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, October 11, 2015

Bible Readings for October 11, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 16:16–18:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:1–5:3; Psalm 81:1-16; and Proverbs 25:6-7. 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. 

Jeremiah 16:16-18:23 (Contemporary English Version)

16But for now, I am sending enemies who will catch you like fish and hunt you down like wild animals in the hills and the caves.
    17I can see everything you are doing, even if you try to hide your sins from me. 18I will punish you double for your sins, because you have made my own land disgusting. You have filled it with lifeless idols that remind me of dead bodies.  
The LORD Gives Strength
I prayed to the LORD:
 19Our LORD, you are the one    who gives me strength
   and protects me like a fortress
   when I am in trouble.
   People will come to you
   from distant nations and say,
   "Our ancestors worshiped
   false and useless gods,
    20worthless idols
   made by human hands."
    21Then the LORD replied,
   "That's why I will teach them
   about my power,
   and they will know
   that I am the true God."

Jeremiah 17

The LORD Will Punish Judah
The LORD said:
 1People of Judah,    your sins cannot be erased.
   They are written on your hearts
   like words chiseled in stone
   or carved on the corners
   of your altars. [a] 2One generation after another
   has set up pagan altars
   and worshiped the goddess Asherah
   everywhere in your country--
   on hills and mountains,
   and under large trees.
    3So I'll take everything you own,
   including your altars,
   and give it all
   to your enemies. [b] 4You will lose [c] the land that I gave you,
   and I will make you slaves
   in a foreign country,
   because you have made my anger
   blaze up like a fire
   that won't stop burning.
Trust the LORD
 5I, the LORD, have put a curse    on those who turn from me
   and trust in human strength.
    6They will dry up like a bush
   in salty desert soil,
   where nothing can grow.
    7But I will bless those
   who trust me.
    8They will be like trees
   growing beside a stream--
   trees with roots that reach
   down to the water,
   and with leaves
   that are always green.
   They bear fruit every year
   and are never worried
   by a lack of rain.
    9You people of Judah
   are so deceitful
   that you even fool yourselves,
   and you can't change.
    10But I know your deeds
   and your thoughts,
   and I will make sure
   you get what you deserve.
    11You cheated others,
   but everything you gained
   will fly away, like birds
   hatched from stolen eggs.
   Then you will discover
   what fools you are.
Jeremiah Prays to the LORD
 12Our LORD, your temple    is a glorious throne
   that has stood on a mountain
   from the beginning.
    13You are a spring of water
   giving Israel life and hope.
   But if the people reject
   what you have told me,
   they will be swept away
   like words written in dust. [d] 14You, LORD, are the one I praise.
   So heal me and rescue me!
   Then I will be completely well
   and perfectly safe.
    15The people of Judah say to me,
   "Jeremiah, you claimed to tell us
   what the LORD has said.
   So why hasn't it come true?"
    16Our LORD, you chose me
   to care for your people,
   and that's what I have done.
   You know everything I have said,
   and I have never once
   asked you to punish them. [e] 17I trust you for protection
   in times of trouble,
   so don't frighten me.
    18Keep me from failure
   and disgrace,
   but make my enemies fail
   and be disgraced.
   Send destruction to make
   their worst fears come true.
Resting on the Sabbath
 19-20The LORD said:    Jeremiah, stand at each city gate in Jerusalem, including the one the king uses, and speak to him and everyone else. Tell them I have said:
   I am the LORD, so pay attention. 21-24If you value your lives, don't do any work on the Sabbath. Don't carry anything through the city gates or through the door of your house, or anywhere else. Keep the Sabbath day sacred!
   I gave this command to your ancestors, but they were stubborn and refused to obey or to be corrected. But if you obey, 25then Judah and Jerusalem will always be ruled by kings from David's family. The king and his officials will ride through these gates on horses or in chariots, and the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be with them. There will always be people living in Jerusalem, 26and others will come here from the nearby villages, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, [f] from the hill country and the foothills to the west, and from the Southern Desert. They will bring sacrifices to please me and to give me thanks, [g] as well as offerings of grain and incense. 27But if you keep on carrying things through the city gates on the Sabbath and keep treating it as any other day, I will set fire to these gates and burn down the whole city, including the fortresses.

Jeremiah 18

Jeremiah Goes to the Pottery Shop
 1The LORD told me, 2"Go to the pottery shop, and when you get there, I will tell you what to say to the people."     3I went there and saw the potter making clay pots on his pottery wheel. 4And whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he would change his mind and form it into some other shape.
    5Then the LORD told me to say:
    6People of Israel, I, the LORD, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay. 7If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation 8and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind.
    9If I promise to make a nation strong, 10but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.
    11So listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem! I have decided to strike you with disaster, and I won't change my mind unless you stop sinning and start living right.
    12But I know you won't listen. You might as well answer, "We don't care what you say. We have made plans to sin, and we are going to be stubborn and do what we want!"
    13So I, the LORD, command you to ask the nations, and find out if they have ever heard of such a horrible sin as what you have done.
    14The snow
   on Lebanon's mountains
   never melts away,
   and the streams there
   never run dry. [h] 15But you, my people,
   have turned from me
   to burn incense
   to worthless idols.
   You have left the ancient road
   to follow an unknown path
   where you stumble over idols.
    16Your land will be ruined,
   and every passerby
   will look at it with horror
   and make insulting remarks.
    17When your enemies attack,
   I will scatter you like dust
   blown by an eastern wind.
   Then, on that day of disaster,
   I will turn my back on you.
The Plot against Jeremiah
 18Some of the people said, "Let's get rid of Jeremiah! We will always have priests to teach us God's laws, as well as wise people to give us advice, and prophets to speak the LORD's messages. So, instead of listening to Jeremiah any longer, let's accuse him of a crime."    
Jeremiah Prays about His Enemies
 19Please, LORD, answer my prayer.    Make my enemies stop
   accusing me of evil.
    20I tried to help them,
   but they are paying me back
   by digging a pit to trap me.
   I even begged you
   not to punish them.
    21But now I am asking you
   to let their children starve
   or be killed in war.
   Let women lose
   their husbands and sons
   to disease and violence.
    22These people have dug pits
   and set traps for me, LORD.
   Make them scream in fear
   when you send enemy troops
   to attack their homes.
    23You know they plan to kill me.
   So get angry and punish them!
   Don't ever forgive
   their terrible crimes.
  1. Jeremiah 17:1 carved on the corners of your altars: When sacrifices were offered to the LORD to ask him to forgive sins, some of the blood was smeared on the corners of the altar (see Leviticus 4.7,18-20,25,26,30,31,34,35; 16.18). But now the LORD refuses to accept these sacrifices.
  2. Jeremiah 17:3 enemies: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 2,3.
  3. Jeremiah 17:4 You will lose: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Jeremiah 17:13 reject. . . dust: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Jeremiah 17:16 you chose. . . punish them: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. Jeremiah 17:26 Judah and Benjamin: These two tribes made up the southern kingdom of Judah.
  7. Jeremiah 17:26 sacrifices to please me and to give me thanks: See the notes at 14.12.
  8. Jeremiah 18:14 dry: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.

