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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Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Thought from the Word - A 15-second thought based on John 16:33

Bible Readings for December 31, 2015

Today our passages are Malachi 3:1–4:6; Revelation 22:1-21; Psalm 150:1-6; and Proverbs 31:25-31. 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. 

Malachi 3:1–4:6

Malachi 3-4Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Promised Messenger

I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will send my messenger
    to prepare the way for me.
Then suddenly the Lord
you are looking for
    will appear in his temple.
The messenger you desire
is coming with my promise,
    and he is on his way.

A Day of Change

On the day the Lord comes, he will be like a furnace that purifies silver or like strong soap in a washbasin. No one will be able to stand up to him. TheLord will purify the descendants of Levi,[a] as though they were gold or silver. Then they will bring the proper offerings to the Lordand the offerings of the people of Judah and Jerusalem will please him, just as they did in the past.

Don’t Cheat God

The Lord All-Powerful said:
I’m now on my way to judge you. And I will quickly condemn all who practice witchcraft or cheat in marriage or tell lies in court or rob workers of their pay or mistreat widows and orphans or steal the property of foreigners or refuse to respect me.
Descendants of Jacob, I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I never change. That’s why you haven’t been wiped out, even though you have ignored and disobeyed my laws ever since the time of your ancestors. But if you return to me, I will return to you.
And yet you ask, “How can we return?”
You people are robbing me, your God. And, here you are, asking, “How are we robbing you?”
You are robbing me of the offerings and of the ten percent that belongs to me.[b] That’s why your whole nation is under a curse. 10 I am the Lord All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house. Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing.[c]11 I will also stop locusts[d] from destroying your crops and keeping your vineyards from producing. 12 Everyone of every nation will talk about how I have blessed you and about your wonderful land. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!
13 You have said horrible things about me, and yet you ask, “What have we said?”
14 Here is what you have said: “It’s foolish to serve the Lord God All-Powerful. What do we get for obeying him and from going around looking sad? 15 See how happy those arrogant people are. Everyone who does wrong is successful, and when they put God to the test, they always get away with it.”

Faithfulness Is Rewarded

16 All those who truly respected the Lord and honored his name started discussing these things, and when God saw what was happening, he had their names[e] written as a reminder in his book.
17 Then the Lord All-Powerful said:
You people are precious to me, and when I come to bring justice, I will protect you, just as parents protect an obedient child. 18 Then everyone will once again see the difference between those who obey me by doing right and those who reject me by doing wrong.

The Day of Judgment

The Lord said:
The day of judgment is certain to come. And it will be like a red-hot furnace with flames that burn up proud and sinful people, as though they were straw. Not a branch or a root will be left. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken! But for you that honor my name, victory will shine like the sun with healing in its rays, and you will jump around like calves at play. When I come to bring justice, you will trample those who are evil, as though they were ashes under your feet. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!
Don’t ever forget the laws and teachings I gave my servant Moses on Mount Sinai.[f]
I, the Lord, promise to send the prophet Elijah before that great and terrible day comes. He will lead children and parents to love each other more, so that when I come, I won’t bring doom to the land.


  1. 3.3 descendants of Levi: The priests.
  2. 3.8 the ten percent. . . to me: The people of Israel were supposed to give a tenth of their harvests and of their flocks and herds to the Lord (see Leviticus 27.30-33; Deuteronomy 14.22-29).
  3. 3.10 open the windows. . . blessing: This may refer to rain, since there seems to have been a terrible drought at this time.
  4. 3.11 locusts: A kind of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
  5. 3.16 names: Or “deeds.”
  6. 4.4 Sinai: Hebrew “Horeb.”

Revelation 22:1-21

Revelation 22Contemporary English Version (CEV)

22 The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated.Then it flowed down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river are trees[a] that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations.
God’s curse will no longer be on the people of that city. He and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God and will see him face to face. God’s name will be written on the foreheads of the people. Never again will night appear, and no one who lives there will ever need a lamp or the sun. The Lord God will be their light, and they will rule forever.

