ALTAR CALL – For an altar in the heart
DO YOU have an altar? Not a physical altar, but a place in your heart where you commune daily with God? If the answer is no, then you need to build an altar unto God.
Captain Rhonda Matthias made this crystal clear to her listeners at the Salvation Army Wellington Street Corps, The City, yesterday, during a spirit-filled and blest time in God’s presence.
Praise and adoration in song, prayers for the sick, families, shut-ins, and poetry, formed part of the day’s service for this friendly congregation.
The inspiring song selection included We’re Together Again Just Praising The Lord, Come Into His Presence With Thanksgiving In Your Heart, Tell It To Jesus, along with Be Magnify Oh Lord and To God Be The Glory.
Matthias, wife of Captain Chris Matthias, head of the Wellington Corps, based the Word for the day on Genesis 28: 10-19.
The passage tells of Jacob’s encounter with God at Luz, when he dreamt of a ladder which was set up on the earth, reached to heaven, and upon which God stood. Within this dream God revealed Himself to Jacob and promised to bless him and his offspring.
It was also there that Jacob – so astonished by what he saw – built an altar unto God and called the name of the place Bethel – a place of blessing.
“Jacob’s experience of hearing God was so powerful and affected his life in such a powerful way, that he built an altar,” Matthias stressed.
She said the Jewish people understood the importance of building altars, since they represented God’s presence with them.
“The altar was a place where they met God and called upon His name, even in the time of trouble.
“Trouble don’t set up like rain. It does not say it is coming, but whenever trouble came to the children of Israel, they called on the name of the Lord,” Matthias stressed.
“Access to God has at many times in scripture seen the use of an altar. The first altar was erected by Noah. Altars were also erected by Abraham, Issac and Moses,” she added.
Matthias said the altar also represented a place of blessing for the Jewish people. But, she noted, blessings must not always be seen as financial wealth and material possessions such as houses and cars.
“God will bless us too. Blessings can be measured in peace of mind and spirit with God; good health, good family relationships and prosperity in the home.”
She quoted from Psalm 29: 11, where God even promised to bless his people with strength.
She further stressed: “The altar also represented responsibility. We as a people must not only enjoy the privileges and blessings of the altar but we must do as God commands in His Word.”
She called on families to destroy the strange gods and practices in their homes, and to offer pleasing sacrifices unto God.
“Our offerings and sacrifices will not please God if we do not present ourselves before Him with clean hearts and hands. Our hearts and spirits must be stirred to seek Him.
“We need to have an altar for ourselves and our families – a place where we call out to God daily and seek Him with all our hearts,” she preached.
Matthias next made an altar call to those who felt the Lord speaking to their hearts, as she again reiterated the importance of daily communication with God.
It was indeed, a wonderful service.• To have your church featured in Altar Call, please contact Cheryl Harewood at 430-5494 or email [email protected]