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Have You Been at the Altar?

We want to share about altar time. Not just the altar time we have when we’re down at the front of the church, but the time we invest in our personal altar. When you look in Merriam-Webster for a definition of altar it will tell you that an altar is a place on which sacrifices are offered or incense is burned in worship. Did you know that altars are first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis?


Abraham built the first altar in an act of worship to God after God promised that his offspring would one day be settled in the Promised Land. The Goodness of God drew Abraham to the altar! A few chapters later, Abraham built an altar of sacrifice. This is the altar Abraham was preparing to sacrifice Isaac on. He had so much faith in the Promises God had made about Isaac that he believed even in Isaac’s death God would still provide. At the last moment, God provided a ram in the bush to take Isaac’s place. Abraham had prepared an altar of sacrifice and it had been transformed into an altar of provision.


At both of these altars, Abraham came to know God more truly than he had before. He learned of His love more fully. That is what time at the altar does. We want to point out that the first church recorded in the Bible didn’t come until the day of Pentecost, after Christ’s resurrection. Why do we so often live like the only altar we can go to is inside of a church? The truth is that your personal altar time is where you build your personal relationship with God.


Before Jackie and I married, she had attended Sunday School with such good attendance that she had 11 pins for 11 years of not missing a single Sunday school class! She had been showing up at the corporate altar, and she had proof! But what Jackie was lacking was a personal relationship with God. She knew about God like she knew about George Washington. She knew Him as a historical figure and not as her personal Savior and Friend. She had read the book but she didn’t know the Author. She didn’t meet God in that intimate way until she began pursuing Him in her personal time at her personal altar!


Do you have a personal relationship with God? If not, let’s establish that now! Romans 10:8-11 says “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”[a] that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”” It’s as easy as believing in your heart and professing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord!


Your personal altar time might take place in your bedroom, maybe it’s in the car, or perhaps it’s in the kitchen where you can spend one-on-one time with God as you prepare food for your family. Your personal altar is the place where you pursue the Lord. It’s where you worship and it’s where you sacrifice.


You may be wondering what gets sacrificed at a personal altar. It’s emotional roller coasters. It’s worldly appetites like lust and addiction. Those are the things that He wants you to sacrifice so that He can live more fully through you. Romans 12:1 says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” 


At your personal altar, you ask the Lord to help you see what you’re still holding onto that He wants to separate. You ask Him to truly be Lord of your life and then you follow through with what He asks of you. When God instructs you to part with something He promises to give you more of Himself in return. And what could be better than that? At your personal altar, you reflect on the goodness of God. Remembering His goodness in the past is what builds your faith to be obedient in the present, and that obedience is what brings about more of His goodness in your life!


We want to encourage you to carve out personal altar time in your life. Make space by any means necessary! You won’t regret it! We pray for you to boldly worship the Lord in praise and in sacrifice as you reflect on His goodness! We know that as you worship at your personal altar, the reward will flow over to your family altar time and to your corporate altar time! It starts within and it flows to the outside! We love you and we daily pray for you in our own altar time!


If today you established your relationship with God and built your personal altar for the first time, please reach out to us at the church. We would love to hear from you!

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