Psalm 26; Psalm 27; Psalm 28; Acts 22

1 Declare me innocent, O Lord, because I do what is right and trust you completely. 2 Examine me and test me, Lord; judge my desires and thoughts. 3 Your constant love is my guide; your faithfulness always leads me. 4 I do not keep company with worthless people; I have nothing to do with hypocrites. 5 I hate the company of the evil and avoid the wicked. 6 Lord, I wash my hands to show that I am innocent and march in worship around your altar. 7 I sing a hymn of thanksgiving and tell of all your wonderful deeds. 8 I love the house where you live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells. 9 Do not destroy me with the sinners; spare me from the fate of murderers - 10 those who do evil all the time and are always ready to take bribes. 11 As for me, I do what is right; be merciful to me and save me! 12 I am safe from all dangers; in the assembly of his people I praise the Lord.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; I will fear no one. The Lord protects me from all danger; I will never be afraid. 2 When evil people attack me and try to kill me, they stumble and fall. 3 Even if a whole army surrounds me, I will not be afraid; even if enemies attack me, I will still trust God. 4 I have asked the Lord for one thing; one thing only do I want: to live in the Lord's house all my life, to marvel there at his goodness, and to ask for his guidance. 5 In times of trouble he will shelter me; he will keep me safe in his Temple and make me secure on a high rock. 6 So I will triumph over my enemies around me. With shouts of joy I will offer sacrifices in his Temple; I will sing, I will praise the Lord. 7 Hear me, Lord, when I call to you! Be merciful and answer me! 8 When you said, "Come worship me," I answered, "I will come, Lord." 9 Don't hide yourself from me! Don't be angry with me; don't turn your servant away. You have been my help; don't leave me, don't abandon me, O God, my savior. 10 My father and mother may abandon me, but the Lord will take care of me. 11 Teach me, Lord, what you want me to do, and lead me along a safe path, because I have many enemies. 12 Don't abandon me to my enemies, who attack me with lies and threats. 13 I know that I will live to see the Lord's goodness in this present life. 14 Trust in the Lord. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the Lord.
1 O Lord, my defender, I call to you. Listen to my cry! If you do not answer me, I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead. 2 Hear me when I cry to you for help, when I lift my hands toward your holy Temple. 3 Do not condemn me with the wicked, with those who do evil - those whose words are friendly, but who have hatred in their hearts. 4 Punish them for what they have done, for the evil they have committed. Punish them for all their deeds; give them what they deserve! 5 They take no notice of what the Lord has done or of what he has made; so he will punish them and destroy them forever. 6 Give praise to the Lord; he has heard my cry for help. 7 The Lord protects and defends me; I trust in him. He gives me help and makes me glad; I praise him with joyful songs. 8 The Lord protects his people; he defends and saves his chosen king. 9 Save your people, Lord, and bless those who are yours. Be their shepherd, and take care of them forever.
1 "My fellow Jews, listen to me as I make my defense before you!" 2 When they heard him speaking to them in Hebrew, they became even quieter; and Paul went on: 3 "I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up here in Jerusalem as a student of Gamaliel. I received strict instruction in the Law of our ancestors and was just as dedicated to God as are all of you who are here today. 4 I persecuted to the death the people who followed this Way. I arrested men and women and threw them into prison. 5 The High Priest and the whole Council can prove that I am telling the truth. I received from them letters written to fellow Jews in Damascus, so I went there to arrest these people and bring them back in chains to Jerusalem to be punished. 6 "As I was traveling and coming near Damascus, about midday a bright light from the sky flashed suddenly around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, "Saul, Saul! Why do you persecute me?' 8 "Who are you, Lord?' I asked. "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute,' he said to me. 9 The men with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 I asked, "What shall I do, Lord?' and the Lord said to me, "Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything that God has determined for you to do.' 11 I was blind because of the bright light, and so my companions took me by the hand and led me into Damascus. 12 "In that city was a man named Ananias, a religious man who obeyed our Law and was highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He came to me, stood by me, and said, "Brother Saul, see again!' At that very moment I saw again and looked at him. 14 He said, "The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will, to see his righteous Servant, and to hear him speaking with his own voice. 15 For you will be a witness for him to tell everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 And now, why wait any longer? Get up and be baptized and have your sins washed away by praying to him.' 17 "I went back to Jerusalem, and while I was praying in the Temple, I had a vision, 18 in which I saw the Lord, as he said to me, "Hurry and leave Jerusalem quickly, because the people here will not accept your witness about me.' 19 "Lord,' I answered, "they know very well that I went to the synagogues and arrested and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when your witness Stephen was put to death, I myself was there, approving of his murder and taking care of the cloaks of his murderers.' 21 "Go,' the Lord said to me, "for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.' " 22 The people listened to Paul until he said this; but then they started shouting at the top of their voices, "Away with him! Kill him! He's not fit to live!" 23 They were screaming, waving their clothes, and throwing dust up in the air. 24 The Roman commander ordered his men to take Paul into the fort, and he told them to whip him in order to find out why the Jews were screaming like this against him. 25 But when they had tied him up to be whipped, Paul said to the officer standing there, "Is it lawful for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn't even been tried for any crime?" 26 When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked him, "What are you doing? That man is a Roman citizen!" 27 So the commander went to Paul and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?" "Yes," answered Paul. 28 The commander said, "I became one by paying a large amount of money." "But I am one by birth," Paul answered. 29 At once the men who were going to question Paul drew back from him; and the commander was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had put him in chains. 30 The commander wanted to find out for sure what the Jews were accusing Paul of; so the next day he had Paul's chains taken off and ordered the chief priests and the whole Council to meet. Then he took Paul and made him stand before them.
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