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, June 2, 2016

Bible Readings for June 1, 2016

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 18:1–19:10; John 20:1-31; Psalm 119:153-176; and Proverbs 16:14-15. 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 18-19:10 (The Message)

2 Samuel 18

 1-2 David organized his forces. He appointed captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. Then David deployed his troops, a third under Joab, a third under Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third under Ittai the Gittite.     The king then announced, "I'm marching with you."
 3 They said, "No, you mustn't march with us. If we're forced to retreat, the enemy won't give it a second thought. And if half of us die, they won't do so either. But you are worth ten thousand of us. It will be better for us if you stay in the city and help from there."
 4 "If you say so," said the king. "I'll do what you think is best." And so he stood beside the city gate as the whole army marched out by hundreds and by thousands.
 5 Then the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom." The whole army heard what the king commanded the three captains regarding Absalom.
 6-8 The army took the field to meet Israel. It turned out that the battle was joined in the Forest of Ephraim. The army of Israel was beaten badly there that day by David's men, a terrific slaughter—twenty thousand men! There was fighting helter-skelter all over the place—the forest claimed more lives that day than the sword!
 9-10 Absalom ran into David's men, but was out in front of them riding his mule, when the mule ran under the branches of a huge oak tree. Absalom's head was caught in the oak and he was left dangling between heaven and earth, the mule running right out from under him. A solitary soldier saw him and reported it to Joab, "I just saw Absalom hanging from an oak tree!"
 11 Joab said to the man who told him, "If you saw him, why didn't you kill him then and there? I'd have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver and a fancy belt."
 12-13 The man told Joab, "Even if I'd had a chance at a thousand pieces of silver, I wouldn't have laid a hand on the king's son. We all heard the king command you and Abishai and Ittai, 'For my sake, protect the young man Absalom.' Why, I'd be risking my life, for nothing is hidden from the king. And you would have just stood there!"
 14-15 Joab said, "I can't waste my time with you." He then grabbed three knives and stabbed Absalom in the heart while he was still alive in the tree; by then Absalom was surrounded by ten of Joab's armor bearers; they hacked away at him and killed him.
 16-17 Joab then blew the ram's horn trumpet, calling off the army in its pursuit of Israel. They took Absalom, dumped him into a huge pit in the forest, and piled an immense mound of rocks over him.
    Meanwhile the whole army of Israel was in flight, each man making his own way home.
 18 While alive, Absalom had erected for himself a pillar in the Valley of the King, "because," he said, "I have no son to carry on my name." He inscribed the pillar with his own name. To this day it is called "The Absalom Memorial."
 19-20 Ahimaaz, Zadok's son, said, "Let me run to the king and bring him the good news that God has delivered him from his enemies." But Joab said, "You're not the one to deliver the good news today; some other day, maybe, but it's not 'good news' today." (This was because the king's son was dead.)
 21 Then Joab ordered a Cushite, "You go. Tell the king what you've seen."
    "Yes sir," said the Cushite, and ran off.
 22 Ahimaaz son of Zadok kept at it, begging Joab, "What does it matter? Let me run, too, following the Cushite."
    Joab said, "Why all this 'Run, run'? You'll get no thanks for it, I can tell you."
 23 "I don't care; let me run."
    "Okay," said Joab, "run." So Ahimaaz ran, taking the lower valley road, and passed the Cushite.
 24-25 David was sitting between the two gates. The sentry had gone up to the top of the gate on the wall and looked around. He saw a solitary runner. The sentry called down and told the king. The king said, "If he's alone, it must be good news!"
 25-26 As the runner came closer, the sentry saw another runner and called down to the gate, "Another runner all by himself."
    And the king said, "This also must be good news."
 27 Then the sentry said, "I can see the first man now; he runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok."
    "He's a good man," said the king. "He's bringing good news for sure."
 28 Then Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, "Peace!" Then he bowed deeply before the king, his face to the ground. "Blessed be your God; he has handed over the men who rebelled against my master the king."
 29 The king asked, "But is the young man Absalom all right?"
    Ahimaaz said, "I saw a huge ruckus just as Joab was sending me off, but I don't know what it was about."
 30 The king said, "Step aside and stand over there." So he stepped aside.
 31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, "Good news, my master and king! God has given victory today over all those who rebelled against you!"
 32 "But," said the king, "is the young man Absalom all right?"
    And the Cushite replied, "Would that all of the enemies of my master the king and all who maliciously rose against you end up like that young man."
 33 The king was stunned. Heartbroken, he went up to the room over the gate and wept. As he wept he cried out,
    O my son Absalom, my dear, dear son Absalom!
   Why not me rather than you, my death and not yours,
   O Absalom, my dear, dear son!

