Mercy, Not Sacrifice

Author: Ronica Stromberg — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: December 19, 2022

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Mercy, Not Sacrifice
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In the book of Malachi, we see God’s chosen people imploring Him to be
gracious to them even while they keep disrespecting Him and showing
contempt for His commands.

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By God’s law, they are to make unblemished animal sacrifices to God for
their sins. Instead, they sacrifice blind, diseased, and injured animals.
Even the priests offer God what they themselves do not want. God tells them
He wants the whole tithe and offering from them, not leftover bits. He also
calls out people who have broken faith by marrying unbelievers or divorcing
their spouses without reason.

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The actions of the people suggest that what they want is a savior, not a
lord. They seek a cosmic genie to do their bidding rather than the ruler of
the universe to rule their hearts. They don’t want to love God and their
neighbor, and so they break God’s commands, ignoring Him and disregarding
the vulnerable in their midst.

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But God knows what’s going on in their hearts. In this last book of the Old
Testament, He points to the Savior and Lord the people need: Jesus. Jesus
will be the sinless, unblemished sacrifice people need to receive
forgiveness for their sins and attain eternal life with God. God will make
this sacrifice because He loves us. Jesus will die for us willingly, and
once Jesus is sacrificed for the sins of all, the old laws with animal
sacrifices will be fulfilled. People who put their trust in Jesus,
believing He died and rose again, will be transformed by the Holy Spirit
and be able to lead God-pleasing lives under grace and mercy, not
sacrifice. • Ronica Stromberg

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• How does the book of Malachi make it clear that everyone has fallen short
of loving God and loving their neighbor? (If you want to dig deeper, read
Matthew 22:36-40 and Romans 3:23.)

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• How does Malachi point to Jesus, the Son of God, who has made the only
way for us to have a right relationship with God?

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“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than
burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 (NIV)

 

Read Verses:

Malachi 3:6-Malachi 3:7; Hosea 6:6; Malachi 1:7-Malachi 1:9; Malachi 1:11-Malachi 1:12; Malachi 2:13-Malachi 2:16

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