Category Archives: Joy / Happiness / Rejoicing

Long For Your Spouse and Your Lord

I find Song of Solomon 8 a bit hard to fully digest and understand at first. I believe it is at once showing us a passionate and virtuous love between bride and groom and also an allegory for our love for Christ as the true body of Christ.

It begins with an innocence that seems to wish that her love had not the trappings of being king, so that she could love him more privately and without anyone despising her.

It includes some additional allegories, one in verse 8 about the younger daughter who may soon be of courting age.  The story highlights that should the girl be virtuous and avoid men’s advances, she will be honored. Should she be weak and susceptible to temptation, then they will try to protect her. This can also apply to us in a spiritual sense in our relationship with Yeshua. Let us not commit spiritual sin by participating with other false beliefs or false gods. Let us be pure and set aside for our Lord.

Another allegory begins later in verse 11 concerning vineyards. It would appear a reference perhaps to our being good stewards to all our Lord provides to us to manage in this life. All that we have belongs to Him. Let us use it well and consistently with His desires and instructions. Let us not be greedy and driven only by our own desires.

At the close, we see again how she can hardly wait for her love to come. Oh that we should be so anxious for our Lord to come and be with us… that we should put that focus in our prayer, Bible study, and worship time as priority above other daily activities.

Song of Solomon 8

The Lovers Speak

    1“Oh that you were like a brother to me
Who nursed at my mother’s breasts.
If I found you outdoors, I would kiss you;
No one would despise me, either.

      2“I would lead you and bring you
Into the house of my mother, who used to instruct me;
I would give you spiced wine to drink from the juice of my pomegranates.

      3“Let his left hand be under my head
And his right hand embrace me.”

      4“I want you to swear, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not arouse or awaken my love
Until she pleases.”

      5“Who is this coming up from the wilderness
Leaning on her beloved?”

“Beneath the apple tree I awakened you;
There your mother was in labor with you,
There she was in labor and gave you birth.

      6“Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the LORD.

      7“Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised.”

      8“We have a little sister,
And she has no breasts;
What shall we do for our sister
On the day when she is spoken for?

      9“If she is a wall,
We will build on her a battlement of silver;
But if she is a door,
We will barricade her with planks of cedar.”

      10“I was a wall, and my breasts were like towers;
Then I became in his eyes as one who finds peace.

      11“Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon;
He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers.
Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.

      12“My very own vineyard is at my disposal;
The thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
And two hundred are for those who take care of its fruit.”

      13“O you who sit in the gardens,
My companions are listening for your voice—
Let me hear it!”

      14“Hurry, my beloved,
And be like a gazelle or a young stag
On the mountains of spices.”

Ask the Lord to help you want more of Him… more worship, more prayer time, more Bible study. Ask Him to make it a desire of your heart and not just another task to be done each day. Let it be exciting to us as if waiting on the one we love to come to see us.

At the same time, for those of us who are married, let us also ask Him to help us continue to long for our spouse in this way that we should cherish our time together and not take it for granted.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Jesus Is The Door and The Good Shepherd

The teaching of Yeshua continues to set many free from the power of sin and death while at the same time causes many more to argue that it is nonsense, or in the case of John 10, that it is from a man who is “demon-possessed”. The truth is that He is the good shepherd. He lays down His life for His sheep. Satan is real. He is the enemy. He knows He can not win, but He wants to steal, kill, and destroy… separating people from relationship with YHWH.

What a blessing to have a good shepherd to protect us. Let us seek to listen to and obey His voice. A good practice is to confirm that whatever you think He is telling you is consistent with the written word of YHWH in the Bible. Many are misled by their own feelings and perhaps even deception by demons. Yeshua’s voice will line up with scripture just as His life on earth and His teachings did.

John 10:1-21

Parable of the Good Shepherd

      1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

      7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

      11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

      19A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”

Do not be dismayed that many will reject His word. Many actually say they accept it, but it is in name only. They change the word and make up their own interpretations to live by. They change God to their image instead of changing themselves to His. However, let us rejoice in our good shepherd. He protects us. He makes a way for us to be forgiven. Ask Him for ears to hear and eyes to see the world clearly as if through His eyes and ears. Study scripture yourself. Do not rely solely on a pastor or parent or friend. True teaching lines up with the written word. Pray that He helps you to hear His voice clearly and obey. In this we will find true joy and peace regardless of circumstances that may happen around us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Blessed Are Those Who Delight In YHWH’s Commandments

What a simple message overall… blessed are those who fear the Lord and delight in His commandments. How often we dismiss this concept of blessing today. We somehow have come to convince people that obedience to YHWH has no consequences. Even those who claim Christianity grab hold of this concept thinking they are saved by grace and thus do not “have to” obey or will receive no blessing for obedience and no curse for disobedience. I think this is more of a problem because there are examples of people who suffer who are submitted to Christ and examples of others who appear to prosper who are wicked. While this is understandable, we should take care to believe YHWH’s word.

