Day Five: The Great Rewarder

“Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15.6)

“Genesis 15.6 became a foundational verse in the theology of the early church, especially in Paul’s writings… James uses it too, but for a different reason: to point out that Abraham’s righteousness, which came by faith alone, also resulted in works of faith (James 2.23). This kind of faith—the faith that justifies us but also produces righteousness in us—is the kind that, according to James, makes someone a friend of God.

“The assurance of the old promise comes after the announcement… ‘I am your shield, your very great reward’ (15.1)… the literal implication here is that God is the reward. It’s a personal commitment; God isn’t just giving Abram a son, many descendants, and land. He’s giving Abram himself. Abram’s focus at this point is clearly on the gifts rather than the Giver… Over time, Abram will learn that knowing God as a great Reward is better than experiencing him as a great Rewarder.” (A Walk Thru the Life of Abraham: Faith in God’s Promises, Baker Books)

Let’s pray: Lord, sometimes I get obsessed with the things that I want, things that I want to see happen in my life. May those things never get in the way of me becoming a friend of God. More than any reward, I desire you, the Great Rewarder…

Let’s worship and remain in the presence of our Great Rewarder. Let’s sing “To the One” (Upperroom) –



Day Four: Do You Feel Small Yet?

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars —if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15.5)

“[T]he Lord ‘took’ Abram outside. The verb is active, almost forceful, as though He bodily picked up the man and set him in a clearing under the night sky… How many stars can a person in a rural area…see? Too many to count. That’s the point. The Lord used the night sky to illustrate the vastness of the nation that will bear Abram’s DNA… If he felt small surveying thousands of balls of fire spanning the heavens from horizon to horizon, then he grasped the Lord’s point: ‘I am God; you’re just a tiny speck compared to My universe. Trust Me; I’ve got your back.’ …Why did God’s words settle the matter for Abram? Because no one can argue with the One who made the stars. God’s omnipotence makes anything possible…” (C. Swindoll, Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith)

If we’re being honest, many times our demands of God are so selfish, petty and short-sighted. God created the stars, planets and galaxies to illustrate his desire and competence to care for us. His plans for us are that awe-inspiring, vast and glorious.

Let’s pray: Father, as we live out our faith, may we “shine like stars” (Phil 2.15) in the midst of this dark and hopeless generation…

Let’s sing “So Wil I” (Upperroom) –



Day Three: Freedom from Fear

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15.1)

“God frees the heart of Abram from fear. God exhorts Abram to be of a tranquil mind; but what foundation is there for such security, unless by faith we understand that God cares for us, and learn to rest in his providence? …Moreover, by the use of the word ‘shield,’ he signifies that Abram would always be safe under his protection. In calling himself his ‘reward,’ He teaches Abram to be satisfied with Himself alone.” (J. Calvin, Commentary on Genesis, vol 1)

Abram was not known to be a fearful person. In Genesis 14, he hunts down the armies of four powerful kings with a small militia in order to rescue his nephew and their families. We have fears that God alone can see. These fears stop us from fully trusting God and from fully living the abundant life. Fear of failure, of being alone, of losing a loved one, of not having control, of not being liked, of not having enough to be happy, etc. What is your greatest fear?

Let’s pray: Lord, may I hear your words today, “Stop being afraid.” You are the only one who can truly protect us from all harm. May I put my trust in you right now…

Let’s be assured of God’s protection over our lives. Let’s sing “Defender” (Upperroom) –



Day Two: Be in Awe of the Extent of His Love for You”

Read the following quotes from the Psalms that speak of the Lord as our shield: “You are a shield around me” (3.3), “You surround them with your favor as with a shield” (5.12), “my shield and the horn of my salvation” (18.2), “You make your saving help my shield” (18.35), “my strength and shield” (28.7), “our help and shield” (33.20), “a sun and shield” (84.11), “their help and shield” (115.9, 10, 11), “my refuge and my shield” (119.114), “my shield, in whom I take refuge” (144.2).

Take a look at this painting by Jonathan Shaw, “Jesus: Our Shield & Refuge”—

In the caption the artist writes, “Be in awe of the extent of His love for you.”

Take a moment to consider how much the Lord has been a shield to you and your loved ones. Think of moments in your life where the Lord was your shield… moments when he protected your family, spared you from pain, preserved your health, guarded your well-being. Many times we are not aware of the lengths God goes to protect us. May the Spirit reveal to you “the extent of His love for you.” Write them down and give thanks to the Lord.

Let’s sing “Peace Be Still” (Lauren Daigle):

Let’s pray: Lord, you surround us with your favor like a shield. You protect us even when we are not aware of the dangers around us. So many things could have happened to us… but you protected us. Thank you, Lord… my shield in whom I take refuge… thank you, Lord…



Day One: May the Lord cause you to flourish!

“God is our shield” comes from one of the earliest revelations of who God says he is to his believers, and therefore foundational to our faith. God is our shield against things that can threaten our well-being. To place our trust in Him is to place ourselves solely under His protection when our well-being is at risk.

Take this moment to declare the truth of God’s word over your life, over your loved ones. As you proclaim that the Lord is your help and shield, may your trust in the Lord deepen.

“All you Israelites, trust in the Lord—

he is their help and shield.

House of Aaron, trust in the Lord—

      he is their help and shield.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord—

      he is their help and shield.

The Lord remembers us and will bless us…

      he will bless those who fear the Lord—

May the Lord cause you to flourish…

May you be blessed by the Lord,

      the Maker of heaven and earth.

It is not the dead who praise the Lord,

      those who go down to the place of silence;

it is we who extol the Lord,

      both now and forevermore.

Praise the Lord.” (Psalm 115.9-18)

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rm 8.16). This is flourishing! Let’s pray: Father, thank you for your protection, thank you for walking with us. Lord, think of us, and bless us today…

Let’s sing “Full Revelation” together: