Altars Before Offerings
Pastor Chad kicked off our April series this Sunday with a message entitled, “Altar before Offerings.” The Old Testament talks a lot about Altars and the sacrifices needed to be given through the community to be in right relationship with God. What is the importance of altars and sacrifices in our lives today under the New Covenant? The altar was known for establishing a community. The church is the “base/altar” of the new covenant that we have in Christ (Heb. 13:8-16). A community can only have established hearts in grace and doing good works if we as individuals have established hearts in grace.
When we get to a place of having our heart established in grace these are the characteristics that will be flowing out:
1. Grace before Good works. Before we expect the good works to flow, we need to allow individuals to have a heart established in grace. Good works flow out of grace-filled hearts.
2. Unseen before the Seen. As believers, we are to focus on the unseen before the seen. When we do this, we manifest the unseen to unbelievers who can only see the seen.
3. Heart before Hands. The church is a base to care for the hearts of its community before caring what those hands will do for it.
These are the Habits of a community with established hearts in grace:
1. Let us Go Forward (v. 13). We are each priests called in the church, to move under the leadership of Jesus (1 Peter 2:9). As we move forward, we will have to move in things that are outside of comfort zone. What is Jesus asking you to do as we move forward in this next season?
2. Let us Seek (v. 14). Before we are out in the city and trying to reach the crowds, we must first Seek God. To pray, fast, and seek the One whom we are under as we move forward. Are you seeking Jesus first and foremost? First before talking to another person?
3. Let us Praise Continuously (v. 15). Jesus is the basis of our community. He never changes, so our praises shouldn’t change. Is there an area of your life that is hindering your praise?
4. Let us Remember (v 16). As we are going, seeking, and praising, let us not forget to be outwardly focused and remember all that God did and is doing, in and through our lives. Is God established on the throne of your heart? Are you serving out of striving or empowering grace through the Holy Spirit?
Jesus is the only sacrifice that pleases God. It’s not by our striving but putting Jesus on the altar of our hearts. Let us remember to keep Jesus the center of our community and that he alone has the power to will and to do, in us and through u