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Martin Jr.

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Sunday, April 18, 2021
Acts 3: 13 - 19
Peter said to the people:
"The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you handed over and disowned in Pilate's presence when Pilate was ready to release him. You disowned the Holy and Just One and preferred instead to be granted the release of a murderer. You put to death the Author of life. But God raise him from the dead, and we are his witnesses. It is his name, and trust in this name, that has strengthened the limbs of this man who you see and know well. Such faith has given him perfect health, as all of you can observe.
Yet I know, my brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did. God has brought to fulfillment by this means what he announced long ago through all the prophets: that his Messiah would suffer. Therefore, reform your lives! Turn to God, that your sins may be wiped away."

Psalm 4: 2, 4, 7 - 9
When I call, answer me, O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Know that the Lord does wonders for his faithful one; the Lord will hear me when I call upon him.
You destroy all who speak falsehood; the bloodthirsty and the deceitful the Lord abhors.
But I, because of your abundant kindness, will enter your house; I will worship at your holy temple in fear of you, O Lord; because of my enemies, guide me in your justice; make straight your way before me.

"First John 2: 1 - 6
My little ones, I am writing this to keep you from sin. But if anyone should sin, we have, in the presence of the Father, Jesus Christ, an intercessor who is just. He is an offering for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we can be sure of our knowledge of him is to keep his commandments. The man who claims, "I have known him," without keeping his commandments, is a liar; in such a one there is no truth. But whoever keeps his word, truly has the love of God been made perfect in him. The way we can be sure we are in union with him is for the man who claims to abide in him to conduct himself just as he did.

Gospel of Luke 24: 35 - 48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the road and how they had come to know him in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about all this, he himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace to you." In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you disturbed? Why do such ideas cross your mind? Look at my hands and my feet; it is really I. Touch me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do." As he said this he showed them his hands and feet. They were still incredulous for sheer joy and wonder, so he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of cooked fish, which he took and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, "Recall those words I spoke to you when I was still with you: everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms had to be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to the understanding of the Scriptures.
He said to them: "Thus it is written that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. In his name, penance for the remission of sins is to be preached to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of this.
 

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Monday, April 19, 2021
Acts 6: 8 - 15
Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyreneans, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us." All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Psalm 119: 23 - 24, 26 - 27, 29 - 30
Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes.
I declared my ways, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me.

Gospel of John 6: 22 - 29
After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea. The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi,when did you get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."
 

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Acts 7: 51 through 8: 1
Conclusion of Stephen's discourse:
"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are always opposing the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did before you. Was there ever any prophet whom your fathers did not persecute? In their day, they put to death those who foretold the coming of the Just One; now you in your turn have become his betrayers and murderers. You who received the law through the ministry of angels have not observed it."
Those who listened to his words were stung to the heart; they ground their teeth in anger at him. Stephen meanwhile, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked to the sky above and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God's right hand. "Look!" he exclaimed, "I see an opening in the sky, and the Son of Man standing at God's right hand." The onlookers were shouting aloud, holding their hands over their ears as they did so. Then they rushed at him as one man, dragged him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses meanwhile were piling their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As Stephen was being stoned he could be heard praying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." He fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And with that he died. Saul, for his part, concurred in the act of killing. That day saw the beginning of a great persecution of the church in Jerusalem. All except the apostles scattered throughout the country-side of Judea and Samaria.

Psalms 31: 3 -4, 6 - 8. 17, 21
Incline your ear to me, make haste to deliver me! Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety. You are my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O Lord, O faithful God. You hate those who worship vain idols, but my trust is in the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad of your kindness, when you have seen me in my affliction and watched over me in my distress.
Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plottings of men; you screen them within your abode from the strife of tongues.

John 6: 30 - 35
"So that we can put faith in you," they asked of him, "what sign are you going to perform for us to see? What is the 'work' you do? Our ancestors had manna to eat in the desert; according to Scripture, 'He gave them bread from the heavens to eat.'" Jesus said to them:
"I solemnly assure you it was not Moses who gave you bread from the heavens; it is my Father who gives you the real heavenly bread. God's bread comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
"Sir, give us this bread always," they besought him. Jesus explained to them:
"I myself am the bread of life. No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no none who believes in me shall ever thirst."
 

