6 Oct

Mercy, not Sacrifice


This morning I was praying that God would receive my sacrifice. I have been working around the house, getting stuff ready to sell online; I hope to offer much of that income for ministry to the poor in other third world countries.

I have noticed though, that my closeness with the Lord sometimes suffers a bit, because I am so busy with the extra work. Being a finite thing, my mind only has the capacity for so much at one time. While I’m driving the kids to their events, if I’m thinking about what I’m going to try to get ready to sell next, I’m not thinking about praying to The Lord, as I usually would have.

So this morning, I was praying that the Lord would receive my sacrifice, and He answered with a rebuke. (The image of the rusty bowl is supposed to symbolize my rusty sacrifice).

Immediately after thoroughly praying about this, I opened Scripture (upside down accidentally), to Matthew, and read only three verses before realizing the Lord had already spoken in a powerful way. It was as if Jesus were looking me straight in the eyes and speaking directly to me. The verses were Matthew 9:10-13.

“But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Having just asked the Lord to receive my sacrifice, of course, reading that He desires “mercy and not sacrifice” meant a great deal to me, and so I prayed for understanding.

– I believe the Lord was rebuking me for setting my close relationship with Him aside, even though it be only momentarily such as a quick car ride, to further my work of sacrifice.

– I believe He also asks that I must remember the people around me, especially my family, as my first priority, and the hungry people overseas as a priority under that.

– And finally, I also believe that Jesus was directing me to continue selling online, but with less vigor, less time & thought invested, to make room for continuing the street ministry I began last year, because His focus was on bringing sinners to repentance, not the righteous.

So, what do you think?