Read the Bible in a Year

Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year. This is part of The Colossians 13:16 Project, sponsored by Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia. You're invited to worship with us Sundays, at 11:00 a.m. or Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. You may also want to consider joining one our adult Bible Studies: Thursdays at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We also have a full range of programs for children. If you want more information about the church, check out the other blogs. And please feel free to leave any comments.

The Bible in a Year is a ministry of Cove Presbyterian Church. We need your support to keep posting. If you find it helpful, you can support this blog by your contributions. They may be sent to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, WV 26062. You can also use the PayPal link below:

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Bible Readings for June 18, 2018

Today our passages are 1 Kings 19:1-21; Acts 12:1-23; Psalm 136:1-26; and Proverbs 17:14-15. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NX3WLYQG5864L

1 Kings 19:1-21 (The Message)


1 Kings 19

Revenge from Jezebel
1-2 Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat: "The gods will get you for this and I'll get even with you! By this time tomorrow you'll be as dead as any one of those prophets." 3-5 When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day's journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: "Enough of this, God! Take my life—I'm ready to join my ancestors in the grave!" Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush. 
Suddenly an angel shook him awake and said, "Get up and eat!" 
6 He looked around and, to his surprise, right by his head were a loaf of bread baked on some coals and a jug of water. He ate the meal and went back to sleep. 
7 The angel of God came back, shook him awake again, and said, "Get up and eat some more—you've got a long journey ahead of you." 
8-9 He got up, ate and drank his fill, and set out. Nourished by that meal, he walked forty days and nights, all the way to the mountain of God, to Horeb. When he got there, he crawled into a cave and went to sleep. 
Then the word of God came to him: "So Elijah, what are you doing here?" 
10 "I've been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies," said Elijah. "The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I'm the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me." 
11-12 Then he was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before GodGod will pass by." 
A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. 
13-14 When Elijah heard the quiet voice, he muffled his face with his great cloak, went to the mouth of the cave, and stood there. A quiet voice asked, "So Elijah, now tell me, what are you doing here?" Elijah said it again, "I've been working my heart out for God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, because the people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed your places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I'm the only one left, and now they're trying to kill me." 
15-18 God said, "Go back the way you came through the desert to Damascus. When you get there anoint Hazael; make him king over Aram. Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi; make him king over Israel. Finally, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Anyone who escapes death by Hazael will be killed by Jehu; and anyone who escapes death by Jehu will be killed by Elisha. Meanwhile, I'm preserving for myself seven thousand souls: the knees that haven't bowed to the god Baal, the mouths that haven't kissed his image." 
19 Elijah went straight out and found Elisha son of Shaphat in a field where there were twelve pairs of yoked oxen at work plowing; Elisha was in charge of the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak over him. 
20 Elisha deserted the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, "Please! Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye—then I'll follow you." 
"Go ahead," said Elijah, "but, mind you, don't forget what I've just done to you." 
21 So Elisha left; he took his yoke of oxen and butchered them. He made a fire with the plow and tackle and then boiled the meat—a true farewell meal for the family. Then he left and followed Elijah, becoming his right-hand man. 


Acts 12:1-23 (The Message)


Acts 12

Peter Under Heavy Guard
1-4 That's when King Herod got it into his head to go after some of the church members. He murdered James, John's brother. When he saw how much it raised his popularity ratings with the Jews, he arrested Peter—all this during Passover Week, mind you—and had him thrown in jail, putting four squads of four soldiers each to guard him. He was planning a public lynching after Passover. 5All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously. 
6Then the time came for Herod to bring him out for the kill. That night, even though shackled to two soldiers, one on either side, Peter slept like a baby. And there were guards at the door keeping their eyes on the place. Herod was taking no chances! 
7-9Suddenly there was an angel at his side and light flooding the room. The angel shook Peter and got him up: "Hurry!" The handcuffs fell off his wrists. The angel said, "Get dressed. Put on your shoes." Peter did it. Then, "Grab your coat and let's get out of here." Peter followed him, but didn't believe it was really an angel—he thought he was dreaming. 
10-11Past the first guard and then the second, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It swung open before them on its own, and they were out on the street, free as the breeze. At the first intersection the angel left him, going his own way. That's when Peter realized it was no dream. "I can't believe it—this really happened! The Master sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's vicious little production and the spectacle the Jewish mob was looking forward to." 
12-14Still shaking his head, amazed, he went to Mary's house, the Mary who was John Mark's mother. The house was packed with praying friends. When he knocked on the door to the courtyard, a young woman named Rhoda came to see who it was. But when she recognized his voice—Peter's voice!—she was so excited and eager to tell everyone Peter was there that she forgot to open the door and left him standing in the street. 
15-16But they wouldn't believe her, dismissing her, dismissing her report. "You're crazy," they said. She stuck by her story, insisting. They still wouldn't believe her and said, "It must be his angel." All this time poor Peter was standing out in the street, knocking away. 
16-17Finally they opened up and saw him—and went wild! Peter put his hands up and calmed them down. He described how the Master had gotten him out of jail, then said, "Tell James and the brothers what's happened." He left them and went off to another place. 
18-19At daybreak the jail was in an uproar. "Where is Peter? What's happened to Peter?" When Herod sent for him and they could neither produce him nor explain why not, he ordered their execution: "Off with their heads!" Fed up with Judea and Jews, he went for a vacation to Caesarea. 
The Death of Herod
20-22But things went from bad to worse for Herod. Now people from Tyre and Sidon put him on the warpath. But they got Blastus, King Herod's right-hand man, to put in a good word for them and got a delegation together to iron things out. Because they were dependent on Judea for food supplies, they couldn't afford to let this go on too long. On the day set for their meeting, Herod, robed in pomposity, took his place on the throne and regaled them with a lot of hot air. The people played their part to the hilt and shouted flatteries: "The voice of God! The voice of God!" 23That was the last straw. God had had enough of Herod's arrogance and sent an angel to strike him down. Herod had given God no credit for anything. Down he went. Rotten to the core, a maggoty old man if there ever was one, he died. 

