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 20, 2016

Bible Readings for April 20, 2016

Today our passages are Joshua 21:1–22:20; Luke 20:1-26; Psalm 89:1-13; and Proverbs 13:15-16. 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 21-22:20 (The Message)

Joshua 21

Cities for the Levites
 1-2The ancestral heads of the Levites came to Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and to the heads of the other tribes of the People of Israel. This took place at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. They said, "God commanded through Moses that you give us cities to live in with access to pastures for our cattle."  3 So the People of Israel, out of their own inheritance, gave the Levites, just as God commanded, the following cities and pastures:
 4-5 The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites this way: Levites descended from Aaron the priest received by lot thirteen cities out of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. The rest of the Kohathites received by lot ten cities from the families of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
 6 The Gershonites received by lot thirteen cities from the families of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.
 7 The families of the Merarites received twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.
 8 So the People of Israel gave these cities with their pastures to the Levites just as God had ordered through Moses, that is, by lot.
Cities for the Descendants of Aaron
9-10 They assigned from the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin the following towns, here named individually (these were for the descendants of Aaron who were from the families of the Kohathite branch of Levi because the first lot fell to them):  11-12 Kiriath Arba (Arba was the ancestor of Anak), that is, Hebron, in the hills of Judah, with access to the pastures around it. The fields of the city and its open lands they had already given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.
 13-16 To the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (the asylum-city for the unconvicted killers), Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Holon, Debir, Ain, Juttah, and Beth Shemesh, all with their accompanying pastures—nine towns from these two tribes.
 17-18 And from the tribe of Benjamin: Gibeon, Geba, Anathoth, and Almon, together with their pastures—four towns.
 19 The total for the cities and pastures for the priests descended from Aaron came to thirteen.
 20-22 The rest of the Kohathite families from the tribe of Levi were assigned their cities by lot from the tribe of Ephraim: Shechem (the asylum-city for the unconvicted killer) in the hills of Ephraim, Gezer, Kibzaim, and Beth Horon, with their pastures—four towns.
 23-24 From the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Aijalon, and Gath Rimmon, all with their pastures—four towns.
 25 And from the half-tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon with their pastures—two towns.
 26 All told, ten cities with their pastures went to the remaining Kohathite families.
 27 The Gershonite families of the tribe of Levi were given from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), and Be Eshtarah, with their pastures—two cities.
 28-29 And from the tribe of Issachar: Kishion, Daberath, Jarmuth, and En Gannim, with their pastures—four towns.
 30-31 From the tribe of Asher: Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob, with their pastures—four towns.
 32 From the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee (an asylum-city for the unconvicted killer), Hammoth Dor, and Kartan, with their pastures—three towns.
 33 For the Gershonites and their families: thirteen towns with their pastures.
 34-35 The Merari families, the remaining Levites, were given from the tribe of Zebulun: Jokneam, Kartah, Dimnah, and Nahalal, with their pastures—four cities.
 36-37 From the tribe of Reuben: Bezer, Jahaz, Kedemoth, and Mephaath, with their pastures—four towns.
 38-39 From the tribe of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead (an asylum-city for the uncon-victed killer), Mahanaim, Heshbon, and Jazer, with their pastures—a total of four towns.
 40 All these towns were assigned by lot to the Merarites, the remaining Levites—twelve towns.
 41-42 The Levites held forty-eight towns with their accompanying pastures within the territory of the People of Israel. Each of these towns had pastures surrounding it—this was the case for all these towns.

43-44 And so God gave Israel the entire land that he had solemnly vowed to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and made themselves at home in it. And God gave them rest on all sides, as he had also solemnly vowed to their ancestors. Not a single one of their enemies was able to stand up to them—God handed over all their enemies to them.

 45 Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.

Joshua 22

 1-5 Then Joshua called together the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He said: "You have carried out everything Moses the servant of God commanded you, and you have obediently done everything I have commanded you. All this time and right down to this very day you have not abandoned your brothers; you've shouldered the task laid on you by God, your God. And now God, your God, has given rest to your brothers just as he promised them. You're now free to go back to your homes, the country of your inheritance that Moses the servant of God gave you on the other side of the Jordan. Only this: Be vigilant in keeping the Commandment and The Revelation that Moses the servant of God laid on you: Love God, your God, walk in all his ways, do what he's commanded, embrace him, serve him with everything you are and have."  6-7 Then Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way. They went home. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh, Moses had assigned a share in Bashan. To the other half, Joshua assigned land with their brothers west of the Jordan.)
 7-8 When Joshua sent them off to their homes, he blessed them. He said: "Go home. You're going home rich—great herds of cattle, silver and gold, bronze and iron, huge piles of clothing. Share the wealth with your friends and families—all this plunder from your enemies!"

9 The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the People of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan to return to Gilead, the land of their possession, which they had taken under the command of Moses as ordered by God.

