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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Friday, October 9, 2015

Bible Readings for October 9, 2015

Today our passages are Jeremiah 12:1–14:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1–2:9; Psalm 79:1-13; and Proverbs 24:30-34. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version 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 12-14:10 (Contemporary English Version)

Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah Complains to the LORD
 1Whenever I complain    to you, LORD,
   you are always fair.
   But now I have questions
   about your justice.
   Why is life easy for sinners?
   Why are they successful?
    2You plant them like trees;
   you let them prosper
   and produce fruit.
   Yet even when they praise you,
   they don't mean it.
    3But you know, LORD,
   how faithful I've always been,
   even in my thoughts.
   So drag my enemies away
   and butcher them like sheep!
    4How long will the ground be dry
   and the pasturelands parched?
   The birds and animals
   are dead and gone.
   And all of this happened because
   the people are so sinful.
   They even brag, "God can't see
   the sins we commit." [a]
The LORD Answers Jeremiah
 5Jeremiah, if you get tired    in a race against people,
   how can you possibly run
   against horses?
   If you fall in open fields,
   what will happen in the forest
   along the Jordan River?
    6Even your own family
   has turned against you.
   They act friendly,
   but don't trust them.
   They're out to get you,
   and so is everyone else.
The LORD Is Furious with His People
 7I loved my people and chose them    as my very own.
   But now I will reject them
   and hand them over
   to their enemies.
    8My people have turned against me
   and roar at me like lions.
   That's why I hate them.
    9My people are like a hawk
   surrounded and attacked
   by other hawks. [b] Tell the wild animals
   to come and eat their fill.
    10My beautiful land is ruined
   like a field or a vineyard
   trampled by shepherds
   and stripped bare
   by their flocks.
    11Every field I see lies barren,
   and no one cares.
    12A destroying army
   marches along desert roads
   and attacks everywhere.
   They are my deadly sword;
   no one is safe from them.
    13My people, you planted wheat,
   but because I was furious,
   I let only weeds grow.
   You wore yourselves out
   for nothing!
The LORD Will Have Pity on Other Nations
 14The LORD said:    I gave this land to my people Israel, but enemies around it have attacked and robbed it. So I will uproot them from their own countries just as I will uproot Judah from its land. 15But later, I will have pity on these nations and bring them back to their own lands. 16They once taught my people to worship Baal. But if they admit I am the only true God, and if they let my people teach them how to worship me, these nations will also become my people. 17However, if they don't listen to me, I will uproot them from their lands and completely destroy them. I, the LORD, have spoken.

