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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Monday, October 12, 2015

Bible Readings for October 12, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 19:1–21:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28; Psalm 82:1-8; and Proverbs 25:8-10. 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 19-21:14 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 19

Jeremiah and the Clay Jar
 1The LORD said:    Jeremiah, go to the pottery shop and buy a clay jar. Then take along some of the city officials and leading priests 2and go to Hinnom Valley, just outside Potsherd [a] Gate. Tell the people that I have said: 3I am the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, and you kings of Judah and you people of Jerusalem had better pay attention. I am going to bring so much trouble on this valley that everyone who hears about it will be shocked. 4-5The people of Judah stopped worshiping me and made this valley into a place of worship for Baal and other gods that have never helped them or their ancestors or their kings. And they have committed murder here, burning their young, innocent children as sacrifices to Baal. I have never even thought of telling you to do that. 6So watch out! Someday this place will no longer be called Topheth or Hinnom Valley. It will be called Slaughter Valley!
    7You people of Judah and Jerusalem may have big plans, but here in this valley I'll ruin [b] those plans. I'll let your enemies kill you, and I'll tell the birds and wild animals to eat your dead bodies. 8I will turn Jerusalem into a pile of rubble, and every passerby will be shocked and horrified and will make insulting remarks. 9And while your enemies are trying to break through your city walls to kill you, the food supply will run out. You will become so hungry that you will eat the flesh of your friends and even of your own children. 10Jeremiah, as soon as you have said this, smash the jar while the people are watching. 11Then tell them that I have also said:
   I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I warn you that I will shatter Judah and Jerusalem just like this jar that is broken beyond repair. You will bury your dead here in Topheth, but so many of you will die that there won't be enough room.
    12-13I will make Jerusalem as unclean as Topheth, by filling the city with your dead bodies. I will do this because you and your kings have gone up to the roofs of your houses and burned incense to the stars in the sky, as though they were gods. And you have given sacrifices of wine to foreign gods.
Jeremiah Speaks in the Temple Courtyard
 14I went to Topheth, where I told the people what the LORD had said. Then I went to the temple courtyard and shouted to the people, 15"Listen, everyone! Some time ago, the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, warned you that he would bring disaster on Jerusalem and all nearby villages. But you were stubborn and refused to listen. Now the LORD is going to bring the disaster he promised."    

Jeremiah 20

Pashhur Arrests Jeremiah
 1Pashhur son of Immer was a priest and the chief of temple security. He heard what I had said, 2and so he hit me. [c] Then he had me arrested and put in chains [d] at the Benjamin Gate in the LORD's temple. [e] 3The next day, when Pashhur let me go free, I told him that the LORD had said: No longer will I call you Pashhur. Instead, I will call you Afraid-of-Everything. [f] 4You will be afraid, and you will bring fear to your friends as well. You will see enemies kill them in battle. Then I will have the king of Babylonia take everyone in Judah prisoner, killing some and dragging the rest away to Babylonia. 5He will clean out the royal treasury and take everything else of value from Jerusalem. 6Pashhur, you are guilty of telling lies and claiming they were messages from me. That's why I will have the Babylonians take you, your family, and your friends as prisoners to Babylonia, where you will all die and be buried.    
Jeremiah Complains to the LORD
 7You tricked me, LORD,    and I was really fooled.
   You are stronger than I am,
   and you have defeated me.
   People never stop sneering
   and insulting me.
    8You have let me announce
   only destruction and death.
   Your message has brought me
   nothing but insults
   and trouble.
    9Sometimes I tell myself
   not to think about you, LORD,
   or even mention your name.
   But your message burns
   in my heart and bones,
   and I cannot keep silent.
    10I heard the crowds whisper,
   "Everyone is afraid.
   Now's our chance
   to accuse Jeremiah!"
   All of my so-called friends
   are just waiting
   for me to make a mistake.
   They say, "Maybe Jeremiah
   can be tricked.
   Then we can overpower him
   and get even at last."
    11But you, LORD,
   are a mighty soldier,
   standing at my side.
   Those troublemakers
   will fall down and fail--
   terribly embarrassed,
   forever ashamed.
    12LORD All-Powerful,
   you test those who do right,
   and you know every heart
   and mind.
   I have told you my complaints,
   so let me watch you
   take revenge on my enemies.
    13I sing praises to you, LORD.
   You rescue the oppressed
   from the wicked.
    14Put a curse on the day I was born!
   Don't bless my mother.
    15Put a curse on the man
   who told my father,
   "Good news!
   You have a son."
    16May that man be like the towns
   you destroyed without pity.
   Let him hear shouts of alarm
   in the morning
   and battle cries at noon.
    17He deserves to die
   for not killing me
   before I was born.
   Then my mother's body
   would have been my grave.
    18Why did I have to be born?
   Was it just to suffer
   and die in shame?

