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I Want You to Show Love, Not Offer Sacrifices

I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices
    Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, Why does your teacher eat with such scum? When Jesus heard this, he said, Healthy people dont need a doctorsick people do. Then he added, Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners. Matthew 9:10-13 (NLT)
    Its been said the first step to getting help, is realizing that you have a problem.
    Now with that said, youd be surprised at how many people there are in this world that honestly dont think that they need to be forgiven of anything. They base their thinking on looking left and right at those who live around them. If they can find someone who is suppose to be looked up to morally, and they find these people breaking a law, or a moral code of ethics, especially a person that is suppose to represent decent and honest values such as a policeman, a politician, a firefighter, a lawyer, or even a Pastor of a church, then they have absolutely no problem justifying their actions or their personal worth.
    Its as if theyre thinking, Well, if theyre suppose to be the standard of what good and righteous is, and they can do this or that, then I am definitely okay.
    Well, news flash; God doesnt measure the standard of righteousness off of Policemen, or Pastors. He measures it off of the only model of perfection weve ever had, and that is Jesus.
    But lets take a look at the other side of the coin? What about those religious folks who present themselves as holier than thou, and upright? You know the type; theyre the ones who would turn their righteous noses up in the air as they look upon the obvious sinners with ill repute. They feel that they have it all figured out, and they want nothing to do with those people who either dont know God, or dont look and act like they do.
    Thats exactly whom Jesus was talking to in the scriptures above; the pious religious people; those who worked real hard at looking religious. So He quotes Hosea 6:6 from the Old Testament, knowing they would have known this scripture.
    I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 (NLT)
    He was trying to tell them,
    I dont want your sacrificial offerings being given to me in some sort of religious way. I dont care if youve went to church your whole life faithfully. I dont care if you read scripture night and day, and can quote it. I want you to have a heart of mercy towards those who are lost. I want you to learn to love them the way I love them. I came and died for all those who knew that they were sinners, and who were truly sorry for their transgressions. Youre hypocrites who think that youve somehow lived good enough because of your religious practices. You dont have any regrets for your sin.
    The only way they could truly know mercy and love is to know Jesus, and that is what He wanted for them. But they only desired to know how to act religiousnot have a true relationship with the Lord. They even went so far as to start questioning the Messiah as to who he associated with.
    Jesus wasnt concerned about what they thought, or of having a spotless reputation at Church. In fact, if we as Christians hung with the same type of people that He did, wed probably be frowned upon as well, and there would be some who questioned our spirituality. Jesus didnt care if He was seen with tax collectors and sinners. He knew that these people needed a Savior, and they knew they needed one too. Jesus met them where they were at; He didnt wait for the to get all cleaned up and decide to come to church one day. And neither should we.
    Truth be known, those people who think that they are righteous; they might not even be saved, because the first step in following Jesus is acknowledging our need and dependence upon Him, and admitting that we dont have all the answers.
    Living a true Christian life is not a popularity contest that has us hanging out with all the Pretty People. It consists of going out of our way and taking the time to put into the lives of those people who have issues, and problems in their lives. And, we can use the example that Jesus gave us as recorded in the scriptures. And that means sharing the Gospel message with the poor, immoral, lonely, and the outcasts.
    You dont have to strive in reaching these people, just let Gods love flow through you to them as God brings them right to you. When you pray, ask God to bring you the divine appointments that He has prepared for you this day, and let the Holy Spirit empower you with boldness and love.
    STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn of Gods wishes for us from Hosea 6:6?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you reaching out to the social outcasts, and misfits or just hanging with the In-Crowd?
    APPLICATION: Ask The Lord to lead you in every encounter you have with those who cross your path. Be willing to take a chance and speak up when the Holy Spirit prompts you. Seek those at Church that you dont know, and reach out and introduce yourself to them.
    Father, Thank You for giving us the perfect example to follow in Your Son. Help me to see the opportunities today Lord to speak to people who I wouldnt normally speak with. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit so that I shine bright. May others see you in me today, and may You give me the words to share with them. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000