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Daily Bible reading

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Friday, May 18, 2024
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 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 you 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 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 invokes 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.

Psalm 117: 1 - 2
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.

Gospel of 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."
He said this in a synagogue instruction at Capernaum.
Saturday, April 20, 2024
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 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 Joppa, and because of it, many came to believe in the Lord.

Psalm 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.

Gospel of 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."
Sunday, April 21, 2024
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."
Monday, April 22, 2024
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 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."

Psalm 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?
Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God!

Gospel of John 10: 1 - 10
Jesus said:
"Truly I assure you: whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climbs in some other way is a thief and a marauder. The one who enters through the gate is shepherd of the sheep; the keeper opens the gate for him. The sheep hear his voice as he calls them out. When he has brought out all those that are his, he walks in front of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will not follow a stranger; such a one they will flee, because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
Even though Jesus used this figure with them, they did not grasp what he was trying to tell them. He therefore said to them again: "My solemn word is this: I am the sheepgate. All who came before me were thieves and marauders whom the sheep did not heed. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be safe. He will go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy, I came that they might have life and have it to the full."
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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."
Wednesday, 24, 2024
Acts 12: 24 - 13: 5
Barnabas 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.

Psalm 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 inequity; the nations on the earth you guide.
May God bless us, and may all the ends of the earth fear him!

Gospel of 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 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 has 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."
Thursday, April 25, 2024
1 Peter 5: 5 - 14
Beloved, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: "God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble."
So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.
Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen.
I write this briefly through Silvanus, whom I consider a faithful brother, exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Remain firm in it. The chosen one at Babylon sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. Greet one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Psalms 89: 2 - 3, 6 - 7, 16 - 17
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.
The heavens proclaim your wonders, O Lord, and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can rank with the Lord? Who is like the Lord among the sons of God?
Happy the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of your countenance, O Lord, they walk. At your name they rejoice all the day, and through your justice they are exalted.

Mark 16: 15 - 20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. The Eleven went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Saturday, April 27, 2024
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 you 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.

Psalm 98: 1 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand 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 to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.

Gospel of John 14: 7 - 14
Jesus said to his disciples:
"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 far 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."
Sunday April 28, 2024
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 hook him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Meanwhile throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria the church was at peace. It 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
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.

1 John 3: 18 - 24
Little children, let us love in deed and in truth and not merely talk about it. This is our way of knowing we are committed to the truth and are at peace before him no matter what our consciences may charge us with; for God is greater than our hearts and all is known to him. Beloved, if our consciences have nothing to charge us with, we can be sure that God is with us and that we will receive at his hands whatever we ask. Why? Because we are keeping his commandments and doing what is pleasing in his sight. His commandment is this: we are to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and we are to love one another as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him and he in them. And this is how we know that he remains in us: from the Spirit that he gave us.
Monday, April 29, 2024
Acts 14: 5 - 18
A move was made by Gentiles and Jews, together with their leaders, to abuse and stone Paul and Barnabas. When Paul and Barnabas learned of this, they fled to the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding country, where they continued to proclaim the good news.
At Lystra there was a man who was lame from birth; he used to sit crippled, never having walked in his life. On one occasion he was listening to Paul preaching, and Paul looked directly at him and saw that he had the faith to be saved. He called out to him in a loud voice, "Stand up! On your feet!" The man jumped up and began to walk around. When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, "Gods have come to us in the form of men!" They named Barnabas Zeus; Paul they called Hermes, since he was the spokesman. Even the priest of the temple of Zeus, which stood outside the town, brought oxen and garlands to the gates because he wished to offer sacrifice to them with the crowds.
When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd. "Friends, why do you do this?" They shouted frantically. "We are only men, human like you. We are bringing you the good news that will convert you from just such follies as these to the living God, 'the one who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them.' In past ages he let the Gentiles go their way. Yet in bestowing his benefits, he has not hidden himself completely, without a clue. From the heavens he sends down rain and rich harvests; your spirits he fills with food and delight." Yet even with a speech such as this, they could scarcely stop the crowds from offering sacrifice to them.

