Today's post comes from Starla at Keepin It Real
I was recently reading Matthew chapter 9 and verse 13 jumped out at me:
"But go and learn what this means: "I desire compassion, and not sacrifice, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
I continued to the next verse but I wasn't able to go any further. I felt God telling me to GO back to verse 13 and DO exactly as it says. (Ok, I hear you Lord)
The beginning of verse 13 says "But go (don't wait) and learn (don't ignore) what this means.
Jesus was talking to the Pharisees who were questioning why He was dining with tax collectors and sinners. Matthew was a tax collector and tax collectors made their money by taxing people for everything they could think of and were often pretty wealthy. For tax collectors greed was the name of the game.
Sounds like the IRS to me. Boy do I have some personal stories to tell about them.......
I desire compassion (sympathy for others distress and the desire to alleviate it), and not sacrifice (precious offering),
Hosea 6:6...For I delight (take pleasure) in loyalty (faith) rather than sacrifice, And in knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Mark 2:17.....it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
Luke 5:31,32....it is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
1 Timothy 1:15...Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners
Psalm 50:8 I do not reprove (convict) you for your sacrifices, And your burnt offerings are continually before me NASB study note.....God does not reprove them for failing to bring their offerings (v8) but for bringing them with the motive of trying to make the God who owns everything dependent on their generosity.
He elaborates more in the following verses from Psalms 50
10....for every beast of the forest is mine 11.....And everything that moves in the field is mine 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine and ALL it contains. (I love that part. I feel Him saying, "No need for dead animals, PLEASE") 14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving..... (Just say THANK YOU!! And mean it of course)
My best summation of these verses is that God desires your heart more than anything else. That is the only thing you can truly give to Him. Everything else already belongs to Him. Be loyal and understand His will for your life. God takes pleasure in your loyalty and knowledge of Him. Your gratefulness and thankfulness is very precious to Him. God is more eager to bless us than we are to receive His blessings.
Obey God's will and put it into action by learning, seeking, reproving, defending and pleading.
Scripture from the New American Standard Bible (NASB)