Fellowship Community Church


Encourage0gram July 1, 2021

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

July 1, 2021   Encourage0gram


Dear Brothers and Sisters,


Our current sermon series is in the letter Paul wrote to “his son” Timothy. Second Timothy is the last letter that Paul wrote which is in the New Testament.  Paul was in a prison cell in Rome awaiting his execution.  His last words are very challenging to the young Pastor of the church in Ephesus.  He repeatedly challenges Timothy to live a holy life.  A life devoted to the Lord.  Peter says the same truth:


NIV 1 Peter 1:15-16

But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."


Holiness means to be separate and therefore unique in this fallen world.  Since our Father in Heaven is holy we should bear some “family” resemblance of holiness in our lives.  We cannot make ourselves holy but God will create it in our lives. We grow in holiness as we draw near to the Lord and run away from sin.  He does this miraculous work in us and we reach our potential as human beings.  It is a joy to seek and live in holiness. 


As I was preparing sermons, I was reminded of an old hymn entitled “Take Time to be Holy.”  It was written in 1882 by William Longstaff.  Longstaff was person friends with D. L. Moody, Ira Sankey and William Booth.  He was born into the family of a wealthy shipowner in Sunderland, England.  He was known as a very generous man and served as the treasurer of the Bethesda Free Chapel in his hometown. 


According to my records, I last led the singing of this hymn in a worship service on June 16, 1985.  But God brought it back to my mind recently.  I love the practical advice that Longstaff gives us in these four short verses. As you read it, ask God to create a firm resolve in your soul to seek to be holy as He is holy!


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.

It is my prayer that God will use these words to inspire us today!  This Sunday at Fellowship Community Church we will be studying 2 Timothy 3:1-5.  Once again, we will discover an inspiring prophetic message.  It will challenge us on the 245th anniversary of the birth of the United States of America. Please plan to join us!

Your servant for Jesus’ sake,

Pastor Rick John