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, April 13, 2016

Bible Readings for April 13, 2016

Today our passages are Joshua 7:16–9:2; Luke 16:1-18; Psalm 82:1-8; and Proverbs 13:2-3. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. PetersonIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

Joshua 7:16-9:2 (The Message)

 16-18 Joshua was up at the crack of dawn and called Israel up tribe by tribe. The tribe of Judah was singled out. Then he called up the clans and singled out the Zerahites. He called up the Zerahite families and singled out the Zabdi family. He called up the family members one by one and singled out Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah.
 19 Joshua spoke to Achan, "My son, give glory to God, the God of Israel. Make your confession to him. Tell me what you did. Don't keep back anything from me."
 20-21 Achan answered Joshua, "It's true. I sinned against God, the God of Israel. This is how I did it. In the plunder I spotted a beautiful Shinar robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a fifty-shekel bar of gold, and I coveted and took them. They are buried in my tent with the silver at the bottom."
 22-23 Joshua sent off messengers. They ran to the tent. And there it was, buried in the tent with the silver at the bottom. They took the stuff from the tent and brought it to Joshua and to all the People of Israel and spread it out before God.
 24 Joshua took Achan son of Zerah, took the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his ox, donkey, sheep, and tent—everything connected with him. All Israel was there. They led them off to the Valley of Achor (Trouble Valley).
 25-26 Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? God will now trouble you. Today!" And all Israel stoned him—burned him with fire and stoned him with stones. They piled a huge pile of stones over him. It's still there. Only then did God turn from his hot anger. That's how the place came to be called Trouble Valley right up to the present time.

Joshua 8

 1 God said to Joshua, "Don't be timid and don't so much as hesitate. Take all your soldiers with you and go back to Ai. I have turned the king of Ai over to you—his people, his city, and his land.  2 "Do to Ai and its king what you did to Jericho and its king. Only this time you may plunder its stuff and cattle to your heart's content. Set an ambush behind the city."
 3-8 Joshua and all his soldiers got ready to march on Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand men, tough, seasoned fighters, and sent them off at night with these orders: "Look sharp now. Lie in ambush behind the city. Get as close as you can. Stay alert. I and the troops with me will approach the city head-on. When they come out to meet us just as before, we'll turn and run. They'll come after us, leaving the city. As we are off and running, they'll say, 'They're running away just like the first time.' That's your signal to spring from your ambush and take the city. God, your God, will hand it to you on a platter. Once you have the city, burn it down. God says it, you do it. Go to it. I've given you your orders."
 9 Joshua sent them off. They set their ambush and waited between Bethel and Ai, just west of Ai. Joshua spent the night with the people.
 10-13 Joshua was up early in the morning and mustered his army. He and the leaders of Israel led the troops to Ai. The whole army, fighting men all, marched right up within sight of the city and set camp on the north side of Ai. There was a valley between them and Ai. He had taken about five thousand men and put them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, west of the city. They were all deployed, the main army to the north of the city and the ambush to the west. Joshua spent the night in the valley.
 14 So it happened that when the king of Ai saw all this, the men of the city lost no time; they were out of there at the crack of dawn to join Israel in battle, the king and his troops, at a field en route to the Arabah. The king didn't know of the ambush set against him behind the city.
 15-17 Joshua and all Israel let themselves be chased; they ran toward the wilderness. Everybody in the city was called to the chase. They pursued Joshua and were led away from the city. There wasn't a soul left in Ai or Bethel who wasn't out there chasing after Israel. The city was left empty and undefended as they were chasing Israel down.
 18-19 Then God spoke to Joshua: "Stretch out the javelin in your hand toward Ai—I'm giving it to you." Joshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward Ai. At the signal the men in ambush sprang to their feet, ran to the city, took it, and quickly had it up in flames.
 20-21 The men of Ai looked back and, oh! saw the city going up in smoke. They found themselves trapped with nowhere to run. The army on the run toward the wilderness did an about-face—Joshua and all Israel, seeing that the ambush had taken the city, saw it going up in smoke, turned and attacked the men of Ai.
 22-23 Then the men in the ambush poured out of the city. The men of Ai were caught in the middle with Israelites on both sides—a real massacre. And not a single survivor. Except for the king of Ai; they took him alive and brought him to Joshua.
 24-25 When it was all over, Israel had killed everyone in Ai, whether in the fields or in the wilderness where they had chased them. When the killing was complete, the Israelites returned to Ai and completed the devastation. The death toll that day came to twelve thousand men and women—everyone in Ai.
 26-27 Joshua didn't lower his outstretched javelin until the sacred destruction of Ai and all its people was completed. Israel did get to take the livestock and loot left in the city; God's instructions to Joshua allowed for that.
 28-29 Joshua burned Ai to the ground. A "heap" of nothing forever, a "no-place" —go see for yourself. He hanged the king of Ai from a tree. At evening, with the sun going down, Joshua ordered the corpse cut down. They dumped it at the entrance to the city and piled it high with stones—you can go see that also.