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Acts 8: 1 - 8
Saul, for his part, concurred in the act of killing. That day saw the beginning of a great persecution of the church in Jerusalem. All except the apostles scattered throughout the country-side of Judea and Samaria. Devout men buried Stephen, bewailing him loudly as they did so. After that, Saul began to harass the church. He entered house after house, dragged men and women out, and threw them into jail.
The members of the church who had been dispersed went about preaching the word. Philip, for example, went down to the town of Samaria and there proclaimed the Messiah. Without exception, the crowds that heard Philip and saw the miracles he performed attended closely to what he had to say. There were many who had unclean spirits, which came out shrieking loudly. Many others were paralytics or cripples, and these were cured. The rejoicing in that town rose to fever pitch.

Psalms 66: 1 - 7
Shout joyfully to God, all you on earth, sing praise to the glory of his name; proclaim his glorious praise. Say to God, "How tremendous are your deeds! For your great strength your enemies fawn upon you. Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you, sing praise to your name!"
Come and see the works of God, his tremendous deeds among men. He has changed the sea into dry land; through the river they passed on foot; therefore let us rejoice in him. He rules by his might forever; his eyes watch the nations; rebels may not exalt themselves.

John 6: 35 - 40
Jesus explained to them: "I myself am the bread of life. No one who comes to me shall ever be hungry, no one who believes in me shall ever thirst. But as I told you - though you have seen me, you still do not believe. All that the Father gives me shall come to me; no one who comes will I ever reject, because it is not to do my own will that I have come down from heaven, but to do the will of him who sent me. It is the will of him who sent me that I should lose nothing of what he has given me; rather, that I should raise it up on the last day. Indeed, this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day."
 

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Thursday, April 22, 2021
Acts : 26 - 40
An angel of the Lord then addressed himself to Philip: "Head south toward the road which goes from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route." Philip began the journey. It happened that an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official in charge of the entire treasury of Candace (a name meaning queen) of the Ethiopians, had come on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning home. He was sitting in his carriage reading the prophet Isaiah. The spirit said to Philip, "Go and catch up with that carriage." Philip ran ahead and heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He said to him, "Do you really grasp what your are reading? "How can I, " the man replied, "unless someone explains it to me?" With that, he invited Philip to get in and sit down beside him. This was the passage of Scripture he was reading:
"Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, like a lamb before its shearer he was silent and opened not his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice, Who will ever speak of his posterity, for he is deprived of his life on earth?"
The eunuch said to Philip, "Tell me, if you will, of whom the prophet says this - himself or someone else?" Philip launched out with this Scripture passage as hes starting point, telling him the good news of Jesus. As they moved along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Look, there is some water right there. What is to keep me from being baptized?" He ordered the carriage stopped, and Philip went down into the water with the eunuch and baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away and the eunuch saw him no more. Nevertheless the man went on his way rejoicing. Philip found himself at Azotus next, and he went about announcing the good news in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Psalms 66: 8 - 9, 16 - 17, 20
Bless our God, you peoples, loudly sound his praise; He has given life to our souls, and has not let our feet slip.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue.
Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness!

John 6: 44 - 51
Jesus told them: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets: 'They shall all be taught by God.' Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father - only the one who is from God has seen the Father. Let me firmly assure you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven for a man to eat and never die. I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world."
 

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Friday, April 23, 2021
Acts 9: 1 - 20
Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the Lord's disciples, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus which would empower him to arrest and bring to Jerusalem anyone he might find, man or woman, living according to the new way. As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed about him. He fell to the ground and at the same time heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do your persecute me?" "Who are you, sir?" he asked. The voice answered, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Get up and go into the city, where you will be told what to do." The men who were traveling with him stood there speechless. They had heard the voice but could see no one. Saul got up from the ground unable to see, even though his eyes were open. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. For three days he continued blind, during which time he neither ate nor drank.
There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias to whom the Lord had appeared in a vision. "Ananias!" he said. "Here I am, Lord." came the answer. The Lord said to him, "Go at once to Straight Street, and at the house of Judas ask for a certain Saul of Judas of Tarsus. He is there praying." (Saul saw in a vision a man named Ananias coming to him and placing his hands on him so that he might recover his sight.) But Ananias protested: "Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. He is here now with authorization from the chief priests to arrest any who invoke your name." The Lord said to him" "You must go! This man is the instrument I have chosen to bring my name to the Gentiles, and their kings and to the people of Israel. I myself shall indicate to him how much he will have to suffer for my name." With that Ananias left. When he entered the house he laid his hands on Saul and said, "Saul, my brother, I have been sent by the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the way here, to help you recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and his strength returned to him after he had taken food.
Saul stayed some time with the disciples in Damascus, and soon began to proclaim in the synagogues that Jesus was the Son of God.

