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, May 26, 2016

Bible Readings for May 26, 2016

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 9:1–11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:49-64; and Proverbs 16:1-3. 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.

2 Samuel 9-11:27 (The Message)

2 Samuel 9

An Open Table for Mephibosheth
 1 One day David asked, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If so, I'd like to show him some kindness in honor of Jonathan."  2 It happened that a servant from Saul's household named Ziba was there. They called him into David's presence. The king asked him, "Are you Ziba?" "Yes sir," he replied.
 3 The king asked, "Is there anyone left from the family of Saul to whom I can show some godly kindness?"
    Ziba told the king, "Yes, there is Jonathan's son, lame in both feet."
 4 "Where is he?"
    "He's living at the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar."
 5 King David didn't lose a minute. He sent and got him from the home of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.
 6 When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan (who was the son of Saul), came before David, he bowed deeply, abasing himself, honoring David.
    David spoke his name: "Mephibosheth."
    "Yes sir?"
 7 "Don't be frightened," said David. "I'd like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I'm returning to you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you'll take all your meals at my table."
 8 Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eye, Mephibosheth said, "Who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?"
 9-10 David then called in Ziba, Saul's right-hand man, and told him, "Everything that belonged to Saul and his family, I've handed over to your master's grandson. You and your sons and your servants will work his land and bring in the produce, provisions for your master's grandson. Mephibosheth himself, your master's grandson, from now on will take all his meals at my table." Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
 11-12 "All that my master the king has ordered his servant," answered Ziba, "your servant will surely do."
    And Mephibosheth ate at David's table, just like one of the royal family. Mephibosheth also had a small son named Mica. All who were part of Ziba's household were now the servants of Mephibosheth.
 13 Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, taking all his meals at the king's table. He was lame in both feet.

2 Samuel 10

 1-2 Sometime after this, the king of the Ammonites died and Hanun, his son, succeeded him as king. David said, "I'd like to show some kindness to Hanun, the son of Nahash—treat him as well and as kindly as his father treated me." So David sent Hanun condolences regarding his father.  2-3 But when David's servants got to the land of the Ammonites, the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, their head delegate, "Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don't you think it's because he wants to snoop around the city and size it up that David has sent his emissaries to you?"
 4 So Hanun seized David's men, shaved off half their beards, cut off their robes halfway up their buttocks, and sent them packing.
 5 When all this was reported to David, he sent someone to meet them, for they were seriously humiliated. The king told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow out. Only then come back."
 6 When it dawned on the Ammonites that as far as David was concerned they stunk to high heaven, they hired Aramean soldiers from Beth-Rehob and Zobah—twenty thousand infantry—and a thousand men from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand men from Tob.
 7 When David heard of this, he dispatched Joab with his strongest fighters in full force.
 8-12 The Ammonites marched out and arranged themselves in battle formation at the city gate. The Arameans of Zobah and Rehob and the men of Tob and Maacah took up a position out in the open fields. When Joab saw that he had two fronts to fight, before and behind, he took his pick of the best of Israel and deployed them to confront the Arameans. The rest of the army he put under the command of Abishai, his brother, and deployed them to confront the Ammonites. Then he said, "If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me. And if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I'll come and help you. Courage! We'll fight with might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever he sees needs doing!"
 13-14 But when Joab and his soldiers moved in to fight the Arameans, they ran off in full retreat. Then the Ammonites, seeing the Arameans run for dear life, took to their heels from Abishai and went into the city.
    So Joab left off fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
 15-17 When the Arameans saw how badly they'd been beaten by Israel, they picked up the pieces and regrouped. Hadadezer sent for the Arameans who were across the River. They came to Helam. Shobach, commander of Hadadezer's army, led them. All this was reported to David.
 17-19 So David mustered Israel, crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. The Arameans went into battle formation, ready for David, and the fight was on. But the Arameans again scattered before Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry. And he mortally wounded Shobach, the army commander, who died on the battlefield. When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace and became Israel's vassals. The Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites ever again.

