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, November 23, 2015

Bible Readings for November 23, 2015

Today our passages are Ezekiel 45:13–46:24; 1 Peter 1:13–2:10; Psalm 119:33-48; and Proverbs 28:11. 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. 

Ezekiel 45:13-46:24 (Contemporary English Version)

13Leaders of Israel, the people must bring you one sixtieth of their grain harvests as offerings to me. 14They will also bring one percent of their olive oil. These things will be measured according to the bath, and ten baths is the same as one homer or one cor. 15Finally, they must bring one sheep out of every two hundred from their flocks.
   These offerings will be used as grain sacrifices, as well as sacrifices to please me [a] and those to ask my blessing. [b] I, the LORD, will be pleased with these sacrifices and will forgive the sins of my people. 16The people of Israel will bring you these offerings. 17But during New Moon Festivals, Sabbath celebrations, and other religious feasts, you leaders will be responsible for providing animals for the sacrifices, as well as the grain and wine. All these will be used for the sacrifices for sin, the grain sacrifices, the sacrifices to please me, and those to ask my blessing. I will be pleased and will forgive the sins of my people.
The Festivals
(Exodus 12.1-20; Leviticus 23.33-43)
 18The LORD God said:    On the first day of the first month, [c] a young bull that has nothing wrong with it must be offered as a sacrifice to purify the temple. 19The priest will take some blood from this sacrifice and smear it on the doorposts of the temple, as well as on the four corners of the altar and on the doorposts of the gates that lead into the inner courtyard. 20The same ceremony must also be done on the seventh day of the month, so that anyone who sins accidentally or without knowing it will be forgiven, and so that my temple will remain holy.
    21Beginning on the fourteenth day of the first month, and continuing for seven days, everyone will celebrate Passover and eat bread made without yeast. 22On the first day, the ruler will bring a bull to offer as a sacrifice for his sins and for the sins of the people. 23Each day of the festival he is to bring seven bulls and seven rams as sacrifices to please me, [d] and he must bring a goat [e] as a sacrifice for sin. These animals must have nothing wrong with them. 24He will also provide twenty pounds of grain and four quarts of olive oil to be offered with each bull and each ram. 25The Festival of Shelters will begin on the fifteenth day of the seventh month [f] and will continue for seven days. On each day of this festival, the ruler will provide the same number of animals that he did each day during Passover, as well as the same amount of grain and olive oil for the sacrifices.

Ezekiel 46

Various Laws for the Ruler and the People
 1The LORD said:    The east gate of the inner courtyard must remain closed during the six working days of each week. But on the Sabbath and on the first day of the month, this gate will be opened. 2Israel's ruler will go from the outer courtyard into the entrance room of this gate and stand in the doorway while the priest offers sacrifices to ask my blessing [g] and sacrifices to please me. [h] The ruler will bow with his face to the ground to show that he has worshiped me. Then he will leave, and the gate will remain open until evening. 3Each Sabbath and on the first day of each month, the people of Israel must also come to the east gate and worship me. 4On the Sabbath, the ruler will bring six lambs and one ram to be offered as sacrifices to please me. There must be nothing wrong with any of these animals. 5With the ram, he is to offer twenty pounds of grain, and with each of the lambs, he can offer as much as he wants. He must also offer four quarts of olive oil with every twenty pounds of grain.
    6The ruler is to bring six lambs, a bull, and a ram to be offered as sacrifices at the New Moon Festival. There must be nothing wrong with any of these animals. 7With the bull and the ram, he is to offer twenty pounds of grain, and with each of the lambs, he can offer as much as he wants. He must also offer four quarts of olive oil with every twenty pounds of grain. 8The ruler must come through the entrance room of the east gate and leave the same way.
    9When my people come to worship me during any festival, they must always leave by the opposite gate from which they came: Those who come in the north gate must leave by the south gate, and those who come in the south gate must leave by the north gate. 10Their ruler will come in at the same time they do and leave at the same time they leave.
    11At all other festivals and celebrations, twenty pounds of grain will be offered with a bull, and twenty pounds will be offered with a ram. The worshipers can offer as much grain as they want with each lamb. Four quarts of olive oil must be offered with every twenty pounds of grain.
    12If the ruler voluntarily offers a sacrifice to please me or to ask my blessing, the east gate of the inner courtyard will be opened for him. He will offer his sacrifices just as he does on each Sabbath; then he will leave, and the gate will be closed.
    13Each morning a year-old lamb that has nothing wrong with it must be offered as a sacrifice to please me. 14Along with it, three pounds of fine flour mixed with a quart of olive oil must be offered as a grain sacrifice. This law will never change-- 15the lamb, the flour, and the olive oil will be offered to me every morning for all time.
Laws about the Ruler's Land
 16The LORD God said:    If the ruler of Israel gives some of his land to one of his children, it will belong to the ruler's child as part of the family property. 17But if the ruler gives some of his land to one of his servants, the land will belong to the servant until the Year of Celebration, when it will be returned to the ruler. [i] Only the ruler's children can keep what is given to them. 18The ruler must never abuse my people by taking land from them. Any land he gives his children must already belong to him.
The Sacred Kitchens
 19The man who was showing me the temple [j] then took me back to the inner courtyard. We walked to the south side of the courtyard and stopped at the door to the sacred rooms that belonged to the priests. He showed me more rooms at the western edge of the courtyard 20and said, "These are the kitchens where the priests must boil the meat to be offered as sacrifices to make things right [k] and as sacrifices for sin. [l] They will also bake the grain for sacrifices in these kitchens. That way, these sacred offerings won't have to be carried through the outer courtyard, where someone could accidentally touch them and be harmed." [m] 21We went back to the outer courtyard and walked past the four corners. 22At each corner I saw a smaller courtyard, sixty-eight feet long and fifty feet wide. 23Around the inside of these smaller courtyards was a low wall of stones, and against the wall were places to build fires. [n] 24The man said, "These are the kitchens where the temple workers will boil the meat that worshipers offer as sacrifices."
  1. Ezekiel 45:15 sacrifices to please me: See the note at 40.38,39.
  2. Ezekiel 45:15 sacrifices. . . to ask my blessing: See the note at 43.27.
  3. Ezekiel 45:18 the first month: Abib (also called Nisan), the first month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-March to mid-April.
  4. Ezekiel 45:23 sacrifices to please me: See the note at 40.38,39.
  5. Ezekiel 45:23 goat: See the note at 43.22.
  6. Ezekiel 45:25 seventh month: Tishri (also called Ethanim), the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-September to mid-October.
  7. Ezekiel 46:2 sacrifices to ask my blessing: See the note at 43.27.
  8. Ezekiel 46:2 sacrifices to please me: See the note at 40.38,39.
  9. Ezekiel 46:17 the Year of Celebration. . . to the ruler: This was a sacred year for Israel, traditionally called the "Year of Jubilee." During this year, all property had to go back to its original owner (see Leviticus 25.8-34).
  10. Ezekiel 46:19 The man. . . temple: See 40.3.
  11. Ezekiel 46:20 sacrifices to make things right: See the note at 40.38,39.
  12. Ezekiel 46:20 sacrifices for sin: See the note at 40.38,39.
  13. Ezekiel 46:20 someone. . . touch them and be harmed: See the note at 44.19.
  14. Ezekiel 46:23 fires: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 23.

