Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your posterity. So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, Who had appeared to him. (Genesis 12:7 AMP)
And Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean [four-footed] animal and of every clean fowl or bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (Genesis 8:20 AMP)
And Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone he had put under his head, and he set it up for a pillar (a monument to the vision in his dream), and he poured oil on its top [in dedication]. And he named that place Bethel [the house of God]; but the name of that city was Luz at first. (Genesis 28:18, 19 AMP)
What's going on in these verses? Well, God has just revealed Himself to or blessed Noah, Abram, and Jacob and their response was to praise God and build an altar or a monument so people would always remember what God did in that place.
Almost two months ago I was standing in my kitchen washing the dishes from breakfast and I was staring out the window into the backyard. There was a rough patch of ground in the yard where we had removed a tree years ago. I looked at the area of grass and began remembering the tree. It was a beautiful tree, it had these white petals that would fall down and cover the grass in the backyard, it made the ground almost look like snow in the summer. I could remember times as a child when I would come to visit my grandparents and play underneath the tree. I still have a picture where I am sitting underneath that tree playing with a red ball.
In the same way that patch of ground reminds me of that tree and of visits with my grandparents; these altars or monuments were constructed to remind Abram, Noah, and Jacob, about the provision God had released into their lives at different moments in history.
There are times I wonder what it would look like to see people building similar monuments to God in our modern world. How would our city streets look if there were altars and monuments set up to remind people of the provision God had provided at that specific place.
Instead of tiny crosses and artificial flowers to mark the place of a death along a dangerous road there were alters and monuments built to mark the protection of God over someone’s life. Hospital parking lots would be filled with monuments symbolizing the healing God provided in someone’s life. You wouldn't be able to turn the corner without seeing another one set up to honor the Lord.
I wanted to build my own monument to God once. I pictured a massive stone fifteen feet tall placed in my front yard. I pictured myself writing on it every time God did something in my life. I pictured myself walking out and praying next to it and how I would feel a since of nostalgia as I looked at the stone.
Then I thought how my life should be this monument.
My life should be a living, walking, talking, monument showing others the love and blessing of God in my life.
All the times He has healed me, set me free, protected me from danger, and blessed my life.
I don't need to build a monument to display Gods love; I should display His love through telling people the stories of all He has done.
I wonder what the world would think of Christianity if we all became living monuments for Gods love and provision. Instead of preaching unattainable perfection and condemnation we spoke of Gods love and blessing. And not just telling people about His gifts like we are trying to sell them a TV, but also telling them about Him through personal stories like we just want to share Jesus with them. I wonder if more people would want to serve Jesus.
I want you to do something that has recently helped me. Take a notebook or get a piece of paper, something that you can pull out and read later. Begin to reflect upon and write down all God has done in your life. Write down everything that comes to your mind. For example, the birth of a child, the relationship of a close friend, the healing of a sickness you or someone close to you experienced, a time God blessed you financially, for your salvation, and don't forget Jesus. Again, write everything down and add to it later as you remember different things. Then take a moment and read everything you wrote. Take time and give thanks and praise to God for everything He has done. Get together with friends and share these stories with one another. Often times we get in the habit of reflecting on all that we need God to do and we forget to thank Him for the things He already did. And share your stories with us in this blog. Post them below in the "comment" section to share with others the stories of Gods amazing love.
The next time you have the chance to speak with someone about God, don't simply invite him or her to your church. Instead share one of these stories with them. Tell them about a God that loves them and wants to bless them.