To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice... 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... "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams"... "To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
But you must return to the LORD your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always... Mary.. sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said... "But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
For it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose.
Pr. 21:3, Mic. 6:8, 1 Sam. 15:22, Mk 12:33, Hos. 12:6, Lk. 10:39, 42, Phil. 2:13
So there I am again, having been overtaken by my own sin and fed up. What is my first thought? "What can I do to put things right? What can I give up? How can I make things hard for myself to show the Lord that I'm repentant?" And then I read this. The truth is, I can't make things right. My instinct to punish myself and give things up to earn favour is pointless and futile. He doesn't want it, all the grovelling and writhing. Of course there is a point to fasting and other ascetic exercises, but they will never get me forgiven or more acceptable to God than I already am! All He wants is a heart's desire to do right and the will to do it. For the rest He has made provision. Mary sat at His feet and there she had her heart changed. That's where is starts and ends.