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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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bible Readings for June 8, 2014

Today our passages are 1 Kings 3:4–4:43; Acts 6:1-15; Psalm 126:1-6; and Proverbs 16:26-27. 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.

1 Kings 3:4-4:43 (The Message)

 4-5 The king went to Gibeon, the most prestigious of the local shrines, to worship. He sacrificed a thousand Whole-Burnt-Offerings on that altar. That night, there in Gibeon, God appeared to Solomon in a dream: God said, "What can I give you? Ask."
 6 Solomon said, "You were extravagantly generous in love with David my father, and he lived faithfully in your presence, his relationships were just and his heart right. And you have persisted in this great and generous love by giving him—and this very day!—a son to sit on his throne.
 7-8 "And now here I am: God, my God, you have made me, your servant, ruler of the kingdom in place of David my father. I'm too young for this, a mere child! I don't know the ropes, hardly know the 'ins' and 'outs' of this job. And here I am, set down in the middle of the people you've chosen, a great people—far too many to ever count.
 9 "Here's what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?"
 10-14 God, the Master, was delighted with Solomon's response. And God said to him, "Because you have asked for this and haven't grasped after a long life, or riches, or the doom of your enemies, but you have asked for the ability to lead and govern well, I'll give you what you've asked for—I'm giving you a wise and mature heart. There's never been one like you before; and there'll be no one after. As a bonus, I'm giving you both the wealth and glory you didn't ask for—there's not a king anywhere who will come up to your mark. And if you stay on course, keeping your eye on the life-map and the God-signs as your father David did, I'll also give you a long life."
 15 Solomon woke up—what a dream! He returned to Jerusalem, took his place before the Chest of the Covenant of God, and worshiped by sacrificing Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Peace-Offerings. Then he laid out a banquet for everyone in his service.
 16-21 The very next thing, two prostitutes showed up before the king. The one woman said, "My master, this woman and I live in the same house. While we were living together, I had a baby. Three days after I gave birth, this woman also had a baby. We were alone—there wasn't anyone else in the house except for the two of us. The infant son of this woman died one night when she rolled over on him in her sleep. She got up in the middle of the night and took my son—I was sound asleep, mind you!—and put him at her breast and put her dead son at my breast. When I got up in the morning to nurse my son, here was this dead baby! But when I looked at him in the morning light, I saw immediately that he wasn't my baby."
 22 "Not so!" said the other woman. "The living one's mine; the dead one's yours."
    The first woman countered, "No! Your son's the dead one; mine's the living one."
    They went back and forth this way in front of the king.
 23 The king said, "What are we to do? This woman says, 'The living son is mine and the dead one is yours,' and this woman says, 'No, the dead one's yours and the living one's mine.'"
 24 After a moment the king said, "Bring me a sword." They brought the sword to the king.
 25 Then he said, "Cut the living baby in two—give half to one and half to the other."
 26 The real mother of the living baby was overcome with emotion for her son and said, "Oh no, master! Give her the whole baby alive; don't kill him!"
    But the other one said, "If I can't have him, you can't have him—cut away!"
 27 The king gave his decision: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Nobody is going to kill this baby. She is the real mother."
 28 The word got around—everyone in Israel heard of the king's judgment. They were all in awe of the king, realizing that it was God's wisdom that enabled him to judge truly.

1 Kings 4

 1-2 King Solomon was off to a good start ruling Israel. These were the leaders in his government:
 2-6 Azariah son of Zadok—the priest;
   Elihoreph and Ahijah, sons of Shisha—secretaries;
   Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud—historian;
   Benaiah son of Jehoiada—commander of the army;
   Zadok and Abiathar—priests;
   Azariah son of Nathan—in charge of the regional managers;
   Zabud son of Nathan—priest and friend to the king;
   Ahishar—manager of the palace;
   Adoniram son of Abda—manager of the slave labor.
 7-19 Solomon had twelve regional managers distributed throughout Israel. They were responsible for supplying provisions for the king and his administration. Each was in charge of bringing supplies for one month of the year. These are the names:
   Ben-Hur in the Ephraim hills;
   Ben-Deker in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth Shemesh, and Elon Bethhanan;
   Ben-Hesed in Arubboth—this included Socoh and all of Hepher;
   Ben-Abinadab in Naphoth Dor (he was married to Solomon's daughter Taphath);
   Baana son of Ahilud in Taanach and Megiddo, all of Beth Shan next to Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth Shan to Abel Meholah over to Jokmeam;
   Ben-Geber in Ramoth Gilead—this included the villages of Jair son of Manasseh in Gilead and the region of Argob in Bashan with its sixty large walled cities with bronze-studded gates;
   Ahinadab son of Iddo in Mahanaim;
   Ahimaaz in Naphtali (he was married to Solomon's daughter Basemath);
   Baana son of Hushai in Asher and Aloth;
   Jehoshaphat son of Paruah in Issachar;
   Shimei son of Ela in Benjamin;
   Geber son of Uri in Gilead—this was the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and also of Og king of Bashan; he managed the whole district by himself.

