This was on my heart last week and I shared it at a ladies Cookie Exchange.
1 Samuel 15:22 "And Samuel said, hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."
This verse implies that both sacrifice and obedience are good, but obedience is better. As a Mom, I often have to choose between the BEST and the BETTER. Everyone wants our time and attention and there are always good things calling our name. However, we MUST prioritize and place the BEST thing at the top of the list to be sure it is done.
This reminds me of the passage in Luke 10:40-42 "but Martha was cumbered about much serving (she was busy and burdened and worried and frazzled trying to serve other people) and (Martha) came to him (Jesus) and said, Lord dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her that she help me. (I think I've prayed that before!!) And Jesus answered and said 'Martha, Martha, (he had to say her name twice so she would stop and listen) thou art careful (worried) and troubled about many things but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her."
What was the best thing that Mary was doing that will not be taken away from her? In the prior verse it said Mary sat at Jesus' feet and heard His Word. We must do this to know WHAT to obey and to hear His voice. We MUST pray and read our Bible everyday. This is the most important thing to put at the top of your list!!
After you daily pray and read the Word of God (wow, it's the WORD of GOD!), then listen and obey. Listen and obey, it's better than sacrifice.
We tend to sacrifice a lot of things to try to please God but the whole time He's saying "Just obey what I've told you to do."
Some things aren't a mystery. God has told us to do a lot of things in Titus 2...be sober, love your husband, love your children, be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their own husbands. We must do these things so the Word of God is not blasphemed.
We must fight against our culture and the world which tells us to do the opposite. The world tells us to live for ourselves and please ourselves. God calls us to die to ourselves and serve and love our families, keeping Him and them our first priority. I have to say no to a lot of people and a lot of things in order to obey the Lord. If you are serving in other areas but not obeying the clear scripture, it doesn't please God.
As I look at my nativity scene and see Mary, the mother of Jesus kneeling down before Jesus it reminds me of Mary in Luke 10 that knelt at the feet of Jesus. This Christmas season, let us be found like Mary, kneeling at the feet of Jesus, hearing His Word and obeying His voice.