Worth Ship Wednesday: Put on Mercy Not Sacrifice
Today in my quiet time with the Lord I was reminded that He desires mercy and not sacrifice. This inspired praise that leads me to worship.
He wants us to be merciful instead of desiring sacrifice, and He teaches this by demonstrating this to us from the beginning through salvation. Then continually as we seek Him day by day.
By faith in His act of mercy. the giving of His Son on the Cross, He demonstrated that He desires mercy. By giving salvation to a people who don’t deserve it is defined as mercy. By crediting righteousness to us when we believe in His merciful act as our saving grace He demonstrates it further.
So why do we come to Him with a list of our sacrifices, or with a list of our short comings as if to compare notes? He doesn’t desire our sacrifices. He doesn’t desire to hold a record of our sins. We think we are being humble, but we are not. We are being unbelievers. We are rejecting His mercy and desiring our sacrifices to be worth something.
Grace and righteousness are gifts. We cannot earn them. We cannot lose them by falling short. They are a gift.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Today we have mercy, salvation, and righteousness by faith. This is the good news. For we all have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) So He gave us His righteousness. (1 Corinthians 5:21) We have to receive by faith what He has done for us. We can’t give away what we don’t have and if God desires that we be merciful then He has to give us mercy.
So He gave.
He gave His all on the cross for us.
Prior to that sin reigned in us. It demanded death according to the law.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NKJV
He gave everything as a gift to you by paying the sin debt. By taking the wrath and anger upon Himself so that it was not taken out on you. You can’t be condemned because He was.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.For what the law could not do in that it was weak in the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh. Romans 8:1-4
Beloved our good works are done out of a heart of love, and a desire to share mercy with others. Not out of sacrifice in order to earn love and righteousness. Our works are to be a reflection of what He has done for us not what we are doing to earn something.
There are those who use James to say that faith without our works is dead. Yes it is in that if we have true faith then it is evidenced in our works. James knew that you could not be saved by works. He wrote with the knowledge that Jesus was His Savior. He was simply saying that true faith has corresponding action. An example of this is faith in Jesus Christ shows mercy to others.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:18-26 NKJV
Abraham showed his faith by corresponding action. It was a fruit of faith not works alone.
If we had to depend on ourselves then where is the good news in that? Then the blood of Christ was given in vain.
Rejoice today because salvation is yours through the mercy of God. Rejoice today because He took your judgement. Rejoice today because you are free from having to save yourself or perform in a way that would earn righteousness.
I desire mercy and not sacrifice are words spoken in the Old Testament (Hosea 6:6) that shout out into the New through the lips of a Savior in Matthew 12.
God showed mercy to Adam with the shedding of blood of animals, and He shows mercy to us through the shed blood of His Son Jesus. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The law is meant to be a schoolmaster that leads us to our need for Jesus. (Galatians 3:24) Not what we use to measure our worth, our salvation, or our righteousness.
We are accepted in the Beloved. For this we lift our voices to God in praise and give Him his worth by acceptance of the great act of mercy He did in the work He did on the cross.
Click on the link below to one of my favorite hymns that reminds me of these truths. As you Let His love and acceptance spill over you through these lyrics it results in worship. Hallelujah!