause. The hardships that come against us may seem too great to overcome, but they are not. All we have to do is look to Jesus. Walk where He walked; do what He did. By looking to Jesus, like Him we will be. By doing that, we become an example for others to see how to be Holy.



thus led by His spirit,
to fountains of love
thou soon shall be fitted
for service Above

“Walking in the Spirit” means I no longer walk according to MY wishes and wants; instead I’m walking by the inspired commands of God.

Consider Jonah as an example of what happens when you a Holy person stops walking in the Spirit. Jonah was told to go preach (Jonah 1:2) and instead decided flee (Jonah 1:3). God had a plan but Jonah did not want to follow it. He didn’t want to walk in God’s path. Jonah wanted to do what he wanted to do. He had HIS thoughts, and HIS motives and it led to his being swallowed up by a big fat fish.

And after three days Jonah decided following his way wasn’t worth all the trouble. He decided to start doing things God’s way. The moral of the story: Do what God says the first time and you wont be swallowed up by a big giant fish!

Really the point (among other things is) that God has a plan, and it is bigger than us; therefore we don’t always understand it all. But we should be honored that He’s including us in it. We need to just trust God and as holy people, let each thought and each motive be under His control.

If we do that, and we allow ourselves to be led by His spirit (through the Word which He inspired) then it will lead us to Calvary and that will lead us home to Heaven.


Follow peace with all men, and HOLINESS, without which no man shall see the Lord

Hebrews 12:14


If you want to be fitted (dressed up in the right change of clothes) for service in Heaven, you need to put on Christ (Galatians 3:26-27). If you obey Him, He will save you and make you Holy. And even though a lot of people think it’s too hard to be holy, God knows you can be. Trust Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, think like Him and walk with Him.


Think about it,
have a great day!