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.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bible Readings for March 23, 2017


Today our passages are Numbers 36:1–Deuteronomy 1:46; Luke 5:29–6:11; Psalm 66:1-20; and Proverbs 11:24-26. The readings are the Contemporary English VersionIf 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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Numbers 36 - Deuteronomy 1:46 (Contemporary English Version)

Numbers 36

The Laws about Married Women and Land
 1One day the family leaders from the Gilead clan of the Manasseh tribe went to Moses and the other family leaders of Israel 2and said, "Sir, the LORD has said that he will show a<="" value="[a]" >[] what land each tribe will receive as their own. And the LORD has commanded you to give the daughters of our relative Zelophehad [b<="">] the land that he would have received. 3But if they marry men from other tribes of Israel, the land they receive will become part of that tribe's inheritance and will no longer belong to us. 4Even when land is returned to its original owner in the Year of Celebration [c<="">], we will not get back Zelophehad's land--it will belong to the tribe into which his daughters married."     5So Moses told the people that the LORD had said:
   These men from the Manasseh tribe are right. 6I will allow Zelophehad's daughters to marry anyone, as long as those men belong to one of the clans of the Manasseh tribe.
    7Tribal land must not be given to another tribe--it will remain the property of the tribe that received it. 8-9In the future, any daughter who inherits land must marry someone from her own tribe. Israel's tribal land is never to be passed from one tribe to another.
    10-11Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah the daughters of Zelophehad obeyed the LORD and married their uncles' sons 12and remained part of the Manasseh tribe. So their land stayed in their father's clan.
    13These are the laws that the LORD gave to Moses and the Israelites while they were camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho.
   

Deuteronomy 1

The Final Speeches of Moses
 1-5This book contains the speeches that Moses made while Israel was in the land of Moab, camped near the town of Suph in the desert east of the Jordan River. The town of Paran was in one direction from their camp, and the towns of Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab [d<="">] were in the opposite direction. Earlier, Moses had defeated the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon. Moses had also defeated King Og of Bashan, who used to live in Ashtaroth for part of the year and in Edrei for the rest of the year.    Although it takes only eleven days to walk from Mount Sinai [e<="">] to Kadesh-Barnea by way of the Mount Seir Road, these speeches were not made until forty years after Israel left Egypt. [f<="">] The LORD's Command at Mount Sinai
   The LORD had given Moses his laws for the people of Israel. And on the first day of the eleventh month, [g<="">] Moses began explaining those laws by saying:
THE FIRST SPEECH: MOSES REVIEWS THE PAST
 6People of Israel, when we were in our camp at Mount Sinai, [h<="">] the LORD our God told us: You have stayed here long enough. 7Leave this place and go into the land that belongs to the Amorites and their neighbors the Canaanites. This land includes the Jordan River valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Southern Desert, the Mediterranean seacoast, the Lebanon Mountains, and all the territory as far as the Euphrates River. 8I give you this land, just as I promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now you must go and take the land.    Moses said:
   
Leaders Were Appointed
(Exodus 18.13-27)
 9Right after the LORD commanded us to leave Mount Sinai, I told you:    Israel, being your leader is too big a job for one person. 10The LORD our God has blessed us, and so now there are as many of us as there are stars in the sky. 11God has even promised to bless us a thousand times more, and I pray that he will. 12But I cannot take care of all your problems and settle all your arguments alone. 13Each tribe must choose some experienced men who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will make those men the official leaders of their tribes.
    14You answered, " That's a good idea!" 15Then I took these men, who were already wise and respected leaders, and I appointed them as your official leaders. Some of them became military officers in charge of groups of a thousand, or a hundred, or fifty, or ten, 16and others became judges. I gave these judges the following instructions:
   When you settle legal cases, your decisions must be fair. It doesn't matter if the case is between two Israelites, or between an Israelite and a foreigner living in your community. 17And it doesn't matter if one is helpless and the other is powerful. Don't be afraid of anyone! No matter who shows up in your court, God will help you make a fair decision.
   If any case is too hard for you, bring the people to me, and I will make the decision.
    18After I gave these instructions to the judges, I taught you the LORD's commands.
   Moses said to Israel:
   
Men Were Sent To Explore the Hill Country
(Numbers 13.1-33)
 19The LORD had commanded us to leave Mount Sinai and go to the hill country that belonged to the Amorites, so we started out into the huge desert. You remember how frightening it was, but soon we were at Kadesh-Barnea, 20-21and I told you, " We have reached the hill country. It belongs to the Amorites now, but the LORD our God is giving it to us. He is the same God our ancestors worshiped, and he has told us to go in and take this land, so don't hesitate and be afraid."     22Then all of you came to me and said, " Before we go into the land, let's send some men to explore it. When they come back, they can tell us about the towns we will find and what roads we should take to get there."
    23It seemed like a good idea, so I chose twelve men, one from each tribe. 24They explored the hill country as far as Bunch Valley [i<="">] 25and even brought back some of the fruit. They said, " The LORD our God is giving us good land." Moses said to Israel:
   
