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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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bible Readings for June 28, 2014

Today our passages are 2 Kings 13:1–14:29; Acts 18:23–19:12; Psalm 146:1-10; and Proverbs 18:2-3. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. If you missed a day, you can find all the readings at our blog, The Bible in a Year.

2 Kings 13-14:29 (The Message)

2 Kings 13

Jehoahaz of Israel
 1-3 In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in Samaria—a rule of seventeen years. He lived an evil life before God, walking step for step in the tracks of Jeroboam son of Nebat who led Israel into a life of sin, swerving neither left or right. Exasperated, God was furious with Israel and turned them over to Hazael king of Aram and Ben-Hadad son of Hazael. This domination went on for a long time.  4-6 Then Jehoahaz prayed for a softening of God's anger, and God listened. He realized how wretched Israel had become under the brutalities of the king of Aram. So God provided a savior for Israel who brought them out from under Aram's oppression. The children of Israel were again able to live at peace in their own homes. But it didn't make any difference: They didn't change their lives, didn't turn away from the Jeroboam-sins that now characterized Israel, including the sex-and-religion shrines of Asherah still flourishing in Samaria.
 7 Nothing was left of Jehoahaz's army after Hazael's oppression except for fifty cavalry, ten chariots, and ten thousand infantry. The king of Aram had decimated the rest, leaving behind him mostly chaff.
 8-9 The rest of the life and times of Jehoahaz, the record of his accomplishments, are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Jehoahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria. His son Jehoash succeeded him as king.
Jehoash of Israel
10-11 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria—a reign of sixteen years. In God's eyes he lived an evil life. He didn't deviate one bit from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin. He plodded along in the same tracks, step after step.  12-13 The rest of the life and times of Jehoash, the record of his accomplishments and his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Jehoash died and joined his ancestors. Jeroboam took over his throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria in the royal cemetery.
 14 Elisha came down sick. It was the sickness of which he would soon die. Jehoash king of Israel paid him a visit. When he saw him he wept openly, crying, "My father, my father! Chariot and horsemen of Israel!"
 15 Elisha told him, "Go and get a bow and some arrows." The king brought him the bow and arrows.
 16 Then he told the king, "Put your hand on the bow." He put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hand over the hand of the king.
 17 Elisha said, "Now open the east window." He opened it.
    Then he said, "Shoot!" And he shot.
    "The arrow of God's salvation!" exclaimed Elisha. "The arrow of deliverance from Aram! You will do battle against Aram until there's nothing left of it."
 18 "Now pick up the other arrows," said Elisha. He picked them up.
    Then he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground."
    The king struck the ground three times and then quit.
 19 The Holy Man became angry with him: "Why didn't you hit the ground five or six times? Then you would beat Aram until he was finished. As it is, you'll defeat him three times only."
 20-21 Then Elisha died and they buried him.
    Some time later, raiding bands of Moabites, as they often did, invaded the country. One day, some men were burying a man and spotted the raiders. They threw the man into Elisha's tomb and got away. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came alive, stood up, and walked out on his own two feet.
 22-24 Hazael king of Aram badgered and bedeviled Israel all through the reign of Jehoahaz. But God was gracious and showed mercy to them. He stuck with them out of respect for his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He never gave up on them, never even considered discarding them, even to this day. Hazael king of Aram died. His son Ben-Hadad was the next king.
 25 Jehoash son of Jehoahaz turned things around and took back the cities that Ben-Hadad son of Hazael had taken from his father Jehoahaz. Jehoash went to war three times and defeated him each time, recapturing the cities of Israel.

