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 18, 2015

Bible Readings for October 18, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 31:27–32:44; 1 Timothy 3:1-16; Psalm 88:1-18; and Proverbs 25:20-22. The readings are from the Contemporary English VersionIf you missed a day, you can find all the readings at our blog, The Bible in a Year. If 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 31:27-32:44 (Contemporary English Version)

27Someday, Israel and Judah will be my field where my people and their livestock will grow. 28In the past, I took care to uproot them, to tear them down, and to destroy them. But when that day comes, I will take care to plant them and help them grow. 29No longer will anyone go around saying,
   "Sour grapes eaten by parents
   leave a sour taste in the mouths
   of their children."
    30When that day comes, only those who eat sour grapes will get the sour taste, and only those who sin will be put to death.
The New Agreement with Israel and Judah
 31The LORD said:    The time will surely come when I will make a new agreement with the people of Israel and Judah. 32It will be different from the agreement I made with their ancestors when I led them out of Egypt. Although I was their God, they broke that agreement.
    33Here is the new agreement that I, the LORD, will make with the people of Israel:
   "I will write my laws
   on their hearts and minds.
   I will be their God,
   and they will be my people.
    34"No longer will they have to teach one another to obey me. I, the LORD, promise that all of them will obey me, ordinary people and rulers alike. I will forgive their sins and forget the evil things they have done."
    35I am the LORD All-Powerful.
   I command the sun
   to give light each day,
   the moon and stars
   to shine at night,
   and ocean waves to roar.
    36I will never forget
   to give those commands,
   and I will never let Israel
   stop being a nation.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
    37Can you measure the heavens?
   Can you explore
   the depths of the earth?
   That's how hard it would be
   for me to reject Israel forever,
   even though they have sinned.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
Jerusalem Will Be Rebuilt
 38The LORD said:    Someday, Jerusalem will truly belong to me. It will be rebuilt with a boundary line running from Hananel Tower to Corner Gate. 39From there, the boundary will go in a straight line to Gareb Hill, then turn toward Goah. 40Even that disgusting Hinnom Valley [a] will be sacred to me, and so will the eastern slopes that go down from Horse Gate into Kidron Valley. Jerusalem will never again be destroyed.