The Coming of Christ

Then I was told:
These words are true and can be trusted. The Lord God controls the spirits of his prophets, and he is the one who sent his angel to show his servants what must happen right away. Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.
My name is John, and I am the one who heard and saw these things. Then after I had heard and seen all this, I knelt down and began to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown it to me.
But the angel said,
Don’t do that! I am a servant, just like you. I am the same as a follower or a prophet or anyone else who obeys what is written in this book. God is the one you should worship.
10 Don’t keep the prophecies in this book a secret. These things will happen soon.
11 Evil people will keep on being evil, and everyone who is dirty-minded will still be dirty-minded. But good people will keep on doing right, and God’s people will always be holy.
12 Then I was told:
I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done. 13 I am Alpha and Omega,[b] the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
14 God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city. 15 But outside the city will be dogs, witches, immoral people, murderers, idol worshipers, and everyone who loves to tell lies and do wrong.
16 I am Jesus! And I am the one who sent my angel to tell all of you these things for the churches. I am David’s Great Descendant,[c] and I am also the bright morning star.[d]
17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”
Everyone who hears this[e] should say, “Come!”
If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!
18 Here is my warning for everyone who hears the prophecies in this book:
If you add anything to them, God will make you suffer all the terrible troubles written in this book. 19 If you take anything away from these prophecies, God will not let you have part in the life-giving tree and in the holy city described in this book.
20 The one who has spoken these things says, “I am coming soon!”
So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!
21 I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to all of you.


  1. 22.2 trees: The Greek has “tree,” which is used in a collective sense of trees on both sides of the heavenly river.
  2. 22.13 Alpha and Omega: See the note at 1.8.
  3. 22.16 David’s Great Descendant: See the note at 5.5.
  4. 22.16 the bright morning star: Probably thought of as the brightest star (see 2.27,28).
  5. 22.17 who hears this: The reading of the book of Revelation in a service of worship.

Psalm 150:1-6

Psalm 150Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord Is Good to His People

Shout praises to the Lord!
    Praise God in his temple.
    Praise him in heaven,
    his mighty fortress.
Praise our God!
    His deeds are wonderful,
    too marvelous to describe.
Praise God with trumpets
    and all kinds of harps.
Praise him with tambourines
    and dancing,
    with stringed instruments
    and woodwinds.
Praise God with cymbals,
    with clashing cymbals.
Let every living creature
praise the Lord.
    Shout praises to the Lord!

Proverbs 31:25-31

Proverbs 31:25-31Contemporary English Version (CEV)

25 She is strong and graceful,[a]
    as well as cheerful
    about the future.
26 Her words are sensible,
    and her advice
    is thoughtful.
27 She takes good care
of her family
    and is never lazy.
28 Her children praise her,
    and with great pride
    her husband says,
29 “There are many good women,
    but you are the best!”
30 Charm can be deceiving,
    and beauty fades away,
but a woman
who honors the Lord
    deserves to be praised.
31 Show her respect—
    praise her in public
    for what she has done.


  1. 31.25 She. . . graceful: Or “The clothes she makes are attractive and of good quality.”

Verse of the Day

I am the one who cut a path through the mighty ocean. [ Forget the Past ] The Lord said: Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in deserts, streams in thirsty lands.
Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 CEV

Thought for the Day

German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories, Jean Paul wrote, “Every man regards his own life as the New Year's Eve of time.”

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Thought from the Word - A 15-second thought based on John 14:1-3

Bible Readings for December 30, 2015

Today our passages are Malachi 1:1–2:17; Revelation 21:1-27; Psalm 149:1-9; and Proverbs 31:10-24. 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. 

Malachi 1:1–2:17

Malachi 1-2Contemporary English Version (CEV)

I am Malachi. And this is the message that the Lord gave me for Israel.

The Lord’s Love for Israel

Israel, I, the Lord, have loved you. And yet you ask in what way have I loved you. Don’t forget that Esau was the brother of your ancestor Jacob, but I chose Jacob instead of Esau. And I turned Esau’s hill country into a barren desert where jackals[a] roam. Esau’s descendants may say, “Although our nation Edom is in ruins, we will rebuild.”
But I, the Lord All-Powerful, promise to tear down whatever they build. Then everyone will know that I will never stop being angry with them as long as they are so sinful.
Israel, when you see this, you will shout, “The Lord’s great reputation reaches beyond our borders.”

