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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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bible Readings for October 1, 2015

Today our passages are Isaiah 62:6–65:25; Philippians 2:19–3:4a; Psalm 73:1-28; and Proverbs 24:13-14. 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. 

Isaiah 62:6-65:25 (Contemporary English Version)

6Jerusalem, on your walls
   I have stationed guards,
   whose duty it is
   to speak out day and night,
   without resting.
   They must remind the LORD
    7and not let him rest
   till he makes Jerusalem strong
   and famous everywhere.
    8The LORD has given his word
   and made this promise:
   "Never again will I give
   to your enemies
   the grain and grapes
   for which you struggled.
    9As surely as you harvest
   your grain and grapes,
   you will eat your bread
   with thankful hearts,
   and you will drink your wine
   in my temple."
    10People of Jerusalem,
   open your gates!
   Repair the road to the city
   and clear it of stones;
   raise a banner to help
   the nations find their way.
    11Here is what the LORD has said
   for all the earth to hear:
   "Soon I will come to save
   the city of Zion,
   and to reward you.
    12Then you will be called,
   `The LORD's Own People,
   The Ones He Rescued!'
   Your city will be known
   as a good place to live
   and a city full of people."

Isaiah 63

The LORD's Victory over the Nations
 1Who is this coming    from Bozrah [a] in Edom with clothes stained red?
   Who is this hero marching
   in his glorious uniform?
   "It's me, the LORD!
   I have won the battle,
   and I can save you!"
    2What are those red spots?
   Your clothes look stained
   from stomping on grapes. [b] 3"I alone stomped the grapes!
   None of the nations helped.
   I stomped nations in my anger
   and stained my clothes
   with their blood.
    4I did this because I wanted
   to take revenge--
   the time had come
   to rescue my people.
    5No one was there to help me
   or to give support;
   my mighty arm won the battle,
   strengthened by my anger.
    6In my fury I stomped on nations
   and made them drunk;
   their blood poured out
   everywhere on earth."
The LORD's Goodness to His People
 7I will tell about the kind deeds    the LORD has done.
   They deserve praise!
   The LORD has shown mercy
   to the people of Israel;
   he has been kind and good.
    8The LORD rescued his people,
   and said,
   "They are mine.
   They won't betray me."
    9It troubled the LORD
   to see them in trouble,
   and his angel saved them. [c] The LORD was truly merciful,
   so he rescued his people.
   He took them in his arms
   and carried them all those years.
    10Then the LORD's people
   turned against him
   and made
   his Holy Spirit sad.
   So he became their enemy
   and attacked them.
    11But his people remembered
   what had happened
   during the time of Moses. [d] Didn't the LORD [e] bring them and their leaders
   safely through the sea?
   Didn't he [f] give them his Holy Spirit?
    12The glorious power of the LORD
   marched beside Moses.
   The LORD will be praised forever
   for dividing the sea.
    13He led his people across
   like horses running wild
   without stumbling.
    14His Spirit gave them rest,
   just as cattle find rest
   when led into a valley. [g] The name of the LORD was praised
   for doing these things.
A Prayer for Mercy and Help
 15Please, LORD, look down    from your holy and glorious
   home in the heavens
   and see what's going on.
   Have you lost interest?
   Where is your power?
   Show that you care about us [h] and have mercy!
    16Our ancestors Abraham and Jacob
   have both rejected us.
   But you are still our Father;
   you have been our protector
   since ancient times.
    17Why did you make us turn away
   from you, our LORD?
   Why did you make us want
   to disobey you?
   Please change your mind!
   We are your servants,
   your very own people.
    18For a little while,
   your temple belonged to us; [i] and now our enemies
   have torn it down.
    19We act as though you
   had never ruled us
   or called us your people.

Isaiah 64

 1Rip the heavens apart!    Come down, LORD;
   make the mountains tremble.
    2Be a spark that starts a fire
   causing water to boil. [j] Then your enemies will know
   who you are;
   all nations will tremble
   because you are nearby.
    3Your fearsome deeds
   have completely amazed us;
   even the mountains shake
   when you come down.
    4You are the only God
   ever seen or heard of
   who works miracles
   for his followers.
    5You help all who gladly obey
   and do what you want,
   but sin makes you angry.
   Only by your help
   can we ever be saved. [k] 6We are unfit to worship you;
   each of our good deeds
   is merely a filthy rag.
   We dry up like leaves;
   our sins are storm winds
   sweeping us away.
    7No one worships in your name
   or remains faithful.
   You have turned your back on us
   and let our sins melt us away. [l] 8You, LORD, are our Father.
   We are nothing but clay,
   but you are the potter
   who molded us.
    9Don't be so furious
   or keep our sins
   in your thoughts forever!
   Remember that all of us
   are your people.
    10Every one of your towns
   has turned into a desert,
   especially Jerusalem.
    11Zion's glorious and holy temple
   where our ancestors praised you
   has been destroyed by fire.
   Our beautiful buildings
   are now a pile of ruins.
    12When you see these things,
   how can you just sit there
   and make us suffer more?

