Devo God’s plan or ours Part 2
2 Kings 16:10-15 (NIV)
10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction. 11 So Uriah the priest built an altar in accordance with all the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus and finished it before King Ahaz returned. 12 When the king came back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and presented offerings[a] on it. 13 He offered up his burnt offering and grain offering, poured out his drink offering, and splashed the blood of his fellowship offerings against the altar. 14 As for the bronze altar that stood before the Lord, he brought it from the front of the temple—from between the new altar and the temple of the Lord—and put it on the north side of the new altar. 15 King Ahaz then gave these orders to Uriah the priest: “On the large new altar, offer the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, and the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar for seeking guidance.”
Matthew 23:15-22 (NIV)
15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. 16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
Exodus 20:22-26 (NIV)
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. 24 “‘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. 25 If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. 26 And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’
I know this is long, but bear with me. When I was young God called me and told me to put my life, on the altar and go into ministry. I decided that altar was Bible college. I would go for four years, become a youth pastor, then an associate pastor, and on to be a senior pastor. Well it didn’t work out quite that way in that order. You see though my intentions were good the altar was wrong. That was a man-made altar and it was pretty. God called me to His alter and it was humble. Jesus’ alter was the cross not the temple. It was the cross, a tree that made His sacrifices holy to God. Humble and God made. It matters where we offer our sacrifices. It is God’s prescribed way not ours. The gift is important of course, but it has to be given God’s way not ours. Jesus had to fulfill many prophecies to be acceptable to God. We must give ourselves God’s way to be an acceptable sacrifice for Him. Otherwise it is just good works and will burn up. No matter how sincere you are it is unacceptable to God if not done His way. Humble yourself and do it God’s way. Don’t expose your humanity to the world.
Pastor Jeff Lane
Pastor Jeff Lane