Psalm 136:1-26 (The Message)


Psalm 136


Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. 
Thank the God of all gods,
His love never quits.
Thank the Lord of all lords.
His love never quits.

4-22 Thank the miracle-working God,
His love never quits.
The God whose skill formed the cosmos,
His love never quits.
The God who laid out earth on ocean foundations,
His love never quits.
The God who filled the skies with light,
His love never quits.
The sun to watch over the day,
His love never quits.
Moon and stars as guardians of the night,
His love never quits.
The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn,
His love never quits.
And rescued Israel from Egypt's oppression,
His love never quits.
Took Israel in hand with his powerful hand,
His love never quits.
Split the Red Sea right in half,
His love never quits.
Led Israel right through the middle,
His love never quits.
Dumped Pharaoh and his army in the sea,
His love never quits.
The God who marched his people through the desert,
His love never quits.
Smashed huge kingdoms right and left,
His love never quits.
Struck down the famous kings,
His love never quits.
Struck Sihon the Amorite king,
His love never quits.
Struck Og the Bashanite king,
His love never quits.
Then distributed their land as booty,
His love never quits.
Handed the land over to Israel.
His love never quits.

23-26 God remembered us when we were down,
His love never quits.
Rescued us from the trampling boot,
His love never quits.
Takes care of everyone in time of need.
His love never quits.
Thank God, who did it all!
His love never quits!

Proverbs 17:14-15 (The Message)


14 The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam,
so stop it before it bursts.

15 Whitewashing bad people and throwing mud on good people
are equally abhorrent to God

Verse of the Day

“Parents, don't be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.” - Ephesians 6:4
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for robert mondaviThought for the Day

Leading California vineyard operator whose technical improvements and marketing strategies brought worldwide recognition for the wines of the Napa Valley in California, Robert Mondavi wrote, “How beautiful it is to excel, and the goodness of giving from your heart.”

Image result for water into wine joke
A Joke for Today

A priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.

He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?"

"Just water," says the priest. The trooper says, "Then why do I smell wine?"

The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"

Bible Readings for June 17, 2018

Today our passages are 1 Kings 18:1-46; Acts 11:1-30; Psalm 135:1-21; and Proverbs 17:12-13. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NX3WLYQG5864L

 

