14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
“Building An Altar For God”
Text – Gen. 35:1-7, I Kg 5:1-5
- What Is An Altar?
- Ingredients of an Altar Building
- The Benefits of Building An Altar
What is An Altar?
- An Altar is a place that is designed or separated for worship unto God; a place of fellowship with God.
- It is a place where praises and prayers are rendered unto God.
- An Altar symbolizes holiness and represents the presence of God; a higher place where untarnished (spotless, blameless) services are offered to God.
- Altar is a place of refuge and comfort from the troubles of this world.
- An Altar could also be a place where intercession is being made for the well being of others inspired by the Holy Spirit.
An Altar could be a part of a building or a room. For instance the church serves as an Altar where Christians meet and fellowship with God. Men of God in the Bible built Altars for God after He had done things for them like Moses (in Exo. 17:15) Abraham, Isaac, Solomon e.t.c.
Altars, in the olden days are built with or out of stone where worshippers seek God’s face and offer sacrifice of animals but now our sacrifices are of praise, thanksgiving and prayers through our Lord Jesus Christ unto God.
Classification of Altars –
Altars could be classified into three; mainly
i) Personal Altar- As the name implies is a personal means of communication and fellowshipping with God. It is otherwise called ‘Quiet Time’. This is a time you have assigned/committed/set aside for God to meet with Him on ‘one-on-one’ level or basis. It comes with a specific time at which you seek the face of God through worship, praises, thanksgiving and prayer. It is better early in the morning when there would little or no disturbance from any quarters. The essence is to hear and talk to God; it ensures a direct link with God. Lk 5:16
ii) Family Or Home Altar – a place where family members meet for the purpose of communing, fellowshipping, praising, worshipping and praying to God. It comes with a specific time of meeting
iii) Church Altar – The Church itself is an Altar. It serves as a unified place of worship for Christians or individuals coming together to pour out their hearts to God. Heb 10; 25
Others include: -
Corporate Altar- The coming together of Individuals from different denomination or churches to pray, worship and render praises unto God.
Note – An Altar is not a place where you place your Bibles, Anointing Oil, Symbol of Cross, Holy Book and any other Christian items. Altar is a thing of heart. Jer. 29; 12-13
Factors That Are Necessary For An Altar Building
- Genuine Salvation Ps 24: 3-4
- Passion / Hunger for presence of God. I kg 5: 5 Solomon did what is fore-fathers Could not do.
- Faith- Heb.11; 6 you need faith to erect an altar.
- Holiness – Altar is sacred that is why you need to be holy to build a holy place for God.
I Peter 1:16; Ps 99:9
Why Is An Altar Necessary?
Þ To Worship, praise and communicate with God. Ps 99; 9, Gen.13: 4
‘If the people who are called by name shall humble themselves & pray & seek my face7 turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven & will forgive their sin and will heal their land’ – II Chro. 7:
a For thanksgiving – Ps 100:4
b To make vows and consecration unto God.
c To live a victorious life Rom.8 ; 37
d A blessed and satisfied life. Ps 24. 5, II Corin.9: 11
e To meet God for divine intervention and breakthrough.
Others are – Healing, Deliverance, Provision, Breakthrough e.t.c.
For you to get closer to God and have an intimate relationship with Him; to know and understand Him better, then you need to build a befitting place of worship (House of grace needs to be put into proper shape) for God by contributing your own quota to Church building through cash, kind and prayers. And you could also build one in your heart and home now!
An Altar brings you closer to God and there is a constant flow from God to you.
Throughout world history there have been all kinds of altars built for all kinds of reasons. From a Biblical perspective, there are a number of altars spoken of, including the Brazen Altar, which was a place of redemption and forgiveness, and the Altar of Incense, which was a place of communion with God, and a place of prayer, praise, and worship. There are 16 altars in God's Word that stand out (and many more throughout Israel's history).
As we look at the following, allow the Lord to speak to you about what your responsibility is toward BUILDING AN ALTAR for the Lord.
(1) Noah built an altar after the flood: Genesis 8:20.
(2) Abraham built an altar and met with God: Genesis 12:7.
(3) Abraham built an altar to sacrifice Isaac (his promise and his future): Genesis 22:9. In Verse 14 we have the word Jeh-Jireh—"God Will Provide."
(4) Isaac built an altar unto the Lord: Genesis 26:25.
(5) Jacob built an altar unto the Lord: Genesis 55:20.
(6) Moses built an altar unto the Lord and called the place Jeh-Nissi—"The Lord My Banner of Victory": Exodus 17:15.
(7) Joshua built an altar after a great victory: Joshua 8:50.
(8) Gideon built an altar unto the Lord and called the place Jeh-Shalom–"The Lord of Peace": Judges 6:24.
(9) Israel built an altar for repentance: Judges 21:4.
(10) Saul built an altar unto the Lord: 1 Samuel 14:55.
(11) David built an altar unto the Lord: 2 Samuel 24:18.
(12) Solomon built an altar to worship and give thanks: 1 Kings 9:25.
(13) Elijah built an altar to demonstrate the power of God. He covered it with water, and God sent down fire: 1 Kings 18:30.
(14) Zerubbabel built an altar unto the Lord in the seventh month (an altar of Ingathering, the Feast of Tabernacles): Ezra 3:1-4.
(15) God built an altar for mankind at Calvary: Matthew 27. Jesus was the sacrifice for all our sins.
(16) You have an altar to build for the Lord.
Romans 12:1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
1 Corinthians 6:19: Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Will you allow your life to be an altar unto the Lord, an altar of worship? Hebrews 13:15: Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Psalm 51:15-17: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite (repentant) heart–these, O God, You will not despise.
We need to realize that the altar we are building unto the Lord is ourselves. This altar must have a good foundation which means building our lives on the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ. For this altar to be acceptable unto God, it will need all the right materials, such as: Repentance, Righteousness, Holiness, Obedience, Faith, Love, Peace, Patience, Courage, Wisdom, and Spiritual Growth.
Now look at what King Solomon built. He built an altar that released the glory of God, recorded in 2 Chronicles 5:1-14: When Solomon had finished all the work related to building the Temple of the Lord, he brought in the gifts dedicated by his father, King David, including all the silver and gold and all the utensils. These were stored in the treasuries of the Temple of God.
Solomon then summoned the leaders of all the tribes and families of Israel to assemble in Jerusalem. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord's covenant from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion, to its new place in the Temple....King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed sheep and oxen before the Ark in such numbers that no one could keep count! (An altar had been built.) Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord's covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple–the Most Holy Place–and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
...Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day. And the Levites who were musicians–Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers–were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, harps, and lyres. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: "He is so good! For His mercy endures forever!" At that moment a cloud filled the Temple of the Lord, to such an extent that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.
1 Kings 18:38 says that Elijah built an altar which released the fire of God. Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.
In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist declared: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."
On the Day of Pentecost, the fire of the Holy Spirit fell upon many believers. Acts 2:2-3: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.
Revelation 1:14 gives a description of Jesus: His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.
God makes His minister a flame of fire. Psalm 104:4: Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.
There is a song we sang many years ago: I am a priest of the Lord, and the sacrifice I bring is praise. I am a priest of the Lord, and to Him holy hands I raise. I come before Him singing, shouting "Hallelujah!" Shouting, "Hallelujah! Glory! Hallelujah!" When I offer up my sacrifice, He sends down the fire. Glory to His name.
LET’S BUILD AN ALTAR
The erected altar becomes a holy place for us.