1 Peter 1:13-2:10 (Contemporary English Version)

Chosen To Live a Holy Life
 13Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears. 14Behave like obedient children. Don't let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. 15Always live as God's holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. 16That's why the Scriptures say, "I am the holy God, and you must be holy too."     17You say that God is your Father, but God doesn't have favorites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honor God while you live as strangers here on earth. 18You were rescued [a] from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don't last forever. 19You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb. 20Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days. 21And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. That's why you have put your faith and hope in God. 22You obeyed the truth, [b] and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart. 23Do this because God has given you new birth by his message that lives on forever. 24The Scriptures say, "Humans wither like grass,
   and their glory fades
   like wild flowers.
   Grass dries up,
   and flowers fall
   to the ground.
    25But what the Lord has said
   will stand forever."
   Our good news to you is what the Lord has said.

1 Peter 2

A Living Stone and a Holy Nation
 1Stop being hateful! Quit trying to fool people, and start being sincere. Don't be jealous or say cruel things about others. 2Be like newborn babies who are thirsty for the pure spiritual milk that will help you grow and be saved. 3You have already found out how good the Lord really is.     4Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. 5And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God. 6It is just as God says in the Scriptures,
   "Look! I am placing in Zion
   a choice and precious
   No one who has faith
   in that one
   will be disappointed."
    7You are followers of the Lord, and that stone is precious to you. But it isn't precious to those who refuse to follow him. They are the builders who tossed aside the stone that turned out to be the most important one of all. 8They disobeyed the message and stumbled and fell over that stone, because they were doomed.
    9But you are God's chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that he has done. The Scriptures say,
    10"Once you were nobody.
   Now you are God's people.
   At one time no one
   had pity on you.
   Now God has treated you
   with kindness.
  1. 1 Peter 1:18 rescued: The Greek word often, though not always, means payment of a price to free a slave or prisoner.
  2. 1 Peter 1:22 You obeyed the truth: Some manuscripts add "by the power of the Spirit."

Psalm 119:33-48 (Contemporary English Version)

33Point out your rules to me,
   and I won't disobey
   even one of them.
    34Help me to understand your Law;
   I promise to obey it
   with all my heart.
    35Direct me by your commands!
   I love to do what you say.
    36Make me want to obey you,
   rather than to be rich.
    37Take away my foolish desires,
   and let me find life
   by walking with you.
    38I am your servant!
   Do for me what you promised
   to those who worship you.
    39Your wonderful teachings
   protect me from the insults
   that I hate so much.
    40I long for your teachings.
   Be true to yourself
   and let me live.
    41Show me your love
   and save me, LORD,
   as you have promised.
    42Then I will have an answer
   for everyone
   who insults me
   for trusting your word.
    43I rely on your laws!
   Don't take away my chance
   to speak your truth.
    44I will keep obeying your Law
   forever and ever.
    45I have gained perfect freedom
   by following your teachings,
    46and I trust them so much
   that I tell them to kings.
    47I love your commands!
   They bring me happiness.
    48I love and respect them
   and will keep them in mind.

Proverbs 28:11 (Contemporary English Version)

11The rich think highly
   of themselves,
   but anyone poor and sensible
   sees right through them.

Verse of the Day

“Be thankful and praise the LORD as you enter his temple. The LORD is good! His love and faithfulness will last forever.” - Psalm 100:4-5
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell, John Milton wrote, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

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