Isaiah 65

The LORD Will Punish the Guilty
 1I, the LORD, was ready    answer even those
   who were not asking
   and to be found by those
   who were not searching.
   To a nation that refused
   to worship me, [m] I said, "Here I am!"
    2All day long I have reached out
   to stubborn and sinful people
   going their own way.
    3They keep making me angry
   by sneering at me,
   while offering sacrifices
   to idols in gardens
   and burning incense
   to them on bricks.
    4They spend their nights
   hiding in burial caves;
   they eat the meat of pigs, [n] cooked in sauces
   made of stuff unfit to eat.
    5And then they say to others,
   "Don't come near us!
   We're dedicated to God."
   Such people are like smoke,
   irritating my nose all day.
    6I have written this down;
   I won't keep silent.
   I'll pay them back
   just as their sins deserve.
    7I, the LORD, will make them pay
   for their sins
   and for those
   of their ancestors--
   they have disgraced me
   by burning incense
   on mountains.
    8Here is what the LORD says:
   A cluster of grapes
   that produces wine
   is worth keeping!
   So, because of my servants,
   I won't destroy everyone.
    9I have chosen the people
   of Israel and Judah,
   and I will bless them
   with many descendants.
   They will settle here
   in this land of mountains,
   and it will be theirs.
    10My people will worship me.
   Then the coastlands of Sharon
   and the land as far
   as Achor Valley [o] will turn into pastureland
   where cattle and sheep
   will feed and rest.
    11What will I, the LORD, do
   if any of you reject me
   and my holy mountain?
   What will happen to you
   for offering food and wine
   to the gods you call
   "Good Luck" and "Fate"?
    12Your luck will end!
   I will see to it
   that you
   are slaughtered with swords.
   You refused to answer
   when I called out;
   you paid no attention
   to my instructions.
   Instead, you did what I hated,
   knowing it was wrong.
    13I, the LORD God, will give
   food and drink
   to my servants,
   and they will celebrate.
   But all of you sinners
   will go hungry and thirsty,
   overcome with disgrace.
    14My servants will laugh and sing,
   but you will be sad
   and cry out in pain.
    15I, the LORD God, promise
   to see that you are killed
   and that my chosen servants use
   your names
   as curse words.
   But I will give new names [p] to my servants. [q] 16I am God! I can be trusted.
   Your past troubles are gone;
   I no longer think of them.
   When you pray for someone
   to receive a blessing,
   or when you make a promise,
   you must do it in my name.
   I alone am the God
   who can be trusted.
The LORD's New Creation
 17I am creating new heavens    and a new earth;
   everything of the past
   will be forgotten.
    18Celebrate and be glad forever!
   I am creating a Jerusalem,
   full of happy people.
    19I will celebrate with Jerusalem
   and all of its people;
   there will be no more crying
   or sorrow in that city.
    20No child will die in infancy;
   everyone will live
   to a ripe old age.
   Anyone a hundred years old
   will be considered young,
   and to die younger than that
   will be considered a curse.
    21My people will live
   in the houses they build;
   they will enjoy grapes
   from their own vineyards.
    22No one will take away
   their homes or vineyards.
   My chosen people will live
   to be as old as trees,
   and they will enjoy
   what they have earned.
    23Their work won't be wasted,
   and their children won't die
   of dreadful diseases. [r] I will bless their children
   and their grandchildren.
    24I will answer their prayers
   before they finish praying.
    25Wolves and lambs
   will graze together;
   lions and oxen
   will feed on straw.
   Snakes will eat only dirt!
   They won't bite
   or harm anyone
   on my holy mountain.
   I, the LORD, have spoken!
  1. Isaiah 63:1 Bozrah: The main city of Edom.
  2. Isaiah 63:2 stomping on grapes: This is one way that grapes were crushed to make them into juice.
  3. Isaiah 63:9 It. . . them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Isaiah 63:11 But. . . Moses: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Isaiah 63:11 the LORD: Or "Moses."
  6. Isaiah 63:11 he: Or "Moses."
  7. Isaiah 63:14 His. . . valley: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. Isaiah 63:15 us: Hebrew "me."
  9. Isaiah 63:18 For. . . us: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. Isaiah 64:2 Be. . . boil: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. Isaiah 64:5 saved: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 5.
  12. Isaiah 64:7 and let. . . away: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  13. Isaiah 65:1 refused. . . me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. Isaiah 65:4 burial. . . pigs: Coming in contact with the dead or eating the meat of pigs made a person unacceptable to God.
  15. Isaiah 65:10 coastlands of Sharon. . . Achor Valley: Sharon is the coastal plain on the west, and Achor Valley is in the east near Jericho. These two places stand for the whole country.
  16. Isaiah 65:15 new names: The giving of a new name suggests the beginning of a new life.
  17. Isaiah 65:15 But I. . . servants: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  18. Isaiah 65:23 their children. . . diseases: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Philippians 2:19-3:4 (Contemporary English Version)