Judgment against Priests

I, the Lord All-Powerful, have something to say to you priests. Children respect their fathers, and servants respect their masters. I am your father and your master, so why don’t you respect me? You priests have insulted me, and now you ask, “How did we insult you?”
You embarrass me by offering worthless food on my altar. Then you ask, “How have we embarrassed you?” You have done it by saying, “What’s so great about the Lord’s altar?”
But isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are blind, crippled, or sick? Just try giving those animals to your governor. That certainly wouldn’t please him or make him want to help you. I am the Lord God All-Powerful, and you had better try to please me. You have sinned. Now see if I will have mercy on any of you.
10 I wish someone would lock the doors of my temple, so you would stop wasting time building fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you priests, and I refuse to accept any more of your offerings. 11 From dawn until dusk my name is praised by every nation on this earth, as they burn incense and offer the proper sacrifices to me. 12 But even you priests insult me by saying, “There’s nothing special about the Lord’s altar, and these sacrifices are worthless.”
13 You get so disgusted that you even make vulgar signs at me.[b] And for an offering, you bring stolen[c] animals or those that are crippled or sick. Should I accept these? 14 Instead of offering the acceptable animals you have promised, you bring me those that are unhealthy. I will punish you for this, because I am the great King, the Lord All-Powerful, and I am worshiped by nations everywhere.

True and False Priests

I, the Lord All-Powerful, have something else to say to you priests. You had better take seriously the need to honor my name. Otherwise, when you give a blessing, I will turn it into a curse. In fact, I have already done this, because you haven’t taken to heart your duties as priests. I will punish your descendants and rub your faces in the manure from your animal sacrifices, and then be done with you.[d]
I am telling you this, so I can continue to keep my agreement with your ancestor Levi. I blessed him with a full life, as I had promised, and he kept his part of the agreement by honoring me and respecting my name. He taught the truth and never told lies, and he led a lot of people to turn from sin, because he obeyed me and lived right.
You priests should be eager to spread knowledge, and everyone should come to you for instruction, because you speak for me, the Lord All-Powerful.But you have turned your backs on me. Your teachings have led others to do sinful things, and you have broken the agreement I made with your ancestor Levi. So I caused everyone to hate and despise you, because you disobeyed me and failed to treat all people alike.

A Broken Agreement

10 Don’t you know that we all have God as our Father? Didn’t the one God create each of us? Then why do you cheat each other by breaking the agreement God made with your ancestors? 11 You people in Judah and Jerusalem have been unfaithful to the Lord. You have disgraced the temple that he loves, and you have committed the disgusting sin of worshiping other gods.[e] 12 I pray that the Lord will no longer let those who are guilty belong to his people, even if they eagerly decide to offer the Lord a gift.[f]
13 And what else are you doing? You cry noisily and flood the Lord’s altar with your tears, because he isn’t pleased with your offerings and refuses to accept them. 14 And why isn’t God pleased? It’s because he knows that each of you men has been unfaithful to the wife you married when you were young. You promised that she would be your partner, but now you have broken that promise. 15 Didn’t God create you to become like one person with your wife?[g]And why did he do this? It was so you would have children, and then lead them to become God’s people. Don’t ever be unfaithful to your wife. 16 TheLord God All-Powerful of Israel hates anyone who is cruel enough to divorce his wife. So take care never to be unfaithful!
17 You have worn out the Lord with your words. And yet, you ask, “How did we do that?”
You did it by saying, “The Lord is pleased with evil and doesn’t care about justice.”


  1. 1.3 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
  2. 1.13 me: Or “the altar.”
  3. 1.13 stolen: Or “injured.”
  4. 2.3 and then be done with you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 2.11 worshiping other gods: Or “marrying the worshipers of other gods.”
  6. 2.12 even if. . . gift: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 2.15 Didn’t. . . wife: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Revelation 21:1-27

Revelation 21Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.
I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:
God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
Then the one sitting on the throne said:
I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega,[a]the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
But I will tell you what will happen to cowards and to everyone who is unfaithful or dirty-minded or who murders or is sexually immoral or uses witchcraft or worships idols or tells lies. They will be thrown into that lake of fire and burning sulfur. This is the second death.[b]

