Tag Archives: altar

Genesis 9-12; Luke 3

Lord, let me build my altar to you.

Ancestry–a lineage from Adam to Jesus. In these passages, I linger in Noah’s story. I witness a tower project–and a scattering. I travel territories with Abram. He stops. I notice what he does.

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev (Genesis 12:7-9, NLT).

I’ve read lots of reflection on a finished year, and I consider my own. In a digital age, the altars are images and words. Am I making monuments of milestones–or altars of angst? Still fresh, coming out of a year-end reading of Job and Revelation, was 2018 the year I lost (a sense of everything) or the year I was restored?

Ancestry–a lineage in a genetic test kit. I read my results with wonder. I think of sea views and mountain views and snowy valleys–journeys traveled through the ages leading here. This place. My place in the story of a history.

Lord, let me build my altar to you, grateful for your work in me and in my life.

I celebrate your majesty, your sovereignty, your faithfulness and love. I worship you here. Thank you for restoring me. You are near, and I am thankful.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Chronicles 7; 2 John 1; Habakkuk 2; Luke 21

This contrast of offerings. One to the Lord, overflowing. Joyful.

Solomon consecrated the middle part of the courtyard in front of the temple of the Lord, and there he offered burnt offerings and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar he had made could not hold the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the fat portions. (2 Chronicles 7:7, NLT, emphasis added)

Another, selfish gain.

“See, the enemy is puffed up;
    his desires are not upright—
    but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—
indeed, wine betrays him;
    he is arrogant and never at rest.
Because he is as greedy as the grave
    and like death is never satisfied,
he gathers to himself all the nations
    and takes captive all the peoples.

“Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying,

“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
    and makes himself wealthy by extortion!
    How long must this go on?’
Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
    Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
    Then you will become their prey.
Because you have plundered many nations,
    the peoples who are left will plunder you.
For you have shed human blood;
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain,
    setting his nest on high
    to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples,
    shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones of the wall will cry out,
    and the beams of the woodwork will echo it. (Habakkuk 2:4-11, NLT, emphasis added)

Offerings.

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4, NLT)

This year I felt that time was not my own. I have felt pulled by responsibilities, and often physically and emotionally depleted. It is December, and I wonder where the time went. Oh, but this:

37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple. (Luke 21:37-38, NLT)

Each day, He still teaches. In the early mornings, I want to be right at his feet. He frames my purpose and gives direction and I am reminded–it is all His anyway: time, talent, treasure. If I feel depleted, will He not fill me again? If I abide in Him, will this branch be fruitless and wither?

I laugh to think that time was mine to keep.

Could my offerings (of time, talent, treasure) ever be so large that the altar I made couldn’t hold them?

Lord, may my offerings to you be given in joy. You are sovereign.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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1 Kings 18; 1 Thessalonians 1; Ezekiel 48; Psalm 104

The people of Israel were getting desperate. Drought was ravishing their land and relief was not in sight, so they built an altar to Baal and sacrificed their limited resources. Elijah asked, “How long will you go limping about with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21

I hear God ask me the same question. Like most people, I have a longstanding family issue that won’t go away (warning: the holidays are coming). Everything that I have done in the past has been powerless to bring about change or seemed to make things worse. Venting to anyone who would listen to my tale of woe didn’t help, except to reinforce my sense of self righteousness and gather tiny stones of bitterness for my altar. Like the people of Israel, I have limped around this petty altar for too many years and wasted precious time and effort.

This time around, I hear God’s call to step out of my negative do loop and come to his altar of prayer. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. It’s time to confess anger, a desire to hold onto hurt and an unwillingness to forgive. It’s time to stop complaining and walk into the freedom of trusting God to be enough, even if I don’t get the outcome I want.

“…because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction…for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5…6.

Lord, I long to live with the steady, unbreakable conviction that you are Lord in all situations. I want the kind of joy that comes only from trusting you. Holy Spirit, do your work in me. Holy Spirit, let your word take root and complete your will and work in my life. Jesus, you are the author and perfecter of my faith; it’s by your overflowing grace through that I ask this. Amen

Kathy

 

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Deuteronomy 26, 27; Mark 15:1-26

And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. And it was the third hour when they crucified him. Mark 15:12-15; 25

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And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O Lord, have given me.’ And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God. And you shall rejoice in all the good that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you. Deuteronomy 26:10-11

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And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You shall wield no iron tool on them; you shall build an altar to the Lord your God of uncut stones. And you shall offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God, and you shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God. And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.” Deuteronomy 27:5-8

An altar. The Cross.

