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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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bible Readings for September 11, 2013

Today our passages are Isaiah 8:1–9:21; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Psalm 55:1-23; and Proverbs 23:4-5. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.

Isaiah 8-9:21 (Contemporary English Version)

Isaiah 8

A Warning and a Hope
 1The LORD said, "Isaiah, get something to write on. Then write in big clear letters [a] the name, MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ. [b] 2I will have Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberechiah serve as witnesses to this." 3Sometime later, my wife and I had a son, and the LORD said, "Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 4Because before he can say `Mommy' or `Daddy', the king of Assyria will attack and take everything of value from Damascus and Samaria."     5The LORD spoke to me again and said:
    6These people have refused the gentle waters of Shiloah [c] and have gladly gone over to the side of King Rezin and King Pekah. 7Now I will send the king of Assyria against them with his powerful army, which will attack like the mighty Euphrates River overflowing its banks. 8Enemy soldiers will cover Judah like a flood reaching up to your neck. But God is with us. [d] He will spread his wings
   and protect our land. [e] 9All of you foreign nations,
   go ahead and prepare for war,
   but you will be crushed.
    10Get together and make plans,
   but you will fail
   because God is with us.
    11The LORD took hold of me with his powerful hand and said:
   I'm warning you! Don't act like these people. 12Don't call something a rebellious plot, just because they do, and don't be afraid of something, just because they are. 13I am the one you should fear and respect. I am the holy God, the LORD All-Powerful! 14-15Run to me for protection. I am a rock that will make both Judah and Israel stumble and break their bones. I am a trap that will catch the people of Jerusalem--they will be captured and dragged away.
Isaiah and His Followers
 16My message and my teachings are to be sealed and given to my followers. 17Meanwhile, I patiently trust the LORD, even though he is no longer pleased with Israel. 18My children and I are warning signs to Israel from the LORD All-Powerful, who lives on Mount Zion.     19Someone may say to you, "Go to the fortunetellers who make soft chirping sounds or ask the spirits of the dead. After all, a nation ought to be able to ask its own gods 20what it should do."
   None of those who talk like that will live to see the light of day! 21They will go around in great pain and will become so hungry that they will angrily curse their king and their gods. And when they try to find help in heaven 22and on earth, they will find only trouble and darkness, terrible trouble and deepest darkness.

Isaiah 9

 1But those who have suffered will no longer be in pain. [f] The territories of Zebulun and Naphtali in Galilee were once hated. But this land of the Gentiles across the Jordan River and along the Mediterranean Sea will be greatly respected.
War Is Over
 2Those who walked in the dark    have seen a bright light.
   And it shines upon everyone
   who lives in the land
   of darkest shadows.
    3Our LORD, you have made
   your nation stronger. [g] Because of you, its people
   are glad and celebrate
   like workers at harvest time
   or like soldiers dividing up
   what they have taken.
    4You have broken the power
   of those who abused
   and enslaved your people.
   You have rescued them
   just as you saved your people
   from Midian. [h] 5The boots of marching warriors
   and the blood-stained uniforms
   have been fed to flames
   and eaten by fire.
A Child Has Been Born
 6A child has been born for us.    We have been given a son
   who will be our ruler.
   His names will be
   Wonderful Advisor
   and Mighty God,
   Eternal Father
   and Prince of Peace.
    7His power will never end;
   peace will last forever.
   He will rule David's kingdom
   and make it grow strong.
   He will always rule
   with honesty and justice.
   The LORD All-Powerful
   will make certain
   that all of this is done.
God Will Punish Israel
 8The Lord had warned the people of Israel, 9and all of them knew it, including everyone in the capital city of Samaria. But they were proud and stubborn and said,     10"Houses of brick and sycamore
   have fallen to the ground,
   but we will build houses
   with stones and cedar."
    11The LORD made their enemies [i] attack them. 12He sent the Arameans from the east and the Philistines from the west, and they swallowed up Israel. But even this did not stop him from being angry, so he kept on punishing them. [j] 13The people of Israel still did not turn back to the LORD All-Powerful and worship him. 14In one day he cut off their head and tail, their leaves and branches. 15Their rulers and leaders were the head, and the lying prophets were the tail. 16They had led the nation down the wrong path, and the people were confused. 17The Lord was angry with his people and kept punishing them, because they had turned against him. [k] They were evil and spoke foolishly. That's why he did not have pity on their young people or on their widows and orphans. 18Evil had spread like a raging forest fire sending thornbushes up in smoke. 19The LORD All-Powerful was angry and used the people as fuel for a fire that scorched the land. They turned against each other 20like wild animals attacking and eating everyone around them, even their own relatives. [l] But still they were not satisfied. 21The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh turned against each other, then joined forces to attack Judah. But the LORD was still angry and ready to punish the nation even more.
  1. Isaiah 8:1 in big clear letters: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Isaiah 8:1 MAHER-SHALAL-HASH-BAZ: In Hebrew "Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz" means "suddenly attacked, quickly taken."
  3. Isaiah 8:6 Shiloah: The canal that brought water from Gihon Spring to Jerusalem.
  4. Isaiah 8:8 God is with us: Here and in verse 10 this translates the Hebrew word "Immanuel" (see 7.14).
  5. Isaiah 8:8 But. . . land: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. Isaiah 9:1 will. . . pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. Isaiah 9:3 stronger: Or "happy" or "larger."
  8. Isaiah 9:4 rescued. . . from Midian: The time when Gideon defeated the people of Midian in Jezreel Valley (see Judges 6-8).
  9. Isaiah 9:11 their enemies: Hebrew "the enemies of Rezin."
  10. Isaiah 9:12 so. . . them: Or "but he hasn't given up on them yet."
  11. Isaiah 9:17 and kept. . . against him: Or "but even though they had turned against him, he still had not given up on them."
  12. Isaiah 9:20 their own relatives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Corinthians 12