The New Jerusalem

I saw one of the seven angels who had the bowls filled with the seven last terrible troubles. The angel came to me and said, “Come on! I will show you the one who will be the bride and wife of the Lamb.” 10 Then with the help of the Spirit, he took me to the top of a very high mountain. There he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven.
11 The glory of God made the city bright. It was dazzling and crystal clear like a precious jasper stone. 12 The city had a high and thick wall with twelve gates, and each one of them was guarded by an angel. On each of the gates was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 Three of these gates were on the east, three were on the north, three more were on the south, and the other three were on the west. 14 The city was built on twelve foundation stones. On each of the stones was written the name of one of the Lamb’s twelve apostles.
15 The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring stick to measure the city and its gates and its walls. 16 The city was shaped like a cube, because it was just as high as it was wide. When the angel measured the city, it was about fifteen hundred miles high and fifteen hundred miles wide. 17 Then the angel measured the wall, and by our measurements it was about two hundred sixteen feet high.
18 The wall was built of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, clear as crystal. 19 Each of the twelve foundations was a precious stone. The first was jasper,[c] the second was sapphire, the third was agate, the fourth was emerald, 20 the fifth was onyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. 21 Each of the twelve gates was a solid pearl. The streets of the city were made of pure gold, clear as crystal.
22 I did not see a temple there. The Lord God All-Powerful and the Lamb were its temple. 23 And the city did not need the sun or the moon. The glory of God was shining on it, and the Lamb was its light.
24 Nations will walk by the light of that city, and kings will bring their riches there. 25 Its gates are always open during the day, and night never comes.26 The glorious treasures of nations will be brought into the city. 27 But nothing unworthy will be allowed to enter. No one who is dirty-minded or who tells lies will be there. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life[d] will be in the city.


  1. 21.6 Alpha and Omega: See the note at 1.8.
  2. 21.8 second death: See the note at 2.11.
  3. 21.19 jasper: The precious and semi-precious stones mentioned in verses 19,20 are of different colors. Jasper is usually green or clear; sapphire is blue; agate has circles of brown and white; emerald is green; onyx has different bands of color; carnelian is deep-red or reddish-white; chrysolite is olive-green; beryl is green or bluish-green; topaz is yellow; chrysoprase is apple-green; jacinth is reddish-orange; and amethyst is deep purple.
  4. 21.27 book of life: See the note at 3.5.

Psalm 149:1-9

Psalm 149Contemporary English Version (CEV)

A New Song of Praise

149 Shout praises to the Lord!
Sing him a new song of praise
    when his loyal people meet.
People of Israel, rejoice
    because of your Creator.
    People of Zion, celebrate
    because of your King.
Praise his name by dancing
    and playing music on harps
    and tambourines.
The Lord is pleased
    with his people,
    and he gives victory
    to those who are humble.
All of you faithful people,
praise our glorious Lord!
    Celebrate and worship.
Praise God with songs
on your lips
    and a sword in your hand.
Take revenge and punish
    the nations.
    Put chains of iron
    on their kings and rulers.
Punish them as they deserve;
    this is the privilege
of God’s faithful people.
    Shout praises to the Lord!

Proverbs 31:10-24

Proverbs 31:10-24Contemporary English Version (CEV)

In Praise of a Good Wife

10 A truly good wife
is the most precious treasure
    a man can find!
11 Her husband depends on her,
    and she never
    lets him down.
12 She is good to him
    every day of her life,
13     and with her own hands
    she gladly makes clothes.
14 She is like a sailing ship
    that brings food
    from across the sea.
15 She gets up before daylight
to prepare food
    for her family
    and for her servants.[a]
16 She knows how to buy land
and how to plant a vineyard,
17     and she always works hard.
18 She knows when to buy or sell,
    and she stays busy
    until late at night.
19 She spins her own cloth,
20     and she helps the poor
    and the needy.
21 Her family has warm clothing,
    and so she doesn’t worry
    when it snows.
22 She does her own sewing,
    and everything she wears
    is beautiful.
23 Her husband is a well-known
and respected leader
    in the city.
24 She makes clothes to sell
    to the shop owners.


  1. 31.15 and. . . servants: Or “and to tell her servants what to do.”

Verse of the Day
I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.
John 16:33 CEV

Goethe (Stieler 1828).jpg
Thought for the Day

German writer and statesman, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote, “The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”