The Altar

In front of the church is a place with a very special meaning. This place
is the altar. It is a place where we can take our petitions to God. The
place where we can talk to our Lord and Savior. Only a few in the church
today use the altar. God created it and sanctioned its use. Some will never
use it because they are afraid. Most people today see the altar as a holy
place of prayer.

Too many altars in our churches today are collecting dust, when they should
be washed with our tears. What would it take to get you to visit the altar?
We find in the Old Testament that God required a sacrifice for the
atonement of sins. Often the shedding of blood upon an altar was required.
Usually an innocent lamb was slain. However other animals were sometimes
offered. I thank God that we do not have to offer these types of sacrifices
for the atonement of sins today.

God offered the first sacrifice for the atonement of Adam and Eves sins in
the garden. We find in Genesis 3:21 that the Lord God made coats of skins
to clothe their nakedness. In other words innocent blood was shed for Adam
and Eve. The Bible doesn't say what kind of animal God used to make their
clothes. I have often wondered if it was an innocent lamb.

God spoke to Abraham in Genesis 22:2 saying, "Take now thy son, thine only
son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah and offer
him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell
thee of." Can you imagine the heartache Abraham must have felt when God
asked him to do this? And Isaac not wanting to be disobedient to his own
father went willingly. I can't imagine having to do such a thing as this.
To build an altar and sacrifice your only son was surely breaking Abraham's
heart. The grief he must have felt knowing that he was going to take his
sons life must have been unbearable. Why would God ask Abraham to do such a
terrible thing? God wanted to know if Abraham would completely surrender
himself and be obedient to the Lord.

Praise God he stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son Isaac. The Lord had
seen that Abraham would hold nothing from him, not even his only son. You
can now understand the grief and the pain that our heavenly father went
through. God didn't hold anything back from mankind. Jesus his only son not
wanting to be disobedient to his father went willingly. God loves us so
much that he let his only son be sacrificed on the altar we call the cross
of Calvary. The innocent Lamb of God, Jesus whose precious blood was shed
for the sins of all mankind.

Truly the cross of Calvary was the greatest altar ever built. The altar
only took two pieces of wood and three nails to build, and one obedient
sinless lamb. Jesus said in John 10:11, "I am the good shepherd: the good
shepherd giveth his life for his sheep." Jesus' holy innocent blood now
becomes the only atonement for sins. In Hebrews 10:12, "But this man, after
he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever; sat down on the right hand
of God."
How can you receive this atonement for sins? By accepting Jesus as your
Savior. Believing John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his
only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but
have everlasting life." The price for sins has already been paid. You
cannot buy this redemption of sins and you can't work for it either. It is
a free gift from God to you by accepting his son. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by
grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the
gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast."

If God is speaking to your heart about salvation don't put it off. You can
make an altar in your heart right where you are. You don't have to perform
any type of ritual. Just tell the Lord you are a sinner and want
forgiveness for your sins and accept him in your heart as Lord and savior.
Please don't put it off the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:2, "Behold now is
the accepted time behold now is the day of salvation."

Only you can ask him for this by doing what the Bible says in Romans 10:9.
"If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in
thine heart that God raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved." The
Lord loves you and wants to make you part of his family. He will change
your life in ways you never thought possible He will save you and forget
your sins. In Hebrews 10:17, "And their sins and iniquities will I remember
no more."

For those who already know Jesus as their Lord and savior, how long has it
been since you knelt at an old fashion altar? When was the last time your
heart was so burdened that you got down on your knees and prayed to our
Heavenly Father? When was the last time you really prayed for the lost, and
your church? When was the last time you prayed for your pastor, and your
family? When was the last time you prayed for God's will to be done in your
life? God is the one who said, "make me an altar." It is God's altar for
man to use. So isn't about time we get down on our knees and brush the dust
off God's altar and have a good long talk with him? We need to be serious
about serving the Lord.

The Cross of Calvary truly was the greatest and the last altar that God
would build for the atonement of sins for all generations to come. God said
in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall
humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked
ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal
their land." If you are out of fellowship with the Lord the altar is the
perfect place to go and pray. Ask him to restore the joy of your salvation
and recommit you life to Christ. If you are not saved, the altar is also
the perfect place to receive him as you Lord and savior. If you will take
that first step the Lord will help you the rest of the way. I pray today
that we will all examine our hearts and truly ask Gods' will be done in our

Inspired by: My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him I give all the Glory
and Praise.
By: G.L.F.
Ephesians 2-8:9