30-32 Then Joshua built an altar to the God of Israel on Mount Ebal. He built it following the instructions of Moses the servant of God to the People of Israel and written in the Book of The Revelation of Moses, an altar of whole stones that hadn't been chiseled or shaped by an iron tool. On it they offered to God Whole-Burnt-Offerings and sacrificed Peace-Offerings. He also wrote out a copy of The Revelation of Moses on the stones. He wrote it with the People of Israel looking on.

 33 All Israel was there, foreigners and citizens alike, with their elders, officers, and judges, standing on opposite sides of the Chest, facing the Levitical priests who carry God's Covenant Chest. Half of the people stood with their backs to Mount Gerizim and half with their backs to Mount Ebal to bless the People of Israel, just as Moses the servant of God had instructed earlier.
 34-35 After that, he read out everything written in The Revelation, the Blessing and the Curse, everything in the Book of The Revelation. There wasn't a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua didn't read to the entire congregation—men, women, children, and foreigners who had been with them on the journey.

Joshua 9

 1-2 All the kings west of the Jordan in the hills and foothills and along the Mediterranean seacoast north toward Lebanon—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Girgashites, and Jebusites—got the news. They came together in a coalition to fight against Joshua and Israel under a single command.


Luke 16:1-18 (The Message)

Luke 16

The Story of the Crooked Manager
 1-2Jesus said to his disciples, "There was once a rich man who had a manager. He got reports that the manager had been taking advantage of his position by running up huge personal expenses. So he called him in and said, 'What's this I hear about you? You're fired. And I want a complete audit of your books.'  3-4"The manager said to himself, 'What am I going to do? I've lost my job as manager. I'm not strong enough for a laboring job, and I'm too proud to beg. . . . Ah, I've got a plan. Here's what I'll do . . . then when I'm turned out into the street, people will take me into their houses.'
 5"Then he went at it. One after another, he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
 6"He replied, 'A hundred jugs of olive oil.'
   "The manager said, 'Here, take your bill, sit down here—quick now— write fifty.'
 7"To the next he said, 'And you, what do you owe?'
   "He answered, 'A hundred sacks of wheat.'
   "He said, 'Take your bill, write in eighty.'
 8-9"Now here's a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you'll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior."
God Sees Behind Appearances
 10-13Jesus went on to make these comments:

   If you're honest in small things,
      you'll be honest in big things;
   If you're a crook in small things,
      you'll be a crook in big things.
   If you're not honest in small jobs,
      who will put you in charge of the store?
   No worker can serve two bosses:
      He'll either hate the first and love the second
   Or adore the first and despise the second.
      You can't serve both God and the Bank.
 14-18When the Pharisees, a money-obsessed bunch, heard him say these things, they rolled their eyes, dismissing him as hopelessly out of touch. So Jesus spoke to them: "You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what's behind the appearance.

   What society sees and calls monumental,
      God sees through and calls monstrous.
   God's Law and the Prophets climaxed in John;
   Now it's all kingdom of God—the glad news
      and compelling invitation to every man and woman.
   The sky will disintegrate and the earth dissolve
      before a single letter of God's Law wears out.
   Using the legalities of divorce
      as a cover for lust is adultery;
   Using the legalities of marriage
      as a cover for lust is adultery.

Psalm 82:1-8 (The Message)

Psalm 82

An Asaph Psalm
 1 God calls the judges into his courtroom, he puts all the judges in the dock.

 2-4 "Enough! You've corrupted justice long enough,
      you've let the wicked get away with murder.
   You're here to defend the defenseless,
      to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;
   Your job is to stand up for the powerless,
      and prosecute all those who exploit them."

 5 Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!
      They haven't a clue to what's going on.
   And now everything's falling apart,
      the world's coming unglued.

 6-7 "I commissioned you judges, each one of you,
      deputies of the High God,
   But you've betrayed your commission
      and now you're stripped of your rank, busted."

 8 O God, give them their just deserts!
      You've got the whole world in your hands!


Proverbs 13:2-3 (The Message)

 2 The good acquire a taste for helpful conversation;
   bullies push and shove their way through life.

 3 Careful words make for a careful life;
   careless talk may ruin everything.

Verse of the Day

“Then Jesus said to all the people: If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me. If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will save it.” - Luke 9:23-24
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

James Madison.jpg
Thought for the Day
The fourth President of the United States (1809–17), James Madison wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

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