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, May 16, 2016

Bible Readings for May 16, 2016

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 18:5–19:24; John 8:31-59; Psalm 112:1-10; and Proverbs 15:12-14. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24 (The Message)

 5 Whatever Saul gave David to do, he did it—and did it well. So well that Saul put him in charge of his military operations. Everybody, both the people in general and Saul's servants, approved of and admired David's leadership.
David—The Name on Everyone's Lips
6-9 As they returned home, after David had killed the Philistine, the women poured out of all the villages of Israel singing and dancing, welcoming King Saul with tambourines, festive songs, and lutes. In playful frolic the women sang,
   Saul kills by the thousand,
   David by the ten thousand!
This made Saul angry—very angry. He took it as a personal insult. He said, "They credit David with 'ten thousands' and me with only 'thousands.' Before you know it they'll be giving him the kingdom!" From that moment on, Saul kept his eye on David.
 10-11 The next day an ugly mood was sent by God to afflict Saul, who became quite beside himself, raving. David played his harp, as he usually did at such times. Saul had a spear in his hand. Suddenly Saul threw the spear, thinking, "I'll nail David to the wall." David ducked, and the spear missed. This happened twice.
 12-16 Now Saul feared David. It was clear that God was with David and had left Saul. So, Saul got David out of his sight by making him an officer in the army. David was in combat frequently. Everything David did turned out well. Yes, God was with him. As Saul saw David becoming more successful, he himself grew more fearful. He could see the handwriting on the wall. But everyone else in Israel and Judah loved David. They loved watching him in action.
 17 One day Saul said to David, "Here is Merab, my eldest daughter. I want to give her to you as your wife. Be brave and bold for my sake. Fight God's battles!" But all the time Saul was thinking, "The Philistines will kill him for me. I won't have to lift a hand against him."
 18 David, embarrassed, answered, "Do you really mean that? I'm from a family of nobodies! I can't be son-in-law to the king."
 19 The wedding day was set, but as the time neared for Merab and David to be married, Saul reneged and married his daughter off to Adriel the Meholathite.
 20-21 Meanwhile, Saul's daughter Michal was in love with David. When Saul was told of this, he rubbed his hands in anticipation. "Ah, a second chance. I'll use Michal as bait to get David out where the Philistines will make short work of him." So again he said to David, "You're going to be my son-in-law."
 22 Saul ordered his servants, "Get David off by himself and tell him, 'The king is very taken with you, and everyone at court loves you. Go ahead, become the king's son-in-law!'"
 23 The king's servants told all this to David, but David held back. "What are you thinking of? I can't do that. I'm a nobody; I have nothing to offer."
 24-25 When the servants reported David's response to Saul, he told them to tell David this: "The king isn't expecting any money from you; only this: Go kill a hundred Philistines and bring evidence of your vengeance on the king's behalf. Avenge the king on his enemies." (Saul expected David to be killed in action.)
 26-27 On receiving this message, David was pleased. There was something he could do for the king that would qualify him to be his son-in-law! He lost no time but went right out, he and his men, killed the hundred Philistines, brought their evidence back in a sack, and counted it out before the king—mission completed! Saul gave Michal his daughter to David in marriage.
 28-29 As Saul more and more realized that God was with David, and how much his own daughter, Michal, loved him, his fear of David increased and settled into hate. Saul hated David.
 30 Whenever the Philistine warlords came out to battle, David was there to meet them—and beat them, upstaging Saul's men. David's name was on everyone's lips.

