Author Archives: altarofheaven

About altarofheaven

My name is arcelia. I love, worship and revere God. I am enJOYing the peace with God I have through Jesus Christ and I'm learning to listen and respond to His voice through His Word and convictions of the Holy Spirit in this midst of this chaotic and distracting world. I am a broken redeemed healed vessel, joyously drawing water from the Spring of salvation pouring out in God's strength by His Spirit for His glory. "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." 2 Corinthians 13:14

The Day the Sun Stood Still

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These days have felt as though time is standing still. It reminds me of the time when Joshua spoke to the LORD in the sight of Israel:

O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”

This is how God responded:

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.” Joshua 10:12-13

May we use this time of “being still” wisely. May we use it to identify the enemies, entanglements, and encumbrances in our lives to lay aside along with our sin. This will help us to run the race set before us in endurance…as long as our eyes are fixed on the Son, Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

BeLoved, this time of ‘isolation’ and quiet can sometimes bring forth feelings of condemnation as the Holy Spirit convicts us of the sin in our lives. Remember, the identification of sin in our lives is not to bring us to condemnation but to lead us to see our need for a Savior. This is a time of confession, repentance and refreshment as we redirect our faith in Christ. Not in relationships, our jobs, money, or the government…but in Christ alone.

We may feel like calves stuck in a stall right now…but those who fear the name of God know about the healing that is to come and “we will skip about like calves in a stall.” (Malachi 4:2)

I’m praying for all of us in His world, not just for a physical healing, but a spiritual one that will bring revival.

Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the Brethren.

*Hebrews 12

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

John 3:16-21


An Invitation

Hello! Those of you that have been reading here may have noticed I was quiet here for many months. It was due to several reasons…my mouth was almost silenced but I can still say like Jeremiah, ”

“But if I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name,” Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it.” Jeremiah 20:9

If you read my testimony you may remember in 2008 my husband and I did a competition on who can read the most books in a year. When we discovered the Bible had 66 books we began to read the Bible even though we were not Christians. The rest is God’s story. The Bible is God’s Word to us, a way He speaks to us. A way we can know Him.

During this season of ‘quiet’ my husband and I have chosen to read at least one book of the Bible everyday in addition to our daily readings. Jesus said in John 17:3

“This is eternal life to know the One True God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent.”

Will you join us in this exciting adventure? If yes, just send me a comment and I’d love to hear how God is revealing Himself to you this season.

Be blessed BeLoved.

Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the Brethren

 

 


Faith & Unbelief

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It’s fascinating to me that Jesus would spiritually heal someone by forgiving their sins based on someone else’s faith. And equally intriguing Jesus would physically heal based on someone’s unbelief.

Mark 2:1-12 tells the story of four men carrying their paralytic friend to Jesus. They removed a roof and let down his pallet to get him to Jesus. Verse 5 says, “And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son your sins are forgiven.” When the scribes reasoned in their hearts that ‘only God can forgive sins,’ Jesus confronts them on their poor reasoning and unbelief and  shows His authority to forgive sins by physically healing the paralytic.

What a mystery! In the mixture of faith and unbelief there’s a potential miracle. There are many in my life I am taking to the feet of Jesus and I am praying He sees my faith and heals them. However, I’m encouraged to know that even if there’s unbelief present, He could still show us His glory through a miracle.  He is over all things…even unbelief.

Dear reader, do not grow weary of taking your friends to the feet of Jesus.

Luke 18:1-8


Bearing Burdens

IMG_6221“They stooped over, they have bowed down together; they could not rescue the burden, but have themselves gone into captivity.” Isaiah 46:1-2

God is speaking through Isaiah about the Babylonian gods/idols “Bel” and “Nebo,” and it reminds me of my temptation to do the same.

Sometimes when I see the burdens of others I too can stoop over and bow with the weight of their burden and end up in captivity myself. God does tell us to “bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ,” but He does not mean in our own strength.  He is pointing us to the only one that bears our burdens—Jesus Christ.

Jesus invites us, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30; *Galatians 6:1-5

Prayer: God, may I bear the burdens of others while remaining yoked to Christ so that I may fulfill your commandment of love, for your glory and namesake. Amen.

Glorify God. Magnify Christ. Edify the Brethren.


Guard Your Heart

Eight years ago today I began a relationship that has changed my life for eternity!!

God found it pleasing to draw me to Himself through Jesus Christ and I have never been the same since!!

This rebirth year has been a time of great internal testing and sifting and I have failed often. Through my failures I’ve learned about the unrelenting LOVE and endless GRACE God provides.

Though I am happy to revisit the day I fell in love with Jesus, I am learning:

It’s not how you begin the race but how you FINISH it.

It’s not a matter of salvation but sanctification.