Some of it is obvious… if we individually and as a group obey YHWH, we will be blessed simply by each other and how we live together as a community or nation. Life is better with less sin. However, blessing is more than that. It is not always material gain or wealth, though it can be that. No matter what situation you are in, whether in difficulty or prosperity, it is better when you are going through it with the Lord. In other words, the blessing makes the “valleys” easier to navigate and the “mountain tops” more enjoyable. There is so much more to it than just trying to do the bare minimum with YHWH to be “saved”.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord and greatly delight in His commandments.

Psalms 112

Prosperity of the One Who Fears the LORD.

     1Praise the LORD!
How blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.

      2His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.

      3Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.

      4Light arises in the darkness for the upright;
He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.

      5It is well with the man who is gracious and lends;
He will maintain his cause in judgment.

      6For he will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.

      7He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

      8His heart is upheld, he will not fear,
Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries.

      9He has given freely to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever;
His horn will be exalted in honor.

      10The wicked will see it and be vexed,
He will gnash his teeth and melt away;
The desire of the wicked will perish.

Pray the Lord would help you to delight in His commandments and to seek Him more and to experience the fullness of blessing of a life lived submitted to Him in actions and attitudes and not just in words.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Let Your Actions Match Your Statement Of Faith In Christ

We should all strive to live in such a way that our actions match our statement of faith in Christ. For those who would simply acknowledge Christ in name but live according to the world, you are worse than those who just reject Christ outright because you fool yourself and others so that they may not find their way to Him.  We are to be a light, which is to say that we must be very different from the darkness.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Christian Conduct

      12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing; 18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19Do not quench the Spirit; 20do not despise prophetic utterances. 21But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22abstain from every form of evil.

      23Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

      25Brethren, pray for us.

      26Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.

      28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Take Time To Learn About And Celebrate Sukkot

Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles (also Booths), is at first strange to those of us growing up in a Christian church or non Jewish culture because so much of the Old Testament is not taught or not taught as relevant anymore. As the Lord has revealed more to me in my study and prayer it has become quite a meaningful celebration for my family. The celebration is coming up soon, so I encourage you to take some time to learn more and consider participating with your family, or even by yourself.

The Lord wants His people to remember how He led His people out of bondage in Egypt under Moses. He provided for them in the desert and they were in humble accommodations for 40 years.  But even in this He was in control and sustained them, provided for them. He dwelt among them in the Tabernacle in their camp. Even today, we can harvest great value from this celebration if we choose to pursue it. Not only am I reminded of His liberation of His people from slavery, but also of His liberation of us from the law of sin and death through the sacrifice of Jesus. We can leave behind our bondage to sin and He will provide even as the journey may be difficult at times. From a very practical perspective it also reminds me to be thankful and humble, not to take for granted the nice home and secure lifestyle that my family is blessed with.  We are to be reminded that He provides this as well, lest we slip into a bit of arrogance and self dependence and let it begin to separate us from our dependence on the Father. Finally, it reminds us to look forward to the return of the King, when Yeshua returns to dwell among us for His thousand year reign on earth… as the Father dwelt among the Israelites in the Tabernacle in the wilderness.

Leviticus 23:37-44

    37‘These are the appointed times of the LORD which you shall proclaim as holy convocations, to present offerings by fire to the LORD—burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings, each day’s matter on its own day— 38besides those of the sabbaths of the LORD, and besides your gifts and besides all your votive and freewill offerings, which you give to the LORD.

      39‘On exactly the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the crops of the land, you shall celebrate the feast of the LORD for seven days, with a rest on the first day and a rest on the eighth day. 40‘Now on the first day you shall take for yourselves the foliage of beautiful trees, palm branches and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. 41‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42‘You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, 43so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.’” 44So Moses declared to the sons of Israel the appointed times of the LORD.

We have not taken to live in booths in the wilderness as yet for this celebration, but we do set aside the Sabbath days of rest and break out the tent to go camping… so far in our own family room. It creates excitement for the kids and questions about why and what we are celebrating and it all points back to our Father who provides for us and sets us free.  I encourage you to consider taking steps in this direction that the holidays you celebrate would more and more be the holy days that God instructed and that point back to Him rather than (or at least in addition to) so many distracted man-made purposes associated with the holidays our nation(s) celebrate today.

I encourage you to do some personal study on this celebration. I include a few links below. However, be sure to validate everything you read against the truth of scripture.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Yom Teruah – Feast of Trumpets

A few years ago, my family and I began to study about and observe the appointed times of YHWH as laid out in Leviticus 23Growing up a Christian in the United States, I certainly never was taught about the Biblical festivals which YHWH calls His people to celebrate. Most Christians really skip over much of the instruction that our Father has provided in the Old Testament as if it was now irrelevant. It is not! It certainly felt odd or a bit uncomfortable at first as we started to study and learn YHWH’s traditions, which were new to us, but it can be a joyful step in moving closer to YHWH. There is great symbolism and purpose to each of our Fathers festivals. They help us remain focused on Him and His word and bring so much more honor and glory to YHWH and our relationship with Him than the typical holidays we see celebrated today, which are all too often merged with pagan celebrations and rituals from the past.

