The Walker's Diary for: Thursday Jun 21, 2018
Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.  "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
 Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!  The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead--whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.  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 furious and wanted to put them to death.  But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.  Then he addressed them: "Men of Israel, consider carefully what you intend to do to these men.  Some time ago Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing.  After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered.  Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail.  But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."
 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.  Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ.
[6:1] In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them  and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."
 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.  They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.
 So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.
"Remember this, fix it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.
 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.
 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.
For the director of music. A song. A psalm.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious!
 Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.
 All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing praise to your name."
 Come and see what God has done,
how awesome his works in man's behalf!
 He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the waters on foot--
come, let us rejoice in him.
 He rules forever by his power,
his eyes watch the nations--
let not the rebellious rise up against him.
 Praise our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
 he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.