Israel Refused To Obey the LORD
(Numbers 14.1-45)
 26You did not want to go into the land, and you refused to obey the LORD your God. 27You stayed in your tents and grumbled, " The LORD must hate us--he brought us out of Egypt, just so he could hand us over to the Amorites and get rid of us. 28We are afraid, because the men who explored the land told us that the cities are large, with walls that reach to the sky. The people who live there are taller and stronger than we are, [j<="">] and some of them are Anakim. [k<="">] We have nowhere to go." 29Then I said, " Don't worry! 30The LORD our God will lead the way. He will fight on our side, just as he did when we saw him do all those things to the Egyptians. 31And you know that the LORD has taken care of us the whole time we've been in the desert, just as you might carry one of your children."     32But you still would not trust the LORD, 33even though he had always been with us in the desert. During the daytime, the LORD was in the cloud, leading us in the right direction and showing us where to camp. And at night, he was there in the fire. [l<="">] 34You had made the LORD angry, and he said:
    35You people of this generation are evil, and I refuse to let you go into the good land that I promised your ancestors. 36Caleb son of Jephunneh is the only one of your generation that I will allow to go in. He obeyed me completely, so I will give him and his descendants the land he explored.
    37The LORD was even angry with me because of you people, and he said, " Moses, I won't let you go into the land either. 38Instead, I will let Joshua [m<="">] your assistant lead Israel to conquer the land. So encourage him." 39Then the LORD spoke to you again:
   People of Israel, you said that your innocent young children would be taken prisoner in the battle for the land. But someday I will let them go into the land, and with my help they will conquer it and live there.
    40Now, turn around and go back into the desert by way of Red Sea [n<="">] Road. 41Then you told me, " We disobeyed the LORD our God, but now we want to obey him. We will go into the hill country and fight, just as he told us to do." So you picked up your weapons, thinking it would be easy to take over the hill country.
    42But the LORD said, " Moses, warn them not to go into the hill country. I won't help them fight, and their enemies will defeat them."
    43I told you what the LORD had said, but you paid no attention. You disobeyed him and went into the hill country anyway. You thought you were so great! 44But when the Amorites in the hill country attacked from their towns, you ran from them as you would run from a swarm of bees. The Amorites chased your troops into Seir [o<="">] as far as Hormah, killing them as they went. 45Then you came back to the place of worship at Kadesh-Barnea and wept, but the LORD would not listen to your prayers.
Israel Spent Years in the Desert
Moses said to Israel:
 46After we had been in Kadesh for a few months, we obeyed the LORD and headed back into the desert by way of Red Sea [p<="">] Road.
Footnotes:
  1. Numbers 36:2 that he will show: See the note at 26.55,56.
  2. Numbers 36:2 Zelophehad: See also 26.28-34; 27.1-11.
  3. Numbers 36:4 Year of Celebration: This was a sacred year for Israel, traditionally called the "Year of Jubilee." During this year, all property had to go back to its original owner. But here, the property was not sold; it became part of the other tribe's land when the daughter who owned it married into that tribe. So the property could not be returned even during this year.
  4. Deuteronomy 1:1 Suph. . . Paran. . . Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab: The exact location of these towns is not known.
  5. Deuteronomy 1:1 Mount Sinai: The Hebrew text has " Horeb," another name for Mount Sinai.
  6. Deuteronomy 1:1 Egypt: The Israelites would soon enter Canaan, but they would have entered the land of Canaan from Kadesh-Barnea forty years earlier if they had not rebelled against God (see verses 6-40).
  7. Deuteronomy 1:1 eleventh month: Shebat, the eleventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-January to mid-February.
  8. Deuteronomy 1:6 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  9. Deuteronomy 1:24 Bunch Valley: Or " Eshcol Valley," famous for its large bunches of grapes.
  10. Deuteronomy 1:28 The people. . . we are: Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts and one ancient translation " the people who live there are stronger than we are, and there are more of them than there are of us."
  11. Deuteronomy 1:28 Anakim: Perhaps a group of very tall people that lived in or near Palestine before the Israelites. See also 2.10,11,20,21; Numbers 13.33.
  12. Deuteronomy 1:33 the cloud. . . the fire: See Exodus 40.34-38; Numbers 9.15-23.
  13. Deuteronomy 1:38 Joshua: Hebrew " Joshua son of Nun."
  14. Deuteronomy 1:40 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph, here referring to the Gulf of Aqaba, since the term is extended to include the northeastern arm of the Red Sea (see also the note at 11.4).
  15. Deuteronomy 1:44 Seir: An area of hills and mountains that was part of the territory of Edom.
  16. Deuteronomy 1:46 Red Sea: See the notes at 1.40; 11.4.