Jeremiah 13

Jeremiah's Linen Shorts
 1The LORD told me, "Go and buy a pair of linen shorts. Wear them for a while, but don't wash them." 2So I bought a pair of shorts and put them on.     3Then the LORD said, 4"Take off the shorts. Go to Parah [c] and hide the shorts in a crack between some large rocks." 5And that's what I did. 6Some time later the LORD said, "Go back and get the shorts." 7I went back and dug the shorts out of their hiding place, but the cloth had rotted, and the shorts were ruined.
    8Then the LORD said:
    9Jeremiah, I will use Babylonia to [d] destroy the pride of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 10The people of Judah are evil and stubborn. So instead of listening to me, they do whatever they want and even worship other gods. When I am finished with these people, they will be good for nothing, just like this pair of shorts. 11These shorts were tight around your waist, and that's how tightly I held onto the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. I wanted them to be my people. I wanted to make them famous, so that other nations would praise and honor me, but they refused to obey me.
Wine Jars
The LORD said:
 12Jeremiah, tell the people of Judah, "The LORD God of Israel orders you to fill your wine jars with wine."    They will answer, "Of course we fill our wine jars with wine! Why are you telling us something we already know?"
    13Then say to them:
   I am the LORD, and what I'm going to do will make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem appear to be full of wine. And the worst ones will be the kings of David's family and the priests and the prophets. 14Then I will smash them against each other like jars. I will have no pity on the young or the old, and they will all be destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken.
The People of Judah Will Be Taken Away
 15People of Judah,    don't be too proud to listen
   to what the LORD has said.
    16You hope for light,
   but God is sending darkness.
   Evening shadows already deepen
   in the hills.
   So return to God
   and confess your sins to him
   before you trip and fall.
    17If you are too proud to listen,
   I will weep alone.
   Tears will stream from my eyes
   when the LORD's people
   are taken away as prisoners.
    18The LORD told me to tell you
   that your king and his mother [e] must surrender their thrones
   and remove their crowns. [f] 19The cities in the Southern Desert
   are surrounded;
   no one can get in or out.
   Everyone in Judah
   will be taken away.
    20Jerusalem, you were so proud
   of ruling the people of Judah.
   But where are they now?
   Look north, and you will see
   your enemies approaching.
    21You once trusted them to help,
   but now I'll let them rule you. [g] What do you say about that?
   You will be in pain
   like a woman giving birth.
    22Do you know why
   your clothes were torn off
   and you were abused?
   It was because
   of your terrible sins.
    23Can you ever change
   and do what's right?
   Can people change the color
   of their skin,
   or can a leopard
   remove its spots?
   If so, then maybe you can change
   and learn to do right.
    24I will scatter you,
   just as the desert wind
   blows husks from grain
   tossed in the air.
    25I won't change my mind.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
   You rejected me
   and worshiped false gods.
    26You were married to me,
   but you were unfaithful.
   You even became a prostitute [h] by worshiping disgusting gods
   on hilltops and in fields.
    27So I'll rip off your clothes
   and leave you naked and ashamed
   for everyone to see.
   You are doomed!
   Will you ever be worthy
   to worship me again?

Jeremiah 14

The Land Dries Up
 1When there had been no rain for a long time, the LORD told me to say to the people:     2Judah and Jerusalem weep
   as the land dries up.
    3Rulers send their servants
   to the storage pits for water. [i] But there's none to be found;
   they return in despair
   with their jars still empty.
    4There has been no rain,
   and farmers feel sick
   as they watch cracks appear
   in the dry ground. [j] 5A deer gives birth in a field,
   then abandons her newborn fawn
   and leaves in search of grass.
    6Wild donkeys go blind
   from starvation.
   So they stand on barren hilltops
   and sniff the air, [k] hoping to smell green grass.
The LORD's People Pray
 7Our terrible sins may demand    that we be punished.
   But if you rescue us, LORD,
   everyone will see
   how great you are.
    8You're our only hope;
   you alone can save us now.
   You help us one day,
   but you're gone the next.
    9Did this disaster
   take you by surprise?
   Are you a warrior
   with your hands tied?
   You have chosen us,
   and your temple is here.
   Don't abandon us!
The LORD's Answer
 10My people,    you love to wander away;
   you don't even try
   to stay close to me.
   So now I will reject you
   and punish you for your sins.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
  1. Jeremiah 12:4 God can't see the sins we commit: Or "Jeremiah won't live to see what happens to us."
  2. Jeremiah 12:9 My people. . . other hawks: Or "My land has become a hyena's den with vultures circling above."
  3. Jeremiah 13:4 Parah: Or "the Euphrates River." Parah was a village about five and a half miles northeast of Jerusalem.
  4. Jeremiah 13:9 I will use Babylonia to: Or "that's how I'm going to."
  5. Jeremiah 13:18 mother: The king's mother usually had an important position in the royal court.
  6. Jeremiah 13:18 and remove their crowns: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. Jeremiah 13:21 You once. . . rule you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. Jeremiah 13:26 prostitute: See the note at 2.20.
  9. Jeremiah 14:3 storage pits for water: Since water was scarce, pits were dug into solid rock for collecting and storing rainwater. These pits were called "cisterns."
  10. Jeremiah 14:4 cracks. . . ground: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  11. Jeremiah 14:6 sniff the air: The Hebrew text has "sniff the air, like jackals" (see the note at 9.11).