Psalm 115: 1 - 4, 15 - 16
Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name give glory because of your kindness, because of your truth. Why should the pagans say, "Where is their God?" Our God is in heaven; whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold, the handiwork of men.
May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Heaven is the heaven of the Lord, but the earth he has given to the children of men.

Gospel of John 14: 21 - 26
Jesus said to his disciples:
He who obeys the commandments he has from me is the man who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father. I too will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, why is it that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?" Jesus answered:
"Anyone who loves me will be true to my word, and my Father will love him; we will come to him and make our dwelling place with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words. Yet the word you hear is not mine; it comes from the Father who sent me. This much have I told you while I was still with you; the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will instruct you in everything, and remind you of all that I told you."
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
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."
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
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.
Thursday, May 2, 2024
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."
Friday, May 3, 2024
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."
Saturday, May 4, 2024
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."
Sunday, May 5, 2024
Acts 10: 25 - 26, 34 - 35, 44 - 48
As Peter entered, Cornelius went to meet him, dropped to his knees before him and bowed low. Peter said as he helped him to his feet, "Get up! I am only a man myself."
Peter proceeded to address them in these words: "I begin to see how true it is that God shows no partiality. Rather, the man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.
Peter had not finished these words when the Holy Spirit descended upon all who were listening to Peter's message. The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were surprised that the gift of the Holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also, whom they could hear speaking in tongues and glorifying God. Peter put the question at that point: "What can stop these people who have received the Holy Spirit, even as we have, from being baptized with water?" So he gave orders that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. After this was done, they asked him to stay with them for a few days.

Psalm 98: 1 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand 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.

First letter of John 4: 7 - 10
Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God. The man without love has known nothing of God, for God is love. God's love was revealed in our midst in this way: He sent his only Son to the world that we might have life through him. Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and has sent his Son as an offering for our sins.

Gospel of John 15: 9 - 17
Jesus said to his disciples:
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, live on in my love. You will live 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. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is about. Instead, I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure, so that all you ask the Father in my name he will give you. The command I give you is this, that you love one another."
Monday, May 6, 2024
Acts 16: 11 - 15
We put out to sea from Troas and set a course straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis; from there we went to Philippi, a leading city in the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We spent some time in that city. Once, on the Sabbath, we went outside the city gates to the bank of the river, where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat down and spoke to the women who were gathered there. One who listened was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple goods from the town of Thyatira. She already reverenced God, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptized, she extended us an invitation: "If you are convinced that I believe in the Lord, come and stay at my house." She managed to prevail on us.

Psalm 149: 1 - 6, 9
Sing to the Lord a new song of praise in the assembly of the faithful. Let Israel be glad in their maker, let the children of Zion rejoice in their king. Let them praise his name in the festive dance, let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord loves his people, and he adorns the lowly with victory. Let the faithful exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their couches; let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.

Gospel of John 15: 26 - -16: 4
Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father - and whom I myself will send from the Father - he will bear witness on my behalf. You must bear witness as well, for you have been with me from the beginning.
I have told you all this to keep your faith from being shaken. Not only will they expel you from synagogues; a time will come when anyone who puts you to death will claim to be serving God! All this they will do to you because they knew neither the Father nor me. But I have told you these things that when their hour comes you may remember my telling you of them."
Tuesday, May 7, 2024
Acts 16: 16 - 34
It was while we were on our way out to the place of prayer that we met a slave girl who had a clairvoyant spirit. She used to bring substantial profit to her masters by fortune telling. The girl began to follow Paul and the rest of us shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God; they will make known to you a way of salvation." She did this for several days until finally Paul became annoyed, turned around, and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you, come out of her!" Then and there the spirit left her.
When her masters saw that their source of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the main square before the local authorities. They turned them over to the magistrates with this complaint: "These men are agitators disturbing the peace of our city! Furthermore, they are Jews, which means they advocate customs which are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice." The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates stripped them and ordered them to be flogged. After receiving many lashes they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was given instructions to guard them well. Upon receipt of these instructions he put them in maximum security, going so far as to chain their feet to a stake.
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as their fellow prisoners listened, a severe earthquake suddenly shook the place, rocking the prison to its foundations. Immediately all the doors flew open and everyone's chains were pulled loose. The jailer woke up to see the prison gates wide open. Thinking that the prisoners had escaped, he drew his sword to kill himself; but Paul shouted to him: "Do not harm yourself! We are all still here." The jailer called for a light, then rushed in and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. After a brief interval he led them out and said, "Men, what must I do to be saved?" Their answer was, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and all your household." They proceeded to announce the word of God to him and to everyone in his house. At that late hour of the night he took them in and bathed their wounds; then he and his whole household were baptized. He led them up into his house, spread a table before them, and joyfully celebrated with his whole family his newfound faith in God.