Jeremiah 32

Jeremiah Buys a Field
 1The LORD spoke to me in the tenth year that Zedekiah [b] was king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year that Nebuchadnezzar [c] was king of Babylonia. 2At that time, the Babylonian army had surrounded Jerusalem, and I was in the prison at the courtyard of the palace guards. 3Zedekiah had ordered me to be held there because I told everyone that the LORD had said: I am the LORD, and I am about to let the king of Babylonia conquer Jerusalem. 4King Zedekiah will be captured and taken to King Nebuchadnezzar, who will speak with him face to face. 5Then Zedekiah will be led away to Babylonia, where he will stay until I am finished with him. So, if you people of Judah fight against the Babylonians, you will lose. I, the LORD, have spoken.     6Later, when I was in prison, the LORD said:
    7Jeremiah, your cousin Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, will visit you. He must sell his field near the town of Anathoth, and because you are his nearest relative, you have the right and the responsibility to buy it and keep it in the family. [d] 8Hanamel came, just as the LORD had promised. And he said, "Please buy my field near Anathoth in the territory of the Benjamin tribe. You have the right to buy it, and if you do, it will stay in our family."
   The LORD had told me to buy it 9from Hanamel, and so I did. The price was seventeen pieces of silver, and I weighed out the full amount on a scale. 10-11I had two copies of the bill of sale written out, each containing all the details of our agreement. Some witnesses and I signed the official copy, which was folded and tied, before being sealed shut with hot wax. [e] Then I gave Hanamel the silver. 12And while he, the witnesses, and all the other Jews sitting in the courtyard were still watching, I gave both copies to Baruch son of Neriah. [f] 13-14I told Baruch that the LORD had said:
   Take both copies of this bill of sale, one sealed shut and the other open, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. 15I am the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, and I promise you that people will once again buy and sell houses, farms, and vineyards in this country.
Jeremiah Questions the LORD
 16Then I prayed:     17LORD God, you stretched out your mighty arm and made the sky and the earth. You can do anything. 18You show kindness for a thousand generations, [g] but you also punish people for the sins of their parents. You are the LORD All-Powerful. 19With great wisdom you make plans, and with your great power you do all the mighty things you planned. Nothing we do is hidden from your eyes, and you reward or punish us as we deserve. 20You are famous because you worked miracles in Egypt, and you are still working them in Israel and in the rest of the world as well. 21You terrified the Egyptians with your miracles, and you reached out your mighty arm and rescued your people Israel from Egypt. 22Then you gave Israel this land rich with milk and honey, just as you had promised our ancestors.
    23But when our ancestors took over the land, they did not obey you. And now you have punished Israel with disaster. 24Jerusalem is under attack, and we suffer from hunger and disease. The Babylonians have already built dirt ramps up to the city walls, and you can see that Jerusalem will be captured just as you said.
    25So why did you tell me to get some witnesses and buy a field with my silver, when Jerusalem is about to be captured by the Babylonians?
The LORD Explains about the Field
 26The LORD explained:     27Jeremiah, I am the LORD God. I rule the world, and I can do anything!
    28It is true that I am going to let King Nebuchadnezzar [h] of Babylonia capture Jerusalem. 29The Babylonian army is already attacking, and they will capture the city and set it on fire. The people of Jerusalem have made me angry by going up to the flat roofs of their houses and burning incense to Baal and offering wine sacrifices to other gods. Now these houses will be burned to the ground! 30-33The kings and the officials, the priests and the prophets, and everyone else in Israel and Judah have turned from me and made me angry by worshiping idols. Again and again I have tried to teach my people to obey me, but they refuse to be corrected.
   I am going to get rid of Jerusalem, because its people have done nothing but evil. 34They have set up disgusting idols in my temple, and now it isn't a fit place to worship me. 35And they led Judah into sin by building places to worship Baal in Hinnom Valley, where they also sacrificed their sons and daughters to the god Molech. I have never even thought of telling them to commit such disgusting sins.
    36Jeremiah, what you said is true. The people of Jerusalem are suffering from hunger and disease, and so the king of Babylonia will be able to capture Jerusalem.
    37I am angry at the people of Jerusalem, and I will scatter them in foreign countries. But someday I will bring them back here and let them live in safety. 38They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39-41I will make their thoughts and desires pure. Then they will realize that, for their own good and the good of their children, they must worship only me. They will even be afraid to turn away from me. I will make an agreement with them that will never end, and I won't ever stop doing good things for them. With all my heart I promise that they will be planted in this land once again. 42Even though I have brought disaster on the people, I will someday do all these good things for them.
    43Jeremiah, when you bought the field, you showed that fields will someday be bought and sold again. You say that this land has been conquered by the Babylonians and has become a desert, emptied of people and animals. 44But someday, people will again spend their silver to buy fields everywhere--in the territory of Benjamin, the region around Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, and in the hill country, the foothills to the west, and the Southern Desert. Buyers and sellers and witnesses will sign and seal the bills of sale for the fields. It will happen, because I will give this land back to my people. I, the LORD, have spoken.
  1. Jeremiah 31:40 that disgusting Hinnom Valley: The Hebrew text has "the whole valley of the dead bodies and of the fatty ashes," which probably refers to Hinnom Valley, just southwest of Jerusalem, where human sacrifices had been offered to foreign gods.
  2. Jeremiah 32:1 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  3. Jeremiah 32:1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  4. Jeremiah 32:7 you have the right. . . in the family: See Leviticus 25.25-32.
  5. Jeremiah 32:10 signed the official copy, which was folded and tied, before being sealed shut with hot wax: The signing was actually done by pressing a carved clay stamp (called a "seal") into the hot wax, leaving the design in the wax.
  6. Jeremiah 32:12 Baruch son of Neriah: Hebrew "Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah."
  7. Jeremiah 32:18 for a thousand generations: Or "to thousands of people."
  8. Jeremiah 32:28 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.

