Thursday: Psalm 4-6; Deuteronomy 32.28-52; 1 Timothy 4.1-5

From: Heather Madden

“For you, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor you will surround him as with a shield.” Psalm 5.12

What does it mean to be righteous? What does being blessed by God look like? What would it look like to experience God's favor like a shield?

God's shield covers all of our vulnerable places. Favor is God's overwhelming love, His all-encompassing, fatherly protection that absorbs the onslaught and attack of the enemy.

What does a righteous man or woman look like? He or she often looks like someone who decides to do the right thing even when no one else is looking. Righteousness looks like praising and worshipping God even when we don't feel like it; or reading God's word and praying even when the words seem as dry as a late-November, brittle leaf.

Blessings of God may come disguised as a trial and we may not even recognize them as a blessing at the time. However, God sees the bigger picture and knows at the end of the trial we will come out of the fire glittering like a fine jewel. Blessings may be obvious like a new fabulous job or a great place to live by the great ocean. Or a blessing could be a smile from a stranger on the T on a day when we are feeling down. 

I don't know about you, but I'm out for "top shelf" blessings. I want to be the recipient of God's favor. 

Lord, help me to live a godly life seeking the best for those around me. Please bless me and grant me your favor. Be gracious and merciful to me, Lord, because I make mistakes. But I desperately want to please you and do what is right!

I live with my husband, Kelly, by the sea. At work, I am a "joy bringer to the elderly." During times of leisure, I can be seen gazing or walking alongside the ocean.