Luke 5:29-6:11 (Contemporary English Version)

29In his home Levi gave a big dinner for Jesus. Many tax collectors and other guests were also there.
    30The Pharisees and some of their teachers of the Law of Moses grumbled to Jesus' disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with those tax collectors and other sinners?"
    31Jesus answered, "Healthy people don't need a doctor, but sick people do. 32I didn't come to invite good people to turn to God. I came to invite sinners."
   
People Ask about Going without Eating
(Matthew 9.14-17; Mark 2.18-22)
 33Some people said to Jesus, "John's followers often pray and go without eating, a<="" value="[a]" >[] and so do the followers of the Pharisees. But your disciples never go without eating or drinking." 34Jesus told them, "The friends of a bridegroom don't go without eating while he is still with them. 35But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating."     36Jesus then told them these sayings:
   No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.
    37No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins. [b<="">] Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. 38New wine must be put only into new wineskins. 39No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say, "The old wine is better."
   

Luke 6

A Question about the Sabbath
(Matthew 12.1-8; Mark 2.23-28)
 1One Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields, [c<="">] the disciples picked some wheat. They rubbed the husks off with their hands and started eating the grain. 2Some Pharisees said, "Why are you picking grain on the Sabbath? You're not supposed to do that!"     3Jesus answered, "You surely have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry. 4He went into the house of God and took the sacred loaves of bread that only priests were supposed to eat. He not only ate some himself, but even gave some to his followers."
    5Jesus finished by saying, "The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath."
   
A Man with a Crippled Hand
(Matthew 12.9-14; Mark 3.1-6)
 6On another Sabbath [d<="">] Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, and a man with a crippled right hand was there. 7Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong. 8Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. And the man stood up. 9Then Jesus asked, "On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone's life or destroy it?"     10After he had looked around at everyone, he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did, and his bad hand became completely well.
    11The teachers and the Pharisees were furious and started saying to each other, "What can we do about Jesus?"
   
Footnotes:
  1. Luke 5:33 without eating: See the note at 2.37.
  2. Luke 5:37 swell and burst the old skins: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored. If the skins were old and stiff, they would burst.
  3. Luke 6:1 walking through some wheat fields: It was the custom to let hungry travelers pick grains of wheat.
  4. Luke 6:6 On another Sabbath: Some manuscripts have a reading which may mean " the Sabbath after the next."

Psalm 66:1-20 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 66

(A song and a psalm for the music leader.)
Shout Praises to God
 1Tell everyone on this earth    to shout praises to God!
    2Sing about his glorious name.
   Honor him with praises.
    3Say to God, "Everything you do
   is fearsome,
   and your mighty power makes
   your enemies come crawling.
    4You are worshiped by everyone!
   We all sing praises to you."
    5Come and see the fearsome things
   our God has done!
    6When God made the sea dry up,
   our people walked across,
   and because of him,
   we celebrated there.
    7His mighty power rules forever,
   and nothing the nations do
   can be hidden from him.
   So don't turn against God.
    8All of you people,
   come praise our God!
   Let his praises be heard.
    9God protects us from death
   and keeps us steady.
    10Our God, you tested us,
   just as silver is tested.
    11You trapped us in a net
   and gave us heavy burdens.
    12You sent war chariots
   to crush our skulls.
   We traveled through fire
   and through floods,
   but you brought us
   to a land of plenty.
    13I will bring sacrifices
   into your house, my God,
   and I will do what I promised
    14when I was in trouble.
    15I will sacrifice my best sheep
   and offer bulls and goats
   on your altar.
    16All who worship God,
   come here and listen;
   I will tell you everything
   God has done for me.
    17I prayed to the Lord,
   and I praised him.
    18If my thoughts had been sinful,
   he would have refused
   to hear me.
    19But God did listen
   and answered my prayer.
    20Let's praise God!
   He listened when I prayed,
   and he is always kind.


Proverbs 11:24-26 (Contemporary English Version)

24Sometimes you can become rich
   by being generous
   or poor by being greedy.
    25Generosity will be rewarded:
   Give a cup of water,
   and you will receive
   a cup of water in return.
    26Charge too much for grain,
   and you will be cursed;
   sell it at a fair price,
   and you will be praised.


Verse of the Day

“[Trials and Temptations]God will bless you, if you don't give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him.” - James 1:12
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.


