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 31, 2015

Bible Readings for October 31, 2015

Today our passages are Lamentations 4:1–5:22; Hebrews 2:1-18; Psalm 103:1-22; and Proverbs 26:23. 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. 

Lamentations 4-5:22 (Contemporary English Version)

Lamentations 4

The Punishment of Jerusalem
The Prophet Speaks:
 1The purest gold is ruined    and has lost its shine;
   jewels from the temple
   lie scattered in the streets.
    2These are Zion's people,
   worth more than purest gold;
   yet they are counted worthless
   like dishes of clay.
    3Even jackals [a] nurse their young, but my people are like ostriches
   that abandon their own.
    4Babies are so thirsty
   that their tongues
   are stuck
   to the roof of the mouth.
   Children go begging for food,
   but no one gives them any.
    5All who ate expensive foods
   lie starving in the streets;
   those who grew up in luxury
   now sit on trash heaps.
    6My nation was punished worse
   than the people of Sodom,
   whose city was destroyed
   in a flash
   without the help
   of human hands. [b] 7The leaders of Jerusalem
   were purer than snow
   and whiter than milk;
   their bodies were healthy
   and glowed like jewels. [c] 8Now they are blacker than tar,
   and no one recognizes them;
   their skin clings to their bones
   and is drier than firewood.
    9Being killed with a sword
   is better
   than slowly
   starving to death.
    10Life in the city is so bad
   that loving mothers
   have boiled
   and eaten their own children.
    11The LORD was so fiercely angry
   that he burned the city of Zion
   to the ground.
    12Not a king on this earth
   or the people of any nation
   believed enemies could break
   through her gates.
    13Jerusalem was punished because
   her prophets and her priests
   had sinned and caused the death
   of innocent victims.
    14Yes, her prophets and priests
   were covered with blood;
   no one would come near them,
   as they wandered
   from street to street.
    15Instead, everyone shouted,
   "Go away! Don't touch us!
   You're filthy and unfit
   to belong to God's people!"
   So they had to leave
   and become refugees.
   But foreign nations told them,
   "You can't stay here!" [d] 16The LORD is the one
   who sent them scattering,
   and he has forgotten them.
   No respect or kindness
   will be shown
   to the priests or leaders.
    17Our eyes became weary,
   hopelessly looking
   for help
   from a nation [e] that could not save us.
    18Enemies hunted us down
   on every public street.
   Our time was up;
   our doom was near.
    19They swooped down faster
   than eagles from the sky.
   They hunted for us in the hills
   and set traps to catch us
   out in the desert.
    20The LORD's chosen leader [f] was our hope for survival!
   We thought he would keep us safe
   somewhere among the nations,
   but even he was caught
   in one of their traps.
    21You people of Edom
   can celebrate now!
   But your time will come
   to suffer
   and stagger
   around naked.
    22The people of Zion
   have paid for their sins,
   and the Lord will soon
   let them return home.
   But, people of Edom,
   you will be punished,
   and your sins exposed.

Lamentations 5

A Prayer for Mercy
The People of Jerusalem Pray: [g]
 1Our LORD, don't forget    how we have suffered
   and been disgraced.
    2Foreigners and strangers
   have taken our land
   and our homes.
    3We are like children
   whose mothers are widows.
    4The water we drink
   and the wood we burn
   cost far too much.
    5We are terribly mistreated; [h] we are worn out
   and can find no rest.
    6We had to surrender
   to [i] Egypt and Assyria because we were hungry.
    7Our ancestors sinned,
   but they are dead,
   and we are left to pay
   for their sins.
    8Slaves are now our rulers,
   and there is no one
   to set us free.
    9We are in danger
   from brutal desert tribes;
   we must risk our lives
   just to bring in our crops. [j] 10Our skin is scorched
   from fever and hunger.
    11On Zion and everywhere in Judah
   our wives and daughters
   are being raped.
    12Our rulers are strung up
   by their arms,
   and our nation's advisors
   are treated shamefully.
    13Young men are forced
   to do the work of slaves;
   boys must carry
   heavy loads of wood.
    14Our leaders are not allowed
   to decide cases in court,
   and young people
   no longer play music.
    15Our hearts are sad;
   instead of dancing,
   we mourn.
    16Zion's glory has disappeared!
   And we are doomed
   because of our sins.
    17We feel sick all over
   and can't even see straight;
    18our city is in ruins,
   overrun by wild dogs.
    19You will rule forever, LORD!
   You are King for all time.
    20Why have you forgotten us
   for so long?
    21Bring us back to you!
   Give us a fresh start.
    22Or do you despise us so much
   that you don't want us?
  1. Lamentations 4:3 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
  2. Lamentations 4:6 hands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 6.
  3. Lamentations 4:7 jewels: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 7.
  4. Lamentations 4:15 here: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 15.
  5. Lamentations 4:17 nation: Egypt, a former ally of Judah.
  6. Lamentations 4:20 chosen leader: Probably Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, taken away to Babylonia in 586 B.C.
  7. Lamentations 5:1 (5.1 The People of Jerusalem Pray: Or "The Prophet Prays.")
  8. Lamentations 5:5 We. . . mistreated: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. Lamentations 5:6 surrender to: Or "make treaties with."
  10. Lamentations 5:9 crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.

