Today, Feb. 4 2021, is the third early morning that the Lord is inviting us to draw near Him, to spend quality time with Him at the start of the day. Following the brief message I did yesterday morning about the power of sacrifice that releases the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead, I felt a need within me.
I felt there is a need for a few words of encouragement and exhortation in the form of early morning devotion, also for the purpose of building up and equipping the brothers and sisters in Christ who felt the call of God to be a part of this prayer campaign that started on the 1st of Feb.
Especially after the comments I received yesterday after the video I did, about how the Lord is inviting us to offer our time as a sacrifice, to have fellowship with Him and minister to Him; I understood that the Holy Spirit has already prepared the hearts of many.
However not everyone is experienced in the life of prayer and devotion. There are always those who are younger in the faith and still do not know what to do and how. So there are questions about how to spend time with the Lord, and how to pray without vain repetitions; also, if we can read the Bible during the time of prayer and how much to spend in prayer and in reading the Bible.
It is always helpful to go back to the foundations and the basic principles where we can find all the answers, as the Holy Spirit opens our mind to understand, and to grow in Christ; also, for Christ to grow in us, who said, thus you should pray: “Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name”!
Our heavenly Father is Holy. His Spirit is Holy. Everything that pertains to our God has to do with holiness and sanctification. Without sanctification no one shall see God, says the Bible. There is no better way to draw near God, to meet with Him and be filled with His Presence and living Word, than sanctification.
Jesus said in Matthew 23:19 “which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?” So it is the altar of sacrifice which sanctifies our gift, which we offer to the Lord.
But what IS our gift, and what IS the altar of sacrifice?
Our gift is our time and devotion, our prayers and praise, our singing and the study of the Bible. Everything that we offer to the Lord out of a heart of devotion is received as our gift. There is no such thing as too little or too much, right, or wrong. Whatever each one chooses to offer to the Lord as a gift, it is received from Him if we have pure motives and offer it with a clean heart.
The altar of sacrifice is the time and place of our prayer and devotion, where the flames of the sacrifice are burning, where we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to be consumed by the flames of His Presence by the Holy Spirit.
However, for our devotion to be genuine, and for the sanctifying power to proceed from the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, we must not neglect the basic principles, such as that our gift will not be received if our brother has something against us.
As Jesus said, we must first settle the issues and reconcile, so that there is no hindrance, and that our sacrifice be acceptable, and our gift be received.
Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”.