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, August 29, 2015

Bible Readings for August 29, 2015

Today our passages are Job 31:1–33:33; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Psalm 43:1-5; and Proverbs 22:8-9. The readings are from 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. 

Job 31-33:33 (Contemporary English Version)

Job 31

Job Continues
I Promised Myself
 1I promised myself    never to stare with desire
   at a young woman.
    2God All-Powerful punishes
   men who do that.
    3In fact, God sends disaster
   on all who sin,
    4and he keeps a close watch
   on everything I do.
    5I am not dishonest or deceitful,
    6and I beg God to prove
   my innocence.
    7If I have disobeyed him
   or even wanted to,
    8then others can eat my harvest
   and uproot my crops.
    9If I have desired someone's wife
   and chased after her,
    10then let some stranger
   steal my wife from me.
    11If I took someone's wife,
   it would be a horrible crime,
    12sending me to destruction
   and my crops to the flames. [a] 13When my servants
   complained against me,
   I was fair to them.
    14Otherwise, what answer
   would I give to God
   when he judges me?
    15After all, God is the one
   who gave life to each of us
   before we were born.
I Have Never Cheated Anyone
 16I have never cheated widows    or others in need,
    17and I have always shared
   my food with orphans.
    18Since the time I was young,
   I have cared for orphans
   and helped widows. [b] 19I provided clothes for the poor,
    20and I was praised
   for supplying woolen garments
   to keep them warm.
    21If I have ever raised my arm
   to threaten an orphan
   when the power was mine,
    22I hope that arm will fall
   from its socket.
    23I could not have been abusive;
   I was terrified at the thought
   that God might punish me.
    24I have never trusted
   the power of wealth,
    25or taken pride in owning
   many possessions.
    26I have never openly or secretly
    27worshiped the sun or moon.
    28Such horrible sins
   would have deserved
   punishment from God.
    29I have never laughed
   when my enemies
   were struck by disaster.
    30Neither have I sinned
   by asking God
   to send down on them
   the curse of death.
    31No one ever went hungry [c] at my house,
    32and travelers
   were always welcome.
    33Many have attempted to hide
   their sins from others--
   but I refused.
    34And the fear of public disgrace
   never forced me
   to keep silent
   about what I had done.
Why Doesn't God Listen?
 35Why doesn't God All-Powerful    listen and answer?
   If God has something against me,
   let him speak up
   or put it in writing!
    36Then I would wear his charges
   on my clothes and forehead.
    37And with my head held high,
   I would tell him everything
   I have ever done.
    38I have never mistreated
   the land I farmed
   and made it mourn. [d] 39Nor have I cheated
   my workers
   and caused them pain. [e] 40If I had, I would pray
   for weeds instead of wheat
   to grow in my fields.
   After saying these things,
   Job was silent.

Job 32

Elihu Is Upset with Job's Friends
 1Finally, these three men stopped arguing with Job, because he refused to admit that he was guilty.     2Elihu from Buz [f] was there, and he had become upset with Job for blaming God instead of himself. 3He was also angry with Job's three friends for not being able to prove that Job was wrong. 4Elihu was younger than these three, and he let them speak first. 5But he became irritated when they could not answer Job, 6and he said to them: I am much younger than you,
   so I have shown respect
   by keeping silent.
    7I once believed age
   was the source of wisdom;
    8now I truly realize
   wisdom comes from God.
    9Age is no guarantee of wisdom
   and understanding.
    10That's why I ask you
   to listen to me.
I Eagerly Listened
 11I eagerly listened    to each of your arguments,
    12but not one of you proved
   Job to be wrong.
    13You shouldn't say,
   "We know what's right!
   Let God punish him."
    14Job hasn't spoken against me,
   and so I won't answer him
   with your arguments.
    15All of you are shocked;
   you don't know what to say.
    16But am I to remain silent,
   just because you
   have stopped speaking?
    17No! I will give my opinion,
    18because I have so much to say,
   that I can't keep quiet.
    19I am like a swollen wineskin,
   and I will burst [g] 20if I don't speak.
    21I don't know how to be unfair
   or to flatter anyone--
    22if I did, my Creator
   would quickly destroy me!

