AUGUST 11, 2021 CAC LIVING WATER DEVOTIONAL : TOPIC – MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE
LIVING WATERC AC DAILY DEVOTIONAL GUIDE
Wednesday, August 11, 2021.
MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE
Read: Hosea 6:1-6
MEMORISE: For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings.
Jesus, while answering the question raised by the Pharisees on Why He eats with tax collectors and sinners, said, But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy and not sacrifice (Matt.9:13). “Mercy” here may be described as both acts of mercy shown by the Lord, and acts of mercy done by men: both which the Lord wills, desires and delights in.
Offerings and oblations that are simply following an established routine are unacceptable to the Lord who desires that His people serve Him out of devotion, obedience and love. Pharisaic adherence to rules and regulations, behaving legalistically in the keeping of feast and fast days, a mechanical attitude towards worship and religious ordinances and the meaningless repetition of prayers or invocations are futile, and the Lord will not accept such hypocritical behaviour.
Religious rituals can help people understand God and nourish their relationship with Him. That is why God instituted circumcision and the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, and baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament. But a religious ritual is helpful only if it is carried out with an attitude of love for, and obedience to God. If a person’s heart is far from God, ritual will become empty mockery.
What God wants from His people is MERCY i.e. a steadfast and loyal love that respond to His love. He also wants a personal acknowledgement of Him as Lord of their lives. Our heavenly Father and gracious Saviour desires mercy, and not sacrifice. He longs that we come to a deeper knowledge of Him, rather than engaging in the outward ritual of burnt sacrifices.
1. Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to honour You to the depth of my being, in word and deed, in thought and in motive.
2. Heavenly Father, give me the grace to serve You out of devotion, obedience and love.
3. Lord, rid our churches of empty ritual that play down the importance of discipleship in building mature Christians for Your Kingdom.
EXTRA READING FOR TODAY: Psalms 18:18 – 21:7, Romans 4:7 – 5:3