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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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bible Readings for October 3, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 1:1–2:30; Philippians 4:1-23; Psalm 75:1-10; and Proverbs 24:17-20. 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 1-2:30 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 1

 1My name is Jeremiah. I am a priest, and my father Hilkiah and everyone else in my family are from Anathoth in the territory of the Benjamin tribe. This book contains the things that the LORD told me to say. 2The LORD first spoke to me in the thirteenth year that Josiah [a] was king of Judah, 3and he continued to speak to me during the rule of Josiah's son Jehoiakim. [b] The last time the LORD spoke to me was in the fifth month [c] of the eleventh year that Josiah's son Zedekiah [d] was king. That was also when the people of Jerusalem were taken away as prisoners.
The LORD Chooses Jeremiah
 4The LORD said:     5"Jeremiah, I am your Creator,
   and before you were born,
   I chose you to speak for me
   to the nations."
    6I replied, "I'm not a good speaker, LORD, and I'm too young."
    7"Don't say you're too young," the LORD answered. "If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don't leave out a word! 8I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don't be afraid."
    9The LORD reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, "I am giving you the words to say, 10and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again."
    11The LORD showed me something in a vision. Then he asked, "What do you see, Jeremiah?"
   I answered, "A branch of almonds that ripen early."
    12"That's right," the LORD replied, "and I always rise early [e] to keep a promise." 13Then the LORD showed me something else and asked, "What do you see now?"
   I answered, "I see a pot of boiling water in the north, and it's about to spill out toward us."
    14The LORD said:
   I will pour out destruction
   all over the land.
    15Just watch while I send
   for the kings of the north.
   They will attack and capture
   Jerusalem and other towns,
   then set up their thrones
   at the gates of Jerusalem.
    16I will punish my people,
   because they are guilty
   of turning from me
   to worship idols.
    17Jeremiah, get ready!
   Go and tell the people
   what I command you to say.
   Don't be frightened by them,
   or I will make you terrified
   while they watch.
    18My power will make you strong
   like a fortress
   or a column of iron
   or a wall of bronze.
   You will oppose all of Judah,
   including its kings and leaders,
   its priests and people.
    19They will fight back,
   but they won't win.
   I, the LORD, give my word--
   I won't let them harm you.

Jeremiah 2

Israel's Unfaithfulness
 1The LORD told me 2to go to Jerusalem and tell everyone that he had said:    When you were my young bride,
   you loved me
   and followed me
   through the barren desert.
    3You belonged to me alone,
   like the first part of the harvest,
   and I severely punished
   those who mistreated you.
    4Listen, people of Israel, [f] 5and I, the LORD, will speak.
   I was never unfair
   to your ancestors,
   but they left me
   and became worthless
   by following worthless idols.
    6Your ancestors refused
   to ask for my help,
   though I had rescued them
   from Egypt
   and led them through
   a treacherous, barren desert,
   where no one lives
   or dares to travel.
    7I brought you here to my land,
   where food is abundant,
   but you made my land filthy
   with your sins.
    8The priests who teach my laws
   don't care to know me.
   Your leaders rebel against me;
   your prophets
   give messages from Baal
   and worship false gods.
The LORD Accuses His People
 9I will take you to court    and accuse you
   and your descendants
    10of a crime that no nation
   has ever committed before.
   Just ask anyone, anywhere,
   from the eastern deserts
   to the islands in the west.
    11You will find that no nation
   has ever abandoned its gods
   even though they were false.
   I am the true and glorious God,
   but you have rejected me
   to worship idols.
    12Tell the heavens
   to tremble with fear!
    13You, my people, have sinned
   in two ways--
   you have rejected me,
   the source
   of life-giving water,
   and you've tried to collect water
   in cracked and leaking pits
   dug in the ground.
    14People of Israel,
   you weren't born slaves;
   you were captured in war.
    15Enemies roared like lions
   and destroyed your land;
   towns lie burned and empty.
    16Soldiers from the Egyptian towns
   of Memphis and Tahpanhes
   have cracked your skulls.
    17It's all your own fault!
   You stopped following me,
   the LORD your God,
    18and you trusted the power
   of Egypt and Assyria. [g] 19Your own sins will punish you,
   because it was a bitter mistake
   for you to reject me
   without fear of punishment.
   I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   have spoken.
    20Long ago you left me
   and broke all ties between us,
   refusing to be my servant.
   Now you worship other gods
   by having sex
   on hilltops or in the shade
   of large trees. [h] 21You were a choice grapevine,
   but now you produce nothing
   but small, rotten grapes.
Israel Is Stained with Guilt
 22The LORD said:    People of Israel,
   you are stained with guilt,
   and no soap or bleach
   can wash it away.
    23You deny your sins
   and say, "We aren't unclean.
   We haven't worshiped Baal." [i] But think about what you do
   in Hinnom Valley. [j] And you run back and forth
   like young camels,
   as you rush to worship one idol
   after another.
    24You are a female donkey
   sniffing the desert air,
   wanting to mate
   with just anyone.
   You are an easy catch!
    25Your shoes are worn out,
   and your throat is parched
   from running here and there
   to worship foreign gods.
   "Stop!" I shouted,
   but you replied, "No!
   I love those gods too much."
    26You and your leaders
   are more disgraceful
   than thieves--
   you and your kings,
   your priests and prophets
    27worship stone idols
   and sacred poles
   as if they had created you
   and had given you life.
   You have rejected me,
   but when you're in trouble,
   you cry to me for help.
    28Go cry to the gods you made!
   There should be enough of them
   to save you,
   because Judah has as many gods
   as it has towns.
Israel Rebels against the LORD
 29The LORD said to Israel:    You accuse me of not saving you,
   but I say you have rebelled.
    30I tried punishing you,
   but you refused
   to come back to me,
   and like fierce lions
   you killed my prophets.
  1. Jeremiah 1:2 Josiah: Ruled 640-609 B.C.
  2. Jeremiah 1:3 Jehoiakim: Ruled 609-598 B.C.
  3. Jeremiah 1:3 fifth month: Ab, the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-July to mid-August.
  4. Jeremiah 1:3 Zedekiah: Ruled 598-586 B.C.
  5. Jeremiah 1:12 almonds. . . rise early: In Hebrew "almonds that ripen early" sounds like "always rise early."
  6. Jeremiah 2:4 Israel: After the nation was divided, the northern kingdom was called "Israel," and the southern kingdom was called "Judah" (see 1 Kings 12.1-20). In 722 B.C. the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, and Judah was all that was left. And so in the book of Jeremiah the name "Israel" is most often used of the southern kingdom.
  7. Jeremiah 2:18 trusted. . . Assyria: Hebrew "went to Egypt and drank from the Shihor River, and you went to Assyria and drank from the Euphrates River."
  8. Jeremiah 2:20 having sex. . . trees: In some Canaanite religions, worshipers had sex with temple prostitutes, who represented their gods; many of the Canaanite places of worship were on hilltops or under large trees.
  9. Jeremiah 2:23 Baal: The Hebrew text has "the Baals," probably because the god Baal was believed to be present in different forms at different places of worship.
  10. Jeremiah 2:23 Hinnom Valley: Hebrew "the valley" (see 7.31-32; 19.1-6).