1 Kings 18:1-46 (The Message)


1 Kings 18


1-2 A long time passed. Then God's word came to Elijah. The drought was now in its third year. The message: "Go and present yourself to Ahab; I'm about to make it rain on the country." Elijah set out to present himself to Ahab. The drought in Samaria at the time was most severe. 3-4 Ahab called for Obadiah, who was in charge of the palace. Obadiah feared God—he was very devout. Earlier, when Jezebel had tried to kill off all the prophets of God, Obadiah had hidden away a hundred of them in two caves, fifty in a cave, and then supplied them with food and water.
5-6 Ahab ordered Obadiah, "Go through the country; locate every spring and every stream. Let's see if we can find enough grass to keep our horses and mules from dying." So they divided the country between them for the search—Ahab went one way, Obadiah the other.
7 Obadiah went his way and suddenly there he was—Elijah! Obadiah fell on his knees, bowing in reverence, and exclaimed, "Is it really you—my master Elijah?"
8 "Yes," said Elijah, "the real me. Now go and tell your boss, 'I've seen Elijah.'"
9-14 Obadiah said, "But what have I done to deserve this? Ahab will kill me. As surely as your God lives, there isn't a country or kingdom where my master hasn't sent out search parties looking for you. And if they said, 'We can't find him; we've looked high and low,' he would make that country or kingdom swear that you were not to be found. And now you're telling me, 'Go and tell your master Elijah's found!' The minute I leave you the Spirit of God will whisk you away to who knows where. Then when I report to Ahab, you'll have disappeared and Ahab will kill me. And I've served Goddevoutly since I was a boy! Hasn't anyone told you what I did when Jezebel was out to kill the prophets of God, how I risked my life by hiding a hundred of them, fifty to a cave, and made sure they got food and water? And now you're telling me to draw attention to myself by announcing to my master, 'Elijah's been found.' Why, he'll kill me for sure."
15 Elijah said, "As surely as God-of-the-Angel-Armies lives, and before whom I take my stand, I'll meet with your master face-to-face this very day."
16 So Obadiah went straight to Ahab and told him. And Ahab went out to meet Elijah.
17-19 The moment Ahab saw Elijah he said, "So it's you, old troublemaker!"
"It's not I who has caused trouble in Israel," said Elijah, "but you and your government—you've dumped God's ways and commands and run off after the local gods, the Baals. Here's what I want you to do: Assemble everyone in Israel at Mount Carmel. And make sure that the special pets of Jezebel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of the local gods, the Baals, and the four hundred prophets of the whore goddess Asherah, are there."
20 So Ahab summoned everyone in Israel, particularly the prophets, to Mount Carmel.
21 Elijah challenged the people: "How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it's Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!"
Nobody said a word; nobody made a move.
22-24 Then Elijah said, "I'm the only prophet of God left in Israel; and there are 450 prophets of Baal. Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don't ignite it. I'll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I'll pray to God. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God."
All the people agreed: "A good plan—do it!"
25 Elijah told the Baal prophets, "Choose your ox and prepare it. You go first, you're the majority. Then pray to your god, but don't light the fire."
26 So they took the ox he had given them, prepared it for the altar, then prayed to Baal. They prayed all morning long, "O Baal, answer us!" But nothing happened—not so much as a whisper of breeze. Desperate, they jumped and stomped on the altar they had made.
27-28 By noon, Elijah had started making fun of them, taunting, "Call a little louder—he is a god, after all. Maybe he's off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he's gotten involved in a project, or maybe he's on vacation. You don't suppose he's overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?" They prayed louder and louder, cutting themselves with swords and knives—a ritual common to them—until they were covered with blood.
29 This went on until well past noon. They used every religious trick and strategy they knew to make something happen on the altar, but nothing happened—not so much as a whisper, not a flicker of response.
30-35 Then Elijah told the people, "Enough of that—it's my turn. Gather around." And they gathered. He then put the altar back together for by now it was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Jacob, the same Jacob to whom God had said, "From now on your name is Israel." He built the stones into the altar in honor of God. Then Elijah dug a fairly wide trench around the altar. He laid firewood on the altar, cut up the ox, put it on the wood, and said, "Fill four buckets with water and drench both the ox and the firewood." Then he said, "Do it again," and they did it. Then he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time. The altar was drenched and the trench was filled with water.
36-37 When it was time for the sacrifice to be offered, Elijah the prophet came up and prayed, "O God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I'm doing what I'm doing under your orders. Answer me, God; O answer me and reveal to this people that you are God, the true God, and that you are giving these people another chance at repentance."
38 Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench.
39 All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, "God is the true God! God is the true God!"
40 Elijah told them, "Grab the Baal prophets! Don't let one get away!"
They grabbed them. Elijah had them taken down to the Brook Kishon and they massacred the lot.
41 Elijah said to Ahab, "Up on your feet! Eat and drink—celebrate! Rain is on the way; I hear it coming."
42-43 Ahab did it: got up and ate and drank. Meanwhile, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bowed deeply in prayer, his face between his knees. Then he said to his young servant, "On your feet now! Look toward the sea."
He went, looked, and reported back, "I don't see a thing."
"Keep looking," said Elijah, "seven times if necessary."
44 And sure enough, the seventh time he said, "Oh yes, a cloud! But very small, no bigger than someone's hand, rising out of the sea."
"Quickly then, on your way. Tell Ahab, 'Saddle up and get down from the mountain before the rain stops you.'"
45-46 Things happened fast. The sky grew black with wind-driven clouds, and then a huge cloudburst of rain, with Ahab hightailing it in his chariot for Jezreel. And God strengthened Elijah mightily. Pulling up his robe and tying it around his waist, Elijah ran in front of Ahab's chariot until they reached Jezreel. 


Acts 11:1-30 (The Message)