1 Timothy 3:1-16 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Timothy 3

Church Officials
 1It is true that [a] anyone who desires to be a church official [b] wants to be something worthwhile. 2That's why officials must have a good reputation and be faithful in marriage. [c] They must be self-controlled, sensible, well-behaved, friendly to strangers, and able to teach. 3They must not be heavy drinkers or troublemakers. Instead, they must be kind and gentle and not love money. 4Church officials must be in control of their own families, and they must see that their children are obedient and always respectful. 5If they don't know how to control their own families, how can they look after God's people?     6They must not be new followers of the Lord. If they are, they might become proud and be doomed along with the devil. 7Finally, they must be well-respected by people who are not followers. Then they won't be trapped and disgraced by the devil.
Church Officers
 8Church officers [d] should be serious. They must not be liars, heavy drinkers, or greedy for money. 9And they must have a clear conscience and hold firmly to what God has shown us about our faith. 10They must first prove themselves. Then if no one has anything against them, they can serve as officers. 11Women [e] must also be serious. They must not gossip or be heavy drinkers, and they must be faithful in everything they do. 12Church officers must be faithful in marriage. [f] They must be in full control of their children and everyone else in their home. 13Those who serve well as officers will earn a good reputation and will be highly respected for their faith in Christ Jesus.
The Mystery of Our Religion
 14I hope to visit you soon. But I am writing these instructions, 15so that if I am delayed, you will know how everyone who belongs to God's family ought to behave. After all, the church of the living God is the strong foundation of truth.     16Here is the great mystery of our religion:
   Christ [g] came as a human. The Spirit proved
   that he pleased God,
   and he was seen by angels.
   Christ was preached
   to the nations.
   People in this world
   put their faith in him,
   and he was taken up to glory.
  1. 1 Timothy 3:1 It is true that: These words may be taken with 2.15. If so, that verse would be translated: "It is true that women will be saved. . . holy, and modest." And 3.1 would be translated, "Anyone who desires. . . something worthwhile."
  2. 1 Timothy 3:1 church official: Or "bishop."
  3. 1 Timothy 3:2 be faithful in marriage: Or "be the husband of only one wife" or "have never been divorced."
  4. 1 Timothy 3:8 Church officers: Or "Deacons."
  5. 1 Timothy 3:11 Women: Either church officers or the wives of church officers.
  6. 1 Timothy 3:12 be faithful in marriage: See the note at 3.2.
  7. 1 Timothy 3:16 Christ: The Greek text has "he," probably meaning "Christ." Some manuscripts have "God."


Psalm 88:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 88

(A song and a psalm by the people of Korah for the music leader. To the tune "Mahalath Leannoth." (Psalm 88 To. . . Leannoth: Or " For the flutes," one possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.) A special psalm by Heman the Ezrahite.)
A Prayer When You Can't Find the Way
 1You keep me safe, LORD God.    So when I pray at night,
    2please listen carefully
   to each of my concerns.
    3I am deeply troubled
   and close to death;
    4I am as good as dead
   and completely helpless.
    5I am no better off
   than those in the grave,
   those you have forgotten
   and no longer help.
    6You have put me in the deepest
   and darkest grave;
    7your anger rolls over me
   like ocean waves.
    8You have made my friends turn
   in horror from me.
   I am a prisoner
   who cannot escape,
    9and I am almost blind
   because of my sorrow.
   Each day I lift my hands
   in prayer to you, LORD.
    10Do you work miracles
   for the dead?
   Do they stand up
   and praise you?
    11Are your love and loyalty
   in the world
   of the dead?
    12Do they know of your miracles
   or your saving power
   in the dark world below
   where all is forgotten?
    13Each morning I pray
   to you, LORD.
    14Why do you reject me?
   Why do you turn from me?
    15Ever since I was a child,
   I have been sick
   and close to death.
   You have terrified me
   and made me helpless. [a] 16Your anger is like a flood!
   And I am shattered
   by your furious attacks
    17that strike each day
   and from every side.
    18My friends and neighbors
   have turned against me
   because of you,
   and now darkness
   is my only companion.
  1. Psalm 88:15 and made me helpless: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.


Proverbs 25:20-22 (Contemporary English Version)

20Singing to someone
   in deep sorrow
   is like pouring vinegar
   in an open cut. [a] 21If your enemies are hungry,
   give them something to eat.
   And if they are thirsty,
   give them something
   to drink.
    22This will be the same
   as piling burning coals
   on their heads.
   And the LORD
   will reward you.
  1. Proverbs 25:20 cut: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 20.

Verse of the Day
“Trust the LORD! Be brave and strong and trust the LORD.” - Psalm 27:14
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

The 31st President of the United States (1929–1933), Herbert Hoover wrote, “About the time we can make the ends meet, somebody moves the ends.”

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