The Teaching found in the Book of Hebrews reminds us that we have only One Priest, One Tabernacle, One Altar, and One Sacrifice for all time … He is God’s Son, the Messiah/Christ we call Jesus.
An Altar in the Old Testament, or Hebrew scriptures, was a place built to Honor God.
1. Honor Him in Sacrifice. The Hebrew word for Altar means to slaughter, to give up a life for a life:
Exodus 20 24An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
2. Honor Him in Worship. Thus, telling God you Love and Honor Him:
Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
3. Honor Him for an Encounter/Relationship with Him. Listening to Him:
Judges 6 22And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! for because I have seen an angel of the Lord face to face. 23And the Lord said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. 24Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
4. Honor Him in a Memorial as a reminder of what God has done:
Joshua 22 26Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: 27But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the Lord.
5. Honor Him by being in Covenant with Him:
Exodus 24 1And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. 2And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. 3And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. 4And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. 6And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.
1 Chronicles 21:26 And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
These are examples of how Altars worked in the beginning. Today, because Jesus became our Eternal Altar, He is whom we come to Honor in Sacrifice, Worship, Relationship, Remembering Him, and by making a Covenant or Commitment to Him.
Today, I believe we can make an Altar, which is not a place but an Attitude of turning our heart toward God.
1. Our Altar becomes our Surrender to God in Obeying His Word/Spirit.
2. Our Altar becomes our listening to God, to hear Him, and Him alone.
3. Our Altar becomes our renewal of heart or our Commitment to Him as Savior/Lord.
4. Our Altar becomes our theme of having a no compromise Attitude of being a Living Sacrifice:
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
5. Our Altar becomes an Altar of Thanksgiving, Worship, and Prayer to God.
As our world becomes more complex, how do we find the Serenity of the simple? As a young boy I used to go out fishing early in the morning on a quiet lake in northern Minnesota. Quiet, simple, and serene. No noise … other than Nature speaking to itself and to God the Creator. We seek that Serenity today in all kinds of ways, but God is our simple answer to that Serenity. Making an Attitude Altar to Him makes Him know He is Loved by us, and our greatest desire is to Know Him, to Love Him, and to Obey Him with all our being.
Serenity and Peace aren’t found in the things of this world. Fame is fleeting, wealth is elusive, purpose can change, values can erode, and life can escape. All things will change and disappoint … except for God. As much as we want to have the things our culture admires and desires, we will never find the Serenity and Peace that only God can give.
That is why developing some Attitude Altars in your life will help you be reminded of what is not only important, but critical for Knowing God and His Peace.
Think of those simple things again:
1. Surrender to God, Jesus as Savior and Lord
2. Listen to Him, His Word, His Spirit
3. Commit to Him in everything
4. Live a life of Sacrifice and no compromise
5. Be Thankful, Gracious, Honoring, Worshipful, and Prayerful … an Attitude
As I write this, I hear the Church bells in the background where I live. Those bells chime out and herald the Truth that He has Risen. I hope you have made a Commitment to Christ today, and your desire above everything else is to Honor Him with your life. I pray that we all can take some time to bring a simpler life to bear and give to Him the first fruits of our thoughts, our actions, and our dreams.
Altars of Attitude can help us achieve these behaviors if we are willing to practice them, and we will experience the Serenity and Peace that He brings into our lives.
Keeping Life Honest and Truthful … Larry Kutzler
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