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Verse of the Day

Proverbs 21:3

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.


The Lord loves when we live out righteousness and mercy as well as when we sacrifice. But this scripture says that He loves righteousness and mercy more than when we sacrifice. Why is this? It is simply a difference in the level of commitment.

Consider two marriages. Sue and Bob work hard at trying to make sure they do not offend one another by harsh words and criticism and firmly believe in living by the 10 commandments. They do not believe in adultery, in lying to each other, they attend church on Sundays, honor their parents, etc.

Now consider Sara and Tom. They too believe being careful not to offend one another and try to uphold God's commandments daily just like Sue and Bob. But in addition to these things, Sara makes uninterrupted time to listen to Tom's struggles at work, tries to include his favorite foods at mealtimes, and values his need to have time alone with her. Likewise, Tom studies his wife and finds ways that express his commitment and love for her. He takes the kids to the park so she can sit down with a book she's been dying to read since Christmas, surprises her with her favorite flowers or a hug after a difficult day with the kids.

The difference between these two marriages is a leap in the level of commitment and love shown to each other. The first couple is trying to remember the 'thou shalt nots' while the other couple is actively living out their love and devotion. Similarly, God want us to devote our lives to Him, to do rightousness and mercy. A sacrifice is an event - giving up of something we value for God (our time, our money, possessions), while being righteous and merciful is a lifestyle containing daily and even hourly sacrifices.

Living out righteousness and mercy is saying no to our desires and placing others needs ahead of our own. This pleases God and glorifies Him when we live selflessly.