Solomon's Prosperity
20-21 Judah and Israel were densely populated—like sand on an ocean beach! All their needs were met; they ate and drank and were happy. Solomon was sovereign over all the kingdoms from the River Euphrates in the east to the country of the Philistines in the west, all the way to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and were vassals of Solomon all his life.  22-23 One day's food supply for Solomon's household was:
   185 bushels of fine flour
   375 bushels of meal
   10 grain-fed cattle
   20 range cattle
   100 sheep
   and miscellaneous deer, gazelles, roebucks, and choice fowl.
 24-25 Solomon was sovereign over everything, countries and kings, west of the River Euphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza. Peace reigned everywhere. Throughout Solomon's life, everyone in Israel and Judah lived safe and sound, all of them from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south—content with what they had.
 26-28 Solomon had forty thousand stalls for chariot horses and twelve thousand horsemen. The district managers, each according to his assigned month, delivered food supplies for King Solomon and all who sat at the king's table; there was always plenty. They also brought to the designated place their assigned quota of barley and straw for the horses.
 29-34 God gave Solomon wisdom—the deepest of understanding and the largest of hearts. There was nothing beyond him, nothing he couldn't handle. Solomon's wisdom outclassed the vaunted wisdom of wise men of the East, outshone the famous wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, wiser than Heman, wiser than Calcol and Darda the sons of Mahol. He became famous among all the surrounding nations. He created 3,000 proverbs; his songs added up to 1,005. He knew all about plants, from the huge cedar that grows in Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows in the cracks of a wall. He understood everything about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. Sent by kings from all over the earth who had heard of his reputation, people came from far and near to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.

Acts 6:1-15 (The Message)

Acts 6

The Word of God Prospered
 1-4 During this time, as the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds, hard feelings developed among the Greek-speaking believers—"Hellenists"—toward the Hebrew-speaking believers because their widows were being discriminated against in the daily food lines. So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, "It wouldn't be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we'll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we'll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God's Word."  5-6The congregation thought this was a great idea. They went ahead and chose—

   Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit,
   Nicolas, a convert from Antioch.
Then they presented them to the apostles. Praying, the apostles laid on hands and commissioned them for their task.

 7The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith.
 8-10Stephen, brimming with God's grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them. But then some men from the meeting place whose membership was made up of freed slaves, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some others from Cilicia and Asia, went up against him trying to argue him down. But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke.
 11So in secret they bribed men to lie: "We heard him cursing Moses and God."
 12-14That stirred up the people, the religious leaders, and religion scholars. They grabbed Stephen and took him before the High Council. They put forward their bribed witnesses to testify: "This man talks nonstop against this Holy Place and God's Law. We even heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth would tear this place down and throw out all the customs Moses gave us."
 15As all those who sat on the High Council looked at Stephen, they found they couldn't take their eyes off him—his face was like the face of an angel!

Psalm 126:1-6 (The Message)

Psalm 126

A Pilgrim Song
 1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion's exiles.
   We laughed, we sang,
      we couldn't believe our good fortune.
   We were the talk of the nations—
      "God was wonderful to them!"
   God was wonderful to us;
      we are one happy people.

 4-6 And now, God, do it again—
      bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
   So those who planted their crops in despair
      will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
   So those who went off with heavy hearts
      will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.


Proverbs 16:26-27 (The Message)

 26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
   hunger makes you work all the harder.

 27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
   their words smart and burn.

Verse of the Day

“The LORD gives me strength. He makes my feet as sure as those of a deer, and he helps me stand on the mountains. To the music director: Use stringed instruments.” - Habakkuk 3:19
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

The American creator of the Dilbert comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works of satire, commentary, business, and general speculation, Scott Adams wrote, “The best way to solve a problem is to identify the core belief that causes the problem; then mock that belief until the people who hold it insist that you heard them wrong.”

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