Hebrews 2:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Hebrews 2

This Great Way of Being Saved
 1We must give our full attention to what we were told, so that we won't drift away. 2The message spoken by angels proved to be true, and all who disobeyed or rejected it were punished as they deserved. 3So if we refuse this great way of being saved, how can we hope to escape? The Lord himself was the first to tell about it, and people who heard the message proved to us that it was true. 4God himself showed that his message was true by working all kinds of powerful miracles and wonders. He also gave his Holy Spirit to anyone he chose to.    
The One Who Leads Us To Be Saved
 5We know that God did not put the future world under the power of angels. 6Somewhere in the Scriptures someone says to God,    "What makes you care
   about us humans?
   Why are you concerned
   for weaklings such as we?
    7You made us lower
   than the angels
   for a while.
   Yet you have crowned us
   with glory and honor. [a] 8And you have put everything
   under our power!"
   God has put everything under our power and has not left anything out of our power. But we still don't see it all under our power. 9What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels. Because of God's wonderful kindness, Jesus died for everyone. And now that Jesus has suffered and died, he is crowned with glory and honor!
    10Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. So God did the right thing when he made Jesus perfect by suffering, as Jesus led many of God's children to be saved and to share in his glory. 11Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn't ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. 12He even said to God,
   "I will tell them your name
   and sing your praises
   when they come together
   to worship."
    13He also said,
   "I will trust God."
   Then he said,
   "Here I am with the children
   God has given me."
    14We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. 15But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. 16Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham's descendants. 17He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. 18And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.
  1. Hebrews 2:7 and honor: Some manuscripts add "and you have placed us in charge of all you created."

Psalm 103:1-22 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 103

(By David.)
The LORD's Wonderful Love
 1With all my heart    I praise the LORD,
   and with all that I am
   I praise his holy name!
    2With all my heart
   I praise the LORD!
   I will never forget
   how kind he has been.
    3The LORD forgives our sins,
   heals us when we are sick,
    4and protects us from death.
   His kindness and love
   are a crown on our heads.
    5Each day that we live, [a] he provides for our needs
   and gives us the strength
   of a young eagle.
    6For all who are mistreated,
   the LORD brings justice.
    7He taught his Law to Moses
   and showed all Israel
   what he could do.
    8The LORD is merciful!
   He is kind and patient,
   and his love never fails.
    9The LORD won't always be angry
   and point out our sins;
    10he doesn't punish us
   as our sins deserve.
    11How great is God's love for all
   who worship him?
   Greater than the distance
   between heaven and earth!
    12How far has the LORD taken
   our sins from us?
   Farther than the distance
   from east to west!
    13Just as parents are kind
   to their children,
   the LORD is kind
   to all who worship him,
    14because he knows
   we are made of dust.
    15We humans are like grass
   or wild flowers
   that quickly bloom.
    16But a scorching wind blows,
   and they quickly wither
   to be forever forgotten.
    17The LORD is always kind
   to those who worship him,
   and he keeps his promises
   to their descendants
    18who faithfully obey him.
    19God has set up his kingdom
   in heaven,
   and he rules
   the whole creation.
    20All of you mighty angels,
   who obey God's commands,
   come and praise your LORD!
    21All of you thousands
   who serve and obey God,
   come and praise your LORD!
    22All of God's creation
   and all that he rules,
   come and praise your LORD!
   With all my heart
   I praise the LORD!
  1. Psalm 103:5 Each. . . live: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 26:23 (Contemporary English Version)

23Hiding hateful thoughts
   behind smooth [a] talk is like coating a clay pot
   with a cheap glaze.
  1. Proverbs 26:23 smooth: One ancient translation; Hebrew " hateful."

Verse of the Day
“Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord's followers are suffering just as you are.” - 1 Peter 5:8-9
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Douglas Coupland Photo of Author.jpg
Thought for the Day

Canadian novelist and artist, Douglas Coupland wrote, “If human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween.”

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