Psalms 117: 1 - 2
Alleluia
Praise the Lord, all you nations; glorify him, all you peoples! For steadfast is his kindness toward us, and the fidelity of the Lord endures forever.

John 6: 52 - 59
At this the Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can he give us his flesh to eat?" Thereupon Jesus said to them: "Let me solemnly assure you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. He who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has life eternal and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood real drink. The man who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the Father who has life sent me and I have life because of the Father, so the man who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and died nonetheless, the man who feeds on this bread shall live forever.
 

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Saturday, April 24, 2021
Acts 9: 31 - 42
Meanwhile throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria the church was at peace. It was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord; at the same time it enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Once when Peter was making numerous journeys, he went - among other places - to God's holy people living in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you! Get up and make your bed." The man got up at once. All the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon, upon seeing him, were converted to the Lord.
Now in Joppa there was a certain woman convert named Tabitha (in Greek Dorcas, meaning a gazelle). Her life was marked by constant good deeds and acts of charity. At about that time she fell ill and died. They washed her body and laid it out in an upstairs room. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples who had heard that Peter was there sent two men to him with the urgent request, "Please come over to us without delay." Peter set out with them as they asked. Upon his arrival they took him upstairs to the room. All the widows came to him in tears and showed him the various garments Dorcas had made when she was still with them. Peter first made everyone go outside; then he knelt down and prayed. Turning to the dead body, he said, "Tabitha, stand up." She opened her eyes, then looked at Peter and sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her to her feet. The next thing he did was to call in those who were believers and the widows to show them that she was alive. This became known all over Jopa, and because of it, many came to believe in the Lord.

Psalms 116: 12 - 17
How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord; My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid; you have loosed my bonds. To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.

John 6: 60 - 69
After hearing his words, many of his disciples remarked, "This sort of talk is hard to endure! How can anyone take it seriously?" Jesus was fully aware that his disciples were murmuring in protest at what he had said. "Does it shake your faith?" he asked them.
"What, then, if you were to see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before ...? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words I spoke to you are spirit and life. Yet among you there are some who do not believe." (Jesus knew from the start, of course, the ones who refused to believe, and the one who would hand him over.) He went on to say:
"This is why I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
From this time on, many of his disciples broke away and would not remain in his company any longer. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you want to leave me too?" Simon Peter answered him. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe; we are convinced that you are God's holy one."
 

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Sunday, April 25, 2021
Acts 4: 8 - 12
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke up: "Leaders of the people! Elders! If we must answer today for a good deed done to a cripple and explain how he was restored to health, then you and all the people of Israel must realize that it was done in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified and whom God raised from the dead. In the power of that name this man stands before you perfectly sound. This Jesus is 'the stone rejected by the builders which has become the cornerstone.' There is no salvation in anyone else, for there is no other name in the whole world given to men by which we are to be saved."

Psalm 118:1, 8 - 9, 21 - 23, 26, 28 - 29
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me and have been my savior.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, by the Lord has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you; O my God, I extol you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his kindness endures forever.

First John 3: 1 - 2
See what love the Father has bestowed on us in letting us be called children of God! Yet that is what we are. The reason the world does not recognize us is that it never recognized the Son. Dearly beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall later be has not yet come to light. We know that when it comes to light we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Gospel of John 10: 11 - 18
Jesus said:
"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand - who is no shepherd nor owner of the sheep - catches sight of the wolf coming and runs away, leaving the sheep to be snatched and scattered by the wolf. That is because he works for pay; he has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me in the same way that the Father knows me and I know the Father; for these sheep I will give my life. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must lead them, too, and they shall hear my voice. There shall be one flock then, one shepherd. The Father loves me for this: that I lay down my life to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down freely. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
 