 
Image result for Erich Fromm
Thought for the Day

German social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist, Erich Fromm wrote, “The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, March 26, 2017 (The Fourth Sunday in Lent)

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, March 26, 2017...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from the Old Testament ( 1 Samuel 16:1-13 ), the Psalms ( Psalm 23 ), the Letters ( Ephesians 5:8...

Bible Readings for March 22, 2017


Today our passages are Numbers 33:40–35:34; Luke 5:12-28; Psalm 65:1-13; and Proverbs 11:23. The readings are the Contemporary English VersionIf 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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Numbers 33:40-35:34 (Contemporary English Version)

40It was then that the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Southern Desert of Canaan, heard that Israel was headed that way.
    41-47The Israelites left Mount Hor and headed toward Moab. Along the way, they camped at Zalmonah, Punon, Oboth, Iye-Abarim in the territory of Moab, Dibon-Gad, Almon-Diblathaim, at a place near Mount Nebo in the Abarim Mountains, 48and finally in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho. 49Their camp stretched from Beth-Jeshimoth to Acacia.
   
The LORD's Command To Conquer Canaan
 50While Israel was camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the LORD told Moses 51to give the people of Israel this message:    When you cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, 52you must force out the people living there. Destroy their idols and tear down their altars. 53Then settle in the land--I have given it to you as your own.
    54I will show you a<="" value="[a]" >[] how to divide the land among the tribes, according to the number of clans in each one, so that the larger tribes will have more land than the smaller ones. 55If you don't force out all the people there, they will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. They will always be trouble for you, 56and I will treat you as cruelly as I planned on treating them.
   

Numbers 34

Israel's Borders
 1The LORD told Moses 2to tell the people of Israel that their land in Canaan would have the following borders:     3The southern border will be the Zin Desert and the northwest part of Edom. This border will begin at the south end of the Dead Sea. 4It will go west from there, but will turn southward to include Scorpion Pass, the village of Zin, and the town of Kadesh-Barnea. From there, the border will continue to Hazar-Addar and on to Azmon. 5It will run along the Egyptian Gorge and end at the Mediterranean Sea.
    6The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.
    7The northern border will begin at the Mediterranean, then continue eastward to Mount Hor. [b<="">] 8After that, it will run to Lebo-Hamath and across to Zedad, which is the northern edge of your land. 9From Zedad, the border will continue east to Ziphron and end at Hazar-Enan. 10The eastern border will begin at Hazar-Enan in the north, then run south to Shepham, 11and on down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there, it will go south to the eastern hills of Lake Galilee, [c<="">] 12then follow the Jordan River down to the north end of the Dead Sea. The land within those four borders will belong to you.
    13Then Moses told the people, " You will receive the land inside these borders. It will be yours, but the LORD has commanded you to divide it among the nine and a half tribes. 14The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh have already been given their land 15across from Jericho, east of the Jordan River."
   
The Leaders Who Will Divide the Land
 16The LORD said to Moses, 17" Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun will divide the land for the Israelites. 18One leader from each tribe will help them, 19-28and here is the list of their names:    Caleb son of Jephunneh
   from Judah,
   Shemuel son of Ammihud
   from Simeon,
   Elidad son of Chislon
   from Benjamin,
   Bukki son of Jogli
   from Dan,
   Hanniel son of Ephod
   from Manasseh,
   Kemuel son of Shiphtan
   from Ephraim,
   Elizaphan son of Parnach
   from Zebulun,
   Paltiel son of Azzan
   from Issachar,
   Ahihud son of Shelomi
   from Asher,
   and Pedahel son of Ammihud
   from Naphtali."
    29These are the men the LORD commanded to help Eleazar and Joshua divide the land for the Israelites.
   

Numbers 35

The Towns for the Levites
 1While the people of Israel were still camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the LORD told Moses 2to say to them:    When you receive your tribal lands, you must give towns and pastures to the Levi tribe. 3That way, the Levites will have towns to live in and pastures for their animals. 4-5The pasture around each of these towns must be in the shape of a square, with the town itself in the center. The pasture is to measure three thousand feet on each side, with fifteen hundred feet of land outside each of the town walls. This will be the Levites' pastureland.
    6Six of the towns you give them will be Safe Towns where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection. But you will also give the Levites forty-two other towns, 7so they will have a total of forty-eight towns with their surrounding pastures.
    8Since the towns for the Levites must come from Israel's own tribal lands, the larger tribes will give more towns than the smaller ones.
   