Acts 11

God Has Broken Through
1-3The news traveled fast and in no time the leaders and friends back in Jerusalem heard about it—heard that the non-Jewish "outsiders" were now "in." When Peter got back to Jerusalem, some of his old associates, concerned about circumcision, called him on the carpet: "What do you think you're doing rubbing shoulders with that crowd, eating what is prohibited and ruining our good name?" 4-6So Peter, starting from the beginning, laid it out for them step-by-step: "Recently I was in the town of Joppa praying. I fell into a trance and saw a vision: Something like a huge blanket, lowered by ropes at its four corners, came down out of heaven and settled on the ground in front of me. Milling around on the blanket were farm animals, wild animals, reptiles, birds—you name it, it was there. Fascinated, I took it all in.
7-10"Then I heard a voice: 'Go to it, Peter—kill and eat.' I said, 'Oh, no, Master. I've never so much as tasted food that wasn't kosher.' The voice spoke again: 'If God says it's okay, it's okay.' This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the sky.
11-14"Just then three men showed up at the house where I was staying, sent from Caesarea to get me. The Spirit told me to go with them, no questions asked. So I went with them, I and six friends, to the man who had sent for me. He told us how he had seen an angel right in his own house, real as his next-door neighbor, saying, 'Send to Joppa and get Simon, the one they call Peter. He'll tell you something that will save your life—in fact, you and everyone you care for.'
15-17"So I started in, talking. Before I'd spoken half a dozen sentences, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as he did on us the first time. I remembered Jesus' words: 'John baptized with water; you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So I ask you: If God gave the same exact gift to them as to us when we believed in the Master Jesus Christ, how could I object to God?"
18Hearing it all laid out like that, they quieted down. And then, as it sank in, they started praising God. "It's really happened! God has broken through to the other nations, opened them up to Life!"
19-21Those who had been scattered by the persecution triggered by Stephen's death traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, but they were still only speaking and dealing with their fellow Jews. Then some of the men from Cyprus and Cyrene who had come to Antioch started talking to Greeks, giving them the Message of the Master Jesus. God was pleased with what they were doing and put his stamp of approval on it—quite a number of the Greeks believed and turned to the Master.
22-24When the church in Jerusalem got wind of this, they sent Barnabas to Antioch to check on things. As soon as he arrived, he saw that God was behind and in it all. He threw himself in with them, got behind them, urging them to stay with it the rest of their lives. He was a good man that way, enthusiastic and confident in the Holy Spirit's ways. The community grew large and strong in the Master.
25-26Then Barnabas went on to Tarsus to look for Saul. He found him and brought him back to Antioch. They were there a whole year, meeting with the church and teaching a lot of people. It was in Antioch that the disciples were for the first time called Christians.
27-30It was about this same time that some prophets came to Antioch from Jerusalem. One of them named Agabus stood up one day and, prompted by the Spirit, warned that a severe famine was about to devastate the country. (The famine eventually came during the rule of Claudius.) So the disciples decided that each of them would send whatever they could to their fellow Christians in Judea to help out. They sent Barnabas and Saul to deliver the collection to the leaders in Jerusalem. 


Psalm 135:1-21 (The Message)


Psalm 135


Hallelujah! Praise the name of God,
praise the works of God.
All you priests on duty in God's temple,
serving in the sacred halls of our God,
Shout "Hallelujah!" because God's so good,
sing anthems to his beautiful name.
And why? Because God chose Jacob,
embraced Israel as a prize possession.

5-12 I, too, give witness to the greatness of God,
our Lord, high above all other gods.
He does just as he pleases—
however, wherever, whenever.
He makes the weather—clouds and thunder,
lightning and rain, wind pouring out of the north.
He struck down the Egyptian firstborn,
both human and animal firstborn.
He made Egypt sit up and take notice,
confronted Pharaoh and his servants with miracles.
Yes, he struck down great nations,
he slew mighty kings—
Sihon king of the Amorites, also Og of Bashan—
every last one of the Canaanite kings!
Then he turned their land over to Israel,
a gift of good land to his people.

13-18 God, your name is eternal,
God, you'll never be out-of-date.
God stands up for his people,
God holds the hands of his people.
The gods of the godless nations are mere trinkets,
made for quick sale in the markets:
Chiseled mouths that can't talk,
painted eyes that can't see,
Carved ears that can't hear—
dead wood! cold metal!
Those who make and trust them
become like them.

19-21 Family of Israel, bless God!
Family of Aaron, bless God!
Family of Levi, bless God!
You who fear God, bless God!
Oh, blessed be God of Zion,
First Citizen of Jerusalem!
Hallelujah!

Proverbs 17:12-13 (The Message)



12 Better to meet a grizzly robbed of her cubs
than a fool hellbent on folly.

13 Those who return evil for good
will meet their own evil returning. 

Verse of the Day
 
“Our God, you are the one who rides on the clouds, and we praise you. Your name is the LORD, and we celebrate as we worship you. Our God, from your sacred home you take care of orphans and protect widows.” - Psalm 68:4-5 
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

 
Joseph Addison by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt.jpg
Thought for the Day

English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician, Joseph Addison wrote, “A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants.”




Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bible Readings for June 16, 2018

Today our passages are 1 Kings 15:25–17:24; Acts 10:23b-48; Psalm 134:1-3; and Proverbs 17:9-11. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=NX3WLYQG5864L



1 Kings 15:25-17:24 (The Message)

Nadab of Israel
25-26 Nadab son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa's rule in Judah. He was king of Israel two years. He was openly evil before God—he followed in the footsteps of his father who both sinned and made Israel sin.27-28 Baasha son of Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar ganged up on him and attacked him at the Philistine town of Gibbethon while Nadab and the Israelites were doing battle there. Baasha killed Nadab in the third year of Asa king of Judah and became Israel's next king.
29-30 As soon as he was king he killed everyone in Jeroboam's family. There wasn't a living soul left to the name of Jeroboam; Baasha wiped them out totally, just as God's servant Ahijah of Shiloh had prophesied—punishment for Jeroboam's sins and for making Israel sin, for making the God of Israel thoroughly angry.
31-32 The rest of Nadab's life, everything else he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. There was continuous war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel. 

Baasha of Israel
33-34 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha son of Ahijah became king in Tirzah over all Israel. He ruled twenty-four years. He was openly evil before God, walking in the footsteps of Jeroboam, who both sinned and made Israel sin.

