Psalm 46; Psalm 47; Psalm 48; Acts 28

1 God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. 2 So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; 3 even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence. 4 There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, to the sacred house of the Most High. 5 God is in that city, and it will never be destroyed; at early dawn he will come to its aid. 6 Nations are terrified, kingdoms are shaken; God thunders, and the earth dissolves. 7 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. 8 Come and see what the Lord has done. See what amazing things he has done on earth. 9 He stops wars all over the world; he breaks bows, destroys spears, and sets shields on fire. 10 "Stop fighting," he says, "and know that I am God, supreme among the nations, supreme over the world." 11 The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
1 Clap your hands for joy, all peoples! Praise God with loud songs! 2 The Lord, the Most High, is to be feared; he is a great king, ruling over all the world. 3 He gave us victory over the peoples; he made us rule over the nations. 4 He chose for us the land where we live, the proud possession of his people, whom he loves. 5 God goes up to his throne. There are shouts of joy and the blast of trumpets, as the Lord goes up. 6 Sing praise to God; sing praise to our king! 7 God is king over all the world; praise him with songs! 8 God sits on his sacred throne; he rules over the nations. 9 The rulers of the nations assemble with the people of the God of Abraham. More powerful than all armies is he; he rules supreme.
1 The Lord is great and is to be highly praised in the city of our God, on his sacred hill. 2 Zion, the mountain of God, is high and beautiful; the city of the great king brings joy to all the world. 3 God has shown that there is safety with him inside the fortresses of the city. 4 The kings gathered together and came to attack Mount Zion. 5 But when they saw it, they were amazed; they were afraid and ran away. 6 There they were seized with fear and anguish, like a woman about to bear a child, 7 like ships tossing in a furious storm. 8 We have heard what God has done, and now we have seen it in the city of our God, the Lord Almighty; he will keep the city safe forever. 9 Inside your Temple, O God, we think of your constant love. 10 You are praised by people everywhere, and your fame extends over all the earth. You rule with justice; 11 let the people of Zion be glad! You give right judgments; let there be joy in the cities of Judah! 12 People of God, walk around Zion and count the towers; 13 take notice of the walls and examine the fortresses, so that you may tell the next generation: 14 "This God is our God forever and ever; he will lead us for all time to come."
1 When we were safely ashore, we learned that the island was called Malta. 2 The natives there were very friendly to us. It had started to rain and was cold, so they built a fire and made us all welcome. 3 Paul gathered up a bundle of sticks and was putting them on the fire when a snake came out on account of the heat and fastened itself to his hand. 4 The natives saw the snake hanging on Paul's hand and said to one another, "This man must be a murderer, but Fate will not let him live, even though he escaped from the sea." 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire without being harmed at all. 6 They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after waiting for a long time and not seeing anything unusual happening to him, they changed their minds and said, "He is a god!" 7 Not far from that place were some fields that belonged to Publius, the chief of the island. He welcomed us kindly and for three days we were his guests. 8 Publius' father was in bed, sick with fever and dysentery. Paul went into his room, prayed, placed his hands on him, and healed him. 9 When this happened, all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. 10 They gave us many gifts, and when we sailed, they put on board what we needed for the voyage. 11 After three months we sailed away on a ship from Alexandria, called "The Twin Gods," which had spent the winter in the island. 12 We arrived in the city of Syracuse and stayed there for three days. 13 From there we sailed on and arrived in the city of Rhegium. The next day a wind began to blow from the south, and in two days we came to the town of Puteoli. 14 We found some believers there who asked us to stay with them a week. And so we came to Rome. 15 The believers in Rome heard about us and came as far as the towns of Market of Appius and Three Inns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and was greatly encouraged. 16 When we arrived in Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier guarding him. 17 After three days Paul called the local Jewish leaders to a meeting. When they had gathered, he said to them, "My fellow Israelites, even though I did nothing against our people or the customs that we received from our ancestors, I was made a prisoner in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 After questioning me, the Romans wanted to release me, because they found that I had done nothing for which I deserved to die. 19 But when the Jews opposed this, I was forced to appeal to the Emperor, even though I had no accusation to make against my own people. 20 That is why I asked to see you and talk with you. As a matter of fact, I am bound in chains like this for the sake of him for whom the people of Israel hope." 21 They said to him, "We have not received any letters from Judea about you, nor have any of our people come from there with any news or anything bad to say about you. 22 But we would like to hear your ideas, because we know that everywhere people speak against this party to which you belong." 23 So they set a date with Paul, and a large number of them came that day to the place where Paul was staying. From morning till night he explained to them his message about the Kingdom of God, and he tried to convince them about Jesus by quoting from the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets. 24 Some of them were convinced by his words, but others would not believe. 25 So they left, disagreeing among themselves, after Paul had said this one thing: "How well the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah to your ancestors! 26 For he said, "Go and say to this people: You will listen and listen, but not understand; you will look and look, but not see, 27 because this people's minds are dull, and they have stopped up their ears and closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand, and they would turn to me, says God, and I would heal them.' " 28 And Paul concluded: "You are to know, then, that God's message of salvation has been sent to the Gentiles. They will listen!" 30 For two years Paul lived in a place he rented for himself, and there he welcomed all who came to see him. 31 He preached about the Kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking with all boldness and freedom.
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