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Monday, April 26, 2021
Acts 11: 1 - 18
All through Judea the apostles and the brothers heard that Gentiles, too, had accepted the word of God. As a result, when Peter went up to Jerusalem some among the circumcised took issue with him, saying, "You entered the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them." Peter then explained the whole affair to them step by step from the beginning: "I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when, in a trance, I saw a vision. An object like a big canvas came down; it was lowered down to me from the sky by its four corners. As I stared at it I could make out four-legged creatures of the earth, wild beasts and reptiles, and birds of the sky. I listened as a voice said to me, 'Get up Peter! Slaughter, then eat.' I replied: 'Not for a moment, sir! Nothing unclean or impure has ever entered my mouth!" A second time the voice from the heavens spoke out: 'What God has purified you are not to call unclean.' This happened three times; then the canvas with everything in it was drawn up again into the sky.
"Immediately after that, the three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea came to the house where we were staying. The Spirit instructed me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers came along with me, and we entered the man's house. He informed us that he had seen an angel standing in his house and that the angel had said: 'Send someone to Joppa and fetch Simon, known also as Peter. In the light of what he will tell you, you shall be saved, and all your household.' As I began to address them the Holy Spirit came upon them, just as it had upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If God was giving them the same gift he gave us when we first believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to interfere with him?" When they heard this they stopped objecting, and instead began to glorify God in these words: "If this be so, then God has granted life-giving repentance even to the Gentiles."

Psalms 42: 2 - 3, 43: 3 - 4
As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Fairer in beauty are you than the sons of men: grace is poured out upon your lips; thus God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one! in your splendor and your majesty ride on triumphant.

Gospel of John 10: 1 - 10
Jesus said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
 

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Acts 11: 19 - 26
Those in the community who had been dispersed by the persecution that arose because of Stephen went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, making the message known to none but Jews. However, some men of Cyprus and Cyrene among them who had come to Antioch began to talk even to the Greeks, announcing the good news of the Lord Jesus to them. The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number of them believed and were converted to the Lord. News of this eventually reached the ears of the church in Jerusalem, resulting in Barnabas' being sent to Antioch. In his arrival he rejoiced to see the evidence of God's favor. He encouraged them all to remain firm in their commitment to the Lord, since he himself was a good man filled with the Holy Spirit and faith. Thereby large numbers were added to the Lord. Then Barnabas went off to Tarsus to look for Saul; once he had found him, he brought him back to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and instructed great numbers. It was in Antioch that the disciples were called Christians for the first time.

Psalms 87: 1 - 7
His foundation upon the holy mountains the Lord loves: The gates of Zion, more than any dwelling of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God! I tell of Egypt and Babylon among those that know the Lord; of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia: "This man was born there." And of Zion they shall say" "One and all were born in her; and he who has established her is the Most High Lord." They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled: "This man was born there." And all shall sing, in their festive dance: "My home is within you."

John 10: 22 - 30
It was winter, and the time came for the feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem. Jesus was walking in the temple area, in Solomon's Portico, when the Jews gathered around him and said, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense" If you really are the Messiah, tell us so in plain words" Jesus answered:
"I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name give witness in my favor, but you refuse to believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father is greater than all, in what he has given me, and there is no snatching out of his hand. The Father and I are one."
 

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Acts 12: 24 - 13: 5
Meanwhile the word of the Lord continued to spread and increase.
Barnabus and Saul returned to Jerusalem upon completing the relief mission, taking with them John Mark.
There were in the church at Antioch certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Symeon known as Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch), and Saul. On one occasion, while they were engaged in the liturgy of the Lord and were fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke to them: "Set apart Barnabas and Saul for me to do the work for which I have called them." Then, after they had fasted and prayed, they imposed hands on them and sent them off.
These two, sent forth by the Holy Spirit, went down to the port of Seleucia and set sail from there for Cyprus. On their arrival in Salamis they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues, John accompanying them as an assistant.

Psalms 67: 2 - 3, 5, 6, 8
May God have pity on us and bless us; may he let his face shine upon us. So may your way be known upon earth; among all nations, your salvation.
May the nations be glad and exult because you rule the peoples in equity; the nations on the earth you guide.
May the peoples praise you, O God, may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

John 12: 44 - 50
Jesus proclaimed aloud" "Whoever puts faith in me believes not so much in me as in him who sent me; and whoever looks on me is seeing him who sent me. I have come to the world as its light, to keep anyone who believes in me from remaining in the dark. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I am not the one to condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save it.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words already has his judge, namely, the word I have spoken - it is that which will condemn him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own; no, the Father who sent me had commanded me what to say and how to speak. Since I know that his commandment means eternal life, whatever I say is spoken just as he instructed me."
 

