“Altar-ing” My Outlook–Taste and See Sunday


The inspiration for today’s Taste and See Sunday post actually came from Saturday. Yesterday was a chilly February day, but it was also clear and bright. We had some company staying with us and decided to grill out. There’s nothing like brats on the grill to stir up some major flame action, and somehow grilling made me think of burnt offerings. Then, burnt offerings made me think of the Old Testament. The Old Testament made me think of the law. The law made me think of grace, and grace made me think of sacrifice–which made me think of burnt offerings again, and the Taste and See topic was decided!

Somehow, (okay, God-how) our bratwurst made me remember the burnt offerings of men like Noah, Abraham, Moses and Aaron. There were burnt offerings laid up on the altar weekly, monthly, at Passover, the Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, dedication of the Temple, and more. Burnt offerings symbolized the total dedication of an offering to God. In being burnt up in the fire, there was nothing left to be used for anything else but for Him.

If I understand this right, the Hebrew word that is used for the term burnt offering is pronounced “oh-law” and means ascending, like in smoke going upwards toward God. So as an offering was made, the smoke went upwards, a pleasing aroma to God. Pretty cool!

Without getting too deep into things, let’s just make the quick jump from the law of “having” to make offerings because God commanded it, to “choosing” to make ourselves an offering because of what Christ has done for us.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When I offer myself as a living sacrifice, then, like a burnt offering, there is nothing left to offer to the world. And if there is nothing left to offer to the world, I can no longer be transformed by it, but only by the power of God. When I feely choose to lay myself upon the altar, I am now “altar-ing” my outlook, not just “altering” my outlook, because I put to death the thoughts and actions that are not in agreement with the Spirit, living instead for those things that are of Him.

A concept we might even call “mind altar-ing“! Taste and See–The Lord is good, indeed!

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