Tag Archives: music

Mercy, Not Sacrifice

Hosea 6:6, ESV

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Mercy, not sacrifice. Steadfast love, not burnt offerings. An act of the heart not just an act of obedience.

This verse is breaking my heart this morning, echoed by Christ in Matthew 9:13

Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

The whole Church, the Body of Christ needs to ask – what are we giving, mercy or sacrifice? Where is our heart? What is our concern – showing love or saving our own skins? What is the purpose behind our actions, our legalism, our quest for purity, our understanding of forgiveness?

We have been forgiven, cleansed, made new, all by the work of Christ with no effort on our parts beyond acknowledging when the Spirit opened our eyes to see it. So what do we do with that? We offer sacrifice – time and prayers and money and ego – all in hopes someone will see and acknowledge and validate us, that our mansion in heaven might be a little bigger, a bit better furnished. Where do we show mercy? Where do we acknowledge that it is by grace we are saved – us and everyone around us.

Mercy. Not sacrifice. Grace, forgiveness, following the example of Christ to seek out the sinners and what – yell at them about how evil they are? Tell them they’re destined to an eternity of torment? No, that’s not how Christ treated the sinner. Mercy. Grace. Forgiveness. Christians should be active in the work of restoration – renewal and healing and the journey toward wholeness.

Mercy, not sacrifice. God give me strength.

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As I sit

As I sit in my quiet house with my coffee, a thousand things tumble through my head. To-Do lists and reminders and things I want to do with the kids and things we could do as a family and people I need to call and emails I need to write. My world is quiet but inside is not.

Until I make a choice and take out my journal and find a thought to focus on, a thread, and it comes out through my pen onto paper and with the focus comes quiet and with the quiet comes peace.

And then I can listen.

I can listen to what’s deeper than the chatter and the to-do and the should and have to and regrets. There’s a stillness deep inside.

Prepare my heart to worship You, my only desire is to honour You, I’m weak and in need of something fresh. 

Something about music. Something about the sounds and the words sits deep in my soul and comes up just when I need to. It’s a beautiful thing, really. These are lyrics a song that I can’t even find online, a band that I listened to as a teen because they were local and it was something to do. Today, they are my prayer.

Search me today and make me new
Wisdom and hope I pray from you
Break up my selfish, stubborn will
No matter the cost, I’ll serve you still