November 5th, 2020 (The High Priest)

Then the high priest rose up. He and all who were with him, who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. The chief priests heard, were baffled, wondering what would come of this. So the word of God spread, the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly in number, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.

November 5th, 2020 (The High Priest)

Psalm 119:169–176, CSB

Let my cry reach you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word.

Let my plea reach you; rescue me according to your promise.

My lips pour out praise, for you teach me your statutes.

My tongue sings about your promise, for all your commands are righteous.

May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.

I long for your salvation, Lord, and your instruction is my delight.

Let me live, and I will praise you; may your judgments help me.

I wander like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commands.

Proverbs 25:16–28, CSB

If you find honey, eat only what you need; otherwise, you’ll get sick from it and vomit.

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house; otherwise, he’ll get sick of you and hate you.

A person giving false testimony against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow.

Trusting an unreliable person in a difficult time is like a rotten tooth or a faltering foot.

Singing songs to a troubled heart is like taking off clothing on a cold day or like pouring vinegar on soda.

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

The north wind produces rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.

Good news from a distant land is like cold water to a parched throat.

A righteous person who yields to the wicked is like a muddied spring or a polluted well.

It is not good to eat too much honey or to seek glory after glory.

A person who does not control his temper is like a city whose wall is broken down.

Acts 5:12–6:15, CSB

Many signs and wonders were being done among the people through the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s Colonnade.

No one else dared to join them, but the people spoke well of them.

Believers were added to the Lord in increasing numbers—multitudes of both men and women.

As a result, they would carry the sick out into the streets and lay them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on some of them.

In addition, a multitude came together from the towns surrounding Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

Then the high priest rose up. He and all who were with him, who belonged to the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.

So they arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.

But an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail during the night, brought them out, and said, “Go and stand in the temple, and tell the people all about this life.”

Hearing this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach. When the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they convened the Sanhedrin—the full council of the Israelites—and sent orders to the jail to have them brought.

But when the servants got there, they did not find them in the jail; so they returned and reported, “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing in front of the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”

As the captain of the temple police and the chief priests heard these things, they were baffled about them, wondering what would come of this.

Someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple and teaching the people.”

Then the commander went with the servants and brought them in without force, because they were afraid the people might stone them.

After they brought them in, they had them stand before the Sanhedrin, and the high priest asked, “Didn’t we strictly order you not to teach in this name? Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than people. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had murdered by hanging him on a tree. God exalted this man to his right hand as ruler and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.

But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered the men to be taken outside for a little while.

He said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful about what you’re about to do to these men. Some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, and all his followers were dispersed and came to nothing. After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and attracted a following. He also perished, and all his followers were scattered. So in the present case, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God.” They were persuaded by him.

After they called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.

Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.

Every day in the temple, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

In those days, as the disciples were increasing in number, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.

The Twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, “It would not be right for us to give up preaching the word of God to wait on tables.

Brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty.

But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

This proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a convert from Antioch.

They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.

So the word of God spread, the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly in number, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.

Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.

Opposition arose, however, from some members of the Freedmen’s Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, and they began to argue with Stephen.

But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.

Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.”

They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; so they came, seized him, and took him to the Sanhedrin.

They also presented false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and the law. For we heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”

And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

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