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 19, 2015

Bible Readings for October 19, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 33:1–34:22; 1 Timothy 4:1-16; Psalm 89:1-13; and Proverbs 25:23-24. 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 33-34:22 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 33

The LORD Promises To Give the Land Back to His People
 1-2I was still being held prisoner in the courtyard of the palace guards when the LORD told me:    I am the LORD, and I created the whole world. [a] 3Ask me, and I will tell you things that you don't know and can't find out. 4-5Many of the houses in Jerusalem and some of the buildings at the royal palace have been torn down to be used in repairing the walls to keep out the Babylonian attackers. [b] Now there are empty spaces where the buildings once stood. But I am furious, and these spaces will be filled with the bodies of the people I kill. The people of Jerusalem will cry out to me for help, but they are evil, and I will ignore their prayers. 6Then someday, I will heal this place and my people as well, and let them enjoy unending peace. [c] 7I will give this land to Israel and Judah once again, and I will make them as strong as they were before. 8They sinned and rebelled against me, but I will forgive them and take away their guilt. 9When that happens, all nations on earth will see the good things I have done for Jerusalem, and how I have given it complete peace. The nations will celebrate and praise and honor me, but they will also tremble with fear. 10Jeremiah, you say that this land is a desert without people or animals, and for now, you are right. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are deserted, and people and animals are nowhere to be seen. But someday you will hear 11happy voices and the sounds of parties and wedding celebrations. And when people come to my temple to offer sacrifices to thank me, you will hear them say:
   "We praise you,
   LORD All-Powerful!
   You are good to us,
   and your love never fails."
   The land will once again be productive. 12-13Now it is empty, without people or animals. But when that time comes, shepherds will take care of their flocks in pastures near every town in the hill country, in the foothills to the west, in the Southern Desert, in the land of the Benjamin tribe, and around Jerusalem and the towns of Judah.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
The LORD's Wonderful Promise
 14The LORD said:    I made a wonderful promise to Israel and Judah, [d] and the days are coming when I will keep it. 15I promise that the time will come
   when I will appoint a king
   from the family of David,
   a king who will be honest
   and rule with justice.
    16In those days,
   Judah will be safe;
   Jerusalem will have peace
   and will be named,
   "The LORD Gives Justice."
    17The king of Israel will be one of David's descendants, 18and there will always be priests from the Levi tribe serving at my altar and offering sacrifices to please me and to give thanks. [e] 19Then the LORD told me:
    20I, the LORD, have an agreement with day and night, so they always come at the right time. You can't break the agreement I made with them, 21and you can't break the agreements I have made with David's family and with the priests from the Levi tribe who serve at my altar. A descendant of David will always rule as king of Israel, 22and there will be more descendants of David and of the priests from the Levi tribe than stars in the sky or grains of sand on the beach.
    23The LORD also said:
    24You've heard foreigners insult my people by saying, "The LORD chose Israel and Judah, but now he has rejected them, and they are no longer a nation."
    25Jeremiah, I will never break my agreement with the day and the night or let the sky and the earth stop obeying my commands. 26In the same way, I will never reject the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or break my promise that they will always have a descendant of David as their king. I will be kind to my people Israel, and they will be successful again.

Jeremiah 34

Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah
 1King Nebuchadnezzar [f] had a large army made up of people from every kingdom in his empire. He and his army were attacking Jerusalem and all the nearby towns, when the LORD told me 2to say to King Zedekiah: [g] I am the LORD, and I am going to let Nebuchadnezzar capture this city and burn it down. 3You will be taken prisoner and brought to Nebuchadnezzar, and he will speak with you face to face. Then you will be led away to Babylonia.     4Zedekiah, I promise that you won't die in battle. 5You will die a peaceful death. People will mourn when you die, and they will light bonfires in your honor, just as they did for your ancestors, the kings who ruled before you.
    6I went to Zedekiah and told him what the LORD had said. 7Meanwhile, the king of Babylonia was trying to break through the walls of Lachish, Azekah, and Jerusalem, the only three towns of Judah that had not been captured.
The People Break a Promise
 8-10King Zedekiah, [h] his officials, and everyone else in Jerusalem made an agreement to free all Hebrew [i] men and women who were slaves. No Jew would keep another as a slave. And so, all the Jewish slaves were given their freedom. 11But those slave owners changed their minds and forced their former slaves back into slavery.     12That's when the LORD told me to say to the people:
    13I am the LORD God of Israel, and I made an agreement with your ancestors when I brought
   them out of Egypt, where they had been slaves. 14As part of this agreement, you must let a
   Hebrew slave go free after six years of service.
   Your ancestors did not obey me, 15-16but you decided to obey me and do the right thing by
   setting your Hebrew slaves completely free. You even went to my temple, and in my name
   you made an agreement to set them free. But you have abused my name, because you broke
   your agreement and forced your former slaves back into slavery.
    17You have disobeyed me by not giving your slaves their freedom. So I will give you
   freedom--the freedom to die in battle or from disease or hunger. I will make you disgusting to
   all other nations on earth.
    18You asked me to be a witness when you made the agreement to set your slaves free. And
   as part of the ceremony you cut a calf into two parts, then walked between the parts. But you
   people of Jerusalem have broken that agreement as well as my agreement with Israel. So I
   will do to you what you did to that calf. 19-20I will let your enemies take all of you prisoner,
   including the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the royal officials, the priests, and everyone
   else who walked between the two parts of the calf. These enemies will kill you and leave your
   bodies lying on the ground as food for birds and wild animals.
    21-22These enemies are King Nebuchadnezzar [j] of Babylonia and his army. They have stopped attacking Jerusalem, but they want to kill King Zedekiah and his high officials. So I
   will command them to return and attack again. This time they will conquer the city and burn it
   down, and they will capture Zedekiah and his officials. I will also let them destroy the towns of
   Judah, so that no one can live there any longer.
  1. Jeremiah 33:1 the whole world: One ancient translation; Hebrew "it."
  2. Jeremiah 33:4 have been torn down. . . Babylonian attackers: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. Jeremiah 33:6 let them enjoy unending peace: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Jeremiah 33:14 Israel and Judah: See the note at 2.4.
  5. Jeremiah 33:18 sacrifices to please me and to give thanks: See the notes at 14.12.
  6. Jeremiah 34:1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.
  7. Jeremiah 34:2 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  8. Jeremiah 34:8 Zedekiah: See the note at 1.3.
  9. Jeremiah 34:8 Hebrew: An earlier term for Israelite and Jewish.
  10. Jeremiah 34:21 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 21.2.

