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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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.

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!
  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.
  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.
  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]" >[]
  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.

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.
  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.
  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.
  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.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bible Readings for March 20, 2017

Today our passages are Numbers 30:1–31:54; Luke 4:1-30; Psalm 63:1-11; and Proverbs 11:20-21. 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.

Numbers 30-31:54 (Contemporary English Version)

Numbers 30

Making Promises to the LORD
 1The LORD told Moses to say to Israel's tribal leaders:     2When one of you men makes a promise to the LORD, a<="" value="[a]" >[] you must keep your word. 3Suppose a young woman who is still living with her parents makes a promise to the LORD. 4If her father hears about it and says nothing, she must keep her promise. 5But if he hears about it and objects, then she no longer has to keep her promise. The LORD will forgive her, because her father did not agree with the promise.
    6-7Suppose a woman makes a promise to the LORD and then gets married. If her husband later hears about the promise but says nothing, she must do what she said, whether she meant it or not. 8But if her husband hears about the promise and objects, she no longer has to keep it, and the LORD will forgive her.
    9Widows and divorced women must keep every promise they make to the LORD.
    10Suppose a married woman makes a promise to the LORD. 11If her husband hears about the promise and says nothing, she must do what she said. 12But if he hears about the promise and does object, she no longer has to keep it. The LORD will forgive her, because her husband would not allow her to keep the promise. 13Her husband has the final say about any promises she makes to the LORD. 14If her husband hears about a promise and says nothing about it for a whole day, she must do what she said--since he did not object, the promise must be kept. 15But if he waits until the next day to stop her from keeping her promise, he is the one who must be punished.
    16These are the laws that the LORD gave Moses about husbands and wives, and about young daughters who still live at home.

Numbers 31

Israel's War against Midian
 1The LORD said to Moses, 2" Before you die, make sure that the Midianites are punished for what they did to Israel." [b<="">] 3Then Moses told the people, " The LORD wants to punish the Midianites. So have our men prepare for battle. 4Each tribe will send a thousand men to fight."     5Twelve thousand men were picked from the tribes of Israel, and after they were prepared for battle, 6Moses sent them off to war. Phinehas the son of Eleazar went with them and took along some things from the sacred tent [c<="">] and the trumpets for sounding the battle signal. 7The Israelites fought against the Midianites, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. They killed all the men, 8including Balaam son of Beor and the five Midianite kings, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba. 9The Israelites captured every woman and child, then led away the Midianites' cattle and sheep, and took everything else that belonged to them. 10They also burned down the Midianite towns and villages.
    11Israel's soldiers gathered together everything they had taken from the Midianites, including the captives and the animals. 12-13Then they returned to their own camp in the hills of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, where Moses, Eleazar, and the other Israelite leaders met the troops outside camp.
    14Moses became angry with the army commanders 15and said, " I can't believe you let the women live! 16They are the ones who followed Balaam's advice and invited our people to worship the god Baal Peor. That's why the LORD punished us by killing so many of our people. 17You must put to death every boy and all the women who have ever had sex. 18But do not kill the young women who have never had sex. You may keep them for yourselves."
    19Then Moses said to the soldiers, " If you killed anyone or touched a dead body, you are unclean and have to stay outside the camp for seven days. On the third and seventh days, you must go through a ceremony to make yourselves and your captives clean. 20Then wash your clothes and anything made from animal skin, goat's hair, or wood."
    21-23Eleazar then explained, " If you need to purify something that won't burn, such as gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead, you must first place it in a hot fire. After you take it out, sprinkle it with the water that purifies. Everything else should only be sprinkled with the water. Do all of this, just as the LORD commanded Moses. 24Wash your clothes on the seventh day, and after that, you will be clean and may return to the camp."
Everything Taken from the Midianites Is Divided
 25The LORD told Moses:     26-27Make a list of everything taken from the Midianites, including the captives and the animals. Then divide them between the soldiers and the rest of the people. Eleazar the priest and the family leaders will help you.
    28-29From the half that belongs to the soldiers, set aside for the LORD one out of every five hundred people or animals and give these to Eleazar.
    30From the half that belongs to the people, set aside one out of every fifty and give these to the Levites in charge of the sacred tent.
    31Moses and Eleazar followed the LORD's instructions 32-35and listed everything that had been taken from the Midianites. The list included 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys, and 32,000 young women who had never had sex.
    36-47Each half included 337,500 sheep and goats, 36,000 cattle, 30,500 donkeys, and 16,000 young women. From the half that belonged to the soldiers, Moses counted out 675 sheep and goats, 72 cattle, 61 donkeys, and 32 women and gave them to Eleazar to be dedicated to the LORD. Then from the half that belonged to the people, Moses set aside one out of every fifty animals and women, as the LORD had said, and gave them to the Levites.
    48The army commanders went to Moses 49and said, " Sir, we have counted our troops, and not one soldier is missing. 50So we want to give the LORD all the gold jewelry we took from the Midianites. It's our gift to him for watching over us and our troops."
    51Moses and Eleazar accepted the jewelry from the commanders, 52and its total weight was over four hundred pounds. 53This did not include the things that the soldiers had kept for themselves. 54So Moses and Eleazar placed the gold in the LORD's sacred tent to remind Israel of what had happened. [d<="">]
  1. Numbers 30:2 a promise to the LORD: Either the promise of a gift or the promise to do something.
  2. Numbers 31:2 Midianites. . . to Israel: See 25.1-18.
  3. Numbers 31:6 Phinehas. . . sacred tent: Phinehas would serve as the priest during the battle, so he took along the things needed to ask God what he wanted done.
  4. Numbers 31:54 to remind. . . happened: Or " so the LORD would continue to help Israel."