 10 They arrived at Geliloth on the Jordan (touching on Canaanite land). There the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar on the banks of the Jordan—a huge altar!
 11 The People of Israel heard of it: "What's this? The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar facing the land of Canaan at Geliloth on the Jordan, across from the People of Israel!"
 12-14 When the People of Israel heard this, the entire congregation mustered at Shiloh to go to war against them. They sent Phinehas son of Eleazar the priest to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (that is, to the land of Gilead). Accompanying him were ten chiefs, one chief for each of the ten tribes, each the head of his ancestral family. They represented the military divisions of Israel.
 15-18 They went to the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh and spoke to them: "The entire congregation of God wants to know: What is this violation against the God of Israel that you have committed, turning your back on God and building your own altar—a blatant act of rebellion against God? Wasn't the crime of Peor enough for us? Why, to this day we aren't rid of it, still living with the fallout of the plague on the congregation of God! Look at you—turning your back on God! If you rebel against God today, tomorrow he'll vent his anger on all of us, the entire congregation of Israel.
 19-20 "If you think the land of your possession isn't holy enough but somehow contaminated, come back over to God's possession, where God's Dwelling is set up, and take your land there, but don't rebel against God. And don't rebel against us by building your own altar apart from the Altar of our God. When Achan son of Zerah violated the holy curse, didn't anger fall on the whole congregation of Israel? He wasn't the only one to die for his sin."

Luke 20:1-26 (The Message)

Luke 20

 1-2One day he was teaching the people in the Temple, proclaiming the Message. The high priests, religion scholars, and leaders confronted him and demanded, "Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?"
 3-4Jesus answered, "First, let me ask you a question: About the baptism of John—who authorized it, heaven or humans?"
 5-7They were on the spot, and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, "If we say 'heaven,' he'll ask us why we didn't believe him; if we say 'humans,' the people will tear us limb from limb, convinced as they are that John was God's prophet." They agreed to concede that round to Jesus and said they didn't know.
 8Jesus said, "Then neither will I answer your question."
The Story of Corrupt Farmhands
 9-12Jesus told another story to the people: "A man planted a vineyard. He handed it over to farmhands and went off on a trip. He was gone a long time. In time he sent a servant back to the farmhands to collect the profits, but they beat him up and sent him off empty-handed. He decided to try again and sent another servant. That one they beat black-and-blue, and sent him off empty-handed. He tried a third time. They worked that servant over from head to foot and dumped him in the street.
 13"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'I know what I'll do: I'll send my beloved son. They're bound to respect my son.'
 14-15"But when the farmhands saw him coming, they quickly put their heads together. 'This is our chance—this is the heir! Let's kill him and have it all to ourselves.' They killed him and threw him over the fence.
 15-16"What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? Right. He'll come and clean house. Then he'll assign the care of the vineyard to others."
   Those who were listening said, "Oh, no! He'd never do that!"
 17-18But Jesus didn't back down. "Why, then, do you think this was written:

   That stone the masons threw out—
   It's now the cornerstone!?
"Anyone falling over that stone will break every bone in his body; if the stone falls on anyone, it will be a total smashup."
 19The religion scholars and high priests wanted to lynch him on the spot, but they were intimidated by public opinion. They knew the story was about them.
Paying Taxes
 20-22Watching for a chance to get him, they sent spies who posed as honest inquirers, hoping to trick him into saying something that would get him in trouble with the law. So they asked him, "Teacher, we know that you're honest and straightforward when you teach, that you don't pander to anyone but teach the way of God accurately. Tell us: Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
 23-24He knew they were laying for him and said, "Show me a coin. Now, this engraving, who does it look like and what does it say?"
 25"Caesar," they said.
   Jesus said, "Then give Caesar what is his and give God what is his."
 26Try as they might, they couldn't trap him into saying anything incriminating. His answer caught them off guard and left them speechless.

Psalm 89:1-13 (The Message)

Psalm 89

An Ethan Prayer
 1-4 Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are.
   I'll never quit telling the story of your love—
      how you built the cosmos
      and guaranteed everything in it.
   Your love has always been our lives' foundation,
      your fidelity has been the roof over our world.
   You once said, "I joined forces with my chosen leader,
      I pledged my word to my servant, David, saying,
   'Everyone descending from you is guaranteed life;
      I'll make your rule as solid and lasting as rock.'"

 5-18 God! Let the cosmos praise your wonderful ways,
      the choir of holy angels sing anthems to your faithful ways!
   Search high and low, scan skies and land,
      you'll find nothing and no one quite like God.
   The holy angels are in awe before him;
      he looms immense and august over everyone around him.
   God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who is like you,
      powerful and faithful from every angle?
   You put the arrogant ocean in its place
      and calm its waves when they turn unruly.
   You gave that old hag Egypt the back of your hand,
      you brushed off your enemies with a flick of your wrist.
   You own the cosmos—you made everything in it,
      everything from atom to archangel.
   You positioned the North and South Poles;
      the mountains Tabor and Hermon sing duets to you.
   With your well-muscled arm and your grip of steel—
      nobody trifles with you!
   The Right and Justice are the roots of your rule;
      Love and Truth are its fruits.
   Blessed are the people who know the passwords of praise,
      who shout on parade in the bright presence of God.
   Delighted, they dance all day long; they know
      who you are, what you do—they can't keep it quiet!
   Your vibrant beauty has gotten inside us—
      you've been so good to us! We're walking on air!
   All we are and have we owe to God,
      Holy God of Israel, our King!


Proverbs 13:15-16 (The Message)

 15 Sound thinking makes for gracious living,
   but liars walk a rough road.

 16 A commonsense person lives good sense;
   fools litter the country with silliness.

Verse of the Day
“Where is its victory? Where is its sting?" Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin. But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!” - 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day
Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation, Peter Drucker wrote, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

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