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 9, 2015

Bible Readings for November 9, 2015

Today our passages are Ezekiel 20:1-49; Hebrews 9:11-28; Psalm 107:1-43; and Proverbs 27:11. 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 20:1-49 (Contemporary English Version)

Ezekiel 20

Israel Keeps On Rebelling
 1Seven years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, some of Israel's leaders came to me on the tenth day of the fifth month. [a] They sat down and asked for a message from the LORD. 2Just then, the LORD God said: 3Ezekiel, son of man, these leaders have come to find out what I want them to do. As surely as I live, I will not give them an answer of any kind.     4Are you willing to warn them, Ezekiel? Then remind them of the disgusting sins of their ancestors.
    5Tell them that long ago I, the LORD God, chose Israel to be my own. I appeared to their ancestors in Egypt and made a solemn promise that I would be their God and the God of their descendants. 6I swore that I would rescue them from Egypt and lead them to a land I had already chosen. This land was rich with milk and honey and was the most splendid land of all. 7I told them to get rid of their disgusting idols and not to sin by worshiping the gods of Egypt. I reminded them that I was the LORD their God, 8but they still rebelled against me. They refused to listen and kept on worshiping their idols and foreign gods.
   In my anger, I decided to punish the Israelites in Egypt. 9But that would have made me look like a liar, because I had already promised in front of everyone that I would lead them out of Egypt. 10So I brought them out and led them into the desert. 11I gave them my laws and teachings, so they would know how to live right. 12And I commanded them to respect the Sabbath as a way of showing that they were holy and belonged to me. 13But the Israelites rebelled against me in the desert. They refused to obey my laws and teachings, and they treated the Sabbath like any other day.
   Then in my anger, I decided to destroy the Israelites in the desert once and for all. 14But that would have disgraced me, because many other nations had seen me bring the Israelites out of Egypt. 15Instead, I told them in the desert that I would not lead them into the beautiful, fertile land I had promised. 16I said this because they had not only ignored my laws and teachings, but had disgraced my Sabbath and worshiped idols.
    17Yet, I felt sorry for them and could not let them die in the desert. 18So I warned the children not to act like their parents or follow their evil ways or worship their idols. 19I reminded them that I was the LORD their God and that they should obey my laws and teachings. 20I told them to respect my Sabbath to show that they were my people and that I was the LORD their God. 21But the children also rebelled against me. They refused to obey my laws and teachings, and they treated the Sabbath as any other day.
   I became angry and decided to punish them in the desert. 22But I did not. That would have disgraced me in front of the nations that had seen me bring the Israelites out of Egypt. 23So I solemnly swore that I would scatter the people of Israel across the nations, 24because they had disobeyed my laws and ignored my teachings; they had disgraced my Sabbath and worshiped the idols their ancestors had made. 25I gave them laws that bring punishment instead of life, 26and I let them offer me unacceptable sacrifices, including their first-born sons. I did this to horrify them and to let them know that I, the LORD, was punishing them.
    27Ezekiel, tell the people of Israel that their ancestors also rejected and insulted me 28by offering sacrifices, incense, and wine to gods on every hill and under every large tree. I was very angry, because they did these things in the land I had given them! 29I asked them where they went to worship those gods, and they answered, "At the local shrines." [b] And those places of worship are still called shrines. 30Then ask the Israelites why they are following the example of their wicked ancestors 31by worshiping idols and by sacrificing their own children as offerings. They commit these sins and still think they can ask me for a message. As surely as I am the living LORD God, I will give them no answer. 32They may think they can be like other nations and get away with worshiping idols made of wood and stone. But that will never happen!
The LORD Promises To Restore Israel
The LORD said to the people of Israel:
 33As surely as I am the living LORD God, I will rule over you with my powerful arm. You will feel my fierce anger 34and my power, when I gather you from the places where you are scattered 35and lead you into a desert surrounded by nations. I will meet you there face to face. Then I will pass judgment on you 36and punish you, just as I punished your ancestors in the desert near Egypt. [c] 37I will force each of you to obey the regulations of our solemn agreement. 38I will separate the sinful rebels from the rest of you, and even though I will bring them from the nations where they live in exile, they won't be allowed to return to Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 39Go ahead and worship your idols for now, you Israelites, because soon I will no longer let you dishonor me by offering gifts to them. You will have no choice but to obey me! [d] 40When that day comes, everyone in Israel will worship me on Mount Zion, my holy mountain in Jerusalem. I will once again call you my own, and I will accept your sacred offerings and sacrifices. 41When I bring you home from the places where you are now scattered, I will be pleased with you, just as I am pleased with the smell of the smoke from your sacrifices. Every nation on earth will see that I am holy, 42and you will know that I, the LORD, am the one who brought you back to Israel, the land I promised your ancestors. 43Then you will remember your wicked sins, and you will hate yourselves for doing such horrible things. They have made you unacceptable to me, 44so you deserve to be punished. But I will treat you in a way that will bring honor to my name, and you will know that I am the LORD God.
Fire from the South
 45The LORD said, 46"Ezekiel, son of man, turn toward the south and warn the forests 47that I, the LORD God, will start a fire that will burn up every tree, whether green or dry. Nothing will be able to put out the blaze of that fire as it spreads to the north and burns everything in its path. 48Everyone will know that I started it, and that it cannot be stopped."     49But I complained, "LORD God, I don't want to do that! People already say I confuse them with my messages."
  1. Ezekiel 20:1 Seven years. . . fifth month: Probably August of 591 B.C.
  2. Ezekiel 20:29 where they went to worship those gods. . . local shrines: In Hebrew "where they went" sounds like "local shrines." These were places to worship foreign gods.
  3. Ezekiel 20:36 the desert near Egypt: The Sinai Desert.
  4. Ezekiel 20:39 me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 39.

Hebrews 9:11-28 (Contemporary English Version)

11Christ came as the high priest of the good things that are now here. [a] He also went into a much better tent that wasn't made by humans and that doesn't belong to this world. 12Then Christ went once for all into the most holy place and freed us from sin forever. He did this by offering his own blood instead of the blood of goats and bulls. 13According to the Law of Moses, those people who become unclean are not fit to worship God. Yet they will be considered clean, if they are sprinkled with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a sacrificed calf. 14But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. That's why his blood is much more powerful and makes our [b] consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death. 15Christ died to rescue those who had sinned and broken the old agreement. Now he brings his chosen ones a new agreement with its guarantee of God's eternal blessings! 16In fact, making an agreement of this kind is like writing a will. This is because the one who makes the will must die before it is of any use. 17In other words, a will doesn't go into effect as long as the one who made it is still alive.
    18Blood was also used [c] to put the first agreement into effect. 19Moses told the people all that the Law said they must do. Then he used red wool and a hyssop plant to sprinkle the people and the book of the Law with the blood of bulls and goats [d] and with water. 20He told the people, "With this blood God makes his agreement with you." 21Moses also sprinkled blood on the tent and on everything else that was used in worship. 22The Law says that almost everything must be sprinkled with blood, and no sins can be forgiven unless blood is offered.
Christ's Great Sacrifice
 23These things are only copies of what is in heaven, and so they had to be made holy by these ceremonies. But the real things in heaven must be made holy by something better. 24This is why Christ did not go into a tent that had been made by humans and was only a copy of the real one. Instead, he went into heaven and is now there with God to help us.     25Christ did not have to offer himself many times. He wasn't like a high priest who goes into the most holy place each year to offer the blood of an animal. 26If he had offered himself every year, he would have suffered many times since the creation of the world. But instead, near the end of time he offered himself once and for all, so that he could be a sacrifice that does away with sin.
    27We die only once, and then we are judged. 28So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.
  1. Hebrews 9:11 that are now here: Some manuscripts have "that were coming."
  2. Hebrews 9:14 our: Some manuscripts have "your," and others have "their."
  3. Hebrews 9:18 Blood was also used: Or "There also had to be a death."
  4. Hebrews 9:19 blood of bulls and goats: Some manuscripts do not have "and goats."

