Psalm 119-10, Yod (“hand”)

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 119-10 (Yod, “hand”), verses 73-80:

God. Abba. Father.

We praise you today and thank you for your creation. You are the artist, the potter. You molded us with your very own hands. Then your very breath gave us life. Give us your wisdom. We need understanding in this life. We need your common sense in this world. Raise up others who will gladly open their hands to receive your instruction.

Forgive us when we do things our way; when we are selfish. Your path is the way of truth and life. We reach out our hands to take yours and say, “Lead us, Papa.” May following you be our top priority.

We find joy in the teaching of your word. In times of anxiety or pain, we have found comfort, hope, and peace in your word. It brings us life — just as when you breathed into us, when you first formed us. Thank you.

May we be quick to share with others the joy we have found in you and in your word. May we be zealous for your truth. Give us your wisdom. Let our lives reflect the clarity of your truth and grace to those in this world who hear lies and discord.

Thank you for leading us by your faithful Word. The Word is Jesus. He is our life.

And it is in His name we pray.

Amen.

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

Psalm 119-9 (Tet, “basket”)

Here is today’s prayer from Psalm 119-9 (Tet, “basket”), verses 65-72:

God. Abba. Father.

Our hearts overflow with gratitude! We open our hands and our minds and seek your wisdom. Teach us your ways, oh great King. Be kind and gracious to us. We trust your word.

Today we thank you for discipline. When we go off the path that you have chosen for us, you guide us back with your faithful love and grace. You are good and what you do is good. Even when those who do not follow your ways speak untruths, we will warmly embrace your word. We will not follow them, but we will follow you. Your law and your grace are our delight!

When we find ourselves in trouble, we know that you will cause all things to work together for our good. Because we love you and you love us. We are your children. You are our Father. Your words are more valuable to us than wealth or great riches.

Your Word is Jesus. Your Word is our life!

Through Jesus we thank you.

Amen.

We’re reading through, and with intentionality, praying through the Psalms during this school year. There are 150 Psalms, divided into 180 different readings. See this post for more info.

(c) 2021. Rich Ronald.

So Good.

God is kind, but he’s not soft.

What is something that is “so good” you can’t live without it? You may recall the old ketchup TV ad that used a creative pun to promote their condiment as being “slowwww gooood.”

During the summer months some may have a favorite vacation spot that is “so good!” Others might find it to be an escape with a book or movie that is “so good.”

For the Believer, truly God is so, so good to us. He really is!

The Bible is full of promises of the goodness of God. But here’s the thing: God’s goodness does not depend on our goodness. Thanks to His grace, there  is nothing we have to do to earn His goodness.

Paul says it this way: But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do; God accepts sinners only because they have faith in Him. (Romans 4:5 MSG).

God also confirms His goodness through the writings of Solomon: God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. (Lamentations 3:25 MSG)

So, goodness comes to the faithful who wait, to those who seek.

Why is God good to us? Again from Paul:  God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness He takes us by the hand and leads us into a radical life change. (Romans 2:4 MSG)

That’s why He is good to us! It’s not just for the sake of our happiness or joy. No, God is good to us because He wants to see radical life change in us. He wants us to let Him guide us and lead us to true transformation!

And then, as we are inspired to grow, we can have an impact on those around us.  Think about it. If a group of people is inspired to accept God’s goodness, be led by Him, be more like Him, be transformed by Him, that group can collectively have a God-sized impact on the community in which they live. And that’s where God’s goodness get exciting!

You may be feeling like He is distant or ignoring you right now.  The key is to have the faith to believe, to passionately wait and to diligently seek.

You will see Him. And you will see that God is so, so good.

 

(c) Rich Ronald. 2019.

Tasting Pizza for the First Time

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Pizza Time! Can’t you just taste how good it is?

Have you ever seen that TV show where that guy eats all that weird food from all over the world? Or are you old enough to remember the kid who wouldn’t try the new breakfast cereal until his little brother did?

I put off tasting pizza for my entire childhood. Why? Because its main ingredient was tomato sauce. And because my dad didn’t like tomatoes, I didn’t like tomatoes. Therefore,  I hated pizza. Without ever trying it!

My big sisters were worried that I couldn’t be a normal teenager without liking pizza. So, in the days leading up to my 13th birthday, they encouraged me to give it try.  “Try it. You’ll like it,” was another advertising slogan from my growing-up era.  I gave pizza a taste.  Guess what? I liked it!

Have you ever heard of the scripture from the Bible that says “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).

How do we taste and experience God’s goodness and unfailing love?

Through prayer.

Oak Hills Church Minister Max Lucado is preaching a series of sermons on prayer.  From yesterday’s teaching on the goodness of God and connecting with Him in prayer: “He throws open the pantry of His heart. He has a feast of His kindness at His table. Taste the goodness of the Lord.”

Do we put off praying to God or giving Him a certain problem or situation because we think our problems are too small for God?  Or too big for God? Or perhaps because we are embarrassed by our situation? Or because we think it is ours to deal with, not God’s?

If our situations and problems trouble us, they trouble God.

May I tell you that God will be there for you and is delighted to hear from you? Part of the very nature of God is that He loves to be our problem solver.  His solution is always the right one.

Everything God does is right —  the trademark on all his works is love.

God’s there, listening for all who pray,  for all who pray and mean it.

He does what’s best for those who fear him — hears them call out, and saves them.

God sticks by all who love him.

Psalm 145:17-20a (The Message)

There’s another Bible verse that says “Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father.” (James 1:17).

So, taste the goodness of the Lord today through prayer. And you will see how much He loves you.

(c) 2013. Rich Ronald.