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I Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice
By Becky Puckett

The Lord is stirring Flip’s heart during the "Walk." He has asked several of us to take his thoughts and put them in words. Brenda Spurlock is writing the daily reports for the "Walk." Becky and I will try to articulate Flip’s thoughts and post them. The theology is from him, we are just putting it down in writing. You’ll be hearing a lot from us as Flip applies God’s Word to this incredible endeavor to "Walk Across America ." – Kristene

I have spoken with Flip several times in the last few weeks and every time we speak a significant thought continues to invade the conversation. The thought is that God’s mercy is found through His judgement. The Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote "For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord; we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than what is in the heart. If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2 Corinthians 5:10-15.

I believe this passage of Scripture very much describes Flip’s heart. God takes the foolish things of the world to confuse the wise. Why is God using the living parable of a broken set of the ten commandments, an actual baby killed by abortion, a white horse named judgement and a donkey named mercy to speak first to His people and then to this great nation of America which has been so graced by Almighty God? Jesus said, "For judgement I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind…………if you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains." John 9:39, 41.

We, the Church of the Living God, have been given eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand. We claim to have sight and yet our actions are evidence of our blindness. "It is time for judgement to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’" 1 Peter 4:17-18 The very fact that we the Church in America, as a whole, have become blind to the law of God, have turned our backs on the four thousand children in their mother’s womb who are killed by abortion everyday in this nation, and believe that God will not bring his remedial judgement upon us because we are in Christ Jesus, is evidence of God’s judgement upon us already. We have become arrogant, overfed and unconcerned. How many of us have been persecuted for righteousness sake? We are a people blessed by God. We are to be poor in spirit with a broken and contrite heart. We are to mourn and grieve over our sin and the sin of those around us. We are to be meek having great strength under control. We are to hunger and thirst for righteousness which is a desire to see justice done. We are to be merciful. We must first act justly that we may show mercy and walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8) We are to be peacemakers (lawkeepers).

During the leadership meeting in February of this year, Flip taught us the deep biblical truths found in Matthew 12:7. "If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent." Matthew 12:7. Jesus quoted this verse from Hosea 6:6. In the context of Hosea 4 – 6 we hear God say, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." He declares there is a spirit of prostitution on the land. "They have deserted the Lord to give themselves over to prostitution." All things are laid bare before Almighty God, even the foundations of the earth. Nothing is hidden from him. "I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from Me. Ephraim you have turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart. They do not acknowledge the Lord." "This is the way of the adulteress: ‘She eats and wipes her mouth and says I have done nothing wrong" Prov. 30:20.

We the Church of the Living God have prostituted ourselves with the world and sat in silence while Satan defies the army of the Living God. We have believed the lie of pluralism that there are many faiths that lead to God, whoever or whatever we choose God to be. We have given ourselves over to lust and sexual immorality bowing down to the idol of self-worship offering our children on the altar of convenience through abortion. We have called evil good and good evil condoning the sin of homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. We have allowed the Law of God to be hidden away in a closet as the world screams out in protest because their deeds are evil and their sin is exposed by the light of God’s word. God’s law brings judgement! The law reveals all sin whether we are the righteous or the unrighteous. "I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them. Then I will go back to My place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek My face; in their misery they will earnestly seek Me." "I cut you to pieces with My prophets, I killed you with the words of My mouth; My judgements flashed like lightning upon you. For I desire mercy not sacrifice and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings."Jeremiah the prophet said we strengthen the hands of the wicked because no one will tell them the truth. To deal with a spirit of prostitution you must kill with the Word of God!

Justice must precede mercy. This is God’s order of things. "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8. The Shepherd will break the limb of a lamb to keep it from straying. God’s love will smash you in order to conform you to His image. We must deal with our sin to go farther up and further into the Kingdom of God . "Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment." James 2:12-1. Judgment must come in order for mercy to come. Mercy means not getting what we deserve. The order is justice, mercy and grace. Justice makes way for mercy, which leads us into grace that we may again walk humbly with our God. Judgment no longer gets the last word.

"A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34. Jesus loved us by laying down his life for us. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. God sent His one and only Son to bear the judgment and condemnation that sin had brought upon the entire world. Those who believe in him are not condemned and those who believe not are condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. God’s love will tear us to pieces and will heal us, it will injure us and bind up our wounds and it will take us to death and the grave. Afterward, He will revive us and restore us that we may live in His Presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him.