The altar was such an important part of Jewish worship. It was both beautiful and practical. Its beauty is found in the design and the bronze overlay of the altar and all the utensils. Its practicality comes from its ability to be moved from place to place, as the nomads of Israel moved. It provided a place to offer sacrifices for sin and to praise God for His goodness and grace. It reminds us of Jesus who is our altar as Christians. He offered Himself as a Sacrifice for our sins and it is through Him that we find forgiveness. It is also through Him that we are able to praise God for who He is and all that He has done in our lives. Jesus' sacrifice removed the need for animal sacrifices and opened the door for sinful man to experience a relationship with an Almighty God. Today, He asks us to offer completely different sacrifices. David reminds us in Psalm 51 that God wants us to offer sacrifices of "brokenness" and a "contrite heart." In Hebrews, the Scriptures challenge us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice for His good works. Throughout the New Testament, we are challenged to offer praise offerings to the Lord as a means of worship. God is looking for those people who will humble themselves before Him and become usable vessels of ministry and worship. Anything done in pride or self-assurance will fall, but those works done from a humble heart bring a beautiful song of praise to God's people.

Help me, Lord, to offer my body as a living sacrifice that is marked by a broken and contrite heart. Help me to live in humility waiting for Your directions and then following them.