The Safe Towns
(Deuteronomy 19.1-13; Joshua 20.1-9)
 9The LORD then told Moses 10to tell the people of Israel:    After you have crossed the Jordan River and are settled in Canaan, 11choose Safe Towns, where a person who has accidentally killed someone can run for protection. 12If the victim's relatives think it was murder, they might try to take revenge. [d<="">] Anyone accused of murder can run to one of these Safe Towns for protection and not be killed before a trial is held. 13There are to be six of these Safe Towns, 14three on each side of the Jordan River. 15They will be places of protection for anyone who lives in Israel and accidentally kills someone.
   
Laws about Murder and Accidental Killing
The LORD said:
 16-18Suppose you hit someone with a piece of iron or a large stone or a dangerous wooden tool. If that person dies, then you are a murderer and must be put to death 19by one of the victim's relatives. He will take revenge for his relative's death as soon as he finds you.     20-21Or suppose you get angry and kill someone by pushing or hitting or by throwing something. You are a murderer and must be put to death by one of the victim's relatives.
    22-24But if you are not angry and accidentally kill someone in any of these ways, the townspeople must hold a trial and decide if you are guilty. 25If they decide that you are innocent, you will be protected from the victim's relative and sent to stay in one of the Safe Towns until the high priest dies. 26But if you ever leave the Safe Town 27and are killed by the victim's relative, he cannot be punished for killing you. 28You must stay inside the town until the high priest dies; only then can you go back home.
    29The community of Israel must always obey these laws.
    30Death is the penalty for murder. But no one accused of murder can be put to death unless there are at least two witnesses to the crime. 31You cannot give someone money to escape the death penalty; you must pay with your own life! 32And if you have been proven innocent of murder and are living in a Safe Town, you cannot pay to go back home; you must stay there until the high priest dies.
    33-34I, the LORD, live among you people of Israel, so your land must be kept pure. But when a murder takes place, blood pollutes the land, and it becomes unclean. If that happens, the murderer must be put to death, so the land will be clean again. Keep murder out of Israel!
   
Footnotes:
  1. Numbers 33:54 I will show you: See the note at 26.55,56.
  2. Numbers 34:7 Mount Hor: Not the same as in 33.37.
  3. Numbers 34:11 Lake Galilee: The Hebrew text has " Lake Chinnereth," an earlier name for Lake Galilee.
  4. Numbers 35:12 the victim's relatives. . . revenge: At this time in Israel's history, the clan would appoint the closest male relative to find and kill a person who had killed a member of their clan.

Luke 5:12-28 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus Heals a Man
(Matthew 8.1-4; Mark 1.40-45)
 12Jesus came to a town where there was a man who had leprosy. a<="" value="[a]" >[] When the man saw Jesus, he knelt down to the ground in front of Jesus and begged, "Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to." 13Jesus put his hand on him and said, "I want to! Now you are well." At once the man's leprosy disappeared. 14Jesus told him, "Don't tell anyone about this, but go and show yourself to the priest. Offer a gift to the priest, just as Moses commanded, and everyone will know that you have been healed." [b<="">] 15News about Jesus kept spreading. Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases. 16But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.    
Jesus Heals a Crippled Man
(Matthew 9.1-8; Mark 2.1-12)
 17One day some Pharisees and experts in the Law of Moses sat listening to Jesus teach. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem.    God had given Jesus the power to heal the sick, 18and some people came carrying a crippled man on a mat. They tried to take him inside the house and put him in front of Jesus. 19But because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So they went up on the roof, [c<="">] where they removed some tiles and let the mat down in the middle of the room. 20When Jesus saw how much faith they had, he said to the crippled man, "My friend, your sins are forgiven."
    21The Pharisees and the experts began arguing, "Jesus must think he is God! Only God can forgive sins."
    22Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said, "Why are you thinking that? 23Is it easier for me to tell this crippled man that his sins are forgiven or to tell him to get up and walk? 24But now you will see that the Son of Man has the right to forgive sins here on earth." Jesus then said to the man, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk home."
    25At once the man stood up in front of everyone. He picked up his mat and went home, giving thanks to God. 26Everyone was amazed and praised God. What they saw surprised them, and they said, "We have seen a great miracle today!"
   
Jesus Chooses Levi
(Matthew 9.9-13; Mark 2.13-17)
 27Later, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector [d<="">] named Levi sitting at the place for paying taxes. Jesus said to him, "Come with me." 28Levi left everything and went with Jesus.
Footnotes:
  1. Luke 5:12 leprosy: See the note at 4.27.
  2. Luke 5:14 everyone will know that you have been healed: People with leprosy had to be examined by a priest and told that they were well (that is, " clean" ) before they could once again live a normal life in the Jewish community. The gift that Moses commanded was the sacrifice of some lambs together with flour mixed with olive oil.
  3. Luke 5:19 roof: In Palestine the houses usually had a flat roof. Stairs on the outside led up to the roof, which was made of beams and boards covered with packed earth. Luke says that the roof was made of (clay) tiles, which were also used for making roofs in New Testament times.
  4. Luke 5:27 tax collector: See the note at 3.12.

