Daily Encouragement: Year 2, Day 26

From Handbook to God’s Promises


How to Be Holy
(John 17:17)

Imagine playing a word association game with a friend. She gives you a word, and you respond with the first thing that comes into your head. She says, “leopard”; you say, “spot.” She says, “glass”; you say, “water.” She says “holy”; you say “dirt.”

Dirt? More than likely, this would be one of the last words we would associate with “holy.” When we think of holiness, we think of something that is totally pure, completely clean, without any defect—moral or otherwise. And holiness can, at times, convey that connotation. But dirt—and many other things—can also be holy. How is that possible?

Remember when Moses met with God for the first time? He approached the presence of God in the burning bush and was told to remove his sandals because he was standing on “holy ground” (Ex. 3:15). Why was that particular place holy? Wasn’t it just like all the other parts on the mountain where Moses stood? Where was the holiness perimeter—how far away from where he stood did the ground become “unholy” again? These are good questions, and God determined the answer to them all when He spoke with Moses. The word holy means “set apart.” By God’s declaration, this common cleft in the side of a mountain was now set apart as a meeting place for God and Moses. For that moment, it was holy ground.

In the New Testament, to sanctify means “to set apart for sacred use” or “to make holy.” Jesus prayed to the Father, asking Him to sanctify the disciples in the truth of God’s Word (John 17:17). Take a moment to read this chapter, and then apply Jesus’ prayer to your own life.

While we might at first think that the Word of God itself is holy, here Jesus is asking that the Word be used to make us holy. How? Not by immediately making us clean and pure, but by setting us free from the common and profane and so setting us apart to that which is special for God (John 8:31–32).

Only the truth can set us free from slavery to sin. Once free in Christ we are set apart for God’s special purpose for our life. We are made holy by the truth.

God’s Promise:
He sees you as holy if His truth has set you free.