Mercy, Not Sacrifice | Discipleship Prayer Day 13

Let love and mercy be the starting point of everything I do.

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.     ―  Hosea 6:6

Some people see the New Testament as a complete departure and overturning of the Law of Moses and the Old Testament sacrificial system.  However, even in the Old Testament writings we catch glimpses of the heart of God breaking through the words of the ancient writers—mercy, not sacrifice.  It was not thoughtless sacrifice that God desired, but heart-felt mercy; not the aroma from the smoke of burnt offerings floating the heavens, but hearts turned toward the Heavenly Father in all circumstances and situations.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.     ―  Romans 12:1

Paul picks us this theme in Romans when he reminds us that it is because of God’s overwhelming mercy to us that we can then lay ourselves down as living sacrifices on the metaphorical altar. In doing this, we give up our own way for God’s way.  We becomes less so that Christ might become more.  As living sacrifices, we become the pleasing aroma of Christ in the world.

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.      ―  Luke 6:36

What does mercy look like in our world?  There is no single way to express mercy to others. There not even a menu of acceptable mercy entrees from which we must choose. Mercy look like you, growing in Christlikeness, and responding to the needs of people in your world.

Love those who hate you

Pray for them, too

Return evil with good

That’s what Jesus would do

Help the helpless

Speak for the speechless

Sit with the lonely

Be hope for the hopeless

→ If I must err, let it be in the direction of love… 

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