Genesis 28:10-17

Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

And the LORD stood beside him and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring; and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place--and I did not know it!"

And he was afraid, and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

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Psalm 88

O LORD, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence, {2} let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. {3} For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. {4} I am counted among those who go down to the Pit; I am like those who have no help, {5} like those forsaken among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand. {6} You have put me in the depths of the Pit, in the regions dark and deep. {7} Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah {8} You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a thing of horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; {9} my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O LORD; I spread out my hands to you. {10} Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? Selah {11} Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? {12} Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness? {13} But I, O LORD, cry out to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. {14} O LORD, why do you cast me off? Why do you hide your face from me? {15} Wretched and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am desperate. {16} Your wrath has swept over me; your dread assaults destroy me. {17} They surround me like a flood all day long; from all sides they close in on me. {18} You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me; my companions are in darkness.

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John 11:28-37

When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you." {29} And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. {30} Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. {31} The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. {32} When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." {33} When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. {34} He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." {35} Jesus began to weep. {36} So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" {37} But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

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Acts 20:17-38

From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. {18} When they came to him, he said to them: "You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, {19} serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. {20} I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, {21} as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. {22} And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, {23} except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. {24} But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God's grace. {25} "And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. {26} Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, {27} for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. {28} Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. {29} I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. {31} Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. {32} And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. {33} I coveted no one's silver or gold or clothing. {34} You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. {35} In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" {36} When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. {37} There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, {38} grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship.

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Isaiah 40:1-31

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. {2} Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. {3} A voice cries out: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. {4} Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. {5} Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." {6} A voice says, "Cry out!" And I said, "What shall I cry?" All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. {7} The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it; surely the people are grass. {8} The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. {9} Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, "Here is your God!" {10} See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. {11} He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep. {12} Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? {13} Who has directed the spirit of the LORD, or as his counselor has instructed him? {14} Whom did he consult for his enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice? Who taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? {15} Even the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as dust on the scales; see, he takes up the isles like fine dust. {16} Lebanon would not provide fuel enough, nor are its animals enough for a burnt offering. {17} All the nations are as nothing before him; they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness. {18} To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? {19} An idol? --A workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains. {20} As a gift one chooses mulberry wood --wood that will not rot-- then seeks out a skilled artisan to set up an image that will not topple. {21} Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? {22} It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in; {23} who brings princes to naught, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. {24} Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. {25} To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One. {26} Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing. {27} Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? {28} Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. {29} He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. {30} Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; {31} but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

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Luke 23:32-49

Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. {33} When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. {34} Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. {35} And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" {36} The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, {37} and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" {38} There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews." {39} One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" {40} But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? {41} And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." {42} Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." {43} He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." {44} It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, {45} while the sun's light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. {46} Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Having said this, he breathed his last. {47} When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, "Certainly this man was innocent." {48} And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. {49} But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

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Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills-- from where will my help come? {2} My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. {3} He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. {4} He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. {5} The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. {6} The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. {7} The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. {8} The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

Romans 8:31-39

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? {32} He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? {33} Who will bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. {34} Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. {35} Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered." {37} No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. {38} For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, {39} nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. {5} Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. {6} Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. {7} And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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