Jeremiah 21

The LORD Will Fight against Jerusalem
 1King Zedekiah [g] of Judah sent for Pashhur son of Malchiah and for a priest named Zephaniah son of Maaseiah. Then he told them,"Talk with Jeremiah for me." So they came to me and said, 2"King Nebuchadnezzar [h] of Babylonia has attacked Judah. Please ask the LORD to work miracles for our people, as he has done in the past, so that Nebuchadnezzar will leave us alone." 3-7I told them that the LORD God of Israel had told me to say to King Zedekiah:    The Babylonians have surrounded Jerusalem and want to kill you and your people. You are asking me to save you, but you have made me furious. So I will stretch out my mighty arm and fight against you myself. Your army is using spears and swords to fight the Babylonians, but I will make your own weapons turn and attack you. I will send a horrible disease to kill many of the people and animals in Jerusalem, and there will be nothing left to eat. Finally, I will let King Nebuchadnezzar and his army fight their way to the center of Jerusalem and capture everyone who is left alive, including you and your officials. But Nebuchadnezzar won't be kind or show any mercy--he will have you killed! I, the LORD, have spoken.
    8Then I told them that the LORD had said:
   People of Jerusalem, I, the LORD, give you the choice of life or death. 9The Babylonian army has surrounded Jerusalem, so if you want to live, you must go out and surrender to them. But if you want to die because of hunger, disease, or war, then stay here in the city. 10I have decided not to rescue Jerusalem. Instead, I am going to let the king of Babylonia burn it to the ground. I, the LORD, have spoken.
The LORD Warns the King of Judah
 11Pay attention, you that belong    to the royal family.
    12Each new day, make sure
   that justice is done,
   and rescue those
   who are being robbed.
   Or else my anger will flame up
   like a fire that never goes out.
   from your mountaintop
   you look out over the valleys [i] and think you are safe.
   But I, the LORD, am angry,
    14and I will punish you
   as you deserve.
   I'll set your palace [j] on fire, and everything around you
   will go up in smoke.
  1. Jeremiah 19:2 Potsherd: A piece of broken pottery.
  2. Jeremiah 19:7 ruin: In Hebrew "ruin" sounds like "jar" (see verse 1).
  3. Jeremiah 20:2 hit me: Or "beat me up" or "had me beaten up."
  4. Jeremiah 20:2 in chains: Or "in the stocks" (a wooden frame with holes for the hands, neck, or feet of a prisoner) or "in a prison cell."
  5. Jeremiah 20:2 the Benjamin Gate in the LORD's temple: The Hebrew text has "the upper Benjamin Gate in the temple"; the lower Benjamin Gate may have been the city gate of that name.
  6. Jeremiah 20:3 Afraid-of-Everything: Hebrew "Magor-Missabib."
  7. Jeremiah 21:1 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  8. Jeremiah 21:2 Nebuchadnezzar: Ruled 605-562 B.C.
  9. Jeremiah 21:13 Jerusalem. . . valleys: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. Jeremiah 21:14 your palace: The Hebrew text has "the forest"; the largest room in the king's palace was known as Forest Hall (see 1 Kings 7.2,3).

1 Thessalonians 5:4-28 (Contemporary English Version)

4My dear friends, you don't live in darkness, and so that day won't surprise you like a thief. 5You belong to the light and live in the day. We don't live in the night or belong to the dark. 6Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert. 7People sleep during the night, and some even get drunk. 8But we belong to the day. So we must stay sober and let our faith and love be like a suit of armor. Our firm hope that we will be saved is our helmet.
    9God doesn't intend to punish us, but wants us to be saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. 10Christ died for us, so that we could live with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11That's why you must encourage and help each other, just as you are already doing.
Final Instructions and Greetings
 12My friends, we ask you to be thoughtful of your leaders who work hard and tell you how to live for the Lord. 13Show them great respect and love because of their work. Try to get along with each other. 14My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn't living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15Don't be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else.     16Always be joyful 17and never stop praying. 18Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
    19Don't turn away God's Spirit 20or ignore prophecies. 21Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22and don't have anything to do with evil.
    23I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 24The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this.
    25Friends, please pray for us.
    26Give the Lord's followers a warm greeting.
    27In the name of the Lord I beg you to read this letter to all his followers.
    28I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you!

Psalm 82:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 82

(A psalm by Asaph.)
Please Do Something, God!
 1When all of the other gods [a] have come together,    the Lord God judges them
   and says:
    2"How long will you
   keep judging unfairly
   and favoring evil people?
    3Be fair to the poor
   and to orphans.
   Defend the helpless
   and everyone in need.
    4Rescue the weak and homeless
   from the powerful hands
   of heartless people.
    5"None of you know
   or understand a thing.
   You live in darkness,
   while the foundations
   of the earth tremble. [b] 6"I, the Most High God, say
   that all of you are gods [c] and also my own children.
    7But you will die,
   just like everyone else,
   including powerful rulers."
    8Do something, God!
   Judge the nations of the earth;
   they belong to you.
  1. Psalm 82:1 the other gods: This probably refers to the gods of the nations that God defeated, but it could refer to God's servants (angels) in heaven or even to human rulers.
  2. Psalm 82:5 foundations. . . tremble: In ancient times it was believed that the earth was flat and supported by columns.
  3. Psalm 82:6 all of you are gods: See the note at 82.1.

Proverbs 25:8-10 (Contemporary English Version)

8before you sue someone,
   or you might lose your case
   and be embarrassed.
    9When you and someone else
   can't get along,
   don't gossip about it. [a] 10Others will find out,
   and your reputation
   will then be ruined.
  1. Proverbs 25:9 When. . . it: Or " Settle a problem privately between you and your neighbor and don't involve others."

Verse of the Day
“Pay attention to advice and accept correction, so you can live sensibly. We may make a lot of plans, but the LORD will do what he has decided.” - Proverbs 19:20-21
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States, from 1901 to 1909, Theodore Roosevelt wrote, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

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