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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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bible Readings for November 25, 2015

Today our passages are Daniel 1:1–2:23; 1 Peter 3:8–4:6; Psalm 119:65-80; and Proverbs 28:14. 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. 

Daniel 1-2:23 (Contemporary English Version)

Daniel 1

Daniel and His Friends
 1In the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah, [a] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia attacked Jerusalem. 2The Lord let Nebuchadnezzar capture Jehoiakim and take away some of the things used in God's temple. And when the king returned to Babylonia, [b] he put these things in the temple of his own god. 3One day the king ordered Ashpenaz, his highest palace official, to choose some young men from the royal family of Judah and from other leading Jewish families. 4The king said, " They must be healthy, handsome, smart, wise, educated, and fit to serve in the royal palace. Teach them how to speak and write our language 5and give them the same food and wine that I am served. Train them for three years, and then they can become court officials."     6Four of the young Jews chosen were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all from the tribe of Judah. 7But the king's chief official gave them Babylonian names: Daniel became Belteshazzar, Hananiah became Shadrach, Mishael became Meshach, and Azariah became Abednego.
    8Daniel made up his mind to eat and drink only what God had approved for his people to eat. And he asked the king's chief official for permission not to eat the food and wine served in the royal palace. 9God had made the official friendly and kind to Daniel. 10But the man still told him, " The king has decided what you must eat and drink. And I am afraid he will kill me, if you eat something else and end up looking worse than the other young men."
    11The king's official had put a guard in charge of Daniel and his three friends. So Daniel said to the guard, 12" For the next ten days, let us have only vegetables and water at mealtime. 13When the ten days are up, compare how we look with the other young men, and decide what to do with us." 14The guard agreed to do what Daniel had asked.
    15Ten days later, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better than the young men who had been served food from the royal palace. 16After this, the guard let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine.
    17God made the four young men smart and wise. They read a lot of books and became well educated. Daniel could also tell the meaning of dreams and visions.
    18At the end of the three-year period set by King Nebuchadnezzar, his chief palace official brought all the young men to him. 19The king interviewed them and discovered that none of the others were as outstanding as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were given positions in the royal court. 20From then on, whenever the king asked for advice, he found their wisdom was ten times better than that of any of his other advisors and magicians. 21Daniel served there until the first year of King Cyrus. [c]

Daniel 2

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
 1During the second year that Nebuchadnezzar was king, he had such horrible nightmares that he could not sleep. 2So he called in his counselors, advisors, magicians, and wise men, 3and said, " I am disturbed by a dream that I don't understand, and I want you to explain it."     4They answered in Aramaic, [d] " Your Majesty, we hope you live forever! We are your servants. Please tell us your dream, and we will explain what it means." 5But the king replied, " No! I have made up my mind. If you don't tell me both the dream and its meaning, you will be chopped to pieces and your houses will be torn down. 6However, if you do tell me both the dream and its meaning, you will be greatly rewarded and highly honored. Now tell me the dream and explain what it means."
    7" Your Majesty," they said, " if you will only tell us your dream, we will interpret it for you."
    8The king replied, " You're just stalling for time, 9because you know what's going to happen if you don't come up with the answer. You've decided to make up a bunch of lies, hoping I might change my mind. Now tell me the dream, and that will prove that you can interpret it."
    10His advisors explained, " Your Majesty, you are demanding the impossible! No king, not even the most famous and powerful, has ever ordered his advisors, magicians, or wise men to do such a thing. 11It can't be done, except by the gods, and they don't live here on earth."
    12-13This made the king so angry that he gave orders for every wise man in Babylonia to be put to death, including Daniel and his three friends.
God Tells Nebuchadnezzar's Dream to Daniel
 14Arioch was the king's official in charge of putting the wise men to death. He was on his way to have it done, when Daniel very wisely went to him 15and asked, " Why did the king give such cruel [e] orders?" After Arioch explained what had happened, 16Daniel rushed off and said to the king, " If you will just give me some time, I'll explain your dream." 17Daniel returned home and told his three friends. 18Then he said, " Pray that the God who rules from heaven will be merciful and explain this mystery, so that we and the others won't be put to death." 19In a vision one night, Daniel was shown the dream and its meaning. Then he praised the God who rules from heaven:     20" Our God, your name
   will be praised
   forever and forever.
   You are all-powerful,
   and you know everything.
    21You control human events--
   you give rulers their power
   and take it away,
   and you are the source
   of wisdom and knowledge.
    22" You explain deep mysteries,
   because even the dark
   is light to you.
    23You are the God
   who was worshiped
   by my ancestors.
   Now I thank you and praise you
   for making me wise
   and telling me the king's dream,
   together with its meaning."
  1. Daniel 1:1 Jehoiakim. . . king of Judah: Ruled 609-598 B.C.
  2. Daniel 1:2 Babylonia: The Hebrew text has " Shinar," another name for Babylonia.
  3. Daniel 1:21 first year of King Cyrus: 539 B.C.
  4. Daniel 2:4 Aramaic: Chapter 2.4--7.28 is written in Aramaic, a language closely related to Hebrew.
  5. Daniel 2:15 cruel: Or " urgent."

