Summary: The greatest need of your family, your life, our country is to build altars. God is looking for altar builders to commune with him. We may have everything in life but if we do not have an altar it is nothing to God. God did not look at Abram’s status or h
The Altars of Abram
This sermon is part of the sermon series Abraham – Father of Faith
Scripture portion: Genesis 12 & 13
Introduction: God expects man to commune with him. This is the reason he created us. An altar is a raised place, usually used for worship. In the Bible we read about altars. The first altar was built by Noah. In Hebrews altar means ‘slaughter place,’ in Greek it means a place for sacrifice.’ In the Old Testament people sacrificed animals and worshipped God through which sacrificed God communed with man. In the New Testament we do not need a sacrificed as Jesus is our sacrifice once and for all. However the Bible says our body is a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). We have to present our bodies as a living sacrifice and then worship God. We need to build spiritual altars where we sacrifice ourselves and worship our God. Do you really have an altar? Do you really spend time in the presence of God? If not let us listen to the Word of God and change ourselves.
God called Abram out of idol worship and promised blessings upon him. Abram set out to the call of God. We see in the Bible God blessed Abram as He promised. But before God could bless him, before Abram was known as the father of many nations, before Issac was born Abram did something. Abram built altars for the Lord. Abram was blessed because of his altars. No one in his generation did build altars to the Lord. If you have a personal altar God will definitely keep up his promises and lead us wonderfully.
Altars of Abram
1. Altar of Personal Prayer (Genesis 12:6-7)
Shechem means shoulder or a place to carry our burdens. This shows a personal prayer life, personal cleansing, and personal sacrifice. We all need to have a personal altar. Genesis 35:4 shows that Jacob reached Shechem on his way to Bethel and he buried all idols. Shechem is a place where we get rid of all the idols. Every day we have to come to this altar where we read the Word of God, pray, ask God for cleansing, and worship God. This altar makes us fresh spiritually. Scholars say Jacob built a well in Shechem and it was in this well that Jesus had a personal encounter with the Samaritan woman in John 5. Abram had a personal altar or a personal encounter with God. We need to built his personal altar in our lives too.
2. Altar of congregational prayer. (Genesis 12:8 & 13:4)
Bethel is the House of God, Ai shows ruins. Worshipping God in the house of God will keep us from all ruins in our lives. We need to worship God together as a family and as a church. We must understand that we cannot have a congregational altar if we do not have a personal altar. Many times we are not able to worship God in church because we do not have a personal time of prayer with the Lord. First we have to build our personal altar, then we need to have a congregational altar. Abram had both these altars.
3.Altar of Ministry (Genesis 13:18)
When we see the life of Abram. He did a great mistake in going to Egypt. Eventually he came out of Egypt and then we find his nephew, Lot too parting from Abram. Once Lot and Egypt (both symbolizes the world) was separated from Abram God gave Abram a new blessing (Genesis 13:14-17). All these days Abram had the promise by God, but once the world was separated from Abram God literally gave Abram the land that he premised. It is only when we come out all our worldly ways that God can bless us.
Verses 18; Abram built an altar at Hebron. Hebron means alliance. King David officially started his ministry in Hebron. Hebron is the highest place (above sea level) in Palestine. This shows the altar of ministry. If we are not soaring high in our spiritual lives, if we have not come out of the world or sin in our lives the ministry that we do are just a performances, not accepted by God. God expects all ministers to first have a personal altar, then a congregational altar, and then have an altar of ministry. The ministry that we do in the name of the Lord has to be done after great preparation. Our spiritual life has to be right before God.
Conclusion: The greatest need of your family, your life, our country is to build altars. God is looking for altar builders to commune with him. We may have the best car, the best house, status, money etc., but if we do not have an altar it is nothing to God. God did not look at Abram’s beard or dress or his background; God looked at his altar. Therefore let us learn to build altars like Abram; a personal altar, a congregational altar, and an altar of ministry. Let us learn to build altars. Amen!
For more sermons of Rev. Shine Thomas visit www.cityharvestagchurch.org