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Acts 2:14-47; Deuteronomy 15; Deuteronomy 16; Job 11

Acts 2:14-47

Peter's Sermon

14 But Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: "Jewish men and all you residents of Jerusalem, let this be known to you and pay attention to my words. 15 For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it's only nine in the morning. 16 On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 17 And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. 18 I will even pour out My Spirit on My male and female slaves in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and remarkable day of the Lord comes; 21 then whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. 22 "Men of Israel, listen to these words: This Jesus the Nazarene was a man pointed out to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through Him, just as you yourselves know. 23 Though He was delivered up according to God's determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him. 24 God raised Him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it. 25 For David says of Him: I saw the Lord ever before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover my flesh will rest in hope, 27 because You will not leave my soul in Hades, or allow Your Holy One to see decay. 28 You have revealed the paths of life to me; You will fill me with gladness in Your presence. 29 "Brothers, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not left in Hades, and His flesh did not experience decay. 32 "God has resurrected this Jesus. We are all witnesses of this. 33 Therefore, since He has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand 35 until I make Your enemies Your footstool.' 36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah!"

Forgiveness through the Messiah

37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: "Brothers, what must we do?" 38 "Repent," Peter said to them, "and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, "Be saved from this corrupt generation!"

A Generous and Growing Church

41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers. 43 Then fear came over everyone, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. 44 Now all the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 So they sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. 46 And every day they devoted themselves [to meeting] together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.

Deuteronomy 15

Debts Canceled

1 "At the end of [every] seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how to cancel debt: Every creditor is to cancel what he has lent his neighbor. He is not to collect [anything] from his neighbor or brother, because the Lord's release of debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may collect [something] from a foreigner, but you must forgive whatever your brother owes you. 4 "There will be no poor among you, however, because the Lord is certain to bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance- 5 if only you obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow every one of these commands I am giving you today. 6 When the Lord your God blesses you as He has promised you, you will lend to many nations but not borrow; you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.

Lending to the Poor

7 "If there is a poor person among you, one of your brothers within any of your gates in the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. 8 Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. 9 Be careful that there isn't this wicked thought in your heart, 'The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near,' and you are stingy toward your poor brother and give him [nothing]. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty. 10 Give to him, and don't have a stingy heart when you give, and because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do. 11 For there will never cease to be poor people in the land; that is why I am commanding you, 'You must willingly open your hand to your afflicted and poor brother in your land.'

Release of Slaves

12 "If your fellow Hebrew, a man or woman, is sold to you and serves you six years, you must set him free in the seventh year. 13 When you set him free, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Give generously to him from your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress. You are to give him whatever the Lord your God has blessed you with. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you; that is why I am giving you this command today. 16 But if your slave says to you, 'I don't want to leave you,' because he loves you and your family, and is well off with you, 17 take an awl and pierce through his ear into the door, and he will become your slave for life. Also treat your female slave the same way. 18 Do not regard it as a hardship when you set him free, because he worked for you six years-worth twice the wages of a hired hand. Then the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

Consecration of Firstborn Animals

19 "You must consecrate to the Lord your God every firstborn male produced by your herd and flock. You are not to put the firstborn of your oxen to work or shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 Each year you and your family are to eat it before the Lord your God in the place the Lord chooses. 21 But if there is a defect in the animal, if it is lame or blind or has any serious defect, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22 Eat it within your gates; both the unclean person and the clean [may eat it], as though it were a gazelle or deer. 23 But you must not eat its blood; pour it on the ground like water.

Deuteronomy 16

The Festival of Passover

1 "Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, because the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night in the month of Abib. 2 Sacrifice to the Lord your God a Passover animal from the herd or flock in the place where the Lord chooses to have His name dwell. 3 You must not eat leavened bread with it. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of hardship-because you left the land of Egypt in a hurry-so that you may remember for the rest of your life the day you left the land of Egypt. 4 No yeast is to be found anywhere in your territory for seven days, and none of the meat you sacrifice in the evening of the first day is to remain until morning. 5 You are not to sacrifice the Passover animal in any of the towns the Lord your God is giving you. 6 You must only sacrifice the Passover animal at the place where the Lord your God chooses to have His name dwell. [Do this] in the evening as the sun sets at the [same] time [of day] you departed from Egypt. 7 You are to cook and eat [it] in the place the Lord your God chooses, and you are to return to your tents in the morning. 8 You must eat unleavened bread for six days. On the seventh day there is to be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God, and you must not do any work.

The Festival of Weeks

9 "You are to count seven weeks, counting the weeks from the time the sickle is first [put] to the standing grain. 10 You are to celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God with a freewill offering that you give in proportion to how the Lord your God has blessed you. 11 Rejoice before the Lord your God in the place where He chooses to have His name dwell-you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, the Levite within your gates, as well as the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow among you. 12 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt; carefully follow these statutes.

The Festival of Booths

13 "You are to celebrate the Festival of Booths for seven days when you have gathered in [everything] from your threshing floor and winepress. 14 Rejoice during your festival-you, your son and daughter, your male and female slave, as well as the Levite, the foreign resident, the fatherless, and the widow within your gates. 15 You are to hold a seven-day festival for the Lord your God in the place He chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, and you will have abundant joy. 16 "All your males are to appear three times a year before the Lord your God in the place He chooses: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths. No one is to appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Everyone [must appear] with a gift suited to his means, according to the blessing the Lord your God has given you.

Appointing Judges and Officials

18 "Appoint judges and officials for your tribes in all your towns the Lord your God is giving you. They are to judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 Do not deny justice or show partiality [to anyone]. Do not accept a bribe, for it blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Pursue justice and justice alone, so that you will live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Forbidden Worship

21 "Do not set up an Asherah of any kind of wood next to the altar you will build for the Lord your God, 22 and do not set up a sacred pillar; the Lord your God hates them.

Job 11

Zophar Speaks

1 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied: 2 Should this stream of words go unanswered and such a talker be acquitted? 3 Should your babbling put others to silence, so that you can keep on ridiculing with no one to humiliate you? 4 You have said, "My teaching is sound, and I am pure in Your sight." 5 But if only God would speak and declare His case against you, 6 He would show you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom has two sides. Know then that God has chosen to overlook some of your sin. 7 Can you fathom the depths of God or discover the limits of the Almighty? 8 [They are] higher than the heavens-what can you do? [They are] deeper than Sheol-what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. 10 If He passes by and throws [someone] in prison or convenes a court, who can stop Him? 11 Surely He knows which people are worthless. If He sees iniquity, will He not take note [of it]? 12 But a stupid man will gain understanding as soon as a wild donkey is born a man! 13 As for you, if you redirect your heart and lift up your hands to Him [in prayer]- 14 if there is iniquity in your hand, remove it, and don't allow injustice to dwell in your tents- 15 then you will hold your head high, free from fault. You will be firmly established and unafraid. 16 For you will forget your suffering, recalling [it only] as waters that have flowed by. 17 [Your] life will be brighter than noonday; [its] darkness will be like the morning. 18 You will be confident, because there is hope. You will look carefully about and lie down in safety. 19 You will lie down without fear, and many will seek your favor. 20 But the sight of the wicked will fail. Their way of escape will be cut off, and their [only] hope will be to die.
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