Today's Verse: Matthew 9:13

Thursday, August 16, 2007

But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
— Matthew 9:13
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Thoughts on Today's Verse...

God is merciful. Yes, we can probably recall some of those occasions when God was fed up and furious with the unrighteousness and rebellion of his people. But, we also remember them precisely because they did not occur that frequently over the hundreds of years he led the Israelites. God has shown us his heart by being gracious and forgiving with his ungrateful and forgetful people. God revealed his heart to us in Jesus' compassion as the Lord dealt with sick, broken, grieving, and sinful people in his earthly ministry. God has demonstrated his mercy and love with you and me by calling us, while we are sinners, to his side and to bring us salvation (Romans 5:5-11). He will not leave us unchanged and content with our sins. Yes, he does call us to change our ways. However, the generosity, mercy, and love of the almighty God, ruler of heaven and earth, to invite us near and give us a chance to experience his mercy is almost too good to be true — no wonder this same God calls us to share his mercy, love, and grace with others. We have been blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 9:10-15).

My Prayer...

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 loving and merciful. Please fill me with your Spirit and gently confront me in those areas that need growth and transformation. May others see in me a reflection of you and your righteous character, gracious compassion, and faithful lovingkindness. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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Illustration

Illustration of Matthew 9:13 — But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

About This Devotional

Today's Verse is a free daily devotional that includes a Bible verse, thought and prayer.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House.