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Thursday, April 29, 2021
Acts 13: 13 - 25
From Paphos, Paul and his companions put out to sea and sailed to Perga and Pamphylia. There John left them and returned to Jerusalem. They continued to travel on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath day they entered the synagogue and sat down.
After the reading of the law and of the prophets, the leading men of the synagogue sent this message to them: "Brothers, if you have any exhortation to address to the people, please speak up."
So Paul arose, motioned to them for silence, and began: "Fellow Israelites and you others who reverence our God, listen to what I have to say! The God of the people Israel once chose our fathers. He made this people great during their sojourn in the land of Egypt, and with an outstretched arm he led them out of it. For forty years he put up with them in the desert: then he destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan to give to them that country as their heritage at the end of some four hundred and fifty years. Later on he set up judges to rule them until the time of the prophet Samuel. When they asked for a king, God gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled for forty years. Then God removed him and raised up David as their king; on his behalf God testified, 'I have found David son of Jesse to be a man after my own heart who will fulfill my every wish.'
"According to his promise, God has brought forth from this man's descendants Jesus, a savior for Israel. John heralded the coming of Jesus by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. As John's career was coming to and end, he would say, 'What you suppose me to be I am not. Rather, look for the one who comes after me. I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals on his feet.'"

Psalms 89: 2 - 3, 21 - 22, 25, 27
The favors of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, that my hand may be always with him, and that my arm may make him strong.
My faithfulness and my kindness shall be with him, and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me 'You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior.'

John 13: 16 - 20
"I solemnly assure you, no slave is greater than his master; no messenger outranked the one who sent him. Once you know all these things, blest will you be if you put them into practice.
What I say is not said of all, for I know the kind of men I chose, my purpose here is the fulfillment of Scripture. 'He who partook of bread with me has raised his heel against me.' I tell you this now, before it takes place, so that when it takes place you may believe that I AM.
I solemnly assure you, he who accepts anyone I send accepts me, and in accepting me accepts him who sent me."
 

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Friday, April 30, 2021
Acts 13: 26 - 33
Paul continues:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham and you others who reverence our God, it was to us that this message of salvation was sent forth. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their rulers failed to recognize him, and in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets which we read sabbath after sabbath. Even though they found no charge against him which deserved death, they begged Pilate to have him executed. Once they had thus brought about all that had been written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. Yet God raised him from the dead, and for many days thereafter Jesus appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are his witnesses now before the people.
We ourselves announce to you the good news that what God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, in rising up Jesus, according to what is written in the second psalm, 'You are my son; this day I have begotten you.'"

Psalms 2: 6 - 11
"I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: The Lord said to me, "You are my son; this day I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod; you shall shatter them like an earthen dish." And now, O kings, give heed; take warning, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice before him; with trembling pay homage to him, lest he be angry and you perish from the way, when his anger blazes suddenly. Happy are all who take refuge in him!

John 14: 1 - 6
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God and faith in me. In my Fathers's house there are many dwelling places; otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be. You know the way that leads where I go."
"Lord," said Thomas, "we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" Jesus told him:
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me."
 

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Saturday, May 1, 2021
Acts 13: 44 - 52
The following sabbath, almost the entire city gathered to hear the word of God. When the Jews saw the crowds, they became very jealous and countered with violent abuse whatever Paul said. Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly, nonetheless: "The word of God has to be declared to you first of all; but since your reject it and thus convict yourselves as unworthy of everlasting life, we now turn to the Gentiles. For thus were we instructed by the Lord: 'I have made you a light to the nations, a means of salvation to the ends of the earth.'"
The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and responded to the word of the Lord with praise. All who were destined for life everlasting believed in it. Thus the word of the Lord was carried throughout that area.
But some of the Jews stirred up their influential women sympathizers and the leading men of the town, and in that way got a persecution started against Paul and Barnabas. The Jews finally expelled them from their territory. So the two shook the dust from their feet in protest and went on to Iconium. The disciples could not but be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Psalms 98: 1, 2 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has won victory for him, his holy arm.
The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our god.
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.