Was, and is, and always will be…

The greatest sacrifice…made by God…made for me.

Extraordinary silence against accusations spat in His face.

A broken body swathed in purple; a barbed circlet on His bloodied head.

The weight of my sin on His shoulders.

A heavy burden to carry.

The King brought low, brought to death. Perfection crucified.

Giving everything of Himself. Always willing. Always loving.

His death, His life, a gift of grace, a first fruit offering.

Redemption. Restoration. Relationship.

He gives all, and all He asks of me is all of myself.

A living sacrifice, prepared to worship, ready to rejoice.

Remembering His goodness. Recalling His faithfulness.

No longer bruised and battered. No longer a slave.

Suddenly, His reaffirmed treasure.

Suddenly, holy unto Him.

Walk into the land of milk and honey.

Enter into God’s promises. Enter into His peace.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Exodus 27, Exodus 28, Mark 1:23-45

Please read at – www.BibleGateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2027,28;%20Mk%201:23-45&version=NKJV

Exodus 27     “You shall make an altar, the court of the tabernacle, a screen, the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually, outside the veil which is before the Testimony.”

             The Old Testament sacrifice system is the foreshadow of the new, living and everlasting covenant which Jesus Christ fulfilled. Jesus is our sacrifice Atonement for our sins, past, present and future. Jesus is “the light of the world, the light of life.” Which can never be extinguished.  Thank You Jesus for taking the wrath of God for me!!

             You Lord, tell me that if I follow You, I shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. AND that I am “the light of the world.” Lord Jesus Christ, I rejoice in You, the Light of my soul, path and heart!! I praise you for being God and over powering me by Your Love to empower me by Who You are!! May I desire You more and more greatly that You shine through every pore of me and pour out!! Please let it be so! 

Exodus 28    You shall make holy garments, a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a tunic, a turban, and a sash, the engraving of a signet: HOLINESS TO THE LORD, and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord, that he may minister to Me as priest.”

               Thank You Lord Jesus Christ for asking me to come to You, that You would make me a new creature, Your child!! Thank You for being THE Royal High Priest so You forever intercede for me! Because of this, my God, make me honorable to You, fulfilling Your will to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”!!

               Thank you for continually using Your Hand to mold me, shape me and change me to be how You desire, for only in Your blood stained Palm am I eternally safe, grateful and having Your joy as my strength.

             Please dress me up in Your garb: Your honorable Armor, wearing Your righteousness! I can never forget that You won the war, but the battles rage on. Please save the rebellious people from hell and protect the persecuted church! Please! Thank You!  

Mark 1:23-45  An unclean spirit, cried out, You are—the Holy One of God!”  “He commands and they obey Him.” He took her by the hand, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them. Jesus, moved with compassion, touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And he was cleansed.

            Jesus, You are the King of kings Lord of lords.  You cast out demons, heal us by Your compassionate will, and for the purpose that we will serve You as You desire! Thank You for freeing us to have such an incredible position! I am humbled because I know no good thing is in me – but Only Good is You!! 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12  

Pondering – A repeated Old Testament theme, “You shall make”. But I cannot make Righteousness. Only the Lord Jesus can make me righteous. How I need to lean on Jesus to learn from Him for all I do, say, think, feel, etc – Holding every thought captive to God’s Word, so Jesus’ righteousness is visible!! What a quest! No wonder Jesus is our exceedingly great Reward! Genesis 15:1

Further reading for

Exodus 27     Leviticus 17:11, Matthew 26:28,  Hebrews 9:22, Hebrews 10:19-23, John 19:30, Matthew 27:51, Matthew 28, Luke 24:44-53, John 3:36, John 8:12, John 1:4-5, Matthew 5:14, Psalm 119:105, 160  

Exodus 28 and Mark 1: 23-45       Matthew 11:28-30; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:1; John 3:5-7; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 2:9; Nehemiah 8:10; Ephesians 1:13-14; Isaiah 64:8; Isaiah 49:16, Ephesians 6:10-18; Mark 10:18, John 15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 12:1-2 

Crystal (PsalmThirty4)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized