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, November 27, 2015

Bible Readings for November 27, 2015

Today our passages are Daniel 4:1-37; 2 Peter 1:1-21; Psalm 119:97-112; and Proverbs 28:17-18. 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 4:1-37 (Contemporary English Version)

Daniel 4

King Nebuchadnezzar's Letter about His Second Dream
 1King Nebuchadnezzar sent the following letter to the people of all nations and races on the earth:    Greetings to all of you!
    2I am glad to tell about
   the wonderful miracles
   God Most High
   has done for me.
    3His miracles are mighty
   and marvelous.
   He will rule forever,
   and his kingdom
   will never end.
    4I was enjoying a time of peace and prosperity, 5when suddenly I had some horrifying dreams and visions. 6Then I commanded every wise man in Babylonia to appear in my court, so they could explain the meaning of my dream. 7After they arrived, I told them my dream, but they were not able to say what it meant. 8Finally, a young man named Daniel came in, and I told him the dream. The holy gods had given him special powers, and I had renamed him Belteshazzar after my own god.
    9I said, " Belteshazzar, not only are you the wisest of all advisors and counselors, but the holy gods have given you special powers to solve the most difficult mysteries. So listen to what I dreamed and tell me what it means:
    10In my sleep I saw
   a very tall tree
   in the center of the world.
    11It grew stronger and higher,
   until it reached to heaven
   and could be seen
   from anywhere on earth.
    12It was covered with leaves
   and heavy with fruit--
   enough for all nations.
   Wild animals enjoyed its shade,
   birds nested in its branches,
   and all creatures on earth
   lived on its fruit.
    13" While I was in bed, having this vision, a holy angel [a] came down from heaven 14and shouted: `Chop down the tree
   and cut off its branches;
   strip off its leaves
   and scatter its fruit.
   Make the animals leave its shade
   and send the birds flying
   from its branches.
    15But leave its stump and roots
   in the ground,
   surrounded by grass
   and held by chains
   of iron and bronze.
   `Make sure that this ruler
   lives like the animals
   out in the open fields,
   unprotected from the dew.
    16Give him the mind
   of a wild animal
   for seven long years. [b] 17This punishment is given
   at the command
   of the holy angels. [c] It will show to all who live
   that God Most High
   controls all kingdoms
   and chooses for their rulers
   persons of humble birth.'
    18" Daniel, [d] that was the dream that none of the wise men in my kingdom were able to understand. But I am sure that you will understand what it means, because the holy gods have given you some special powers." 19For a while, Daniel was terribly confused and worried by what he was thinking. But I said, " Don't be bothered either by the dream or by what it means."
   Daniel replied:
   Your Majesty, I wish the dream had been against your enemies. 20You saw a tree that grew so big and strong that it reached up to heaven and could be seen from anywhere on earth. 21Its leaves were beautiful, and it produced enough fruit for all living creatures; animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches. 22Your Majesty, that tree is you. Your glorious reputation has reached heaven, and your kingdom covers the earth.
    23Then you saw a holy angel [e] come down from heaven and say, " Chop down the tree and destroy it! But leave its stump and roots in the ground, fastened there by a chain of iron and bronze. Let it stay for seven years [f] out in the field with the wild animals, unprotected from the dew."
    24Your Majesty, God Most High has sent you this message, and it means 25that you will be forced to live with the wild animals, far away from humans. You will eat grass like a wild animal and live outdoors for seven years [g], until you learn that God Most High controls all earthly kingdoms and chooses their rulers. 26But he gave orders not to disturb the stump and roots. This is to show that you will be king once again, after you learn that the God who rules from heaven is in control. 27Your Majesty, please be willing to do what I say. Turn from your sins and start living right; have mercy on those who are mistreated. Then all will go well with you for a long time.
The Rest of Nebuchadnezzar's Letter about His Second Dream
 28-30About twelve months later, I was walking on the flat roof of my royal palace and admiring the beautiful city of Babylon, when these things started happening to me. I was saying to myself, " Just look at this wonderful capital city that I have built by my own power and for my own glory!"     31But before I could finish speaking, a voice from heaven interrupted:
   King Nebuchadnezzar, this kingdom is no longer yours. 32You will be forced to live with the wild animals, away from people. For seven years [h] you will eat grass, as though you were an ox, until you learn that God Most High is in control of all earthly kingdoms and that he is the one who chooses their rulers. 33This was no sooner said than done--I was forced to live like a wild animal; I ate grass and was unprotected from the dew. As time went by, my hair grew longer than eagle feathers, and my fingernails looked like the claws of a bird.
    34Finally, I prayed to God in heaven, and my mind was healed. Then I said:
   " I praise and honor
   God Most High.
   He lives forever,
   and his kingdom
   will never end.
    35To him the nations
   are far less than nothing;
   God controls the stars in the sky
   and everyone on this earth.
   When God does something,
   we cannot change it
   or even ask why."
    36At that time my mind was healed, and once again I became the ruler of my glorious kingdom. My advisors and officials returned to me, and I had greater power than ever before. 37That's why I say:
   " Praise and honor the King
   who rules from heaven!
   Everything he does
   is honest and fair,
   and he can shatter the power
   of those who are proud."
  1. Daniel 4:13 angel: The Aramaic text has " watcher," which may be some special class of angel.
  2. Daniel 4:16 long years: Aramaic " times."
  3. Daniel 4:17 angels: See the note at 4.13.
  4. Daniel 4:18 Daniel: See the note at 2.26.
  5. Daniel 4:23 angel: See the note at 4.13.
  6. Daniel 4:23 years: Aramaic " times."
  7. Daniel 4:25 years: Aramaic " times."
  8. Daniel 4:32 years: Aramaic " times."

