Job 22; Job 23; Job 24; Acts 11

1 Is there anyone, even the wisest, 2 who could ever be of use to God? 3 Does your doing right benefit God, or does your being good help him at all? 4 It is not because you stand in awe of God that he reprimands you and brings you to trial. 5 No, it's because you have sinned so much; it's because of all the evil you do. 6 To make a brother repay you the money he owed, you took away his clothes and left him nothing to wear. 7 You refused water to those who were tired, and refused to feed those who were hungry. 8 You used your power and your position to take over the whole land. 9 You not only refused to help widows, but you also robbed and mistreated orphans. 10 So now there are pitfalls all around you, and suddenly you are full of fear. 11 It has grown so dark that you cannot see, and a flood overwhelms you. 12 Doesn't God live in the highest heavens and look down on the stars, even though they are high? 13 And yet you ask, "What does God know? He is hidden by clouds - how can he judge us?" 14 You think the thick clouds keep him from seeing, as he walks on the dome of the sky. 15 Are you determined to walk in the paths that evil people have always followed? 16 Even before their time had come, they were washed away by a flood. 17 These are the ones who rejected God and believed that he could do nothing to them. 18 And yet it was God who made them prosperous - I can't understand the thoughts of the wicked. 19 Good people are glad and the innocent laugh when they see the wicked punished. 20 All that the wicked own is destroyed, and fire burns up anything that is left. 21 Now, Job, make peace with God and stop treating him like an enemy; if you do, then he will bless you. 22 Accept the teaching he gives; keep his words in your heart. 23 Yes, you must humbly return to God and put an end to all the evil that is done in your house. 24 Throw away your gold; dump your finest gold in the dry stream bed. 25 Let Almighty God be your gold, and let him be silver, piled high for you. 26 Then you will always trust in God and find that he is the source of your joy. 27 When you pray, he will answer you, and you will keep the vows you made. 28 You will succeed in all you do, and light will shine on your path. 29 God brings down the proud and saves the humble. 30 He will rescue you if you are innocent, if what you do is right.
1 I still rebel and complain against God; 2 I cannot keep from groaning. 3 How I wish I knew where to find him, and knew how to go where he is. 4 I would state my case before him and present all the arguments in my favor 5 I want to know what he would say and how he would answer me. 6 Would God use all his strength against me? No, he would listen as I spoke. 7 I am honest; I could reason with God; he would declare me innocent once and for all. 8 I have searched in the East, but God is not there; I have not found him when I searched in the West. 9 God has been at work in the North and the South, but still I have not seen him. 10 Yet God knows every step I take; if he tests me, he will find me pure. 11 I follow faithfully the road he chooses, and never wander to either side. 12 I always do what God commands; I follow his will, not my own desires. 13 He never changes. No one can oppose him or stop him from doing what he wants to do. 14 He will fulfill what he has planned for me; that plan is just one of the many he has 15 I tremble with fear before him. 16 Almighty God has destroyed my courage. It is God, not the dark, that makes me afraid - even though the darkness has made me blind.
1 Why doesn't God set a time for judging, a day of justice for those who serve him? 2 People move property lines to get more land; they steal sheep and put them with their own flocks. 3 They take donkeys that belong to orphans, and keep a widow's ox till she pays her debts. 4 They prevent the poor from getting their rights and force the needy to run and hide. 5 So the poor, like wild donkeys, search for food in the dry wilderness; nowhere else can they find food for their children. 6 They have to harvest fields they don't own, and gather grapes in vineyards of the wicked. 7 At night they sleep with nothing to cover them, nothing to keep them from the cold. 8 They are drenched by the rain that falls on the mountains, and they huddle beside the rocks for shelter. 9 Evil people make slaves of fatherless infants and take the children of the poor in payment for debts. 10 But the poor must go out with no clothes to protect them; they must go hungry while harvesting wheat. 11 They press olives for oil, and grapes for wine, but they themselves are thirsty. 12 In the cities the wounded and dying cry out, but God ignores their prayers. 13 There are those who reject the light; they don't understand it or go where it leads. 14 At dawn the murderer gets up and goes out to kill the poor, and at night he steals. 15 The adulterer waits for twilight to come; he covers his face so that no one can see him. 16 At night thieves break into houses, but by day they hide and avoid the light. 17 They fear the light of day, but darkness holds no terror for them. 18 The wicked are swept away by floods, and the land they own is under God's curse; they no longer go to work in their vineyards. 19 As snow vanishes in heat and drought, so sinners vanish from the land of the living. 20 Not even their mothers remember them now; they are eaten by worms and destroyed like fallen trees. 21 That happens because they mistreated widows and showed no kindness to childless women. 22 God, in his strength, destroys the mighty; God acts - and the wicked die. 23 God may let them live secure, but keeps an eye on them all the time. 24 For a while the wicked prosper, but then they wither like weeds, like stalks of grain that have been cut down. 25 Can anyone deny that this is so? Can anyone prove that my words are not true?
1 The apostles and the other believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 When Peter went to Jerusalem, those who were in favor of circumcising Gentiles criticized him, saying, 3 "You were a guest in the home of uncircumcised Gentiles, and you even ate with them!" 4 So Peter gave them a complete account of what had happened from the very beginning: 5 "While I was praying in the city of Joppa, I had a vision. I saw something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners from heaven, and it stopped next to me. 6 I looked closely inside and saw domesticated and wild animals, reptiles, and wild birds. 7 Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat!' 8 But I said, "Certainly not, Lord! No ritually unclean or defiled food has ever entered my mouth.' 9 The voice spoke again from heaven, "Do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean.' 10 This happened three times, and finally the whole thing was drawn back up into heaven. 11 At that very moment three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea arrived at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to go with them without hesitation. These six fellow believers from Joppa accompanied me to Caesarea, and we all went into the house of Cornelius. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, "Send someone to Joppa for a man whose full name is Simon Peter. 14 He will speak words to you by which you and all your family will be saved.' 15 And when I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came down on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: "John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 It is clear that God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, then, to try to stop God!" 18 When they heard this, they stopped their criticism and praised God, saying, "Then God has given to the Gentiles also the opportunity to repent and live!" 19 Some of the believers who were scattered by the persecution which took place when Stephen was killed went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, telling the message to Jews only. 20 But other believers, who were from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and proclaimed the message to Gentiles also, telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord's power was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord. 22 The news about this reached the church in Jerusalem, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad and urged them all to be faithful and true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and many people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26 When he found him, he took him to Antioch, and for a whole year the two met with the people of the church and taught a large group. It was at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians. 27 About that time some prophets went from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and by the power of the Spirit predicted that a severe famine was about to come over all the earth. (It came when Claudius was emperor.) 29 The disciples decided that they each would send as much as they could to help their fellow believers who lived in Judea. 30 They did this, then, and sent the money to the church elders by Barnabas and Saul.
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