Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

Embrace the mercy of God

The woman that Jesus encountered at the well was drawing water at noon, a time in the desert when she would encounter few others. Most everyone else from her town would be at the well in cooler parts of the day, when they could meet others and socialize as they stood in line.

But her relationships with other women in the town were likely complicated. She had had five husbands and was currently in relationship with a sixth man. Most of the women in the town would have heard about her, some would have talked about her, and several would be in relationship with men she was no longer married to – their mothers, daughters, new wives, and neighbors.

So, I expect, to avoid talking with other people at the well, she came at noon. There she met Jesus.

Jesus talked to her about her relationships. But it had a curious affect. When the townsfolk talked to her about her relationships, it caused her to try to avoid them by going to the well at noon. When Jesus talked to her, it caused her to seek out all the people from the town and tell them that Jesus knew everything she had ever done.

What a difference when Jesus tells us about our sin, compared with when others do! When Jesus talks to us, there is no shame or judgment or condemnation. Jesus forgives, understands and loves.

How good when we can receive the mercy of Jesus for ourselves!

How good when we can give the mercy of Jesus to others!

God, help us to meet Jesus and receive his mercy. Help us to meet others with the mercy of Jesus. Thank you. Amen.

For reflection:

How will you treat yourself, in light of the compassion of Jesus?

How will you treat people rejected by others, in light of the compassion of Jesus?

Charles Finney delivered 22 lectures on renewal of the church and society.  What follows are highlights from his fifth lecture, The Prayer of Faith.

What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24

1. We are to believe in the existence of God.

2. We are to believe that we shall receive the very things that we ask for.

III. When are we bound to believe that we shall have the very things we pray for? When we have evidence of it.

1. God has especially promised the thing.

2. There is a general promise which you may reasonably apply to the particular case before you.

3. Where there is any prophetic declaration that the thing prayed for is agreeable to the will of God. (Daniel 9:2-3)

4. When the signs of the times or the providence of God indicate that a particular blessing is about to be bestowed, we are bound to believe it. [Mat 16:2-3]

5. When the Spirit of God is upon you, and it excites strong desires for any blessing, you are bound to pray for it in faith. (Rom 8:26-27)

V. How We Are To Come Into This State Of Mind.

1. You must first obtain evidence that God will bestow the blessing. Search the Scriptures. You have Bibles; look them over and whenever you find a promise that you can use, fasten it in your mind before you go on; and you will not get through the Book without finding out that God’s promises mean just what they say.

2. Cherish the good desires you have.

3. Entire consecration to God is indispensable to the prayer of faith.

4. You must persevere. Look at Daniel. He prayed twenty-one days, and did not cease till he had obtained the blessing.

5. If you would pray in faith, be sure to walk every day with God. If you do, He will tell you what to pray for. Be filled with His Spirit and He will give you enough objects enough to pray for. He will give you as much of the spirit of prayer as you have strength of body to bear.