2 Kings 14

Amaziah of Judah
 1-2 In the second year of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel, Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddin. She was from Jerusalem.  3-4 He lived the way God wanted and did the right thing. But he didn't come up to the standards of his ancestor David; instead he lived pretty much as his father Joash had; the local sex-and-religion shrines continued to stay in business with people frequenting them.
 5-6 When he had the affairs of the kingdom well in hand, he executed the palace guard that had assassinated his father the king. But he didn't kill the sons of the assassins. He was obedient to what God commanded, written in the Word revealed to Moses, that parents shouldn't be executed for their children's sins, nor children for those of their parents. We each pay personally for our sins.
 7 Amaziah roundly defeated Edom in the Valley of Salt to the tune of ten thousand dead. In another battle he took The Rock and renamed it Joktheel, the name it still bears.
 8 One day Amaziah sent envoys to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, challenging him to a fight: "Come and meet with me—dare you. Let's have it out face-to-face!"
 9-10 Jehoash king of Israel replied to Amaziah king of Judah, "One day a thistle in Lebanon sent word to a cedar in Lebanon, 'Give your daughter to my son in marriage.' But then a wild animal of Lebanon passed by and stepped on the thistle, crushing it. Just because you've defeated Edom in battle, you now think you're a big shot. Go ahead and be proud, but stay home. Why press your luck? Why bring defeat on yourself and Judah?"
 11 Amaziah wouldn't take No for an answer. So Jehoash king of Israel gave in and agreed to a battle between him and Amaziah king of Judah. They met at Beth Shemesh, a town of Judah.
 12 Judah was thoroughly beaten by Israel—all their soldiers ran home in defeat.
 13-14 Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh. But Jehoash didn't stop there; he went on to attack Jerusalem. He demolished the wall of Jerusalem all the way from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate—a stretch of about six hundred feet. He looted the gold, silver, and furnishings—anything he found that was worth taking—from both the palace and The Temple of God. And, for good measure, he took hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.
 15-16 The rest of the life and times of Jehoash, his significant accomplishments and the fight with Amaziah king of Judah, are all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria in the cemetery of the kings of Israel. His son Jeroboam became the next king.
 17-18 Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah continued as king fifteen years after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel. The rest of the life and times of Amaziah is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah.
 19-20 At the last they cooked up a plot against Amaziah in Jerusalem and he had to flee to Lachish. But they tracked him down in Lachish and killed him there. They brought him back on horseback and buried him in Jerusalem, with his ancestors in the City of David.
 21-22 Azariah—he was only sixteen years old at the time—was the unanimous choice of the people of Judah to succeed his father Amaziah as king. Following his father's death, he rebuilt and restored Elath to Judah.
Jeroboam II of Israel
23-25 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in Samaria. He ruled for forty-one years. As far as God was concerned he lived an evil life, never deviating an inch from all the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin. But he did restore the borders of Israel to Lebo Hamath in the far north and to the Dead Sea in the south, matching what God, the God of Israel, had pronounced through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.  26-27 God was fully aware of the trouble in Israel, its bitterly hard times. No one was exempt, whether slave or citizen, and no hope of help anywhere was in sight. But God wasn't yet ready to blot out the name of Israel from history, so he used Jeroboam son of Jehoash to save them.
 28-29 The rest of the life and times of Jeroboam, his victories in battle and how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath which had belonged to Judah, these are all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Jeroboam died and was buried with his ancestors in the royal cemetery. His son Zechariah became the next king.

Acts 18:23-19:12 (The Message)

 23After spending a considerable time with the Antioch Christians, Paul set off again for Galatia and Phrygia, retracing his old tracks, one town after another, putting fresh heart into the disciples.
 24-26A man named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was a Jew, born in Alexandria, Egypt, and a terrific speaker, eloquent and powerful in his preaching of the Scriptures. He was well-educated in the way of the Master and fiery in his enthusiasm. Apollos was accurate in everything he taught about Jesus up to a point, but he only went as far as the baptism of John. He preached with power in the meeting place. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and told him the rest of the story.
 27-28When Apollos decided to go on to Achaia province, his Ephesian friends gave their blessing and wrote a letter of recommendation for him, urging the disciples there to welcome him with open arms. The welcome paid off: Apollos turned out to be a great help to those who had become believers through God's immense generosity. He was particularly effective in public debate with the Jews as he brought out proof after convincing proof from the Scriptures that Jesus was in fact God's Messiah.

Acts 19

 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?"    "We've never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?"
 3"How were you baptized, then?" asked Paul.
   "In John's baptism."
 4"That explains it," said Paul. "John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you've been baptized in John's baptism, you're ready now for the real thing, for Jesus."
 5-7And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God's actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.
 8-10Paul then went straight to the meeting place. He had the run of the place for three months, doing his best to make the things of the kingdom of God real and convincing to them. But then resistance began to form as some of them began spreading evil rumors through the congregation about the Christian way of life. So Paul left, taking the disciples with him, and set up shop in the school of Tyrannus, holding class there daily. He did this for two years, giving everyone in the province of Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, ample opportunity to hear the Message of the Master.
Witches Came out of the Woodwork
 11-12God did powerful things through Paul, things quite out of the ordinary. The word got around and people started taking pieces of clothing—handkerchiefs and scarves and the like—that had touched Paul's skin and then touching the sick with them. The touch did it—they were healed and whole.


Psalm 146:1-10 (The Message)

Psalm 146

    Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God!
   All my life long I'll praise God,
      singing songs to my God as long as I live.

 3-9 Don't put your life in the hands of experts
      who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
   Mere humans don't have what it takes;
      when they die, their projects die with them.
   Instead, get help from the God of Jacob,
      put your hope in God and know real blessing!
   God made sky and soil,
      sea and all the fish in it.
   He always does what he says—
      he defends the wronged,
      he feeds the hungry.
   God frees prisoners—
      he gives sight to the blind,
      he lifts up the fallen.
   God loves good people, protects strangers,
      takes the side of orphans and widows,
      but makes short work of the wicked.

 10 God's in charge—always.
      Zion's God is God for good!


Proverbs 18:2-3 (The Message)

 2 Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
   all they do is run off at the mouth.

 3 When wickedness arrives, shame's not far behind;
   contempt for life is contemptible.

Verse of the Day

“The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” - 2 Peter 3:9
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.


Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpgThought for the Day

The first President of the United States (1789–1797), the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, George Washington wrote, “It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.”

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