Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
This is a most important verse, and the subject of holiness is a most important subject. I have been using the words of the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy” as a springboard to help explain Hebrews 12:14 and the subject of holiness. Now I will begin with the second stanza of the hymn:
“Take time to be holy,
The world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret
With Jesus alone.”
Take time to be holy, The world rushes on
It is still true, even today, long after this hymn was first written, that “The world rushes on.”
The world has no real interest in the things of God or in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible has much to say about this. Let me share just a few verses:
Joh_15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
1Jn_3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Spiritual things in the life of every true Christian must take priority over worldly things. Spiritual things include Bible reading and Bible study, prayer, sharing our faith with others, winning others to true faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. There are things John writes about in his first letter that may not seem spiritual on the surface, but they are utterly important:
1Jn 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1Jn 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
1Jn 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (KJV)
In a more modern English translation this reads:
1Jn 3:17 If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God.
1Jn 3:18 Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.
1Jn 3:19 When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God. (CEV)
Jesus spoke of the negative effect the world can have on each of us:
Luk 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
Luk 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
Luk 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
Luk 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Luk 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
Spend much time in secret With Jesus alone.
Spending time in prayer is one of the main ways to spend time in secret with Jesus alone. The other way is to let Jesus speak to you by spending much time reading the New Testament, the only source we have that gives His words, what He has spoken, directly. Of course, the whole Bible is important, and He can speak to us through the rest of God’s Word as well. Recall that Jesus asked the question, “Have ye not read?” in a manner that we know He expects us, too, to have read the Bible, including the Old Testament.
Mat_12:3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
Mat_12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
Mat_19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat_22:31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
Mar_12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:
Mar_12:26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
Luk_6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;
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