Philippians 4:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

Philippians 4

 1Dear friends, I love you and long to see you. Please keep on being faithful to the Lord. You are my pride and joy.    
Paul Encourages the Lord's Followers
 2Euodia and Syntyche, you belong to the Lord, so I beg you to stop arguing with each other. 3And, my true partner, [a] I ask you to help them. These women have worked together with me and with Clement and with the others in spreading the good news. Their names are now written in the book of life. [b] 4Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. 5Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. 6Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. 7Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.     8Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. 9You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.
Paul Gives Thanks for the Gifts He Was Given
 10The Lord has made me very grateful that at last you have thought about me once again. Actually, you were thinking about me all along, but you didn't have any chance to show it. 11I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with [c] whatever I have. 12I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little. 13Christ gives me the strength to face anything. 14It was good of you to help me when I was having such a hard time. 15My friends at Philippi, you remember what it was like when I started preaching the good news in Macedonia. [d] After I left there, you were the only church that became my partner by giving blessings and by receiving them in return. 16Even when I was in Thessalonica, you helped me more than once. 17I am not trying to get something from you, but I want you to receive the blessings that come from giving. 18I have been paid back everything, and with interest. I am completely satisfied with the gifts that you had Epaphroditus bring me. They are like a sweet-smelling offering or like the right kind of sacrifice that pleases God. 19I pray that God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus! 20May God our Father be praised forever and ever. Amen.    
Final Greetings
 21Give my greetings to all who are God's people because of Christ Jesus.    The Lord's followers here with me send you their greetings.
    22All of God's people send their greetings, especially those in the service of the Emperor.
    23I pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless your life!
  1. Philippians 4:3 partner: Or "Syzygus," a person's name.
  2. Philippians 4:3 the book of life: A book in which the names of God's people are written.
  3. Philippians 4:11 be satisfied with: Or "get by on."
  4. Philippians 4:15 when I started preaching the good news in Macedonia: Paul is talking about his first visit to Philippi (see Acts 16.12-40).

Psalm 75:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 75

(A psalm and a song by Asaph for the music leader. To the tune "Don't Destroy." (Psalm 75 Don't Destroy: See the note at Psalm 57.) )
Praise God for All He Has Done
 1Our God, we thank you    for being so near to us!
   Everyone celebrates
   your wonderful deeds.
    2You have set a time
   to judge with fairness.
    3The earth trembles,
   and its people shake;
   you alone keep
   its foundations firm.
    4You tell every bragger,
   "Stop bragging!"
   And to the wicked you say,
   "Don't boast of your power!
    5Stop bragging! Quit telling me
   how great you are."
    6Our LORD and our God,
   victory doesn't come
   from the east or the west
   or from the desert.
    7You are the one who judges.
   You can take away power
   and give it to others.
    8You hold in your hand
   a cup filled with wine, [a] strong and foaming.
   You will pour out some
   for every sinful person
   on this earth,
   and they will have to drink
   until it is gone.
    9But I will always tell about
   you, the God of Jacob,
   and I will sing your praise.
    10Our Lord, you will destroy
   the power of evil people,
   but you will give strength
   to those who are good.
  1. Psalm 75:8 a cup. . . wine: In the Old Testament " a cup filled with wine" sometimes stands for God's anger.

Proverbs 24:17-20 (Contemporary English Version)

 17 Don't be happy    to see your enemies trip
   and fall down.
    18The LORD will find out
   and be unhappy.
   Then he will stop
   being angry with them.
 19 Don't let evil people    worry you
   or make you jealous.
    20They will soon be gone
   like the flame of a lamp
   that burns out.

Verse of the Day

“[A Real Reason for Hope]Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has given us new life and a hope that lives on.” - 1 Peter 1:3
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

George Chapman.jpg

Thought for the Day

English dramatist, translator, and poet, George Chapman wrote, “They're only truly great who are truly good.”

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