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Daily Bible Reading – MSG

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Today’s Bible Reading

May 22

Acts 27:13-44; 1 Samuel 3; Psalm 51 MSG

Acts 27

1 As soon as arrangements were complete for our sailing to Italy, Paul and a few other prisoners were placed under the supervision of a centurion named Julius, a member of an elite guard. 2 We boarded a ship from Adramyttium that was bound for Ephesus and ports west. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, went with us. 3 The next day we put in at Sidon. Julius treated Paul most decently – let him get off the ship and enjoy the hospitality of his friends there. 4 Out to sea again, we sailed north under the protection of the northeast shore of Cyprus because winds out of the west were against us, 5 and then along the coast westward to the port of Myra. 6 There the centurion found an Egyptian ship headed for Italy and transferred us on board. 7 We ran into bad weather and found it impossible to stay on course. After much difficulty, we finally made it to the southern coast of the island of Crete 8 and docked at Good Harbor (appropriate name!). 9 By this time we had lost a lot of time. We had passed the autumn equinox, so it would be stormy weather from now on through the winter, too dangerous for sailing. Paul warned, 10 "I see only disaster ahead for cargo and ship – to say nothing of our lives! – if we put out to sea now." 11 The centurion set Paul's warning aside and let the ship captain and the shipowner talk him into trying for the next harbor. 12 But it was not the best harbor for staying the winter. Phoenix, a few miles further on, was more suitable. 13 When a gentle southerly breeze came up, they weighed anchor, thinking it would be smooth sailing. 14 But they were no sooner out to sea than a gale-force wind, the infamous nor'easter, struck. 15 They lost all control of the ship. It was a cork in the storm. 16 We came under the lee of the small island named Clauda, and managed to get a lifeboat ready and reef the sails. 17 But rocky shoals prevented us from getting close. We only managed to avoid them by throwing out drift anchors. 18 Next day, out on the high seas again and badly damaged now by the storm, we dumped the cargo overboard. 19 The third day the sailors lightened the ship further by throwing off all the tackle and provisions. 20 It had been many days since we had seen either sun or stars. Wind and waves were battering us unmercifully, and we lost all hope of rescue. 21 With our appetite for both food and life long gone, Paul took his place in our midst and said, "Friends, you really should have listened to me back in Crete. We could have avoided all this trouble and trial. 22 But there's no need to dwell on that now. From now on, things are looking up! I can assure you that there'll not be a single drowning among us, although I can't say as much for the ship – the ship itself is doomed. 23 "Last night God's angel stood at my side, an angel of this God I serve, 24 saying to me, 'Don't give up, Paul. You're going to stand before Caesar yet – and everyone sailing with you is also going to make it.' 25 So, dear friends, take heart. I believe God will do exactly what he told me. 26 But we're going to shipwreck on some island or other." 27 On the fourteenth night, adrift somewhere on the Adriatic Sea, at about midnight the sailors sensed that we were approaching land. 28 Sounding, they measured a depth of one hundred twenty feet, and shortly after that ninety feet. 29 Afraid that we were about to run aground, they threw out four anchors and prayed for daylight. 30 Some of the sailors tried to jump ship. They let down the lifeboat, pretending they were going to set out more anchors from the bow. 31 Paul saw through their guise and told the centurion and his soldiers, "If these sailors don't stay with the ship, we're all going down." 32 So the soldiers cut the lines to the lifeboat and let it drift off. 33 With dawn about to break, Paul called everyone together and proposed breakfast: "This is the fourteenth day we've gone without food. None of us has felt like eating! 34 But I urge you to eat something now. You'll need strength for the rescue ahead. You're going to come out of this without even a scratch!" 35 He broke the bread, gave thanks to God, passed it around, 36 and they all ate heartily – 37 two hundred seventy-six of us, all told! 38 With the meal finished and everyone full, the ship was further lightened by dumping the grain overboard. 39 At daybreak, no one recognized the land – but then they did notice a bay with a nice beach. They decided to try to run the ship up on the beach. 40 They cut the anchors, loosed the tiller, raised the sail, and ran before the wind toward the beach. 41 But we didn't make it. Still far from shore, we hit a reef and the ship began to break up. 42 The soldiers decided to kill the prisoners so none could escape by swimming, 43 but the centurion, determined to save Paul, stopped them. He gave orders for anyone who could swim to dive in and go for it, 44 and for the rest to grab a plank. Everyone made it to shore safely.

1 Samuel 3

1 The boy Samuel was serving God under Eli's direction. This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen. 2 One night Eli was sound asleep (his eyesight was very bad – he could hardly see). 3 It was well before dawn; the sanctuary lamp was still burning. Samuel was still in bed in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested. 4 Then God called out, "Samuel, Samuel!" 5 Then he ran to Eli saying, "I heard you call. Here I am." Eli said, "I didn't call you. Go back to bed." And so he did. 6 God called again, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel got up and went to Eli, "I heard you call. Here I am." 7 (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.) 8 God called again, "Samuel!" – the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, "Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am." 9 So Eli directed Samuel, "Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, 'Speak, God. I'm your servant, ready to listen.'" Samuel returned to his bed. 10 Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, "Samuel! Samuel!" Samuel answered, "Speak. I'm your servant, ready to listen." 11 God said to Samuel, "Listen carefully. I'm getting ready to do something in Israel that is going to shake everyone up and get their attention. 12 The time has come for me to bring down on Eli's family everything I warned him of, every last word of it. 13 I'm letting him know that the time's up. I'm bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God's name and God's place, and he did nothing to stop them. 14 This is my sentence on the family of Eli: The evil of Eli's family can never be wiped out by sacrifice or offering." 15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then rose early and went about his duties, opening the doors of the sanctuary, but he dreaded having to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But then Eli summoned Samuel: "Samuel, my son!" Samuel came running: "Yes? What can I do for you?" 17 "What did he say? Tell it to me, all of it. Don't suppress or soften one word, as God is your judge! I want it all, word for word as he said it to you." 18 So Samuel told him, word for word. He held back nothing. Eli said, "He is God. Let him do whatever he thinks best." 19 Samuel grew up. God was with him, and Samuel's prophetic record was flawless. 20 Everyone in Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, recognized that Samuel was the real thing – a true prophet of God. 21 God continued to show up at Shiloh, revealed through his word to Samuel at Shiloh.

Psalm 51:1-21

1 Generous in love – God, give grace! Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record. 2 Scrub away my guilt, soak out my sins in your laundry. 3 I know how bad I've been; my sins are staring me down. 4 You're the One I've violated, and you've seen it all, seen the full extent of my evil. You have all the facts before you; whatever you decide about me is fair. 5 I've been out of step with you for a long time, in the wrong since before I was born. 6 What you're after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life. 7 Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life. 8 Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing. 9 Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health. 10 God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. 11 Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. 12 Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! 13 Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home. 14 Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways. 15 Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise. 16 Going through the motions doesn't please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. 17 I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice. 18 Make Zion the place you delight in, repair Jerusalem's broken-down walls. 19 Then you'll get real worship from us, acts of worship small and large, Including all the bulls they can heave onto your altar!

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