John 14: 7 - 14
"If you really knew me, you would know my Father also. From this point on you know him; you have seen him."
"Lord," Philip said to him, "show us the Father and that will be enough for us." "Philip," Jesus replied, "after I have been with you all this time, you still do not know me?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not spoken of myself; it is the Father who lives in me accomplishing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works I do. I solemnly assure you, the man who has faith in me will do the works I do, and greater than these. Why? Because I go to the Father and whatever you ask in my name I will do, so as to glorify the Father in the Son. Anything you ask me in my name I will do."
 

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Sunday, May 2, 2021
Acts 9: 26 - 31
When Saul arrived back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples there; but it turned out that they were all afraid of him. They even refused to believe that he was a disciple. Then Barnabas took him in charge and introduced him to the apostles. He explained to them how on his journey Saul had seen the Lord, who had conversed with him, and how Saul had been speaking out fearlessly in the name of Jesus at Damascus. Saul stayed on with them, moving freely about Jerusalem and expressing himself quite openly in the name of the Lord. He even addressed the Greek-speaking Jews and debated with them. They for their part responded by trying to kill him. When the brothers learned of this some of them took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Meanwhile through out all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria the church was at peace. It was being built up and was making steady progress in the fear of the Lord; at the same time it enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 22: 26 - 28, 30 - 32
By your gift I will utter praise at the vast assembly; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him. The lowly shall eat their fill; they who seek the Lord shall praise him; "May your hearts be ever merry!"
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of the nations shall bow down before him.
To him alone shall bow down all who sleep in the earth; before him shall bend all who go down into the dust. And to him my soul shall live; my descendants shall serve him. Let the coming generation be told of the Lord that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born the justice he has shown.

First letter of John 3: 18 - 24
Children, it is the final hour; just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many such antichrists have appeared. This makes us certain that it is the final hour. It was from our ranks that they took their leave - not that the really belonged to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. It only served to show that none of them was ours. But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, so that all knowledge is yours. My reason for having written you is not that you do not know the truth but that you do, and that no lie has anything in common with the truth. Who is the liar? He who denies that Jesus is the Christ. He is the antichrist, denying the Father and the Son. Anyone who denies the son has no claim on the Father, but he who acknowledges the Son can claim the Father as well.
As for you, let what you heard from the beginning remain in your hearts. If what you heard from the beginning does remain in your hearts, then you in turn will remain in the Son and in the Father.

Gospel of John 15: 1 - 8
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I am the vine and my Father is the vine-grower. He prunes away every barren branch but the fruitful ones he trims clean to increase their yield. You are clean already, thanks to the word I have spoken to you. Live on in me, as I do in you. No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, can you bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing. A man who does not live in me is like a withered, rejected branch, picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt. If you live in me, and my words stay part of you, you may ask what you will - it will be done for you. My Father has been glorified in you bearing much fruit and becoming my disciples.
 

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Monday, May 3, 2021
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 15: 1 - 8
I am reminding you, brothers and sisters, of the Gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you unless you believed in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. After that he appeared to James, then to all the Apostles. Last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me.

Psalm 19: 2 - 5
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day pours out the word to day, and night to night imparts knowledge; not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message.

Gospel of John 14: 6 - 14
Jesus said to Thomas, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father?' Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."
 

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Acts 14: 19 - 28
Just at that point, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won the people over. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the town, leaving him there for dead. His disciples quickly formed a circle about him, and before long he got up and went back into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe. After they had proclaimed the good news in that town and made numerous disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra and Iconium first, then to Antioch. They gave their disciples reassurances, and encouraged them to persevere in the faith with this instruction: "We must undergo many trials if we are to enter into the reign of God.' In each church they installed presbyters and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith.
Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. After preaching the message in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had first been commended to the favor of God for the task they had now completed. On their arrival, they called the congregation together and related all that God had helped them accomplish, and how he had opened the door of faith to the gentiles. Then they spent some time there with the disciples.

Psalm 145: 10 - 13, 21
Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, making known to men your might and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works.
May my mouth speak the praise of the Lord, and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Gospel of John 14: 27 - 31
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Peace is my farewell to you, my peace is my gift to you; I do not give it to you as the world gives peace. Do not be distressed or fearful. You have heard me say, 'I go away for a while, and I come back to you.' If you truly loved me you would rejoice to have me go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I tell you now, before it takes place, so that when it takes place you may believe. I shall not go on speaking to you longer; the Prince of this world is at hand. He has no hold on me but the world must know that I love the Father and do as the Father has commanded me. Come, then! Let us be on our way."
 

