Psalm 33; Psalm 34; Acts 24

1 All you that are righteous, shout for joy for what the Lord has done; praise him, all you that obey him. 2 Give thanks to the Lord with harps, sing to him with stringed instruments. 3 Sing a new song to him, play the harp with skill, and shout for joy! 4 The words of the Lord are true, and all his works are dependable. 5 The Lord loves what is righteous and just; his constant love fills the earth. 6 The Lord created the heavens by his command, the sun, moon, and stars by his spoken word. 7 He gathered all the seas into one place; he shut up the ocean depths in storerooms. 8 Worship the Lord, all the earth! Honor him, all peoples of the world! 9 When he spoke, the world was created; at his command everything appeared. 10 The Lord frustrates the purposes of the nations; he keeps them from carrying out their plans. 11 But his plans endure forever; his purposes last eternally. 12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord; happy are the people he has chosen for his own! 13 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees all of us humans. 14 From where he rules, he looks down on all who live on earth. 15 He forms all their thoughts and knows everything they do. 16 A king does not win because of his powerful army; a soldier does not triumph because of his strength. 17 War horses are useless for victory; their great strength cannot save. 18 The Lord watches over those who obey him, those who trust in his constant love. 19 He saves them from death; he keeps them alive in times of famine. 20 We put our hope in the Lord; he is our protector and our help. 21 We are glad because of him; we trust in his holy name. 22 May your constant love be with us, Lord, as we put our hope in you.
1 I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising him. 2 I will praise him for what he has done; may all who are oppressed listen and be glad! 3 Proclaim with me the Lord's greatness; let us praise his name together! 4 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears. 5 The oppressed look to him and are glad; they will never be disappointed. 6 The helpless call to him, and he answers; he saves them from all their troubles. 7 His angel guards those who honor the Lord and rescues them from danger. 8 Find out for yourself how good the Lord is. Happy are those who find safety with him. 9 Honor the Lord, all his people; those who obey him have all they need. 10 Even lions go hungry for lack of food, but those who obey the Lord lack nothing good. 11 Come, my young friends, and listen to me, and I will teach you to honor the Lord. 12 Would you like to enjoy life? Do you want long life and happiness? 13 Then keep from speaking evil and from telling lies. 14 Turn away from evil and do good; strive for peace with all your heart. 15 The Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their cries; 16 but he opposes those who do evil, so that when they die, they are soon forgotten. 17 The righteous call to the Lord, and he listens; he rescues them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope. 19 Good people suffer many troubles, but the Lord saves them from them all; 20 the Lord preserves them completely; not one of their bones is broken. 21 Evil will kill the wicked; those who hate the righteous will be punished. 22 The Lord will save his people; those who go to him for protection will be spared.
1 Five days later the High Priest Ananias went to Caesarea with some elders and a lawyer named Tertullus. They appeared before Governor Felix and made their charges against Paul. 2 Then Paul was called in, and Tertullus began to make his accusation, as follows: "Your Excellency! Your wise leadership has brought us a long period of peace, and many necessary reforms are being made for the good of our country. 3 We welcome this everywhere and at all times, and we are deeply grateful to you. 4 I do not want to take up too much of your time, however, so I beg you to be kind and listen to our brief account. 5 We found this man to be a dangerous nuisance; he starts riots among Jews all over the world and is a leader of the party of the Nazarenes. 6 He also tried to defile the Temple, and we arrested him. 8 If you question this man, you yourself will be able to learn from him all the things that we are accusing him of." 9 The Jews joined in the accusation and said that all this was true. 10 The governor then motioned to Paul to speak, and Paul said, "I know that you have been a judge over this nation for many years, and so I am happy to defend myself before you. 11 As you can find out for yourself, it was no more than twelve days ago that I went to Jerusalem to worship. 12 The Jews did not find me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor did they find me stirring up the people, either in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city. 13 Nor can they give you proof of the accusations they now bring against me. 14 I do admit this to you: I worship the God of our ancestors by following that Way which they say is false. But I also believe in everything written in the Law of Moses and the books of the prophets. 15 I have the same hope in God that these themselves have, namely, that all people, both the good and the bad, will rise from death. 16 And so I do my best always to have a clear conscience before God and people. 17 "After being away from Jerusalem for several years, I went there to take some money to my own people and to offer sacrifices. 18 It was while I was doing this that they found me in the Temple after I had completed the ceremony of purification. There was no crowd with me and no disorder. 19 But some Jews from the province of Asia were there; they themselves ought to come before you and make their accusations if they have anything against me. 20 Or let these who are here tell what crime they found me guilty of when I stood before the Council - 21 except for the one thing I called out when I stood before them: "I am being tried by you today for believing that the dead will rise to life.' " 22 Then Felix, who was well informed about the Way, brought the hearing to a close. "When the commander Lysias arrives," he told them, "I will decide your case." 23 He ordered the officer in charge of Paul to keep him under guard, but to give him some freedom and allow his friends to provide for his needs. 24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he talked about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 But as Paul went on discussing about goodness, self-control, and the coming Day of Judgment, Felix was afraid and said, "You may leave now. I will call you again when I get the chance." 26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would give him some money; and for this reason he would call for him often and talk with him. 27 After two years had passed, Porcius Festus succeeded Felix as governor. Felix wanted to gain favor with the Jews so he left Paul in prison.
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