Visions from the Lord
 1I have to brag. There is nothing to be gained by it, but I must brag about the visions and other things that the Lord has shown me. 2I know about one of Christ's followers who was taken up into the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don't know if the man was still in his body when it happened, but God certainly knows.     3As I said, only God really knows if this man was in his body at the time. 4But he was taken up into paradise, [a] where he heard things that are too wonderful to tell. 5I will brag about that man, but not about myself, except to say how weak I am. 6Yet even if I did brag, I would not be foolish. I would simply be speaking the truth. But I will try not to say too much. That way, none of you will think more highly of me than you should because of what you have seen me do and say. 7Of course, I am now referring to the wonderful things I saw. One of Satan's angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud. [b] 8Three times I begged the Lord to make this suffering go away. 9But he replied, "My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." So if Christ keeps giving me his power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am. 10Yes, I am glad to be weak or insulted or mistreated or to have troubles and sufferings, if it is for Christ. Because when I am weak, I am strong.
  1. 2 Corinthians 12:4 paradise: In the Greek translation of the Old Testament, this word is used for the Garden of Eden. In New Testament times it was sometimes used for the place where God's people are happy and at rest, as they wait for the final judgment.
  2. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Of course. . . too proud: Or "Because of the wonderful things that I saw, one of Satan's angels was sent to make me suffer terribly, so that I would not feel too proud."

Psalm 55:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 55

(A special psalm by David for the music leader. Use with stringed instruments.)
Betrayed by a Friend
 1Listen, God, to my prayer!    Don't reject my request.
    2Please listen and help me.
   My thoughts are troubled,
   and I keep groaning
    3because my loud enemies
   shout and attack.
   They treat me terribly
   and hold angry grudges.
    4My heart is racing fast,
   and I am afraid of dying.
    5I am trembling with fear,
   completely terrified.
    6I wish I had wings
   like a dove,
   so I could fly far away
   and be at peace.
    7I would go and live
   in some distant desert.
    8I would quickly find shelter
   from howling winds
   and raging storms.
    9Confuse my enemies, Lord!
   Upset their plans.
   Cruelty and violence
   are all I see in the city,
    10and they are like guards
   on patrol day and night.
   The city is full of trouble,
   evil, 11and corruption.
   Troublemakers and liars
   freely roam the streets.
    12My enemies are not the ones
   who sneer and make fun.
   I could put up with that
   or even hide from them.
    13But it was my closest friend,
   the one I trusted most.
    14We enjoyed being together,
   and we went with others
   to your house, our God.
    15All who hate me are controlled
   by the power of evil.
   Sentence them to death
   and send them down alive
   to the world of the dead.
    16I ask for your help, LORD God,
   and you will keep me safe.
    17Morning, noon, and night
   you hear my concerns
   and my complaints.
    18I am attacked from all sides,
   but you will rescue me
   unharmed by the battle.
    19You have always ruled,
   and you will hear me.
   You will defeat my enemies
   because they won't turn
   and worship you.
    20My friend turned against me
   and broke his promise.
    21His words were smoother
   than butter,
   and softer
   than olive oil.
   But hatred filled his heart,
   and he was ready to attack
   with a sword.
    22Our LORD, we belong to you.
   We tell you what worries us,
   and you won't let us fall.
    23But what about those people
   who are cruel and brutal?
   You will throw them down
   into the deepest pit
   long before their time.
   I trust you, LORD!

Proverbs 23:4-5 (Contemporary English Version)

 4 Give up trying so hard    to get rich.
    5Your money flies away
   before you know it,
   just like an eagle
   suddenly taking off.

Verse of the Day

“[(A song for worship.)][The LORD Will Protect His People]I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the LORD, who created the heavens and the earth.” - Psalm 121:1-2
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Jimi Hendrix, American musician, singer and songwriter, When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

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