“I don't believe that He is looking for a level of obedience or sacrifice or performances from me that will merit His favor. We needn't worry about "how much" we are willing to place at the altar, or sacrifice in the name of "righteousness." Free is free, at least in my mind.”
I agree with part of this comment. The Lord's mercy and love is greater than anything I can imagine or even merit. and I also agree that His grace is sufficeint and that free is free.
When it comes to describing the Savior there is this verse in the Book of Mormon in Alma 7:20: “He cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong."
If the Lord asks something of us, we are free to choose whether or not to obey or not. His love does not change for us, but our progression might. It is not about "how much" we are willing to place on the altar, but it might matter if it is “less than” or “opposite to” what is being asked.
We are free to choose to do the Lord’s will or our own will. Since the time of Adam and Eve, altars were built and sacrifices made. Instructions were given and men could chose to be in alignment with or divert from it. Abel was obedient in offering what the Lord asked of him, Cain offered a different sacrifice. Cain choose what he wanted to offer, it is not wanted the Lord asked of him. Abel’s was accepted and Cains was not.
So my question is…. What does the Lord require of us if anything? If he does require things, do we need to be obedient or can we act contrary to the things of God and act on our own desires?
I think the Book of Mormon answers this question really well. The voice of Christ was heard among the inhabitants of the earth saying “ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” Blood sacrifice and burnt offerings are done away with from that time forth, but from that time forth we are now asked to offer our broken heart and our contrite spirit.
What does that mean? I am sure there are many that have great answers. I just want to mention one... the broken heart. The word broken is interesting to me. When a horse is referred to as being “broken” it means the horse is now trained and ready to ride. The horse has been “broken” of its wild “natural man” behavior and his own desires. How well the horse has been broken” is determined on how well he actually “listens” and obeys the Masters voice.