1 Timothy 4:1-16 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Timothy 4

People Will Turn from Their Faith
 1God's Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons. 2They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. These liars 3will forbid people to marry or to eat certain foods. But God created these foods to be eaten with thankful hearts by his followers who know the truth. 4Everything God created is good. And if you give thanks, you may eat anything. 5What God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat.    
Paul's Advice to Timothy
 6If you teach these things to other followers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus. You will show that you have grown up on the teachings about our faith and on the good instructions you have obeyed. 7Don't have anything to do with worthless, senseless stories. Work hard to be truly religious. 8-9As the saying goes,    "Exercise is good
   for your body,
   but religion helps you
   in every way.
   It promises life
   now and forever."
   These words are worthwhile and should not be forgotten. 10We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of everyone, but especially of those who have faith. That's why we work and struggle so hard. [a] 11Teach these things and tell everyone to do what you say. 12Don't let anyone make fun of you, just because you are young. Set an example for other followers by what you say and do, as well as by your love, faith, and purity.
    13Until I arrive, be sure to keep on reading the Scriptures in worship, and don't stop preaching and teaching. 14Use the gift you were given when the prophets spoke and the group of church leaders [b] blessed you by placing their hands on you. 15Remember these things and think about them, so everyone can see how well you are doing. 16Be careful about the way you live and about what you teach. Keep on doing this, and you will save not only yourself, but the people who hear you.
  1. 1 Timothy 4:10 struggle so hard: Some manuscripts have "are treated so badly."
  2. 1 Timothy 4:14 group of church leaders: Or "group of elders" or "group of presbyters" or "group of priests." This translates one Greek word, and it is related to the one used in 5.17,19.

Psalm 89:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 89

(A special psalm by Ethan the Ezrahite.)
The LORD's Agreement with David
 1Our LORD, I will sing    of your love forever.
   Everyone yet to be born
   will hear me praise
   your faithfulness.
    2I will tell them,
   "God's love
   can always be trusted,
   and his faithfulness lasts
   as long as the heavens."
    3You said, "David, my servant,
   is my chosen one,
   and this is the agreement
   I made with him:
    4David, one of your descendants
   will always be king."
    5Our LORD, let the heavens
   now praise your miracles,
   and let all of your angels
   praise your faithfulness.
    6None who live in the heavens
   can compare with you.
    7You are the most fearsome
   of all who live in heaven;
   all the others fear
   and greatly honor you.
    8You are LORD God All-Powerful!
   No one is as loving
   and faithful as you are.
    9You rule the roaring sea
   and calm its waves.
    10You crushed the monster Rahab, [a] and with your powerful arm
   you scattered your enemies.
    11The heavens and the earth
   belong to you.
   And so does the world
   with all its people
   because you created them
    12and everything else. [b] Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon
   gladly praise you.
    13You are strong and mighty!
  1. Psalm 89:10 Rahab: Many people in the ancient world thought that the world was controlled by this sea monster that the Lord destroyed at the time of creation (see Isaiah 51.9).
  2. Psalm 89:12 and everything else: The Hebrew text has " Zaphon and Yamin," which may either be the names of mountains or refer to the directions " north and south," with the meaning " everything from north to south."

Proverbs 25:23-24 (Contemporary English Version)

23As surely as rain blows in
   from the north,
   anger is caused
   by cruel words.
    24It's better to stay outside
   on the roof of your house
   than to live inside
   with a nagging wife.

Verse of the Day

“Do what the LORD wants, and he will give you your heart's desire.” - Psalm 37:4
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Sir Thomas Browne by Joan Carlile.jpgThought for the Day

English polymath and author of varied works which reveal his wide learning in diverse fields including science and medicine, religion and the esoteric, Thomas Browne wrote, “I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judgement for not agreeing with me in that, from which perhaps within a few days I should dissent myself.”

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