1 Thessalonians 4-5:3 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Thessalonians 4

A Life That Pleases God
 1Finally, my dear friends, since you belong to the Lord Jesus, we beg and urge you to live as we taught you. Then you will please God. You are already living that way, but try even harder. 2Remember the instructions we gave you as followers of the Lord Jesus. 3God wants you to be holy, so don't be immoral in matters of sex. 4Respect and honor your wife. [a] 5Don't be a slave of your desires or live like people who don't know God. 6You must not cheat any of the Lord's followers in matters of sex. [b] Remember, we warned you that he punishes everyone who does such things. 7God didn't choose you to be filthy, but to be pure. 8So if you don't obey these rules, you are not really disobeying us. You are disobeying God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 9We don't have to write you about the need to love each other. God has taught you to do this, 10and you already have shown your love for all of his people in Macedonia. But, my dear friends, we ask you to do even more. 11Try your best to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work hard, just as we taught you to do. 12Then you will be respected by people who are not followers of the Lord, and you won't have to depend on anyone.    
The Lord's Coming
 13My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won't grieve over them and be like people who don't have any hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. 15Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won't go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died.     16With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. 17Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. 18Encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5

 1I don't need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen. 2You surely know that the Lord's return [c] will be as a thief coming at night. 3People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won't escape.
  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:4 your wife: Or "your body."
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 in matters of sex: Or "in business."
  3. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 the Lord's return: The Greek text has "the day of the Lord."

Psalm 81:1-16 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 81

(By Asaph for the music leader. (Psalm 81 leader: See the note at Psalm 8.) )
God Makes Us Strong
 1Be happy and shout to God    who makes us strong!
   Shout praises to the God
   of Jacob.
    2Sing as you play tambourines
   and the lovely sounding
   stringed instruments.
    3Sound the trumpets and start
   the New Moon Festival. [a] We must also celebrate
   when the moon is full.
    4This is the law in Israel,
   and it was given to us
   by the God of Jacob.
    5The descendants of Joseph
   were told to obey it,
   when God led them out
   from the land of Egypt.
   In a language unknown to me,
   I heard someone say:
    6"I lifted the burden
   from your shoulder
   and took the heavy basket
   from your hands.
    7When you were in trouble,
   I rescued you,
   and from the thunderclouds,
   I answered your prayers.
   Later I tested you
   at Meribah Spring. [b] 8"Listen, my people,
   while I, the Lord,
   correct you!
   Israel, if you would only
   pay attention to me!
    9Don't worship foreign gods
   or bow down to gods
   you know nothing about.
    10I am the LORD your God.
   I rescued you from Egypt.
   Just ask, and I will give you
   whatever you need.
    11"But, my people, Israel,
   you refused to listen,
   and you would have nothing
   to do with me!
    12So I let you be stubborn
   and keep on following
   your own advice.
    13"My people, Israel,
   if only you would listen
   and do as I say!
    14I, the LORD, would quickly
   defeat your enemies
   with my mighty power.
    15Everyone who hates me
   would come crawling,
   and that would be the end
   of them.
    16But I would feed you
   with the finest bread
   and with the best honey [c] until you were full."
  1. Psalm 81:3 New Moon Festival: Celebrated on the first day of each new moon, which was the beginning of the month. But this may refer to either the New Year celebration or the Harvest Festival. " The moon is full" suggests a festival in the middle of the month.
  2. Psalm 81:7 Meribah Spring: When the people of Israel complained to Moses about the need for water, God commanded Moses to strike a rock with his walking stick, and water came out. The place was then named Massah (" test" ) and Meribah (" complaining" ).
  3. Psalm 81:16 the best honey: The Hebrew text has " honey from rocks," referring to honey taken from beehives in holes or cracks in large rocks.

Proverbs 25:6-7 (Contemporary English Version)

6Don't try to seem important
   in the court of a ruler.
    7It's better for the ruler
   to give you a high position
   than for you to be embarrassed
   in front of royal officials.
   Be sure you are right

Verse of the Day

“[(A psalm by David for Jeduthun, the music leader.)][God Is Powerful and Kind]Only God can save me, and I calmly wait for him.” - Psalm 62:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques, Alexis Carrel wrote, “Life leaps like a geyser for those who drill through the rock of inertia.”

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