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The Altars of God

May 15, 2017

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The Altars of God

The other day,  I noticed a bird’s nest  up under the corner  of our eave.     What a perfect spot  for protection  from the elements  and the neighborhood kitties!

That made me think  of Psalm 84:3-4, The bird also has found a house,  and the swallow  a nest  for herself,  where she may lay her young,  even Your altars,  O LORD  of hosts,  my King and my God.     How blessed are those  who dwell  in Your house!     They are ever praising You.”

That Psalm ends with,  “O LORD of hosts,  how blessed is the man  who trusts in You!”

There are so many wonderful things  to notice  in this Psalm,  one can’t mention it all.     But,  if a lowly bird  can praise the LORD  by trusting Him,  how much more blessed  is the man  who learns  to trust God?

An altar  is a place of sacrifice  and yet,  this is exactly where  the bird knows  it can find refuge.     It’s where we  find refuge.     Our refuge  is in entrusting  our whole lives  to God.     Learning to trust God  in this sinful world  is a real sacrifice.     There are many ways  to sacrifice  to the LORD  as we acknowledge  His protection.     Because God knows  our innately sinful nature,  He is very specific  about honorable sacrifices.     Here  God defines  true sacrifice.

  • Hebrews 13:15-16   Through Him then,  let us continually  offer up a sacrifice  of praise  to God,  that is, the fruit  of lips  that give thanks  to His name.     And do not neglect  doing good  and sharing,  for with such sacrifices  God is pleased.
  • Psalm 4:5   Offer the sacrifices  of righteousness,  and trust  in the LORD.
  • Psalm 27:6   And now my head  will be lifted up  above my enemies  around me,  and I will offer  in His tent sacrifices  with shouts  of joy;  I will sing,  yes,  I will sing praises  to the LORD.
  • Psalm 51:15-17   O Lord,  open my lips  that my mouth  may declare  Your praise.     For You do not delight  in sacrifice,  otherwise  I would give it;   You are not pleased  with burnt offering.     The sacrifices  of God  are a broken spirit;  a broken  and a contrite heart,  O God,  You will not despise.
  • Psalm 107:22   Let them also  offer sacrifices  of thanksgiving,  and tell  of His works  with joyful singing.
  • Proverbs 15:8   The sacrifice  of the wicked  is an abomination  to the LORD,  but the prayer  of the upright  is His delight.
  • Hosea 6:6   For I delight  in loyalty  rather than sacrifice,  and in the knowledge  of God  rather than burnt offerings.
  • Mark 12:32-33   The scribe said  to Him,  “Right, Teacher;  You have truly stated  that HE IS ONE,  AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE  BESIDES HIM;   AND TO LOVE HIM  WITH ALL THE HEART  AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING  AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH,  AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR  AS HIMSELF,  is much more  than all burnt offerings  and sacrifices.”
  • Romans 12:1   Therefore I urge you,  brethren,  by the mercies of God,  to present your bodies  a living  and holy sacrifice,  acceptable to God,  which is your spiritual service  of worship.

All of this  is mind boggling.     Our whole lives  belong to God.     To fully enjoy  God’s nearness,  we need  to lay our lives  on the altar  of God.     We do that  with praise,  thanksgiving,  trust,  righteousness,  sharing,  telling of God’s works,  loyalty,  joyfully singing,  having a broken  and contrite heart  over our sinful natures,  delighting  in the knowledge  of God,  and, most of all,  loving God  with our whole heart,  understanding  and strength.

That’s every single thing  we have.

But…….Jesus gave us  His all.     So  as we endeavor  to give the right kind  of daily sacrifices,  we are to be:    “fixing our eyes on Jesus,  the author  and perfecter  of faith,  who for the joy  set before Him  endured the cross,  despising the shame,  and has sat down  at the right hand  of the throne  of God.     For consider Him  who has endured  such hostility  by sinners  against Himself,  so that you  will not grow weary  and lose heart.”   —   Hebrews 12:2-3

We say,  “Hallelujah!”  as we  nestle  in God’s true,  saving love.   Let yourself be blessed.

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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