Psalm 107:1-43 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 107

(Psalms 107-150)
The LORD Is Good to His People
 1Shout praises to the LORD!    He is good to us,
   and his love never fails.
    2Everyone the LORD has rescued
   from trouble
   should praise him,
    3everyone he has brought
   from the east and the west,
   the north and the south. [a] 4Some of you were lost
   in the scorching desert,
   far from a town.
    5You were hungry and thirsty
   and about to give up.
    6You were in serious trouble,
   but you prayed to the LORD,
   and he rescued you.
    7Right away he brought you
   to a town.
    8You should praise the LORD
   for his love
   and for the wonderful things
   he does for all of us.
    9To everyone who is thirsty,
   he gives something to drink;
   to everyone who is hungry,
   he gives good things to eat.
    10Some of you were prisoners
   suffering in deepest darkness
   and bound by chains,
    11because you had rebelled
   against God Most High
   and refused his advice.
    12You were worn out
   from working like slaves,
   and no one came to help.
    13You were in serious trouble,
   but you prayed to the LORD,
   and he rescued you.
    14He brought you out
   of the deepest darkness
   and broke your chains.
    15You should praise the LORD
   for his love
   and for the wonderful things
   he does for all of us.
    16He breaks down bronze gates
   and shatters iron locks.
    17Some of you had foolishly
   committed a lot of sins
   and were in terrible pain.
    18The very thought of food
   was disgusting to you,
   and you were almost dead.
    19You were in serious trouble,
   but you prayed to the LORD,
   and he rescued you.
    20By the power of his own word,
   he healed you
   and saved you
   from destruction.
    21You should praise the LORD
   for his love
   and for the wonderful things
   he does for all of us.
    22You should celebrate
   by offering sacrifices
   and singing joyful songs
   to tell what he has done.
    23Some of you made a living
   by sailing the mighty sea,
    24and you saw the miracles
   the LORD performed there.
    25At his command a storm arose,
   and waves covered the sea.
    26You were tossed to the sky
   and to the ocean depths,
   until things looked so bad
   that you lost your courage.
    27You staggered like drunkards
   and gave up all hope.
    28You were in serious trouble,
   but you prayed to the LORD,
   and he rescued you.
    29He made the storm stop
   and the sea be quiet.
    30You were happy because of this,
   and he brought you to the port
   where you wanted to go.
    31You should praise the LORD
   for his love
   and for the wonderful things
   he does for all of us.
    32Honor the LORD
   when you
   and your leaders
   meet to worship.
    33If you start doing wrong,
   the LORD will turn rivers
   into deserts,
    34flowing streams
   into scorched land,
   and fruitful fields
   into beds of salt.
    35But the LORD can also turn
   deserts into lakes
   and scorched land
   into flowing streams.
    36If you are hungry,
   you can settle there
   and build a town.
    37You can plant fields
   and vineyards
   that produce
   a good harvest.
    38The LORD will bless you
   with many children
   and with herds of cattle.
    39Sometimes you may be crushed
   by troubles and sorrows,
   until only a few of you
   are left to survive.
    40But the LORD will take revenge
   on those who conquer you,
   and he will make them wander
   across desert sands.
    41When you are suffering
   and in need,
   he will come to your rescue,
   and your families will grow
   as fast as a herd of sheep.
    42You will see this because
   you obey the LORD,
   but everyone who is wicked
   will be silenced.
    43Be wise! Remember this
   and think about the kindness
   of the LORD.
  1. Psalm 107:3 south: The Hebrew text has " sea," probably referring to the Mediterranean Sea.

Proverbs 27:11 (Contemporary English Version)

11My child, show good sense!
   Then I will be happy
   and able to answer anyone
   who criticizes me.

Verse of the Day

“[An Invitation from the LORD]I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.” - Isaiah 1:18
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947, AndrĂ© Gide wrote, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

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