Luke 4:1-30 (Contemporary English Version)

Luke 4

Jesus and the Devil
(Matthew 4.1-11; Mark 1.12,13)
 1When Jesus returned from the Jordan River, the power of the Holy Spirit was with him, and the Spirit led him into the desert. 2For forty days Jesus was tested by the devil, and during that time he went without eating. a<="" value="[a]" >[] When it was all over, he was hungry. 3The devil said to Jesus, "If you are God's Son, tell this stone to turn into bread."     4Jesus answered, "The Scriptures say, `No one can live only on food.' "
    5Then the devil led Jesus up to a high place and quickly showed him all the nations on earth. 6The devil said, "I will give all this power and glory to you. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7Just worship me, and you can have it all."
    8Jesus answered, "The Scriptures say:
   `Worship the Lord your God
   and serve only him!' "
    9Finally, the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on top of the temple. The devil said, "If you are God's Son, jump off. 10-11The Scriptures say:
   `God will tell his angels
   to take care of you.
   They will catch you
   in their arms,
   and you will not hurt
   your feet on the stones.' "
    12Jesus answered, "The Scriptures also say, `Don't try to test the Lord your God!' "
    13After the devil had finished testing Jesus in every way possible, he left him for a while.
Jesus Begins His Work
(Matthew 4.12-17; Mark 1.14,15)
 14Jesus returned to Galilee with the power of the Spirit. News about him spread everywhere. 15He taught in the Jewish meeting places, and everyone praised him.    
The People of Nazareth Turn against Jesus
(Matthew 13.53-58; Mark 6.1-6)
 16Jesus went back to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and as usual he went to the meeting place on the Sabbath. When he stood up to read from the Scriptures, 17he was given the book of Isaiah the prophet. He opened it and read,     18"The Lord's Spirit
   has come to me,
   because he has chosen me
   to tell the good news
   to the poor.
   The Lord has sent me
   to announce freedom
   for prisoners,
   to give sight to the blind,
   to free everyone
   who suffers,
    19and to say, `This is the year
   the Lord has chosen.' "
    20Jesus closed the book, then handed it back to the man in charge and sat down. Everyone in the meeting place looked straight at Jesus.
    21Then Jesus said to them, "What you have just heard me read has come true today."
    22All the people started talking about Jesus and were amazed at the wonderful things he said. They kept on asking, "Isn't he Joseph's son?"
    23Jesus answered:
   You will certainly want to tell me this saying, "Doctor, first make yourself well." You will tell me to do the same things here in my own hometown that you heard I did in Capernaum. 24But you can be sure that no prophets are liked by the people of their own hometown.
    25Once during the time of Elijah there was no rain for three and a half years, and people everywhere were starving. There were many widows in Israel, 26but Elijah was sent only to a widow in the town of Zarephath near the city of Sidon. 27During the time of the prophet Elisha, many men in Israel had leprosy. [b<="">] But no one was healed, except Naaman who lived in Syria. 28When the people in the meeting place heard Jesus say this, they became so angry 29that they got up and threw him out of town. They dragged him to the edge of the cliff on which the town was built, because they wanted to throw him down from there. 30But Jesus slipped through the crowd and got away.
  1. Luke 4:2 went without eating: See the note at 2.37.
  2. Luke 4:27 leprosy: In biblical times the word " leprosy" was used for many different kinds of skin diseases.

Psalm 63:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 63

(A psalm by David when he was in the desert of Judah.)
God's Love Means More than Life
 1You are my God. I worship you.    In my heart, I long for you,
   as I would long for a stream
   in a scorching desert.
    2I have seen your power
   and your glory
   in the place of worship.
    3Your love means more
   than life to me,
   and I praise you.
    4As long as I live,
   I will pray to you.
    5I will sing joyful praises
   and be filled with excitement
   like a guest at a banquet.
    6I think about you
   before I go to sleep,
   and my thoughts turn to you
   during the night.
    7You have helped me,
   and I sing happy songs
   in the shadow of your wings.
    8I stay close to you,
   and your powerful arm
   supports me.
    9All who want to kill me
   will end up in the ground.
    10Swords will run them through,
   and wild dogs will eat them.
    11Because of you, our God,
   the king will celebrate
   with your faithful followers,
   but liars will be silent.

Proverbs 11:20-21 (Contemporary English Version)

20The LORD hates sneaky people,
   but he likes everyone
   who lives right.
    21You can be sure of this:
   All crooks will be punished,
   but God's people won't.

Verse of the Day

“Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved. You have already found out how good the Lord really is.” - 1 Peter 2:2-3
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Chuck Berry
Thought for the Day

American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Chuck Berry wrote, “It's amazing how much you can learn if your intentions are truly earnest.”