But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
Thoughts on Today’s Verse…
God is merciful. Yes, we do remember those blazing occasions when he was fed up and furious with the unrighteousness and rebellion of his people. But, we remember them precisely because they were so striking and because they did not occur that frequently in the hundreds of years he led the Israelites. God has shown us his heart. God showed it to Nineveh despite Jonah. God revealed his heart in Jesus’ compassion to people. God has demonstrated his mercy and love with you and me by calling us, sinners, to his side and to bring us salvation. He will not leave us unchanged and content with our sin. Yes, he does call us to repentance. But, the very fact that the Almighty God, ruler of heaven and earth would pause and invite us near and give us a chance to know his grace is almost too good to be true. That same God calls us to share that same mercy to others.
Thank you, Almighty God, for being tender as well as powerful, forgiving as well as righteous, and merciful as well as holy. Please mature me in these sets of character defining traits. I don’t want to be self-righteous, but righteous. I don’t want to be a bully, but compassionately strong. I don’t want to be sanctimonious, but true and merciful. Please fill me with your Spirit and gently confront me in those areas that need growth and change. May others see in me a reflection of you. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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