Psalm 65:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 65

(A psalm by David and a song for the music leader.)
God Answers Prayer
 1Our God, you deserve a<="" value="[a]" >[] praise in Zion,    where we keep
   our promises to you.
    2Everyone will come to you
   because you answer prayer.
    3Our terrible sins get us down,
   but you forgive us.
    4You bless your chosen ones,
   and you invite them
   to live near you
   in your temple.
   We will enjoy your house,
   the sacred temple.
    5Our God, you save us,
   and your fearsome deeds
   answer our prayers for justice!
   You give hope to people
   everywhere on earth,
   even those across the sea.
    6You are strong,
   and your mighty power
   put the mountains in place.
    7You silence the roaring waves
   and the noisy shouts
   of the nations.
    8People far away marvel
   at your fearsome deeds,
   and all who live under the sun
   celebrate and sing
   because of you.
    9You take care of the earth
   and send rain
   to help the soil
   grow all kinds of crops.
   Your rivers never run dry,
   and you prepare the earth
   to produce much grain.
    10You water all of its fields
   and level the lumpy ground.
   You send showers of rain
   to soften the soil
   and help the plants sprout.
    11Wherever your footsteps
   touch the earth,
   a rich harvest is gathered.
    12Desert pastures blossom,
   and mountains celebrate.
    13Meadows are filled
   with sheep and goats;
   valleys overflow with grain
   and echo with joyful songs.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 65:1 deserve: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 11:23 (Contemporary English Version)

23Good people want what is best,
   but troublemakers
   hope to stir up trouble. a<="" value="[a]" >[]
Footnotes:
  1. Proverbs 11:23 Good people. . . trouble: Or " Good people do what is best, but troublemakers just stir up trouble."

 
Verse of the Day
 
“[The Fight against Evil]Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks.” - Ephesians 6:10-11
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.


 
Image result for Louis L'AmourThought for the Day

American novelist and short story writer, Louis L'Amour wrote, “Do not let yourself be bothered by the inconsequential. One has only so much time in this world, so devote it to the work and the people most important to you, to those you love and things that matter. One can waste half a lifetime with people one doesn't really like, or doing things when one would be better off somewhere else.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Bible Readings for March 21, 2017


Today our passages are Numbers 28:16–29:40; Luke 3:23-38; Psalm 62:1-12; and Proverbs 11:18-19. The readings are the Contemporary English VersionIf 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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Numbers 32-33:39 (Contemporary English Version)

Numbers 32

Land East of the Jordan River Is Settled
(Deuteronomy 3.12-22)
 1The tribes of Reuben and Gad owned a lot of cattle and sheep, and they saw that the regions of Jazer and Gilead had good pastureland. 2So they went to Moses, Eleazar, and the other leaders of Israel and said, 3-4" The LORD has helped us capture the land around the towns of Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon. That's good pastureland, and since we own cattle and sheep, 5would you let us stay here east of the Jordan River and have this land as our own?"     6Moses answered:
   You mean you'd stay here while the rest of the Israelites go into battle? 7If you did that, it would discourage the others from crossing over into the land the LORD promised them. 8This is exactly what happened when I sent your ancestors from Kadesh-Barnea to explore the land. 9They went as far as Eshcol Valley, then returned and told the people that we should not enter it. 10The LORD became very angry. 11And he said that no one who was twenty years or older when they left Egypt would enter the land he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Not one of those people believed in the LORD's power, 12except Caleb and Joshua. [a] They remained faithful to the LORD, 13but he was so angry with the others that he forced them to wander around in the desert forty years. By that time everyone who had sinned against him had died. 14Now you people of Reuben and Gad are doing the same thing and making the LORD even angrier. 15If you reject the LORD, he will once again abandon his people and leave them here in the desert. And you will be to blame!
    16The men from Reuben and Gad replied:
   Let us build places to keep our sheep and goats, and towns for our wives and children, 17where they can stay and be safe. Then we'll prepare to fight and lead the other tribes into battle. 18We will stay with them until they have settled in their own tribal lands. 19The land on this side of the Jordan River will be ours, so we won't expect to receive any on the other side.
    20Moses said:
   You promised that you would be ready to fight for the LORD. 21You also agreed to cross the Jordan and stay with the rest of the Israelites, until the LORD forces our enemies out of the land. If you do these things, 22then after the LORD helps Israel capture the land, you can return to your own land. You will no longer have to stay with the others. 23But if you don't keep your promise, you will sin against the LORD and be punished.
    24Go ahead and build towns for your wives and children, and places for your sheep and goats. Just be sure to do what you have promised.
    25The men from Reuben and Gad answered:
   Sir, we will do just what you have said. 26Our wives and children and sheep and cattle will stay here in the towns in Gilead. 27But those of us who are prepared for battle will cross the Jordan and fight for the LORD.
    28Then Moses said to Eleazar, Joshua, and the family leaders, 29" Make sure that the tribes of Gad and Reuben prepare for battle and cross the Jordan River with you. If they do, then after the land is in your control, give them the region of Gilead as their tribal land. 30But if they break their promise, they will receive land on the other side of the Jordan, like the rest of the tribes."
    31The tribes of Gad and Reuben replied, " We are your servants and will do whatever the LORD has commanded. 32We will cross the Jordan River, ready to fight for the LORD in Canaan. But the land we will inherit as our own will be on this side of the river."
    33So Moses gave the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh [b] the territory and towns that King Sihon the Amorite had ruled, as well as the territory and towns that King Og of Bashan had ruled. [c] 34The tribe of Gad rebuilt the towns of Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, 35Atroth-Shophan, Jazer, Jogbehah, 36Beth-Nimrah, and Beth-Haran. They built walls around them and also built places to keep their sheep and goats.
    37The tribe of Reuben rebuilt Heshbon, Elealeh, Kiriathaim, 38Sibmah, as well as the towns that used to be known as Nebo and Baal-Meon. They renamed all those places.
    39The clan of Machir from the tribe of East Manasseh went to the region of Gilead, captured its towns, and forced out the Amorites. 40So Moses gave the Machirites the region of Gilead, and they settled there.
    41Jair from the Manasseh tribe captured villages and renamed them " Villages of Jair." [d] 42Nobah captured the town of Kenath with its villages and renamed it Nobah.
   