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Acts 15: 1 - 6
Some men came down to Antioch from Judea and began to teach the brothers: "Unless you are circumcised according to Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved." This created dissension and much controversy between them and Paul and Barnabas. Finally it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some others should go up to see the apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem about this question.
The church saw them off and they made their way through Phoenicia and Samaria, telling everyone about the conversion of the Gentiles as they went. Their story caused great joy among the brothers. When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by that church, as well as by the apostles and the presbyters, to whom they reported all that God had helped them accomplish. Some of the converted Pharisees then got up and demanded that such Gentiles be circumcised and told to keep the Mosaic law.
The apostles and the presbyters accordingly convened to look into the matter.

Psalm 122: 1 - 5
I rejoiced because they said to me, "We will go up to the house of the Lord." And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem - Jerusalem, built as a city with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, according to the decree for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord. In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David.

Gospel of John 15: 1 - 8
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I am the true vine and my Father is the vine-grower. He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones he trims clean to increase their yield. You are clean already, thanks to the word I have spoken to you. Live on in me, as I do in you. No more than a branch can bear fruit of itself apart from the vine, can you bear fruit apart from me. I am the vine, you are the branches, He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing. A man who does not live in me is like a withered, rejected branch, picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt. If you live in me, and my words stay part of you, you may ask what you will - it will be done for you. My Father has been glorified in your bearing much fruit and becoming my disciples.
 

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Thursday, May 6, 2021
Acts 15: 7 - 21
After much discussion, Peter took the floor and said to them: "Brothers, you know well enough that from the early days God selected me from your number to be the one from whose lips the Gentiles would hear the message of the gospel and believe. God, who reads the hearts of men, showed his approval by granting the Holy Spirit to them just as he did to us. He made no distinction between them and us, but purified their hearts by means of faith also. Why, then, do you put God to the test by trying to place on the shoulders of these converts a yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear? Our belief is rather that we are saved by the favor of the Lord Jesus and so are they." At that whole assembly fell silent. They listened to Barnabas and Paul as the two described all the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.
When they concluded their presentation, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. Symeon has told you how God first concerned himself with taking from among the Gentiles a people to bear his name. The words of the prophets agree with this, where it says in Scripture: 'Hereafter I will return and rebuild the fallen hut of David: from its ruins I will rebuild it and set it up again, so that all the rest of mankind and all the nations that bear my name may seek out the Lord. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things known to him from of old.' It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought not to cause God's Gentile converts any difficulties. We should merely write to them to abstain from anything contaminated by idols, from illicit sexual union, from the meat of strangled animals, and from eating blood. After all, for generations now Moses has been proclaimed in every town and has been read aloud in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

Psalm 96: 1 - 3, 10
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands. Sing to the Lord; bless his name; announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
Say among the nations: The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity.

Gospel of John 15: 9 - 11
Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, live on in my love if you keep my commandments, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and live in his love. All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete."
 

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Saturday, May 8, 2021
Acts 16: 1 - 10
Paul arrived first at Derbe; next he came to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, whose mother was Jewish and a believer, and whose father was a Greek. Since the brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him, Paul was anxious to have him come along on the journey. Paul had him circumcised because of the Jews of that region for they all knew that it was only his father who was Greek. As they made their way from town to town, they transmitted to the people for observance the decisions which the apostles and presbyters had made in Jerusalem.
Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in numbers.
They next traveled through Phrygia and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the Holy spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia. When they came to Mysia they tried to go on into Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them. Crossing through Mysia instead, they came down to Troas. There one night Paul had a vision. A man of Macedonia stood before him and invited him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
After this vision, we immediately made efforts to get across to Macedonia, concluding that God had summoned us to proclaim the good news there.

Psalm 100: 1 - 5
Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise; give thanks to him; bless his name, for he is good: the Lord, whose kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Gospel of John 15: 18 - 21
Jesus said to his disciples:
"If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own; the reason it hates you is that you do not belong to the world. But I chose you out of the world. Remember what I told you: no slave is greater than his master. They will harry you as they harried me. They will respect your words as much as they respected mine. All this they will do to you because of my name, for they know nothing of him who sent me."
 

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