1 Kings 16


1-4 The word of God came to Jehu son of Hanani with this message for Baasha: "I took you from nothing—a complete nobody—and set you up as the leader of my people Israel, but you plodded along in the rut of Jeroboam, making my people Israel sin and making me seethe over their sin. And now the consequences—I will burn Baasha and his regime to cinders, the identical fate of Jeroboam son of Nebat. Baasha's people who die in the city will be eaten by scavenger dogs; carrion crows will eat the ones who die in the country." 5-6 The rest of Baasha's life, the record of his regime, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Baasha died and was buried with his ancestors in Tirzah. His son Elah was king after him.
7 That's the way it was with Baasha: Through the prophet Jehu son of Hanani, God's word came to him and his regime because of his life of open evil before God and his making God so angry—a chip off the block of Jeroboam, even though God had destroyed him. 

Elah of Israel
8-10 In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah son of Baasha began his rule. He was king in Tirzah only two years. One day when he was at the house of Arza the palace manager, drinking himself drunk, Zimri, captain of half his chariot-force, conspired against him. Zimri slipped in, knocked Elah to the ground, and killed him. This happened in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah. Zimri then became the king. 11-13 Zimri had no sooner become king than he killed everyone connected with Baasha, got rid of them all like so many stray dogs—relatives and friends alike. Zimri totally wiped out the family of Baasha, just as God's word delivered by the prophet Jehu had said—wages for the sins of Baasha and his son Elah; not only for their sins but for dragging Israel into their sins and making the God of Israel angry with their stupid idols.
14 The rest of Elah's life, what he said and did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel

Zimri of Israel
15-19 Zimri was king in Tirzah for all of seven days during the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Asa king of Judah. The Israelite army was on maneuvers near the Philistine town of Gibbethon at the time. When they got the report, "Zimri has conspired against the king and killed him," right there in the camp they made Omri, commander of the army, king. Omri and the army immediately left Gibbethon and attacked Tirzah. When Zimri saw that he was surrounded and as good as dead, he entered the palace citadel, set the place on fire, and died. It was a fit end for his sins, for living a flagrantly evil life before God, walking in the footsteps of Jeroboam, sinning and then dragging Israel into his sins. 20 As for the rest of Zimri's life, along with his infamous conspiracy, it's all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel
Omri of Israel
21-22 After that the people of Israel were split right down the middle: Half favored Tibni son of Ginath as king, and half wanted Omri. Eventually the Omri side proved stronger than the Tibni side. Tibni ended up dead and Omri king. 23-24Omri took over as king of Israel in the thirty-first year of the reign of Asa king of Judah. He ruled for twelve years, the first six in Tirzah. He then bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for 150 pounds of silver. He developed the hill and named the city that he built Samaria, after its original owner Shemer.
25-26 But as far as God was concerned, Omri lived an evil life—set new records in evil. He walked in the footsteps of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who not only sinned but dragged Israel into his sins, making God angry—such an empty-headed, empty-hearted life!
27-28 The rest of Omri's life, the mark he made on his times, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Omri died and was buried in Samaria. His son Ahab was the next king after him. 

Ahab of Israel
29-33 Ahab son of Omri became king of Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah. Ahab son of Omri was king over Israel for twenty-two years. He ruled from Samaria. Ahab son of Omri did even more open evil before God than anyone yet—a new champion in evil! It wasn't enough for him to copy the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat; no, he went all out, first by marrying Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and then by serving and worshiping the god Baal. He built a temple for Baal in Samaria, and then furnished it with an altar for Baal. Worse, he went on and built a shrine to the sacred whore Asherah. He made the God of Israel angrier than all the previous kings of Israel put together. 34 It was under Ahab's rule that Hiel of Bethel refortified Jericho, but at a terrible cost: He ritually sacrificed his firstborn son Abiram at the laying of the foundation, and his youngest son Segub at the setting up of the gates. This is exactly what Joshua son of Nun said would happen. 

1 Kings 17


1 And then this happened: Elijah the Tishbite, from among the settlers of Gilead, confronted Ahab: "As surely as Godlives, the God of Israel before whom I stand in obedient service, the next years are going to see a total drought—not a drop of dew or rain unless I say otherwise." 2-4 God then told Elijah, "Get out of here, and fast. Head east and hide out at the Kerith Ravine on the other side of the Jordan River. You can drink fresh water from the brook; I've ordered the ravens to feed you."
5-6 Elijah obeyed God's orders. He went and camped in the Kerith canyon on the other side of the Jordan. And sure enough, ravens brought him his meals, both breakfast and supper, and he drank from the brook.
7-9 Eventually the brook dried up because of the drought. Then God spoke to him: "Get up and go to Zarephath in Sidon and live there. I've instructed a woman who lives there, a widow, to feed you."
10-11 So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he came to the entrance of the village he met a woman, a widow, gathering firewood. He asked her, "Please, would you bring me a little water in a jug? I need a drink." As she went to get it, he called out, "And while you're at it, would you bring me something to eat?"
12 She said, "I swear, as surely as your God lives, I don't have so much as a biscuit. I have a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a bottle; you found me scratching together just enough firewood to make a last meal for my son and me. After we eat it, we'll die."
13-14 Elijah said to her, "Don't worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you've said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what's left for you and your son. This is the word of the God of Israel: 'The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.'"
15-16 And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn't run out and the bottle of oil didn't become empty: God's promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!
17 Later on the woman's son became sick. The sickness took a turn for the worse—and then he stopped breathing.
18 The woman said to Elijah, "Why did you ever show up here in the first place—a holy man barging in, exposing my sins, and killing my son?"
19-20 Elijah said, "Hand me your son."
He then took him from her bosom, carried him up to the loft where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he prayed, "O God, my God, why have you brought this terrible thing on this widow who has opened her home to me? Why have you killed her son?"
21-23 Three times he stretched himself out full-length on the boy, praying with all his might, "God, my God, put breath back into this boy's body!" God listened to Elijah's prayer and put breath back into his body—he was alive! Elijah picked the boy up, carried him downstairs from the loft, and gave him to his mother. "Here's your son," said Elijah, "alive!"
24 The woman said to Elijah, "I see it all now—you are a holy man. When you speak, God speaks—a true word!" 