Timothy and Epaphroditus
 19I want to be encouraged by news about you. So I hope the Lord Jesus will soon let me send Timothy to you. 20I don't have anyone else who cares about you as much as he does. 21The others think only about what interests them and not about what concerns Christ Jesus. 22But you know what kind of person Timothy is. He has worked with me like a son in spreading the good news. 23I hope to send him to you, as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me. 24And I feel sure that the Lord will also let me come soon.     25I think I ought to send my dear friend Epaphroditus back to you. He is a follower and a worker and a soldier of the Lord, just as I am. You sent him to look after me, 26but now he is eager to see you. He is worried, because you heard he was sick. 27In fact, he was very sick and almost died. But God was kind to him, and also to me, and he kept me from being burdened down with sorrow.
    28Now I am more eager than ever to send Epaphroditus back again. You will be glad to see him, and I won't have to worry any longer. 29Be sure to give him a cheerful welcome, just as people who serve the Lord deserve. 30He almost died working for Christ, and he risked his own life to do for me what you could not.

Philippians 3

Being Acceptable to God
 1Finally, my dear friends, be glad that you belong to the Lord. It doesn't bother me to write the same things to you that I have written before. In fact, it is for your own good.     2Watch out for those people who behave like dogs! They are evil and want to do more than just circumcise you. 3But we are the ones who are truly circumcised, because we worship by the power of God's Spirit [a] and take pride in Christ Jesus. We don't brag about what we have done, 4although I could. Others may brag about themselves, but I have more reason to brag than anyone else.
  1. Philippians 3:3 by the power of God's Spirit: Some manuscripts have "sincerely."

Psalm 73:1-28 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 73

(Psalms 73-89)
(A psalm by Asaph.)
God Is Good
 1God is truly good to Israel, [a] especially to everyone    with a pure heart.
    2But I almost stumbled and fell,
    3because it made me jealous
   to see proud and evil people
   and to watch them prosper.
    4They never have to suffer, [b] they stay healthy,
    5and they don't have troubles
   like everyone else.
    6Their pride is like a necklace,
   and they commit sin
   more often
   than they dress themselves.
    7Their eyes poke out with fat,
   and their minds are flooded
   with foolish thoughts.
    8They sneer and say cruel things,
   and because of their pride,
   they make violent threats.
    9They dare to speak against God
   and to order others around.
    10God will bring his people back,
   and they will drink the water
   he so freely gives. [c] 11Only evil people would say,
   "God Most High cannot
   know everything!"
    12Yet all goes well for them,
   and they live in peace.
    13What good did it do me
   to keep my thoughts pure
   and refuse to do wrong?
    14I am sick all day,
   and I am punished
   each morning.
    15If I had said evil things,
   I would not have been loyal
   to your people.
    16It was hard for me
   to understand all this!
    17Then I went to your temple,
   and there I understood
   what will happen
   to my enemies.
    18You will make them stumble,
   never to get up again.
    19They will be terrified,
   suddenly swept away
   and no longer there.
    20They will disappear, Lord,
   despised like a bad dream
   the morning after.
    21Once I was bitter
   and brokenhearted.
    22I was stupid and ignorant,
   and I treated you
   as a wild animal would.
    23But I never really left you,
   and you hold my right hand.
    24Your advice has been my guide,
   and later you will welcome me
   in glory. [d] 25In heaven I have only you,
   and on this earth
   you are all I want.
    26My body and mind may fail,
   but you are my strength
   and my choice forever.
    27Powerful LORD God,
   all who stay far from you
   will be lost,
   and you will destroy those
   who are unfaithful.
    28It is good for me
   to be near you.
   I choose you as my protector,
   and I will tell about
   your wonderful deeds.
  1. Psalm 73:1 to Israel: Or " to those who do right."
  2. Psalm 73:4 They. . . suffer: Or " They die a painless death."
  3. Psalm 73:10 gives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  4. Psalm 73:24 in glory: Or " with honor."

Proverbs 24:13-14 (Contemporary English Version)

 13 Honey is good for you,    my children,
   and it tastes sweet.
    14Wisdom is like honey
   for your life--
   if you find it,
   your future is bright.

Verse of the Day

“God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.” - Matthew 5:11-12
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American politician and author who served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981, Jimmy Carter wrote, “I believe that anyone can be successful in life, regardless of natural talent or the environment within which we live. This is not based on measuring success by human competitiveness for wealth, possessions, influence, and fame, but adhering to God's standards of truth, justice, humility, service, compassion, forgiveness, and love.”

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