Numbers 33

Israel's Journey from Egypt to Moab
 1As Israel traveled from Egypt under the command of Moses and Aaron, 2Moses kept a list of the places they camped, just as the LORD had instructed. Here is the record of their journey:     3-4Israel left the Egyptian city of Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month. [e] This was the day after the LORD had punished Egypt's gods by killing the first-born sons in every Egyptian family. So while the Egyptians were burying the bodies, they watched the Israelites proudly [f] leave their country. 5After the Israelites left Rameses, they camped at Succoth, 6and from there, they moved their camp to Etham on the edge of the desert. 7Then they turned back toward Pi-Hahiroth, east of Baal-Zephon, and camped near Migdol. 8They left Pi-Hahiroth, [g] crossed the Red Sea, [h] then walked three days into the Etham Desert and camped at Marah. 9Next, they camped at Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. 10They left Elim and camped near the Red Sea, [i] 11then turned east and camped along the western edge of the Sinai Desert. [j] 12-14From there they went to Dophkah, Alush, and Rephidim, where they had no water. [k] 15They left Rephidim and finally reached the Sinai Desert. 16-36As Israel traveled from the Sinai Desert to Kadesh in the Zin Desert, they camped at Kibroth-Hattaavah, Hazeroth, Rithmah, Rimmon-Perez, Libnah, Rissah, Kehelathah, Mount Shepher, Haradah, Makheloth, Tahath, Terah, Mithkah, Hashmonah, Moseroth, Bene-Jaakan, Hor-Haggidgad, Jotbathah, Abronah, Ezion-Geber, and finally Kadesh. 37When they left Kadesh, they came to Mount Hor, on the border of Edom.
    38That's where the LORD commanded Aaron the priest to go to the top of the mountain. Aaron died there on the first day of the fifth month, [l] forty years after the Israelites left Egypt. 39He was one hundred twenty-three years old at the time.
Footnotes:
  1. Numbers 32:12 Caleb and Joshua: See the note at 14:30.
  2. Numbers 32:33 half of Manasseh: Or " East Manasseh."
  3. Numbers 32:33 ruled: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 33.
  4. Numbers 32:41 Villages of Jair: Or " Havvoth-Jair."
  5. Numbers 33:3 first month: See the note at 9.3.
  6. Numbers 33:3 proudly: Or " bravely."
  7. Numbers 33:8 Pi-Hahiroth: Two ancient translations and the Samaritan Hebrew Text; the Standard Hebrew Text " a place near Hahiroth."
  8. Numbers 33:8 Red Sea: Hebrew hayyam " the Sea," understood as yam suph, " Sea of Reeds" (see also the note at Exodus 13.18).
  9. Numbers 33:10 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph, here referring to the Gulf of Suez, since the term is extended to include the northwestern arm of the Red Sea (see also the note at Exodus 13.18).
  10. Numbers 33:11 the western edge of the Sinai Desert: Hebrew " the Sin Desert."
  11. Numbers 33:12 Rephidim. . . no water: See Exodus 17.1-7.
  12. Numbers 33:38 fifth month: Ab, the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-July to mid-August.