Acts 10:23-48 (The Message)


22-23They said, "Captain Cornelius, a God-fearing man well-known for his fair play—ask any Jew in this part of the country—was commanded by a holy angel to get you and bring you to his house so he could hear what you had to say." Peter invited them in and made them feel at home. 
God Plays No Favorites
23-26The next morning he got up and went with them. Some of his friends from Joppa went along. A day later they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had his relatives and close friends waiting with him. The minute Peter came through the door, Cornelius was up on his feet greeting him—and then down on his face worshiping him! Peter pulled him up and said, "None of that—I'm a man and only a man, no different from you." 27-29Talking things over, they went on into the house, where Cornelius introduced Peter to everyone who had come. Peter addressed them, "You know, I'm sure that this is highly irregular. Jews just don't do this—visit and relax with people of another race. But God has just shown me that no race is better than any other. So the minute I was sent for, I came, no questions asked. But now I'd like to know why you sent for me."
30-32Cornelius said, "Four days ago at about this time, midafternoon, I was home praying. Suddenly there was a man right in front of me, flooding the room with light. He said, 'Cornelius, your daily prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God's attention. I want you to send to Joppa to get Simon, the one they call Peter. He's staying with Simon the Tanner down by the sea.'
33"So I did it—I sent for you. And you've been good enough to come. And now we're all here in God's presence, ready to listen to whatever the Master put in your heart to tell us."
34-36Peter fairly exploded with his good news: "It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you're from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he's doing it everywhere, among everyone.
37-38"You know the story of what happened in Judea. It began in Galilee after John preached a total life-change. Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down by the Devil. He was able to do all this because God was with him.
39-43"And we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross. But in three days God had him up, alive, and out where he could be seen. Not everyone saw him—he wasn't put on public display. Witnesses had been carefully handpicked by God beforehand—us! We were the ones, there to eat and drink with him after he came back from the dead. He commissioned us to announce this in public, to bear solemn witness that he is in fact the One whom God destined as Judge of the living and dead. But we're not alone in this. Our witness that he is the means to forgiveness of sins is backed up by the witness of all the prophets."
44-46No sooner were these words out of Peter's mouth than the Holy Spirit came on the listeners. The believing Jews who had come with Peter couldn't believe it, couldn't believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on "outsider" non-Jews, but there it was—they heard them speaking in tongues, heard them praising God.
46-48Then Peter said, "Do I hear any objections to baptizing these friends with water? They've received the Holy Spirit exactly as we did." Hearing no objections, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Then they asked Peter to stay on for a few days. 



Psalm 134:1-3 (The Message)


Psalm 134

A Pilgrim Song
1-3 Come, bless God, all you servants of God!
You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch
in God's shrine,
Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place,
and bless God.
In turn, may God of Zion bless you—
God who made heaven and earth!

Proverbs 17:9-11 (The Message)


9 Overlook an offense and bond a friendship;
fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!

10 A quiet rebuke to a person of good sense
does more than a whack on the head of a fool.

11 Criminals out looking for nothing but trouble
won't have to wait long—they'll meet it coming and going! 



Verse of the Day

“Just as parents are kind to their children, the LORD is kind to all who worship him,” - Psalm 103:13

Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for george gaylord simpsonThought for the Day

US paleontologist, George Gaylord Simpson wrote, “The fact - not theory - that evolution has occurred and the Darwinian theory as to how it occurred have become so confused in popular opinion that the distinction must be stressed.”