Job 33

Elihu Speaks
Job, Listen to Me!
 1Job, listen to me!    Pay close attention.
    2Everything I will say
    3is true and sincere,
    4just as surely as the Spirit
   of God All-Powerful [h] gave me the breath of life.
    5Now line up your arguments
   and prepare to face me.
    6We each were made from clay,
   and God has no favorites,
    7so don't be afraid of me
   or what I might do.
I Have Heard You Argue
 8I have heard you argue     9that you are innocent,
   guilty of nothing.
    10You claim that God
   has made you his enemy,
    11that he has bound your feet
   and blocked your path.
    12But, Job, you're wrong--
   God is greater
   than any human.
    13So why do you challenge God
   to answer you? [i] 14God speaks in different ways,
   and we don't always
   recognize his voice.
    15Sometimes in the night,
   he uses terrifying dreams
    16to give us warnings.
    17God does this to make us turn
   from sin and pride
    18and to protect us
   from being swept away
   to the world of the dead.
    19Sometimes we are punished
   with a serious illness
   and aching joints.
    20Merely the thought
   of our favorite food
   makes our stomachs sick,
    21and we become so skinny
   that our bones stick out.
    22We feel death and the grave
   taking us in their grip.
    23One of a thousand angels
   then comes to our rescue
   by saying we are innocent.
    24The angel shows kindness,
   commanding death to release us,
   because the price was paid.
    25Our health is restored,
   we feel young again,
    26and we ask God to accept us.
   Then we joyfully worship God,
   and we are rewarded
   because we are innocent.
    27When that happens,
   we tell everyone,
   "I sinned and did wrong,
   but God forgave me
    28and rescued me from death!
   Now I will see the light."
    29God gives each of us
   chance after chance
    30to be saved from death
   and brought into the light
   that gives life.
    31So, Job, pay attention
   and don't interrupt,
    32though I would gladly listen
   to anything you say
   that proves you are right.
    33Otherwise, listen in silence
   to my wisdom.
  1. Job 31:12 flames: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 12.
  2. Job 31:18 widows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18.
  3. Job 31:31 ever went hungry: Or "was ever sexually abused" (see Genesis 19.1-11; Judges 19.22-30). In ancient Israel, the lives of one's guests were sacred and had to be protected at any cost.
  4. Job 31:38 mourn: In biblical times there were strict regulations for proper use of the land, and land that was abused was said to "mourn" and become no longer productive.
  5. Job 31:39 pain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.
  6. Job 32:2 Elihu from Buz: The Hebrew text has "Elihu son of Barachel from Buz of the family of Ram." Buz may have been somewhere in the territory of Edom; in Jeremiah 25.23 it is mentioned along with Dedan and Tema (see 6.19).
  7. Job 32:19 swollen wineskin. . . burst: While the juice from grapes was becoming wine, it would swell and stretch the skins in which it had been stored; sometimes the swelling would burst the wineskins.
  8. Job 33:4 the Spirit of God All-Powerful: Or "God All-Powerful."
  9. Job 33:13 answer you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.

2 Corinthians 3:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Corinthians 3

God's New Agreement
 1Are we once again bragging about ourselves? Do we need letters to you or from you to tell others about us? Some people do need letters that tell about them. 2But you are our letter, and you are in our [a] hearts for everyone to read and understand. 3You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God. 4We are sure about all this. Christ makes us sure in the very presence of God. 5We don't have the right to claim that we have done anything on our own. God gives us what it takes to do all that we do. 6He makes us worthy to be the servants of his new agreement that comes from the Holy Spirit and not from a written Law. After all, the Law brings death, but the Spirit brings life.     7The Law of Moses brought only the promise of death, even though it was carved on stones and given in a wonderful way. Still the Law made Moses' face shine so brightly that the people of Israel could not look at it, even though it was a fading glory. 8So won't the agreement that the Spirit brings to us be even more wonderful? 9If something that brings the death sentence is glorious, won't something that makes us acceptable to God be even more glorious? 10In fact, the new agreement is so wonderful that the Law is no longer glorious at all. 11The Law was given with a glory that faded away. But the glory of the new agreement is much greater, because it will never fade away.
    12This wonderful hope makes us feel like speaking freely. 13We are not like Moses. His face was shining, but he covered it to keep the people of Israel from seeing the brightness fade away. 14The people were stubborn, and something still keeps them from seeing the truth when the Law is read. Only Christ can take away the covering that keeps them from seeing.
    15When the Law of Moses is read, they have their minds covered over 16with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord. 17The Lord and the Spirit are one and the same, and the Lord's Spirit sets us free. 18So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord's Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.
  1. 2 Corinthians 3:2 our: Some manuscripts have "your."

Psalm 43:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 43

A Prayer in Times of Trouble
 1Show that I am right, God!    Defend me against everyone
   who doesn't know you;
   rescue me from each
   of those deceitful liars.
    2I run to you
   for protection.
   Why have you turned me away?
   Why must enemies mistreat me
   and make me sad?
    3Send your light and your truth
   to guide me.
   Let them lead me to your house
   on your sacred mountain.
    4Then I will worship
   at your altar
   because you
   make me joyful.
   You are my God,
   and I will praise you.
   Yes, I will praise you
   as I play my harp.
    5Why am I discouraged?
   Why am I restless?
   I trust you!
   And I will praise you again
   because you help me,
   and you are my God.

Proverbs 22:8-9 (Contemporary English Version)

8Troublemakers get in trouble,
   and their terrible anger
   will get them nowhere.
    9The LORD blesses everyone
   who freely gives food
   to the poor.

Verse of the Day

“Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman.” - Galatians 3:28
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

King of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty, Alexander the Great wrote, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

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