A man inherited a million dollars.
But he was in the hospital with a very bad heart condition.
The family asked his pastor to go talk to him and break the news gently.
They were afraid the news would give him another heart attack and he might die.

The pastor went and visited with him, and prayed with him.
Then the pastor pulled a chair to the side of the bed, sat down and asked,
"If you were, by some miracle, to inherit a million dollars what would you do?"

The man thought a moment, then answered, "Well, I've been blessed, preacher.
I have enough, my family are all well off, and I wouldn't want 'em fighting over money.
So I'd just give it all to the church."

The pastor had a heart attack!

Heb 13:10-17
10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

We "have an Altar!"
Jesus is our altar!
He is the Living Sacrifice for sins, and our Eternal Intercessor for grace!

Jesus suffered outside "the gate" and outside "the camp" of Jerusalem.
For over 1,400 years a religion worshipping one God had been practiced.
They all looked for the "Messiah."
Yet, when he came, they rejected Him, and crucified Him "outside the camp!"
His "reproach" was that rejection.

It is our blessing to go to Christ at any time in prayer.
We should be gladly "bearing His reproach," by going outside ritualistic religion and meeting with Him directly.
We should become "living sacrifices" to Him.

There are four tremendous results when we daily meet with Christ in personal prayer outside the ritualistic religion of man.

First, we shall find Him!
Or, rather, He finds us.
For He is ever waiting upon true believers to enter the prayer closet and speak to Him.
We will not only find Him, but be filled with His hope and joy.

Second, when we are filled with His hope and joy, we shall PRAISE Him.
Therefore, we shall "offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."

Third, our conduct will be different (vs 16).
We will "do good," or practice right moral behavior.
And we will not forget to "communicate" how we were changed and by Whom we have hope.

Fourth, we will be submissive to the body of believers, in particular - the church (vs 17).
It will be our joy to serve under spiritual leaders, knowing that they "watch for your souls."

Remember, dear believer, life-changing prayer begins with your "Altar" at home!
It is where you plead with Christ, surrendering all you are to Him.

The reason for empty altars in our churches is because the altars in our homes are forsaken!

Love ya!