Psalm 18; Psalm 19; Acts 20:17-38

1 How I love you, Lord! You are my defender. 2 The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe. 3 I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies. Praise the Lord! 4 The danger of death was all around me; the waves of destruction rolled over me. 5 The danger of death was around me, and the grave set its trap for me. 6 In my trouble I called to the Lord; I called to my God for help. In his temple he heard my voice; he listened to my cry for help. 7 Then the earth trembled and shook; the foundations of the mountains rocked and quivered, because God was angry. 8 Smoke poured out of his nostrils, a consuming flame and burning coals from his mouth. 9 He tore the sky open and came down with a dark cloud under his feet. 10 He flew swiftly on his winged creature; he traveled on the wings of the wind. 11 He covered himself with darkness; thick clouds, full of water, surrounded him. 12 Hailstones and flashes of fire came from the lightning before him and broke through the dark clouds. 13 Then the Lord thundered from the sky; and the voice of the Most High was heard. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered his enemies; with flashes of lightning he sent them running. 15 The floor of the ocean was laid bare, and the foundations of the earth were uncovered, when you rebuked your enemies, Lord, and roared at them in anger. 16 The Lord reached down from above and took hold of me; he pulled me out of the deep waters. 17 He rescued me from my powerful enemies and from all those who hate me - they were too strong for me. 18 When I was in trouble, they attacked me, but the Lord protected me. 19 He helped me out of danger; he saved me because he was pleased with me. 20 The Lord rewards me because I do what is right; he blesses me because I am innocent. 21 I have obeyed the law of the Lord; I have not turned away from my God. 22 I have observed all his laws; I have not disobeyed his commands. 23 He knows that I am faultless, that I have kept myself from doing wrong. 24 And so he rewards me because I do what is right, because he knows that I am innocent. 25 O Lord, you are faithful to those who are faithful to you; completely good to those who are perfect. 26 You are pure to those who are pure, but hostile to those who are wicked. 27 You save those who are humble, but you humble those who are proud. 28 O Lord, you give me light; you dispel my darkness. 29 You give me strength to attack my enemies and power to overcome their defenses. 30 This God - how perfect are his deeds! How dependable his words! He is like a shield for all who seek his protection. 31 The Lord alone is God; God alone is our defense. 32 He is the God who makes me strong, who makes my pathway safe. 33 He makes me sure-footed as a deer; he keeps me safe on the mountains. 34 He trains me for battle, so that I can use the strongest bow. 35 O Lord, you protect me and save me; your care has made me great, and your power has kept me safe. 36 You have kept me from being captured, and I have never fallen. 37 I pursue my enemies and catch them; I do not stop until I destroy them. 38 I strike them down, and they cannot rise; they lie defeated before me. 39 You give me strength for the battle and victory over my enemies. 40 You make my enemies run from me; I destroy those who hate me. 41 They cry for help, but no one saves them; they call to the Lord, but he does not answer. 42 I crush them, so that they become like dust which the wind blows away. I trample on them like mud in the streets. 43 You saved me from a rebellious people and made me ruler over the nations; people I did not know have now become my subjects. 44 Foreigners bow before me; when they hear me, they obey. 45 They lose their courage and come trembling from their fortresses. 46 The Lord lives! Praise my defender! Proclaim the greatness of the God who saves me. 47 He gives me victory over my enemies; he subdues the nations under me 48 and saves me from my foes. O Lord, you give me victory over my enemies and protect me from violent people. 49 And so I praise you among the nations; I sing praises to you. 50 God gives great victories to his king; he shows constant love to the one he has chosen, to David and his descendants forever.
1 How clearly the sky reveals God's glory! How plainly it shows what he has done! 2 Each day announces it to the following day; each night repeats it to the next. 3 No speech or words are used, no sound is heard; 4 yet their message goes out to all the world and is heard to the ends of the earth. God made a home in the sky for the sun; 5 it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom, like an athlete eager to run a race. 6 It starts at one end of the sky and goes across to the other. Nothing can hide from its heat. 7 The law of the Lord is perfect; it gives new strength. The commands of the Lord are trustworthy, giving wisdom to those who lack it. 8 The laws of the Lord are right, and those who obey them are happy. The commands of the Lord are just and give understanding to the mind. 9 Reverence for the Lord is good; it will continue forever. The judgments of the Lord are just; they are always fair. 10 They are more desirable than the finest gold; they are sweeter than the purest honey. 11 They give knowledge to me, your servant; I am rewarded for obeying them. 12 None of us can see our own errors; deliver me, Lord, from hidden faults! 13 Keep me safe, also, from willful sins; don't let them rule over me. Then I shall be perfect and free from the evil of sin. 14 May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you, O Lord, my refuge and my redeemer!
17 From Miletus Paul sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. 18 When they arrived, he said to them, "You know how I spent the whole time I was with you, from the first day I arrived in the province of Asia. 19 With all humility and many tears I did my work as the Lord's servant during the hard times that came to me because of the plots of some Jews. 20 You know that I did not hold back anything that would be of help to you as I preached and taught in public and in your homes. 21 To Jews and Gentiles alike I gave solemn warning that they should turn from their sins to God and believe in our Lord Jesus. 22 And now, in obedience to the Holy Spirit I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit has warned me that prison and troubles wait for me. 24 But I reckon my own life to be worth nothing to me; I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God. 25 "I have gone about among all of you, preaching the Kingdom of God. And now I know that none of you will ever see me again. 26 So I solemnly declare to you this very day: if any of you should be lost, I am not responsible. 27 For I have not held back from announcing to you the whole purpose of God. 28 So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the blood of his Son. 29 I know that after I leave, fierce wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. 30 The time will come when some men from your own group will tell lies to lead the believers away after them. 31 Watch, then, and remember that with many tears, day and night, I taught every one of you for three years. 32 "And now I commend you to the care of God and to the message of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you the blessings God has for all his people. 33 I have not wanted anyone's silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that I have worked with these hands of mine to provide everything that my companions and I have needed. 35 I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must help the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, "There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.' " 36 When Paul finished, he knelt down with them and prayed. 37 They were all crying as they hugged him and kissed him good-bye. 38 They were especially sad because he had said that they would never see him again. And so they went with him to the ship.
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