1 Thessalonians 1-2:9 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Thessalonians 1

 1From Paul, Silas, [a] and Timothy. To the church in Thessalonica, the people of God the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ.    I pray that God will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
    2We thank God for you and always mention you in our prayers. Each time we pray, 3we tell God our Father about your faith and loving work and about your firm hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Thessalonians' Faith and Example
 4My dear friends, God loves you, and we know he has chosen you to be his people. 5When we told you the good news, it was with the power and assurance that come from the Holy Spirit, and not simply with words. You knew what kind of people we were and how we helped you. 6So, when you accepted the message, you followed our example and the example of the Lord. You suffered, but the Holy Spirit made you glad.     7You became an example for all the Lord's followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8And because of you, the Lord's message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don't have to say a thing about it. 9Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. 10They also tell how you are waiting for his Son Jesus to come from heaven. God raised him from death, and on the day of judgment Jesus will save us from God's anger.

1 Thessalonians 2

Paul's Work in Thessalonica
 1My friends, you know that our time with you wasn't wasted. 2As you remember, we had been mistreated and insulted at Philippi. But God gave us the courage to tell you the good news about him, even though many people caused us trouble. 3We didn't have any hidden motives when we won you over, and we didn't try to fool or trick anyone. 4God was pleased to trust us with his message. We didn't speak to please people, but to please God who knows our motives.     5You also know that we didn't try to flatter anyone. God himself knows that what we did wasn't a cover-up for greed. 6We were not trying to get you or anyone else to praise us. 7But as apostles, we could have demanded help from you. After all, Christ is the one who sent us. We chose to be like children or like a mother [b] nursing her baby. 8We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God's message. 9My dear friends, you surely haven't forgotten our hard work and hardships. You remember how night and day we struggled to make a living, so that we could tell you God's message without being a burden to anyone.
  1. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Silas: The Greek text has "Silvanus," another form of the name Silas.
  2. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 like children or like a mother: Some manuscripts have "as gentle as a mother."

Psalm 79:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 79

(A psalm by Asaph.)
Have Pity on Jerusalem
 1Our God, foreign nations    have taken your land,
   disgraced your temple,
   and left Jerusalem in ruins.
    2They have fed the bodies
   of your servants
   to flesh-eating birds;
   your loyal people are food
   for savage animals.
    3All Jerusalem is covered
   with their blood,
   and there is no one left
   to bury them.
    4Every nation around us
   sneers and makes fun.
    5Our LORD, will you keep on
   being angry?
   Will your angry feelings
   keep flaming up like fire?
    6Get angry with those nations
   that don't know you
   and won't worship you!
    7They have gobbled down
   Jacob's descendants
   and left the land in ruins.
    8Don't make us pay for the sins
   of our ancestors.
   Have pity and come quickly!
   We are completely helpless.
    9Our God, you keep us safe.
   Now help us! Rescue us.
   Forgive our sins
   and bring honor to yourself.
    10Why should nations ask us,
   "Where is your God?"
   Let us and the other nations
   see you take revenge
   for your servants who died
   a violent death.
    11Listen to the prisoners groan!
   Let your mighty power save all
   who are sentenced to die.
    12Each of those nations sneered
   at you, our Lord.
   Now let others sneer at them,
   seven times as much.
    13Then we, your people,
   will always thank you.
   We are like sheep
   with you as our shepherd,
   and all generations
   will hear us praise you.

Proverbs 24:30-34 (Contemporary English Version)

30I once walked by the field
   and the vineyard
   of a lazy fool.
    31Thorns and weeds
   were everywhere,
   and the stone wall
   had fallen down.
    32When I saw this,
   it taught me a lesson:
    33Sleep a little. Doze a little.
   Fold your hands
   and twiddle your thumbs.
    34Suddenly poverty hits you
   and everything is gone!

Verse of the Day

“You must be completely faithful to the LORD. Worship and obey only the LORD and do this with fear and trembling,” - Deuteronomy 13:4
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the band the Beatles, John Lennon wrote, “I'm not claiming divinity. I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can … But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.”

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