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Summary: A sermon on building altars instead of idols in our lives. In this sermon we look at the example of Moses.

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Building Altars instead of Idols

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ’You have seen for yourselves

that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do

not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. Make an altar of earth for me

and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats

and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless

you.” Exodus 20:22 -24 (N.I.V.)

Just like the Israelites of old every believer today has the choice of either building altars

or building idols in their lives. According to our scripture text the biggest differences

between altars and idols are the following; first of all an altar is anything we build for

God while an idol is anything we build for ourselves and secondly, altars are sacrifices

we make for God while idols are substitutes we make for God. So when we really think

about it anything in our life can become either an altar or an idol.

How do we go about building altars for God instead of idols in our lives? Well we can

learn how to do so from one person who was successful in building altars instead of

idols in his own life; his name is Moses.

We are told in Hebrews 11:24-26 that “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused

to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with

the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded

disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because

he was looking ahead to his reward.” (N.I.V.)

Notice that Moses could have very easily built two idols in his life. First of all he could

have built an idol out of being known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and secondly he

could have built an idol out of the treasures of Egypt that were at his disposal. But

Moses successfully turned the idols of reputation and riches into altars for God. How did

he manage to do this?

Building altars instead of idols is a result of us making the same seven decisions Moses

made for himself in Hebrews 11:24-26.

1.The decision of faith.

“By faith Moses,…

Building altars instead of idols always begins with a decision of faith. What we

believe in our hearts will always determine what we build in our lives.

And if we really want to know what we believe we only need to look around at what

we are building.

2.The decision of maturity

“When he had grown up…”

Maturity has nothing to do with the number of years we have lived. Instead maturity

has everything to do with what we are building. Mature Christians build altars while

immature believers or non-believers don’t. The truth is the more altars you build the

more mature you are becoming.

3.The decision of choice

“He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God…

Whether we build altars or build idols is a matter of personal choice. Just know that

whenever you choose to build altars for God you may well be mistreated by others


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Douglas Bolton

commented on Feb 17, 2011

Wonderful message

Patrick O'loughlin

commented on Mar 1, 2011

Thank you Doug. Glad you liked it. Blessings. Patrick.

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