Image result for mother and child jokes
A Joke for Today 

Things Mom Would Never Say

"How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?" 
"Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too" 
"Just leave all the lights on ... it makes the house look more cheery" 
"Let me smell that shirt -- Yeah, it's good for another week" 
"Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I'll be glad to feed and walk him every day" 
"Well, if Timmy's mom says it's OK, that's good enough for me." 
"The curfew is just a general time to shoot for. It's not like I'm running a prison around here." 
"I don't have a tissue with me ... just use your sleeve" 
"Don't bother wearing a jacket - the wind-chill is bound to improve" 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Bible Readings for June 15, 2018

Today our passages are 1 Kings 14:1–15:24; Acts 10:1-23a; Psalm 132:1-3; and Proverbs 17:7-8. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
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1 Kings 14-15:24 (The Message)


1 Kings 14


 1-3 At about this time Jeroboam's son Abijah came down sick. Jeroboam said to his wife, "Do something. Disguise yourself so no one will know you are the queen and go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet lives there, the same Ahijah who told me I'd be king over this people. Take along ten loaves of bread, some sweet rolls, and a jug of honey. Make a visit to him and he'll tell you what's going on with our boy."  4-5 Jeroboam's wife did as she was told; she went straight to Shiloh and to Ahijah's house. Ahijah was an old man at this time, and blind, but God had warned Ahijah, "Jeroboam's wife is on her way to consult with you regarding her sick son; tell her this and this and this."
 5-9 When she came in she was disguised. Ahijah heard her come through the door and said, "Welcome, wife of Jeroboam! But why the deception? I've got bad news for you. Go and deliver this message I received firsthand from God, the God of Israel, to Jeroboam: I raised you up from obscurity and made you the leader of my people Israel. I ripped the kingdom from the hands of David's family and gave it to you, but you weren't at all like my servant David who did what I told him and lived from his undivided heart, pleasing me. Instead you've set a new record in works of evil by making alien gods—tin gods! Pushing me aside and turning your back—you've made me mighty angry.
 10-11 "And I'll not put up with it: I'm bringing doom on the household of Jeroboam, killing the lot of them right down to the last male wretch in Israel, whether slave or free. They've become nothing but garbage and I'm getting rid of them. The ones who die in the city will be eaten by stray dogs; the ones who die out in the country will be eaten by carrion crows. God's decree!
 12-13 "And that's it. Go on home—the minute you step foot in town, the boy will die. Everyone will come to his burial, mourning his death. He is the only one in Jeroboam's family who will get a decent burial; he's the only one for whom God, the God of Israel, has a good word to say.
 14-16 "Then God will appoint a king over Israel who will wipe out Jeroboam's family, wipe them right off the map—doomsday for Jeroboam! He will hit Israel hard, as a storm slaps reeds about; he'll pull them up by the roots from this good land of their inheritance, weeding them out, and then scatter them to the four winds. And why? Because they made God so angry with Asherah sex-and-religion shrines. He'll wash his hands of Israel because of Jeroboam's sins, which have led Israel into a life of sin."
 17-18 Jeroboam's wife left and went home to Tirzah. The moment she stepped through the door, the boy died. They buried him and everyone mourned his death, just as God had said through his servant the prophet Ahijah.
 19-20 The rest of Jeroboam's life, the wars he fought and the way he ruled, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. He ruled for twenty-two years. He died and was buried with his ancestors. Nadab his son was king after him.

21-24 Rehoboam son of Solomon was king in Judah. He was forty-one years old when he took the throne and was king for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city God selected from all the tribes of Israel for the worship of his Name. Rehoboam's mother was Naamah, an Ammonite. Judah was openly wicked before God, making him very angry. They set new records in sin, surpassing anything their ancestors had done. They built Asherah sex-and-religion shrines and set up sacred stones all over the place—on hills, under trees, wherever you looked. Worse, they had male sacred prostitutes, polluting the country outrageously—all the stuff that God had gotten rid of when he brought Israel into the land.
 25-28 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam's rule, Shishak king of Egypt made war against Jerusalem. He plundered The Temple of God and the royal palace of their treasures, cleaned them out—even the gold shields that Solomon had made. King Rehoboam replaced them with bronze shields and outfitted the royal palace guards with them. Whenever the king went to God's Temple, the guards carried the shields but always returned them to the guardroom.
 29-31 The rest of Rehoboam's life, what he said and did, is all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam the whole time. Rehoboam died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His mother was Naamah, an Ammonite. His son Abijah ruled after him. 

