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Daily Devotional: Tuesday, November 8 - Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” — Ecclesiastes 12:13

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At the end of the day, win or lose, we must remember that God is more concerned with who we are becoming than what we are accomplishing. The only way to become the person God desires is to honor Him and obey Him no matter what. Listen to the conclusion of King Solomon of Israel, the wisest and one of the wealthiest men in human history: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

The Lord cares more about your obedience than your lip service. King Saul thought God would be impressed with his sacrifices and overlook his disobedience. But the prophet Samuel told him, “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).

The Lord is more interested in your righteousness than your rituals. He is more interested in a relationship with you through Christ than any so-called religious activity. Don’t be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, who were straight hypocrites. Jesus said of them, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules” (Matthew 15:8-9).

Rituals are an expression of our obedience to the Lord, but do not replace our obedience to God’s Word.

— Jerry Birch, Cleveland Cavaliers chaplain

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