Psalm 138: 1 - 3, 7 - 8
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple and give thanks to your name, because of your kindness and your truth; for you have made great above all things your name and your promise. When I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me; against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand; your right hand saves me. The Lord will complete what he has done for me; our kindness, O Lord, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands.

Gospel of John 16: 5 - 11
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now that I go back to him who sent me, not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have had all this to say to you, you are overcome with grief. Yet I tell you the sober truth: it is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin, about justice, about condemnation. About sin - in that they refuse to believe in me; about justice - from the fact that I go to the Father and you can see me no more; about condemnation - for the prince of this world has been condemned."
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Acts 17: 15, 22 - - 18:1
Paul was taken as far as Athens by his escort, who then returned with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
Then Paul stood up in the Areopagus and delivered this Address: "Men of Athens, I note that in every respect you are scrupulously religions. As I walked around looking at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, 'To a God Unknown.' Now, what you are thus worshiping in ignorance I intend to make known to you. For the God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands; nor does he receive man's service as if he were in need of it. Rather, it is he who gives to all life and breath and everything else. From one stock he made every nation of mankind to dwell on the face of the earth. It is he who set limits to their epochs and fixed the boundaries of their regions. They were to seek God, yes to grope for him and perhaps eventually to find him - though he is not really far from any one of us. 'In him we live and move and have our being,' as some of our own poets have put it. 'For we too are his offspring.' If we are in fact God's offspring, we ought not to think of divinity as something like a statue of gold or silver or stone, a product of man's genius and his art. God may well have overlooked bygone periods when men did not know him; but now he calls on all men everywhere to reform their lives. He has set the day on which he is going to 'judge the world with justice' through a man he has appointed - one whom he has endorsed in the sight of all by raising him from the dead."
When they heard about the raising of the dead, some sneered, while others said, "We must hear you on this topic some other time." At this point, Paul left them. A few did join him, however, to become believers. Among theses were Dionysius, a member of the court of the Areopagus, a woman named Damaris, and a few others.
After that, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Psalm 148: 1 - 2, 11 - 14
Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights; praise him, all you his angels, praise him, all you his hosts.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples, the princes and all the judges of the earth, young men too, and maidens, old men and boys, praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven, and he has lifted up the horn of his people. Be this his praise from all his faithful ones, from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia.

Gospel of John 16: 12 - 15
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. When he comes, however, being the Spirit of truth he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own but will speak only what he hears, and will announce to you the things to come. In doing this he will give glory to me, because he will have received from me what he will announce to you. All that the Father has belongs to me. That is why I said that what he will announce to you he will have from me."
Thursday, May 9, 2024
Acts 18: 1 - 8
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade, stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue, attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came down from Macadonia, Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. When they opposed him and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your heads! I am clear of responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." So he left there and went to a house belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God; his house was next to a synagogue. Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized.

Psalms 98: 1 - 4
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand 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 16: 16 - 20
Jesus said to his disciples:
"A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me." So some of his disciples said to one another, "What does this mean that he is saying to us, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?" So they said, "What is this 'little while' of which he speaks? We do not know what he means." Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Are you discussing with one another what I said, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy."

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