1 Kings 15

Abijah of Judah
 1-6 In the eighteenth year of the rule of Jeroboam son of Nebat, Abijah took over the throne of Judah. He ruled in Jerusalem three years. His mother was Maacah daughter of Absalom. He continued to sin just like his father before him. He was not truehearted to God as his great-grandfather David had been. But despite that, out of respect for David, his God graciously gave him a lamp, a son to follow him and keep Jerusalem secure. For David had lived an exemplary life before God all his days, not going off on his own in willful defiance of God's clear directions (except for that time with Uriah the Hittite). But war continued between Abijah and Jeroboam the whole time.  7-8 The rest of Abijah's life, everything he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. But the war with Jeroboam was the dominant theme. Abijah died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Asa was king after him. 
Asa of Judah
9-10 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began his rule over Judah. He ruled for forty-one years in Jerusalem. His grandmother's name was Maacah.  11-15 Asa conducted himself well before God, reviving the ways of his ancestor David. He cleaned house: He got rid of the sacred prostitutes and threw out all the idols his predecessors had made. Asa spared nothing and no one; he went so far as to remove Queen Maacah from her position because she had built a shockingly obscene memorial to the whore goddess Asherah. Asa tore it down and burned it up in the Kidron Valley. Unfortunately, he didn't get rid of the local sex-and-religion shrines. But he was well-intentioned—his heart was in the right place, in tune with God. All the gold and silver vessels and artifacts that he and his father had consecrated for holy use he installed in The Temple.
 16-17 But through much of his reign there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel. Baasha king of Israel started it by building a fort at Ramah and closing the border between Israel and Judah so no one could enter or leave Judah.
 18-19 Asa took all the silver and gold that was left in the treasuries of The Temple of God and the royal palace, gave it to his servants, and sent them to Ben-Hadad son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus, with this message: "Let's make a treaty like the one between our fathers. I'm showing my good faith with this gift of silver and gold. Break your deal with Baasha king of Israel so he'll quit fighting against me."
 20-21 Ben-Hadad went along with King Asa and sent out his troops against the towns of Israel. He attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, and the entire region of Kinnereth, including Naphtali. When Baasha got the report he quit fortifying Ramah and pulled back to Tirzah.
 22 Then King Asa issued orders to everyone in Judah—no exemptions—to haul away the logs and stones Baasha had used in the fortification of Ramah and use them to fortify Geba in Benjamin and Mizpah.
 23-24 A full account of Asa's life, all the great things he did and the fortifications he constructed, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. In his old age he developed severe gout. Then Asa died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Jehoshaphat became king after him.


Acts 10:1-23 (The Message)


Acts 10

Peter's Vision
 1-3 There was a man named Cornelius who lived in Caesarea, captain of the Italian Guard stationed there. He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer. One day about three o'clock in the afternoon he had a vision. An angel of God, as real as his next-door neighbor, came in and said, "Cornelius."  4-6Cornelius stared hard, wondering if he was seeing things. Then he said, "What do you want, sir?"
   The angel said, "Your prayers and neighborly acts have brought you to God's attention. Here's what you are to do. Send men to Joppa to get Simon, the one everyone calls Peter. He is staying with Simon the Tanner, whose house is down by the sea."
 7-8As soon as the angel was gone, Cornelius called two servants and one particularly devout soldier from the guard. He went over with them in great detail everything that had just happened, and then sent them off to Joppa.
 9-13The next day as the three travelers were approaching the town, Peter went out on the balcony to pray. It was about noon. Peter got hungry and started thinking about lunch. While lunch was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw the skies open up. Something that looked like a huge blanket lowered by ropes at its four corners settled on the ground. Every kind of animal and reptile and bird you could think of was on it. Then a voice came: "Go to it, Peter—kill and eat."
 14Peter said, "Oh, no, Lord. I've never so much as tasted food that was not kosher."
 15The voice came a second time: "If God says it's okay, it's okay."
 16This happened three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the skies.
 17-20As Peter, puzzled, sat there trying to figure out what it all meant, the men sent by Cornelius showed up at Simon's front door. They called in, asking if there was a Simon, also called Peter, staying there. Peter, lost in thought, didn't hear them, so the Spirit whispered to him, "Three men are knocking at the door looking for you. Get down there and go with them. Don't ask any questions. I sent them to get you."
 21Peter went down and said to the men, "I think I'm the man you're looking for. What's up?"
 22-23They said, "Captain Cornelius, a God-fearing man well-known for his fair play—ask any Jew in this part of the country—was commanded by a holy angel to get you and bring you to his house so he could hear what you had to say." Peter invited them in and made them feel at home. 
God Plays No Favorites
 23-26The next morning he got up and went with them. Some of his friends from Joppa went along. A day later they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had his relatives and close friends waiting with him. The minute Peter came through the door, Cornelius was up on his feet greeting him—and then down on his face worshiping him! Peter pulled him up and said, "None of that—I'm a man and only a man, no different from you."
 

 

Psalm 132:1-3 (The Message)


Psalm 132

A Pilgrim Song
 1-5 O God, remember David, remember all his troubles!
   And remember how he promised God,
      made a vow to the Strong God of Jacob,
   "I'm not going home,
      and I'm not going to bed,
   I'm not going to sleep,
      not even take time to rest,
   Until I find a home for God,
      a house for the Strong God of Jacob."
 

 

Proverbs 17:7-8 (The Message)


 7 We don't expect eloquence from fools,
   nor do we expect lies from our leaders.

 8 Receiving a gift is like getting a rare gemstone;
   any way you look at it, you see beauty refracted.


Verse of the Day

“Make your father truly happy by living right and showing sound judgment.” - Proverbs 23:24 
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for David RoseThought for the Day

American songwriter, composer, arranger, pianist, and orchestra leader, David Rose wrote, “Most of us feel overburdened by information, although I would say the overloaded feeling comes more from coordinating all of the information and responding to it.”

Image result for preacher jokesA Joke for Today

A preacher shocked his church when he announced that he was resigning from and moving to a drier climate. Afterwards, a very distraught lady came to the preacher with tears in her eyes, "Oh, pastor, we are going to miss you so much. We don't want you to leave!" The kind-hearted preacher said, "Now, now, sister, don't carry on. The pastor who takes my place might be even better than me.""Yeah," she replied, with a tone of disappointment in her voice, "that's what the last pastor said, too."