Luke 4:31-5:11 (Contemporary English Version)

A Man with an Evil Spirit
(Mark 1.21-28)
 31Jesus went to the town of Capernaum in Galilee and taught the people on the Sabbath. 32His teaching amazed them because he spoke with power. 33There in the Jewish meeting place was a man with an evil spirit. He yelled out, 34"Hey, Jesus of Nazareth, what do you want with us? Are you here to get rid of us? I know who you are! You are God's Holy One."     35Jesus ordered the evil spirit to be quiet and come out. The demon threw the man to the ground in front of everyone and left without harming him.
    36They all were amazed and kept saying to each other, "What kind of teaching is this? He has power to order evil spirits out of people!" 37News about Jesus spread all over that part of the country.
   
Jesus Heals Many People
(Matthew 8.14-17; Mark 1.29-34)
 38Jesus left the meeting place and went to Simon's home. When Jesus got there, he was told that Simon's mother-in-law was sick with a high fever. 39So Jesus went over to her and ordered the fever to go away. Right then she was able to get up and serve them a meal.     40After the sun had set, people with all kinds of diseases were brought to Jesus. He put his hands on each one of them and healed them. 41Demons went out of many people and shouted, "You are the Son of God!" But Jesus ordered the demons not to speak because they knew he was the Messiah.
    42The next morning Jesus went out to a place where he could be alone, and crowds came looking for him. When they found him, they tried to stop him from leaving. 43But Jesus said, "People in other towns must hear the good news about God's kingdom. That's why I was sent." 44So he kept on preaching in the Jewish meeting places in Judea. [a]

Luke 5

Jesus Chooses His First Disciples
(Matthew 4.18-22; Mark 1.16-20)
 1Jesus was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, [b] teaching the people as they crowded around him to hear God's message. 2Near the shore he saw two boats left there by some fishermen who had gone to wash their nets. 3Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon and asked him to row it out a little way from the shore. Then Jesus sat down [c] in the boat to teach the crowd. 4When Jesus had finished speaking, he told Simon, "Row the boat out into the deep water and let your nets down to catch some fish."     5"Master," Simon answered, "we have worked hard all night long and have not caught a thing. But if you tell me to, I will let the nets down." 6They did it and caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart. 7Then they signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. The men came, and together they filled the two boats so full that they both began to sink.
    8When Simon Peter saw this happen, he knelt down in front of Jesus and said, "Lord, don't come near me! I am a sinner." 9Peter and everyone with him were completely surprised at all the fish they had caught. 10His partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were surprised too.
   Jesus told Simon, "Don't be afraid! From now on you will bring in people instead of fish." 11The men pulled their boats up on the shore. Then they left everything and went with Jesus.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Luke 4:44 Judea: Some manuscripts have " Galilee."
  2. Luke 5:1 Lake Gennesaret: Another name for Lake Galilee.
  3. Luke 5:3 sat down: Teachers in the ancient world, including Jewish teachers, usually sat down when they taught.

 

Psalm 64:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 64

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
Celebrate because of the LORD
 1Listen to my concerns, God,    and protect me
   from my terrible enemies.
    2Keep me safe from secret plots
   of corrupt and evil gangs.
    3Their words cut like swords,
   and their cruel remarks
   sting like sharp arrows.
    4They fearlessly ambush
   and shoot innocent people.
    5They are determined to do evil,
   and they tell themselves,
   "Let's set traps!
   No one can see us." [a] 6They make evil plans and say,
   "We'll commit a perfect crime.
   No one knows our thoughts." [b] 7But God will shoot his arrows
   and quickly wound them.
    8They will be destroyed
   by their own words,
   and everyone who sees them
   will tremble with fear. [c] 9They will be afraid and say,
   "Look at what God has done
   and keep it all in mind."
    10May the LORD bless his people
   with peace and happiness
   and let them celebrate.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 64:5 us: One ancient translation; Hebrew " them."
  2. Psalm 64:6 thoughts: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
  3. Psalm 64:8 tremble with fear: Or " turn and run."

Proverbs 11:22 (Contemporary English Version)

22A beautiful woman
   who acts foolishly
   is like a gold ring
   on the snout of a pig.



Verse of the Day

“But I will bless those who trust me. They will be like trees growing beside a stream-- trees with roots that reach down to the water, and with leaves that are always green. They bear fruit every year and are never worried by a lack of rain.” - Jeremiah 17:7-8
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.


 
Related imageThought for the Day

American novelist, short story writer, and poet of the American Renaissance period, Herman Melville wrote, “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”