Yom Teruah, literally “day shouting/blasting”, is the first of Jehovah’s holy days (specified by Leviticus 23:23–32) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. In 2018, it is coming up in the next two weeks (early to mid Sep). It has also come to be called more recently Rosh Hashanah and is celebrated as the start of the new year in YHWH’s calendar (often referred to as the “Jewish calendar”).

Leviticus 23 actually does not document a lot of information about Yom Teruah, and it is worthwhile studying elsewhere in scripture. Today you can find a lot of information about it by simply searching online for Yom Teruah. My suggestion is however, to always test what people say about the celebration and traditions against what the scripture actually says. Often people add to YHWH’s instruction or change the emphasis and create their own traditions which they treat as if they were commands from our Father.

Yom Teruah is characterized by a holy day, a Sabbath, which constitutes a day of rest. The trumpets remind us to prepare for the day of Atonement which will follow. As followers of Christ, we are reminded that the trumpets will blast again when Christ returns. We should now prepare ourselves by asking God to convict us of our sin and help us to repent. Let us turn away from the way of the world and to the ways of God. You can have quite an interesting study as well generally about the use and significance of the shofar (ram’s horn) throughout scripture which is what the term “trumpet” means in this context.

I encourage you to do some personal study on this celebration. I include a few links below. However, be sure to validate everything you read against the truth of scripture. Remember, these are YHWH’s holy days not “Jewish” holidays.

TheMoedim.com

119Ministries.com

SetApartPeople.com

Hebrew4Christians.com

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

When The Righteous Increase, The People Rejoice

Let us pray for an increase of righteous, godly people in our churches, communities, states, nation, and across the world. Let us seek righteousness in God’s word and through relationship with Him. Do not pursue the deceptions of worldly teaching on what is righteous and what is wicked for Satan revels in deception as those that claim God all the while rebel against His ways.

Proverbs 29

Warnings and Instructions

       1A man who hardens his neck after much reproof
Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.

      2When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

      3A man who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
But he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth.

      4The king gives stability to the land by justice,
But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

      5A man who flatters his neighbor
Is spreading a net for his steps.

      6By transgression an evil man is ensnared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

      7The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor,
The wicked does not understand such concern.

      8Scorners set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away anger.

      9When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man,
The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.

      10Men of bloodshed hate the blameless,
But the upright are concerned for his life.

      11A fool always loses his temper,
But a wise man holds it back.

      12If a ruler pays attention to falsehood,
All his ministers become wicked.

      13The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The LORD gives light to the eyes of both.

      14If a king judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

      15The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.

      16When the wicked increase, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

      17Correct your son, and he will give you comfort;
He will also delight your soul.

      18Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained,
But happy is he who keeps the law.

      19A slave will not be instructed by words alone;
For though he understands, there will be no response.

      20Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

      21He who pampers his slave from childhood
Will in the end find him to be a son.

      22An angry man stirs up strife,
And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.

      23A man’s pride will bring him low,
But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

      24He who is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He hears the oath but tells nothing.

      25The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

      26Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the LORD.

      27An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

God’s Provision Is Not Always Easy, But It Is Always Enough

Paul learned how to be content in all circumstances, and he faced some very difficult ones. He rejoiced when others expressed concern for him because for having brothers in Christ who were concerned for him.  When he was amply supplied, he said so. He did not keep asking for more.

These are all important aspects we should pursue in our lives as well.

Philippians 4:10-23

God’s Provisions

      10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 14Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.

      15You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account. 18But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

      21Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

      23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

When Paul says he can do all things through Christ, he is not talking about literally moving mountains or flying or anything silly like that. He is pointing out that Christ has helped him to deal with real life situations with contentment and even joy. Most of us have so much abundance of things, and always have, that we may struggle if we were to suddenly do without them. Paul experienced that and overcame it through Christ.

Let us ask the Spirit to help us be content in all circumstances and to rejoice that we have brothers and sisters in Christ that care for us. Let us not constantly exert our efforts always seeking more worldly things or wealth but rather to focus our efforts seeking an ever growing relationship with our Lord.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Don’t Miss This Advice For All Christians

Don’t miss this advice for all Christians.

  • Live in harmony with the Lord.
  • Help fellow believers.
  • Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS.
  • Dwell on what is true, honorable, right pure, lovely, and of good repute. Practice these things.

Philippians 4:1-9

Think of Excellence

      1Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.

      2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to live in harmony in the Lord. 3Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

      4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

      8Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Blessed Are Those Who Dwell In The House Of The Lord!

Let us find joy in worshiping and praising our Lord and dwelling with Him in this life and the next!

Psalm 84

Longing for the Temple Worship.

For the choir director; on the Gittith. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

1How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O LORD of hosts!

2My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.

4How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.

Selah.

5How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

6Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.

7They go from strength to strength,
Every one of them appears before God in Zion.

8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!

Selah.

9Behold our shield, O God,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.

10For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.