1 Samuel 19

The Black Mood of Saul
 1-3 Saul called his son Jonathan together with his servants and ordered them to kill David. But because Jonathan treasured David, he went and warned him: "My father is looking for a way to kill you. Here's what you are to do. Tomorrow morning, hide and stay hidden. I'll go out with my father into the field where you are hiding. I'll talk about you with my father and we'll see what he says. Then I'll report back to you."  4-5 Jonathan brought up David with his father, speaking well of him. "Please," he said to his father, "don't attack David. He hasn't wronged you, has he? And just look at all the good he has done! He put his life on the line when he killed the Philistine. What a great victory God gave Israel that day! You were there. You saw it and were on your feet applauding with everyone else. So why would you even think of sinning against an innocent person, killing David for no reason whatever?"
 6 Saul listened to Jonathan and said, "You're right. As God lives, David lives. He will not be killed."
 7 Jonathan sent for David and reported to him everything that was said. Then he brought David back to Saul and everything was as it was before.
 8 War broke out again and David went out to fight Philistines. He beat them badly, and they ran for their lives.
 9-10 But then a black mood from God settled over Saul and took control of him. He was sitting at home, his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. Suddenly, Saul tried to skewer David with his spear, but David ducked. The spear stuck in the wall and David got away. It was night.
 11-14 Saul sent men to David's house to stake it out and then, first thing in the morning, to kill him. But Michal, David's wife, told him what was going on. "Quickly now—make your escape tonight. If not, you'll be dead by morning!" She let him out of a window, and he made his escape. Then Michal took a dummy god and put it in the bed, placed a wig of goat's hair on its head, and threw a quilt over it. When Saul's men arrived to get David, she said, "He's sick in bed."
 15-16 Saul sent his men back, ordering them, "Bring him, bed and all, so I can kill him." When the men entered the room, all they found in the bed was the dummy god with its goat-hair wig!
 17 Saul stormed at Michal: "How could you play tricks on me like this? You sided with my enemy, and now he's gotten away!"
 18 Michal said, "He threatened me. He said, 'Help me out of here or I'll kill you.'"
    David made good his escape and went to Samuel at Ramah and told him everything Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel withdrew to the privacy of Naioth.
 19-20 Saul was told, "David's at Naioth in Ramah." He immediately sent his men to capture him. They saw a band of prophets prophesying with Samuel presiding over them. Before they knew it, the Spirit of God was on them, too, and they were ranting and raving right along with the prophets!
 21 That was reported back to Saul, and he dispatched more men. They, too, were soon prophesying. So Saul tried a third time—a third set of men—and they ended up mindlessly raving as well!
 22 Fed up, Saul went to Ramah himself. He came to the big cistern at Secu and inquired, "Where are Samuel and David?"
    A bystander said, "Over at Naioth in Ramah."
 23-24 As he headed out for Naioth in Ramah, the Spirit of God was on him, too. All the way to Naioth he was caught up in a babbling trance! He ripped off his clothes and lay there rambling gibberish before Samuel for a day and a night, stretched out naked. People are still talking about it: "Saul among the prophets! Who would have guessed?"

John 8:31-59 (The Message)

If the Son Sets You Free
 31-32Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."
 33Surprised, they said, "But we're descendants of Abraham. We've never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, 'The truth will free you'?"
 34-38Jesus said, "I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can't come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. I know you are Abraham's descendants. But I also know that you are trying to kill me because my message hasn't yet penetrated your thick skulls. I'm talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father."
 39-41They were indignant. "Our father is Abraham!"
   Jesus said, "If you were Abraham's children, you would have been doing the things Abraham did. And yet here you are trying to kill me, a man who has spoken to you the truth he got straight from God! Abraham never did that sort of thing. You persist in repeating the works of your father."
   They said, "We're not bastards. We have a legitimate father: the one and only God."
 42-47"If God were your father," said Jesus, "you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn't come on my own. He sent me. Why can't you understand one word I say? Here's why: You can't handle it. You're from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn't stand the truth because there wasn't a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I'm telling the truth, why don't you believe me? Anyone on God's side listens to God's words. This is why you're not listening—because you're not on God's side."
I Am Who I Am
 48The Jews then said, "That clinches it. We were right all along when we called you a Samaritan and said you were crazy—demon-possessed!"
 49-51Jesus said, "I'm not crazy. I simply honor my Father, while you dishonor me. I am not trying to get anything for myself. God intends something gloriously grand here and is making the decisions that will bring it about. I say this with absolute confidence. If you practice what I'm telling you, you'll never have to look death in the face."
 52-53At this point the Jews said, "Now we know you're crazy. Abraham died. The prophets died. And you show up saying, 'If you practice what I'm telling you, you'll never have to face death, not even a taste.' Are you greater than Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you think you are!"
 54-56Jesus said, "If I turned the spotlight on myself, it wouldn't amount to anything. But my Father, the same One you say is your Father, put me here at this time and place of splendor. You haven't recognized him in this. But I have. If I, in false modesty, said I didn't know what was going on, I would be as much of a liar as you are. But I do know, and I am doing what he says. Abraham—your 'father'—with jubilant faith looked down the corridors of history and saw my day coming. He saw it and cheered."
 57The Jews said, "You're not even fifty years old—and Abraham saw you?"
 58"Believe me," said Jesus, "I am who I am long before Abraham was anything."
 59That did it—pushed them over the edge. They picked up rocks to throw at him. But Jesus slipped away, getting out of the Temple.

Psalm 112:1-10 (The Message)

Psalm 112

    Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
   Who cherish and relish his commandments,
   Their children robust on the earth,
   And the homes of the upright—how blessed!
   Their houses brim with wealth
   And a generosity that never runs dry.
   Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—
   God's grace and mercy and justice!
   The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
   No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
   But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
   Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
   Heart ready, trusting in God,
   Spirit firm, unperturbed,
   Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
   They lavish gifts on the poor—
   A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
   An honored life! A beautiful life!
   Someone wicked takes one look and rages,
   Blusters away but ends up speechless.
   There's nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.


Proverbs 15:12-14 (The Message)

Life Ascends to the Heights
 12 Know-it-alls don't like being told what to do;
   they avoid the company of wise men and women.

 13 A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face;
   a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.

 14 An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth;
   fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.

Verse of the Day
“The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.” - Zephaniah 3:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day
Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet, Oscar Wilde wrote, “Everything popular is wrong.”

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