2 Peter 1:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Peter 1

 1From Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ.    To everyone who shares with us in the privilege of believing that our God and Savior Jesus Christ will do what is just and fair. [a] 2I pray that God will be kind to you and will let you live in perfect peace! May you keep learning more and more about God and our Lord Jesus.
Living as the Lord's Followers
 3We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. 4God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.     5Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, 6self-control, patience, devotion to God, 7concern for others, and love. 8If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. 9But if you don't grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.
    10My friends, you must do all you can to show that God has really chosen and selected you. If you keep on doing this, you won't stumble and fall. 11Then our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will give you a glorious welcome into his kingdom that will last forever.
    12You are holding firmly to the truth that you were given. But I am still going to remind you of these things. 13In fact, I think I should keep on reminding you until I leave this body. 14And our Lord Jesus Christ has already told me that I will soon leave it behind. 15That is why I am doing my best to make sure that each of you remembers all of this after I am gone.
The Message about the Glory of Christ
 16When we told you about the power and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling clever stories that someone had made up. But with our own eyes we saw his true greatness. 17God, our great and wonderful Father, truly honored him by saying, "This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him." 18We were there with Jesus on the holy mountain and heard this voice speak from heaven.     19All of this makes us even more certain that what the prophets said is true. So you should pay close attention to their message, as you would to a lamp shining in some dark place. You must keep on paying attention until daylight comes and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20But you need to realize that no one alone can understand any of the prophecies in the Scriptures. 21The prophets did not think these things up on their own, but they were guided by the Spirit of God.
  1. 2 Peter 1:1 To everyone who. . . just and fair: Or "To everyone whose faith in the justice and fairness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ is as precious as our own faith."

Psalm 119:97-112 (Contemporary English Version)

97I deeply love your Law!
   I think about it all day.
    98Your laws never leave my mind,
   and they make me much wiser
   than my enemies.
    99Thinking about your teachings
   gives me better understanding
   than my teachers,
    100and obeying your laws
   makes me wiser
   than those
   who have lived a long time.
    101I obey your word
   instead of following a way
   that leads to trouble.
    102You have been my teacher,
   and I won't reject
   your instructions.
    103Your teachings are sweeter
   than honey.
    104They give me understanding
   and make me hate all lies.
    105Your word is a lamp
   that gives light
   wherever I walk.
    106Your laws are fair,
   and I have given my word
   to respect them all.
    107I am in terrible pain!
   Save me, LORD,
   as you said you would.
    108Accept my offerings of praise
   and teach me your laws.
    109I never forget your teachings,
   although my life is always
   in danger.
    110Some merciless people
   are trying to trap me,
   but I never turn my back
   on your teachings.
    111They will always be
   my most prized possession
   and my source of joy.
    112I have made up my mind
   to obey your laws forever,
   no matter what.

Proverbs 28:17-18 (Contemporary English Version)

17Don't give help to murderers!
   Make them stay on the run
   for as long as they live. [a] 18Honesty will keep you safe,
   but everyone who is crooked
   will suddenly fall.
  1. Proverbs 28:17 live: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 17.

Verse of the Day
“Let the message about Christ completely fill your lives, while you use all your wisdom to teach and instruct each other. With thankful hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” - Colossians 3:16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Hong Kong American martial artist, Hong Kong action film actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, filmmaker, and the founder of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee wrote, “The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.”

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