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Why does God prefer mercy over sacrifices?


For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
    and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
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
If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. Matthew 12:7
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1
            Jesus quoted this verse from Hosea 6:6 two times and Paul referenced it also in his letter to the Romans.
            God is not impressed by our sacrifices at the altar or through the amount of our offerings.  God is impressed by our heart’s condition, the sacrifices we make internally not externally.  If one’s heart is right, then the sacrifices would be given properly.
            Jesus came to call those who were right with God on the inside and who displayed that by the way they treated people.  People who understand mercy present their bodies as a living sacrifice, worshiping him through their sacrificial hearts.