2 Samuel 19

David's Grief for Absalom
 1-4 Joab was told that David was weeping and lamenting over Absalom.    The day's victory turned into a day of mourning as word passed through the army, "David is grieving over his son." The army straggled back to the city that day demoralized, dragging their tails. And the king held his face in his hands and lamented loudly,
    O my son Absalom,
   Absalom my dear, dear son!

 5-7 But in private Joab rebuked the king: "Now you've done it—knocked the wind out of your loyal servants who have just saved your life, to say nothing of the lives of your sons and daughters, wives and concubines. What is this—loving those who hate you and hating those who love you? Your actions give a clear message: officers and soldiers mean nothing to you. You know that if Absalom were alive right now, we'd all be dead—would that make you happy? Get hold of yourself; get out there and put some heart into your servants! I swear to God that if you don't go to them they'll desert; not a soldier will be left here by nightfall. And that will be the worst thing that has happened yet."
 8 So the king came out and took his place at the city gate. Soon everyone knew: "Oh, look! The king has come out to receive us." And his whole army came and presented itself to the king. But the Israelites had fled the field of battle and gone home.
 9-10 Meanwhile, the whole populace was now complaining to its leaders, "Wasn't it the king who saved us time and again from our enemies, and rescued us from the Philistines? And now he has had to flee the country on account of Absalom. And now this Absalom whom we made king is dead in battle. So what are you waiting for? Why don't you bring the king back?"

John 20:1-31 (The Message)

John 20

 1-2 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone was moved away from the entrance. She ran at once to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, breathlessly panting, "They took the Master from the tomb. We don't know where they've put him."  3-10Peter and the other disciple left immediately for the tomb. They ran, neck and neck. The other disciple got to the tomb first, outrunning Peter. Stooping to look in, he saw the pieces of linen cloth lying there, but he didn't go in. Simon Peter arrived after him, entered the tomb, observed the linen cloths lying there, and the kerchief used to cover his head not lying with the linen cloths but separate, neatly folded by itself. Then the other disciple, the one who had gotten there first, went into the tomb, took one look at the evidence, and believed. No one yet knew from the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead. The disciples then went back home.
 11-13But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been laid. They said to her, "Woman, why do you weep?"
 13-14"They took my Master," she said, "and I don't know where they put him." After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize him.
 15Jesus spoke to her, "Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?"
   She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, "Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him."
 16Jesus said, "Mary."
   Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" meaning "Teacher!"
 17Jesus said, "Don't cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.'"
 18Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: "I saw the Master!" And she told them everything he said to her.
To Believe
 19-20Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you." Then he showed them his hands and side.  20-21The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: "Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you."
 22-23Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. "Receive the Holy Spirit," he said. "If you forgive someone's sins, they're gone for good. If you don't forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?"
 24-25But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We saw the Master."
   But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it."
 26Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you."
 27Then he focused his attention on Thomas. "Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don't be unbelieving. Believe."
 28Thomas said, "My Master! My God!"
 29Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."
 30-31Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it.

Psalm 119:153-176 (The Message)

 153-160 Take a good look at my trouble, and help me—
      I haven't forgotten your revelation.
   Take my side and get me out of this;
      give me back my life, just as you promised.
   "Salvation" is only gibberish to the wicked
      because they've never looked it up in your dictionary.
   Your mercies, God, run into the billions;
      following your guidelines, revive me.
   My antagonists are too many to count,
      but I don't swerve from the directions you gave.
   I took one look at the quitters and was filled with loathing;
      they walked away from your promises so casually!
   Take note of how I love what you tell me;
      out of your life of love, prolong my life.
   Your words all add up to the sum total: Truth.
      Your righteous decisions are eternal.

 161-168 I've been slandered unmercifully by the politicians,
      but my awe at your words keeps me stable.
   I'm ecstatic over what you say,
      like one who strikes it rich.
   I hate lies—can't stand them!—
      but I love what you have revealed.
   Seven times each day I stop and shout praises
      for the way you keep everything running right.
   For those who love what you reveal, everything fits—
      no stumbling around in the dark for them.
   I wait expectantly for your salvation;
      God, I do what you tell me.
   My soul guards and keeps all your instructions—
      oh, how much I love them!
   I follow your directions, abide by your counsel;
      my life's an open book before you.

 169-176 Let my cry come right into your presence, God;
      provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
   Give my request your personal attention,
      rescue me on the terms of your promise.
   Let praise cascade off my lips;
      after all, you've taught me the truth about life!
   And let your promises ring from my tongue;
      every order you've given is right.
   Put your hand out and steady me
      since I've chosen to live by your counsel.
   I'm homesick, God, for your salvation;
      I love it when you show yourself!
   Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well,
      use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
   And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
      I'll recognize the sound of your voice.

Proverbs 16:14-15 (The Message)

 14 An intemperate leader wreaks havoc in lives;
   you're smart to stay clear of someone like that.

 15 Good-tempered leaders invigorate lives;
   they're like spring rain and sunshine.

Verse of the Day
“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.” - Revelation 21: 2-4
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version

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