Daily Devotional for Sunday October 13, 2019

The altar!!!

(Genesis 8:20, 12:7, 13:18, 22:9, 26:25, 33:20, 35:7)

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, YOU are my provider. You know my daily needs. You promised to care what I need each day for life....food, shelter, clothing. I put my trust in You. You own the cattle on a thousand hills, and I come to You today to Thank You for providing for my needs in the past, and knowing my needs today. Today, I come to You, asking You to meet those needs as I glorify You for Your provision. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!

***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: Comedian, talk show host, and LGBTQ advocate Ellen DeGeneres and former President George W. Bush caused generated lots of conversation this week as they were spotted together watching the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers football game in Dallas last Sunday. The two were in the private box of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and President Bush was accompanied by former first lady Laura Bush while DeGeneres was with her “wife” actress Portia de Rossi. The shot of the two at the game caused quite a stir since these are obviously two very different people with very different beliefs. I have spoken of DeGeneres over the 20+ years of Liveprayer due to her advocacy for the sin of homosexuality. She has used her very public platform over the past decades to present the CHOICE of having sex with someone of the same sex is perfectly normal, in addition to defending the perversion of God’s Holy Institution of Marriage. Satan has used her in a major way to help mainstream these sins in our culture.

There was so much conversation in the aftermath of the two being seen together at the football game that DeGeneres used her national talk show to explain she has all kinds of friends with all kinds of beliefs, many she doesn’t personally agree with. She actually made a reasoned argument that just because you disagree with someone’s beliefs, it doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with that person. I agree with her on that point, since one of a Christian’s greatest witness is to those we know who are not Believers and having opportunities to share why we have chosen to believe what we do. The funny thing as the week unfolded was that all of the negative feedback not from Christians or Republicans, but from many in the Hollywood crowd that DeGeneres is part of, as well as many in the LGBTQ community. I have always found it interesting that those who accuse Christians of being intolerant, that we need to be more accepting of the beliefs others hold, are the most intolerant people of all. Their tolerance ends the second you disagree with them. Having people in our life who are not Christians is a great opportunity God gives us to have opportunities to influenced them for Christ!

*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm

The altar has always been a special place. It was where man went to meet God. In the Old Testament, it was on the altar that man sacrificed animals to God for his sins. Since Jesus came and was the perfect one-time sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, the altar is now a place where man comes to spend time in prayer to God. Of course, you don’t have to go to an altar to pray but there is something special about having a place to go and talk to God.

I remember as a young boy in the little Methodist church my family attended, the altar was a special place. It was a reverent place. It was a place where people went and got down on their knees and prayed to God about the needs in their life. It was a place where people would spend hours on their face in prayer. People came to that altar to accept Christ as their Savior. People stood at that altar and got married. People came to that altar to view the body of a loved one that had gone to be with the Lord. It was a holy place.

I will never forget on Palm Sunday several years ago, I was preaching at St. Mark’s United Methodist in Pensacola, Florida. It was a beautiful old church in a very nice part of town. As I was preaching, I got off my message and began to talk about the altar. I remember talking about how the altar was a place for prayer NOT flowers. As soon as I said those words, I remembered that I was in a very elegant and beautiful United Methodist Church on Palm Sunday. Without even looking, I already knew that the altar was lined with tons of flowers, and it was.

Realizing that I was now in trouble, I walked off the platform and down to the altar and stood in the midst of the beautiful flowers and started to talk about the little Methodist Church I grew up in and how the altar was a place of prayer, a place to come and travail before God. I remember saying that one of the problems in the church today was that people have forgotten what the altar was there for and some people had never even knelt and prayed at the altar in their life.

In talking, I made a sweeping gesture with my hand to move some of the flowers to the side to clear out an area at the altar. However, being fully in the Spirit and "in the moment," my hand was moving much too quickly and I knocked over one planter, which knocked over the one next to it, and soon, like dominoes, about 10 of the beautiful plants had fallen down and there were flowers and dirt all over the altar. As you can imagine, the congregation of this very staid and majestic church was in complete silence and shock. I am sure the pastor was wondering why he ever invited me to preach. The place was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.

At this point, I figured I was in so deep, there was no turning back. So, I looked at the people and told them that I was done preaching. I told them that there was not one person in that congregation who didn’t have a need in their life and I wanted them to come down to the altar and pray and I would be there to pray with them. Well, I am quite sure coming to the altar and praying was NOT something the people in this church did very often, if ever. As I stood there for what seemed like an eternity, not one person was moving from their seat, and I remember telling God to do something. He did.

All of a sudden, coming down the aisle I saw a little old woman. My fear was she was the head of the flower committee and was coming up to scold me. However, she slowly made her way down to the altar, stood in front of me, and took my hand. She looked up and said, ?Brother Keller, I remember when we used to come to this altar and pray for hours.? She let go of my hand, moved to the side, got on her knees, and began to pray. Within moments, several more people began to move to the altar and soon the entire church had left their seats, to come and pray at that altar.

I share that story with you today for two reasons. First, start taking advantage of the altar in your church. It is NOT just there for decoration or a place to put the pretty flowers. IT IS A HOLY PLACE. IT IS A PLACE OF PRAYER. Second, you should have an altar in your home. You need a special place in your home that is set aside from all of the day- to-day activities. A quiet place where you can go to be alone with the Lord. A place where you can read His Word or just spend that quality time alone with Him. There is NOTHING more powerful than you and your family taking time every day to gather around the family altar and hear God’s Word and pray together!

I love you and care about you so much. I pray that you will never look at the altar in your church the same way again. I pray that you will make time to spend time with God at that altar. In the Old Testament, the altar was a place of sacrifice. It is still a place of sacrifice. It is the place where we come to give ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, committing our lives to Him. I also pray that if you do not have an altar in your home, you will pray about making one. What a great legacy for your children to grow up in a home with such a holy place to reinforce that you and your house serve the Lord!

May the altar, a place of sacrifice, always be a reminder of the sacrifice that Christ made when he died for our sins. May the altar, a place of prayer, always be a reminder that we are totally dependent on God.

In His love and service,

Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller