A gift, returned

News | May 11, 2017

Editor’s note: St. Paul’s blood donor day will be on Wednesday, May 17, from 2-6 p.m. Sign up to donate blood.

Lee Marbach first gave blood in high school. Then, when he went to work at Russell in Davenport, his employer’s blood drives and location right across the street from the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center made it very easy for him to continue to give.

As the years went on, he donated 40 times.

“It was silly for me not to give,” he said. “It’s just something I’ve always believed in.”

Then, earlier this year, Lee was at the Habitat for Humanity warehouse for a volunteer day with Russell. Lee also serves on the board at Habitat. He hadn’t been feeling all that great for a few weeks, but was happy to be at Habitat working on pre-fab walls for a new home. During the workday, he nearly fainted. Staff and fellow volunteers got him to conference room. His wife, Julia, came and took him to the emergency room.

After a few tests, doctors saw that his hemoglobin level was at a 5. An adult male’s levels should be three times that. Additional testing revealed the Lee was bleeding internally.

“I received three units that night, and then a fourth the next day,” Lee said.

Even more tests, and doctors found the problem. Surgery ensued, followed by a challenging recovery. One of the pieces of information that helped doctors was that Lee’s hemoglobin was fine the last time he gave blood, in January. It’s something that is tested each time a person gives blood.

Lee is now back to work. He looks forward to being able to donate again, but will need to wait a bit to do so. While he was in the hospital recovering, Lee had to cancel his next blood donation appointment, he said.

“Now I see the other side of it,” he said. “Blood saves lives.”

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Acts 2:14-32

14But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.15“For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says,

‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALLMANKIND;

AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,

AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS,

AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

18EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN,

I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT

And they shall prophesy.

19‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE

AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW,

BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.

20‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS

AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,

BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.

21‘AND IT SHALL BE THATEVERYONE WHOCALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

22“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—23this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.24“But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.25“For David says of Him,

‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;

FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

26‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;

MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;

27BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,

NORALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TOUNDERGO DECAY.

28‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;

YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’

29“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.30“And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAToneOF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,31he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.32“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

1 Peter 1:3-9

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

John 20:19-31

19So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, “Peace be with you.”20And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.21So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”22And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23“If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.25So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

26After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”27Then He *said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”29Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Why This Gospel Was Written

30Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;31but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Acts 2:14-41

14But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words.15“For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day;16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

17‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says,

‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALLMANKIND;

AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY,

AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS,

AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;

18EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN,

I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT

And they shall prophesy.

19‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE

AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW,

BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE.

20‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS

AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD,

BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME.

21‘AND IT SHALL BE THATEVERYONE WHOCALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.’

22“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know—23this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.24“But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.25“For David says of Him,

‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;

FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

26‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;

MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;

27BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,

NORALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TOUNDERGO DECAY.

28‘YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;

YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’

29“Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.30“And so, because he was a prophet and knew that GOD HAD SWORN TO HIM WITH AN OATH TO SEAToneOF HIS DESCENDANTS ON HIS THRONE,31he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.32“This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.33“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.34“For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:

‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD,

“SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND,

35UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”’

36“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The Ingathering

37Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”38Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.39“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

Psalm 116:1-19

1I love the LORD, because He hears

My voice and my supplications.

2Because He has inclined His ear to me,

Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

3The cords of death encompassed me

And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;

I found distress and sorrow.

4Then I called upon the name of the LORD:

“O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”

5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;

Yes, our God is compassionate.

6The LORD preserves the simple;

I was brought low, and He saved me.

7Return to your rest, O my soul,

For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

8For You have rescued my soul from death,

My eyes from tears,

My feet from stumbling.

9I shall walk before the LORD

In the land of the living.

10I believed when I said,

“I am greatly afflicted.”

11I said in my alarm,

“All men are liars.”

12What shall I render to the LORD

For all His benefits toward me?

13I shall lift up the cup of salvation

And call upon the name of the LORD.

14I shall pay my vows to the LORD,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

15Precious in the sight of the LORD

Is the death of His godly ones.

16O LORD, surely I am Your servant,

I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,

You have loosed my bonds.

17To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

And call upon the name of the LORD.

18I shall pay my vows to the LORD,

Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

19In the courts of the LORDS house,

In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Praise the LORD!

1 Peter 1:17-23

17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.20For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you21who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,23for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

Luke 24:13-35

13And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.14And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place.15While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.16But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.17And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad.18One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?”19And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people,20and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him.21“But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.22“But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning,23and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive.24“Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.”25And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!26“Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”27Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

28And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.29But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them.30When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.32They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”33And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them,34saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.”35They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.

Other Appearances

Acts 2:42-47

42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.44And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.46Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Psalm 23

1The LORD is my shepherd,

I shall not want.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside quiet waters.

3He restores my soul;

He guides me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I fear no evil, for You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You have anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.

6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,

And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

1 Peter 2:19-25

19For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.20For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

Christ Is Our Example

21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,22WHOCOMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH;23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;24and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.25For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

John 10:1-10

Parable of the Good Shepherd

1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep.3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Acts 7:55-60

55But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God;56and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”57But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse.58When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul.59They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”60Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

Psalm 31:1-16

1In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge;

Let me never be ashamed;

In Your righteousness deliver me.

2Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;

Be to me a rock of strength,

A stronghold to save me.

3For You are my rock and my fortress;

For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.

4You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,

For You are my strength.

5Into Your hand I commit my spirit;

You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.

6I hate those who regard vain idols,

But I trust in the LORD.

7I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,

Because You have seen my affliction;

You have known the troubles of my soul,

8And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;

You have set my feet in a large place.

9Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;

My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.

10For my life is spent with sorrow

And my years with sighing;

My strength has failed because of my iniquity,

And my body has wasted away.

11Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,

Especially to my neighbors,

And an object of dread to my acquaintances;

Those who see me in the street flee from me.

12I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;

I am like a broken vessel.

13For I have heard the slander of many,

Terror is on every side;

While they took counsel together against me,

They schemed to take away my life.

14But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,

I say, “You are my God.”

15My times are in Your hand;

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.

16Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;

Save me in Your lovingkindness.

1 Peter 2:2-10

2like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,3if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.

As Living Stones

4And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.6For this is contained in Scripture:

“BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, APRECIOUS CORNERstone,

AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BEDISAPPOINTED.”

7This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve,

“THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERSREJECTED,

THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNERstone,

8and,

“A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”;

for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.

9But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, AHOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FORGod’sOWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

John 14:1-14

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.4“And you know the way where I am going.”5Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”6Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Oneness with the Father

7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

8Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”9Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?10“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.11“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.12“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.13“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.14“If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

Acts 17:22-31

22So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.23“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.24“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;26and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,27that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;28for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’29“Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.30“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,31because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Psalm 66:8-20

8Bless our God, O peoples,

And sound His praise abroad,

9Who keeps us in life

And does not allow our feet to slip.

10For You have tried us, O God;

You have refined us as silver is refined.

11You brought us into the net;

You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins.

12You made men ride over our heads;

We went through fire and through water,

Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

13I shall come into Your house with burnt offerings;

I shall pay You my vows,

14Which my lips uttered

And my mouth spoke when I was in distress.

15I shall offer to You burnt offerings of fat beasts,

With the smoke of rams;

I shall make an offering of bulls with male goats.

Selah.

16Come and hear, all who fear God,

And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.

17I cried to Him with my mouth,

And He was extolled with my tongue.

18If I regard wickedness in my heart,

The Lord will not hear;

19But certainly God has heard;

He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.

20Blessed be God,

Who has not turned away my prayer

Nor His lovingkindness from me.

1 Peter 3:13-22

13Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?14But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIRINTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED,15but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;16and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.17For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.18For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;19in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison,20who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.21Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,22who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

John 14:15-21

15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Role of the Spirit

16“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;17that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19“After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.20“In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.21“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

Acts 1:6-14

6So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”7He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

The Ascension

9And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.10And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.11They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

The Upper Room

12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.13When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying; that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas theson of James.14These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Psalm 68:1-25

1Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered,

And let those who hate Him flee before Him.

2As smoke is driven away, so drive them away;

As wax melts before the fire,

So let the wicked perish before God.

3But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before God;

Yes, let them rejoice with gladness.

4Sing to God, sing praises to His name;

Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts,

Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him.

5A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows,

Is God in His holy habitation.

6God makes a home for the lonely;

He leads out the prisoners into prosperity,

Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

7O God, when You went forth before Your people,

When You marched through the wilderness,

Selah.

8The earth quaked;

The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;

Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

9You shed abroad a plentiful rain, O God;

You confirmed Your inheritance when it was parched.

10Your creatures settled in it;

You provided in Your goodness for the poor, O God.

11The Lord gives the command;

The women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host:

12“Kings of armies flee, they flee,

And she who remains at home will divide the spoil!”

13When you lie down among the sheepfolds,

You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver,

And its pinions with glistening gold.

14When the Almighty scattered the kings there,

It was snowing in Zalmon.

15A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;

A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.

16Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks,

At the mountain which God has desired for His abode?

Surely the LORD will dwell there forever.

17The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands;

The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

18You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives;

You have received gifts among men,

Even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there.

19Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,

The God who is our salvation.

Selah.

20God is to us a God of deliverances;

And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.

21Surely God will shatter the head of His enemies,

The hairy crown of him who goes on in his guilty deeds.

22The Lord said, “I will bring them back from Bashan.

I will bring them back from the depths of the sea;

23That your foot may shatter them in blood,

The tongue of your dogs may have its portion from your enemies.”

24They have seen Your procession, O God,

The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.

25The singers went on, the musicians after them,

In the midst of the maidens beating tambourines.

1 Peter 4:12-5:11

12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.14If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.15Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;16but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.17For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if itbegins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?18AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THEGODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?19Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Serve God Willingly

1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,2shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.5You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.

6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,7casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.8Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.9But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.10After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.11To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

John 17:1-11

The High Priestly Prayer

1Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,2even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.3“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.4“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.5“Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

6“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.7“Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You;8for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.9“I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;10and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them.11“I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.