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"We exist to train God-hungry people in the disciplines of prayer."

40-Day Devotional Guide & Study of
The Wonderful Names of Jesus
by Richard W. LaFountain

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Altar - mizbeach (miz-bay'-akh)

We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. Hebrews 13:10

Altars aren't used much anymore. When I was growing up we had what Mom called, Family Altar. By that she meant we all gathered in our living room for a sacred time of Scripture reading and prayer every day.

In the church where I was raised the altar was a kneeling step and rail in front of the platform. As I child I always thought it was a barricade to keep people from getting to the preacher. The church altar was often used at the end of the service as a place of repentance and surrender. It was a place to get right with God. It was a place to surrender yourself totally to the Lord.

The altar in both Old and New Testaments meant a place where people went to meet God or offer sacrifices to God, but much more than that it was a place of cleansing. Noah was the first to be mentioned as building an altar to the Lord where he offered sacrifices of thanksgiving after the flood. In the Old Testament sense the altar was a place of memorial where something great happened in your relationship with God, so you build an altar as a memory of that important event.

In Isaiah 6, when Isaiah said he saw the Lord high and lifted up and his train filling the temple. Feeling his sinful unworthiness before God, an angel took a coal from off the altar in heaven, and placed it on his tongue and declared him clean. The altar is where we go to get purified, cleansed, and forgiven. Jesus is our altar. He is our altar. He is where we go to get cleansed and forgiven. The sacrifice is not our to give, he already gave the ultimate sacrifice once for all when he laid down his body of the altar of sacrifice for us.

We have an altar,

  • a place for calling on God,
  • a place of surrender,
  • a place of forgiveness and cleansing,
  • a place where we make things right with God.
It's at the feet of Jesus. You want cleansing? Come to Jesus. You need to surrender something back to God? Come to Jesus. You need to pray something through? Come to Jesus. He is our altar, and the altar always says, "Come, this is the meeting place of God. This is where you do business with God."

I John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. He is the one to whom we go to find cleansing.

If God provides an altar in heaven, isn't it logical that we would need one on earth too?

Hymn: Is Your All of the Altar?

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Song: That's What This Altar is For, by Ray Boltz

Questions for Discussion

  1. Do you have any memorial altars where you did business with God?
  2. Have you, or anyone you've kmown, obeyed Matthew 5:23 "leave your gift at the altar" and be restored first"?
  3. Is there anything in your life that needs to be placed on the altar?

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