Psalm 97 The Voice (VOICE)
1 The Eternal reigns powerful over all;
6 The heavens display His order and perfect justice;
10 Hate evil, you lovers of the Eternal.
Acts 16:16-34 The Voice (VOICE)
16 One day, as we were going to the place set aside for prayer, we encountered a slave girl. She made a lot of money for her owners as a fortune-teller, assisted by some sort of occult spirit. 17 She began following us.
Slave Girl (shouting): These men are slaves like me, but slaves of the Most High God! They will proclaim to you the way of liberation!
18 The next day as we passed by, she did the same thing—and again on the following days. One day Paul was really annoyed, so he turned and spoke to the spirit that was enslaving her.
Paul: I order you in the name of Jesus, God’s Anointed: Come out of her!
It came right out. 19 But when her owners realized she would be worthless now as a fortune-teller, they grabbed Paul and Silas, dragged them into the open market area, and presented them to the authorities.
Slave Owners: 20 These men are troublemakers, disturbing the peace of our great city. They are from some Jewish sect, 21 and they promote foreign customs that violate our Roman standards of conduct.
22 The crowd joined in with insults and insinuations, prompting the city officials to strip them naked in the public square so they could be beaten with rods. 23 They were flogged mercilessly and then were thrown into a prison cell. The jailer was ordered to keep them under the strictest supervision. 24 The jailer complied, first restraining them in ankle chains, then locking them in the most secure cell in the center of the jail.
25 Picture this: It’s midnight. In the darkness of their cell, Paul and Silas—after surviving the severe beating—aren’t moaning and groaning; they’re praying and singing hymns to God. The prisoners in adjoining cells are wide awake, listening to them pray and sing. 26 Suddenly the ground begins to shake, and the prison foundations begin to crack. You can hear the sound of jangling chains and the squeak of cell doors opening. Every prisoner realizes that his chains have come unfastened. 27 The jailer wakes up and runs into the jail. His heart sinks as he sees the doors have all swung open. He is sure his prisoners have escaped, and he knows this will mean death for him, so he pulls out his sword to commit suicide. 28 At that moment, Paul sees what is happening and shouts out at the top of his lungs,
Paul: Wait, man! Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here! None of us has escaped.
29 The jailer sends his assistants to get some torches and rushes into the cell of Paul and Silas. He falls on his knees before them, trembling. 30 Then he brings them outside.
Jailer: Gentlemen, please tell me, what must I do to be liberated?
Paul and Silas: 31 Just believe—believe in the ultimate King, Jesus, and not only will you be rescued, but your whole household will as well.
32-34 The jailer brings them to his home, and they have a long conversation with the man and his family. Paul and Silas explain the message of Jesus to them all. The man washes their wounds and feeds them, then they baptize[a] the man and his family. The night ends with Paul and Silas in the jailer’s home, sharing a meal together, the whole family rejoicing that they have come to faith in God.
Revelation 22:12-14 The Voice (VOICE)
The Anointed One: 12 See, I am coming soon, and I will bring My reward with Me. I will pay back every person according to the deeds he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and Omega, the First One and the Last One, the beginning and the end.
14 Blessed are those who wash their garments. In the end, they have rightful access to the tree of life and will enter the city through its gates.
Revelation 22:16-17 The Voice (VOICE)
Jesus: 16 I, Jesus, have sent My messenger to show you and guide you so that you in turn would share this testimony with the churches. I am the Root and the Descendant of David, the Bright Morning Star.
The Spirit and the Bride: 17 Come.
And let everyone who hears these words say, “Come.”
And let those who thirst come.
Revelation 22:20-21 The Voice (VOICE)
20 The One who testifies to these realities makes this promise:
The Anointed One: Yes. I am coming soon.
To which we say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”
John 17:20-26 The Voice (VOICE)
20 I am not asking solely for their benefit; this prayer is also for all the believers who will follow them and hear them speak. 21 Father, may they all be one as You are in Me and I am in You; may they be in Us, for by this unity the world will believe that You sent Me.
22 All the glory You have given to Me, I pass on to them. May that glory unify them and make them one as We are one, 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be refined so that all will know that You sent Me, and You love them in the same way You love Me.
In this great prayer that Jesus prays for His disciples, He returns repeatedly to the gathering of believers unified with the Father and the Son.
24 Father, I long for the time when those You have given Me can join Me in My place so they may witness My glory, which comes from You. You have loved Me before the foundations of the cosmos were laid. 25 Father, You are just; though this corrupt world order does not know You, I do. These followers know that You have sent Me. 26 I have told them about Your nature; and I will continue to speak of Your name in order that Your love, which was poured out on Me, will be in them. And I will also be in them.
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