1 Peter 3:8-4:6 (Contemporary English Version)

Suffering for Doing Right
 8Finally, all of you should agree and have concern and love for each other. You should also be kind and humble. 9Don't be hateful and insult people just because they are hateful and insult you. Instead, treat everyone with kindness. You are God's chosen ones, and he will bless you. The Scriptures say,     10"Do you really love life?
   Do you want to be happy?
   Then stop saying cruel things
   and quit telling lies.
    11Give up your evil ways
   and do right,
   as you find and follow
   the road that leads
   to peace.
    12The Lord watches over
   everyone who obeys him,
   and he listens
   to their prayers.
   But he opposes everyone
   who does evil."
    13Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds? 14Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don't worry about what people might do. 15Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life.
   Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope. 16Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear. This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ. 17You are better off to obey God and suffer for doing right than to suffer for doing wrong.
    18Christ died once for our sins.
   An innocent person died
   for those who are guilty.
   Christ did this
   to bring you to God,
   when his body
   was put to death
   and his spirit
   was made alive.
    19Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison. 20They had disobeyed God while Noah was building the boat, but God had been patient with them. Eight people went into that boat and were brought safely through the flood.
    21Those flood waters were like baptism that now saves you. But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death. 22Christ is now in heaven, where he sits at the right side [a] of God. All angels, authorities, and powers are under his control.

1 Peter 4

Being Faithful to God
 1Christ suffered here on earth. Now you must be ready to suffer as he did, because suffering shows that you have stopped sinning. 2It means you have turned from your own desires and want to obey God for the rest of your life. 3You have already lived long enough like people who don't know God. You were immoral and followed your evil desires. You went around drinking and partying and carrying on. In fact, you even worshiped disgusting idols. 4Now your former friends wonder why you have stopped running around with them, and they curse you for it. 5But they will have to answer to God, who judges the living and the dead. 6The good news has even been preached to the dead, [b] so that after they have been judged for what they have done in this life, their spirits will live with God.
  1. 1 Peter 3:22 right side: The place of honor and power.
  2. 1 Peter 4:6 the dead: Either people who died after becoming followers of Christ or the people of Noah's day (see 3.19).

Psalm 119:65-80 (Contemporary English Version)

65I am your servant, LORD,
   and you have kept your promise
   to treat me with kindness.
    66Give me wisdom and good sense.
   I trust your commands.
    67Once you corrected me
   for not obeying you,
   but now I obey.
    68You are kindhearted,
   and you do good things,
   so teach me your laws.
    69My reputation is being ruined
   by conceited liars,
   but with all my heart
   I follow your teachings.
    70Those liars have no sense,
   but I find happiness
   in your Law.
    71When you corrected me,
   it did me good
   because it taught me
   to study your laws.
    72I would rather obey you
   than to have a thousand pieces
   of silver and gold.
    73You created me
   and put me together.
   Make me wise enough to learn
   what you have commanded.
    74Your worshipers will see me,
   and they will be glad
   that I trust your word.
    75Your decisions are correct,
   and you were right
   to punish me.
    76I serve you, LORD.
   Comfort me with your love,
   just as you have promised.
    77I love to obey your Law!
   Have mercy and let me live.
    78Put down those proud people
   who hurt me with their lies,
   because I have chosen
   to study your teachings.
    79Let your worshipers come to me,
   so they will learn
   to obey your rules.
    80Let me truly respect your laws,
   so I won't be ashamed.

Proverbs 28:14 (Contemporary English Version)

14The LORD blesses everyone
   who is afraid to do evil,
   but if you are cruel,
   you will end up in trouble.

Verse of the Day

“Whatever you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks to God the Father because of him.” - Colossians 3:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Romanian-born Jewish writer, professor, political activist, and Nobel Laureate, Elie Wiesel wrote, “The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.”

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