2 Samuel 11

David's Sin and Sorrow
 1When that time of year came around again, the anniversary of the Ammonite aggression, David dispatched Joab and his fighting men of Israel in full force to destroy the Ammonites for good. They laid siege to Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.  2-5 One late afternoon, David got up from taking his nap and was strolling on the roof of the palace. From his vantage point on the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunningly beautiful. David sent to ask about her, and was told, "Isn't this Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite?" David sent his agents to get her. After she arrived, he went to bed with her. (This occurred during the time of "purification" following her period.) Then she returned home. Before long she realized she was pregnant.
    Later she sent word to David: "I'm pregnant."
 6 David then got in touch with Joab: "Send Uriah the Hittite to me." Joab sent him.
 7-8 When he arrived, David asked him for news from the front—how things were going with Joab and the troops and with the fighting. Then he said to Uriah, "Go home. Have a refreshing bath and a good night's rest."
 8-9 After Uriah left the palace, an informant of the king was sent after him. But Uriah didn't go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance, along with the king's servants.
 10 David was told that Uriah had not gone home. He asked Uriah, "Didn't you just come off a hard trip? So why didn't you go home?"
 11 Uriah replied to David, "The Chest is out there with the fighting men of Israel and Judah—in tents. My master Joab and his servants are roughing it out in the fields. So, how can I go home and eat and drink and enjoy my wife? On your life, I'll not do it!"
 12-13 "All right," said David, "have it your way. Stay for the day and I'll send you back tomorrow." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem the rest of the day.
    The next day David invited him to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. But in the evening Uriah again went out and slept with his master's servants. He didn't go home.
 14-15 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In the letter he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front lines where the fighting is the fiercest. Then pull back and leave him exposed so that he's sure to be killed."
 16-17 So Joab, holding the city under siege, put Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce enemy fighters. When the city's defenders came out to fight Joab, some of David's soldiers were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.
 18-21 Joab sent David a full report on the battle. He instructed the messenger, "After you have given to the king a detailed report on the battle, if he flares in anger, say, 'And by the way, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'"
 22-24 Joab's messenger arrived in Jerusalem and gave the king a full report. He said, "The enemy was too much for us. They advanced on us in the open field, and we pushed them back to the city gate. But then arrows came hot and heavy on us from the city wall, and eighteen of the king's soldiers died."
 25 When the messenger completed his report of the battle, David got angry at Joab. He vented it on the messenger: "Why did you get so close to the city? Didn't you know you'd be attacked from the wall? Didn't you remember how Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth got killed? Wasn't it a woman who dropped a millstone on him from the wall and crushed him at Thebez? Why did you go close to the wall!"
    "By the way," said Joab's messenger, "your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead."
    Then David told the messenger, "Oh. I see. Tell Joab, 'Don't trouble yourself over this. War kills—sometimes one, sometimes another—you never know who's next. Redouble your assault on the city and destroy it.' Encourage Joab."
 26-27 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she grieved for her husband. When the time of mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son.

John 15:1-27 (The Message)

John 15

The Vine and the Branches
 1-3 "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.  4"Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
 5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
 9-10"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done—kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.
 11-15"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.
 16"You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
 17"But remember the root command: Love one another.
Hated by the World
18-19"If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you.  20"When that happens, remember this: Servants don't get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them.
 21-25"They are going to do all these things to you because of the way they treated me, because they don't know the One who sent me. If I hadn't come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn't be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. Hate me, hate my Father—it's all the same. If I hadn't done what I have done among them, works no one has ever done, they wouldn't be to blame. But they saw the God-signs and hated anyway, both me and my Father. Interesting—they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, 'They hated me for no good reason.'
 26-27"When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes—the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father—he will confirm everything about me. You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start."

Psalm 119:49-64 (The Message)

 49-56 Remember what you said to me, your servant—
      I hang on to these words for dear life!
   These words hold me up in bad times;
      yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
   The insolent ridicule me without mercy,
      but I don't budge from your revelation.
   I watch for your ancient landmark words,
      and know I'm on the right track.
   But when I see the wicked ignore your directions,
      I'm beside myself with anger.
   I set your instructions to music
      and sing them as I walk this pilgrim way.
   I meditate on your name all night, God,
      treasuring your revelation, O God.
   Still, I walk through a rain of derision
      because I live by your Word and counsel.

 57-64 Because you have satisfied me, God, I promise
      to do everything you say.
   I beg you from the bottom of my heart: smile,
      be gracious to me just as you promised.
   When I took a long, careful look at your ways,
      I got my feet back on the trail you blazed.
   I was up at once, didn't drag my feet,
      was quick to follow your orders.
   The wicked hemmed me in—there was no way out—
      but not for a minute did I forget your plan for me.
   I get up in the middle of the night to thank you;
      your decisions are so right, so true—I can't wait till morning!
   I'm a friend and companion of all who fear you,
      of those committed to living by your rules.
   Your love, God, fills the earth!
      Train me to live by your counsel.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (The Message)

Proverbs 16

Everything with a Place and a Purpose
 1 Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.

 2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
   God probes for what is good.

 3 Put God in charge of your work,
   then what you've planned will take place.

Verse of the Day
“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!” - John 3:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day
Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, William Butler Yeats wrote, “There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met.”

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