21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism(A) to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness(B) with us of his resurrection.”

23 So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24 Then they prayed,(C) “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.(D) Show us(E) which of these two you have chosen 25 to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26 Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.(F)

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Brothers and sisters,(A) choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit(B) and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them(C) and will give our attention to prayer(D) and the ministry of the word.”

This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen,(E) a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit;(F) also Philip,(G) Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed(H) and laid their hands on them.(I)

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13 Now in the church at Antioch(A) there were prophets(B) and teachers:(C) Barnabas,(D) Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,(E) Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod(F) the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,(G) “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work(H) to which I have called them.”(I) So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them(J) and sent them off.(K)

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I thank God,(A) whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience,(B) as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.(C) Recalling your tears,(D) I long to see you,(E) so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith,(F) which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice(G) and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Appeal for Loyalty to Paul and the Gospel

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.(H)

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