St. Theopompas, Bishop of Nicomedia,
St. Theonas the Magician, martyr at Nicomedia,
Sts. Bassus, Eusebe, Eutyche, and Basilides, soldiers and martyrs at Nicomedia
 Be not envious of evil men,
nor desire to be with them;
 for their minds devise violence,
and their lips talk of mischief.
 By wisdom a house is built,
and by understanding it is established;
 by knowledge the rooms are filled
with all precious and pleasant riches.
 A wise man is mightier than a strong man,
and a man of knowledge than he who has strength;
 for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
 Wisdom is too high for a fool;
in the gate he does not open his mouth.
 He who plans to do evil
will be called a mischief-maker.
 The devising of folly is sin,
and the scoffer is an abomination to men.
 If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
 Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
 If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not requite man according to his work?
 Therefore thus says the LORD:
“If you return, I will restore you,
and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall be as my mouth.
They shall turn to you,
but you shall not turn to them.
 And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to save you and deliver you, says the LORD.
 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
 And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? — “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
 For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”
 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
 What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.
 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.
 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.
 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
 So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven;
 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America