I know my salvation is secure not in what I do, but faith in what Christ has done as being the propitiation for our sins.

My sanctification is God’s purifying work in me which He will complete until Christ returns.

My privilege is to continue to seek and enJOY knowing God. To be still and abide in Christ, listen for His voice to obey, and walk out the good works He has prepared for me.

My prayer is that I would love God:

With all my heart: guarding my heart with all diligence

With all my soul: that I see Jesus as the guardian and lover of my soul

With all my mind: that I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

“What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.”

The Answer Is Jesus

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Swift Salvation

img_3830“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the God who is our salvation. God is to us a God of deliverances. And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.”
Psalm 68:19-20

There’s only One that daily bears our burden of sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 11:28-30)

There’s only One that is our salvation. (Acts 4:12; Matthew 1:21)

There’s only One that delivers us from evil. (Romans 6:8-14; Galatians 5:16)

There’s only One that helps us escape from death. (John 11:25-26; Romans 6:23; John 3:16-17)

His name is Jesus.
Jesus means, “God saves.”

Jesus is the Messiah.
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

I am just a grafted gentile, declaring His good news…

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16

“I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off; and My salvation will not delay. And I will grant salvation in Zion, and My glory for Israel.” Isaiah 46:13


The Truth About Sin

 

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Francisco de Goya: Prisoner

Why do parents train their children to look both ways before they cross a street?

It’s because they love them, and want to protect them from harm.

Why do you think God gave us commandments?

It’s because He loves us and wants to protect us from harm.

It’s interesting the Greek translation of ‘sin’ has similar letters of ‘harm’: hamartia, it means ‘to miss the mark.’ Have you ever tried to throw a wad of paper in the trash and miss it? Well, it was no big deal because you can pick it up. But to miss the mark in one of God’s commands is a matter of life and death.

God does not give us commands because He doesn’t want us to enjoy life, but because He wants us to have life abundant in Christ. Even though sin may ‘feel good’ for the fleeting moment, the consequences are harmful. It is harmful to you, and harmful to others. In fact, it breaks the greatest two commandments: loving God and loving others. Once the counterfeit enjoyment of sin is accomplished it brings forth death. Do not be deceived…sin steals, kills and destroys.

  • Sin destroys relationships: you hide from God and His people; you no longer hear God’s Truth as love but as hate. You become insecure with your relationships with God and others and you become oversensitive and selfish.
  • Sin kills and destroys faith: It produces doubt and insecurity. Doubt that God could forgive ‘this’ sin.
  • Sin kills and steals grace: bringing you condemnation
  • Sin kills and steals confidence: bringing you shame
  • Sin kills and steals your purpose: instead of bringing glory to God you bring shame to yourself and testimony

Sin brings discouragement, depression, and division. Sin binds us. Chokes us. Mutes us. You become entangled and you have given Satan a foothold, and begin to believe his lies, after all he IS the thief who comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.

With this shame and discouragement, you begin to stop reading God’s Word. Even though you’ve been born again of the Spirit of God you become the walking dead. It’s not a matter of eternal salvation but of sanctification-growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. You can’t grow because the ‘lying’ words of weeds wrap around and choke you, making you feel you’re in bondage. If you are a child of God, there’s no joy in your life because your sin has grieved the Holy Spirit living inside you.

What are we to do with this shame and condemnation?

  • Some live alone in bitterness and anger hardening their hearts, perishing until the day they die.
  • Some run full force into sin, searing their consciences and numbing their hearts, denying the toxic affects of sin not realizing the consequences of sin begin in this life, not just in hell.
  • Some live in a façade. Outwardly living ‘normal lives’ pretending everything is ok, but they know they are not. Instead they start to ‘do good works’ and try to make themselves feel good by serving in ministry.
  • Some hear and remember the gospel, turn from their sin and are healed: They remember in order to obey God’s commandment we need a Savior:

(God) He made Him (Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

They remember they have ‘begun in the Spirit and must be perfected by the Spirit’ that ‘apart from Christ’ they can do nothing. They remember it is by grace through faith they were saved, and are being saved. They remember: “Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.”

The longer I walk with God, the more I cannot fathom His love. I see the reason He asked fullsizerender-9Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I see what type of death and condemnation He was trying to protect them from. Indeed it IS the kindness of God that leads to repentance, which leads to abundant life in Christ.

“…He Himself (Jesus) bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might DIE to sin and LIVE to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:24-25

Heavenly Father, thank You for being so loving and patient with me. Thank You for setting boundaries to protect me and others from harm. Thank You for Your loving discipline to help me to return to You when I willfully disobey. Give me a love for You and Your commandments as never before. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

 

May God be glorified. May Christ be magnified. May the brethren be loved and edified.


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