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, June 20, 2016

Bible Readings for June 20, 2016

Today our passages are 1 Kings 22:1-53; Acts 13:16-41; Psalm 138:1-8; and Proverbs 17:17-18. 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 Kings 22:1-53 (The Message)

1 Kings 22

 1-3 They enjoyed three years of peace—no fighting between Aram and Israel. In the third year, Jehoshaphat king of Judah had a meeting with the king of Israel. Israel's king remarked to his aides, "Do you realize that Ramoth Gilead belongs to us, and we're sitting around on our hands instead of taking it back from the king of Aram?"  4-5 He turned to Jehoshaphat and said, "Will you join me in fighting for Ramoth Gilead?"
    Jehoshaphat said, "You bet. I'm with you all the way—my troops are your troops, my horses are your horses." He then continued, "But before you do anything, ask God for guidance."
 6 The king of Israel got the prophets together—all four hundred of them —and put the question to them: "Should I attack Ramoth Gilead? Or should I hold back?"
    "Go for it," they said. "God will hand it over to the king."
 7 But Jehoshaphat dragged his heels: "Is there still another prophet of God around here we can consult?"
 8 The king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, "As a matter of fact, there is still one such man. But I hate him. He never preaches anything good to me, only doom, doom, doom—Micaiah son of Imlah."
    "The king shouldn't talk about a prophet like that," said Jehoshaphat.
 9 So the king of Israel ordered one of his men, "On the double! Get Micaiah son of Imlah."
 10-12 Meanwhile, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat were seated on their thrones, dressed in their royal robes, resplendent in front of the Samaria city gates. All the prophets were staging a prophecy-performance for their benefit. Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had even made a set of iron horns, and brandishing them called out, "God's word! With these horns you'll gore Aram until there's nothing left of him!" All the prophets chimed in, "Yes! Go for Ramoth Gilead! An easy victory! God's gift to the king!"
 13 The messenger who went to get Micaiah said, "The prophets have all said Yes to the king. Make it unanimous—vote Yes!"
 14 But Micaiah said, "As surely as God lives, what God says, I'll say."
 15 With Micaiah before him, the king asked him, "So Micaiah—do we attack Ramoth Gilead, or do we hold back?"
    "Go ahead," he said. "An easy victory. God's gift to the king."
 16 "Not so fast," said the king. "How many times have I made you promise under oath to tell me the truth and nothing but the truth?"
 17 "All right," said Micaiah, "since you insist.
    I saw all of Israel scattered over the hills,
      sheep with no shepherd.
   Then God spoke: 'These poor people
      have no one to tell them what to do.
   Let them go home and do
      the best they can for themselves.'"

 18 Then the king of Israel turned to Jehoshaphat, "See! What did I tell you? He never has a good word for me from God, only doom."
 19-23 Micaiah kept on: "I'm not done yet; listen to God's word:
    I saw God enthroned,
      and all the angel armies of heaven
   Standing at attention
      ranged on his right and his left.
   And God said, 'How can we seduce Ahab
      into attacking Ramoth Gilead?'
   Some said this,
      and some said that.
   Then a bold angel stepped out,
      stood before God, and said,
   'I'll seduce him.'
      'And how will you do it?' said God.
   'Easy,' said the angel,
      'I'll get all the prophets to lie.'
   'That should do it,' said God.
      'On your way—seduce him!'
"And that's what has happened. God filled the mouths of your puppet prophets with seductive lies. God has pronounced your doom."

 24 Just then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah came up and punched Micaiah in the nose, saying, "Since when did the Spirit of God leave me and take up with you?"
 25 Micaiah said, "You'll know soon enough; you'll know it when you're frantically and futilely looking for a place to hide."
 26-27 The king of Israel had heard enough: "Get Micaiah out of here! Turn him over to Amon the city magistrate and to Joash the king's son with this message, 'King's orders: Lock him up in jail; keep him on bread and water until I'm back in one piece.'"
 28 Micaiah said, "If you ever get back in one piece, I'm no prophet of God."
    He added,"When it happens, O people, remember where you heard it!"
 29-30 The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah attacked Ramoth Gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Wear my kingly robe; I'm going into battle disguised." So the king of Israel entered the battle in disguise.
 31 Meanwhile, the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders (there were thirty-two of them): "Don't bother with anyone, whether small or great; go after the king of Israel and him only."
 32-33 When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat they said, "There he is! The king of Israel!" and took after him. Jehoshaphat yelled out, and the chariot commanders realized they had the wrong man—it wasn't the king of Israel after all. They let him go.
 34 Just then someone, without aiming, shot an arrow randomly into the crowd and hit the king of Israel in the chink of his armor. The king told his charioteer, "Turn back! Get me out of here—I'm wounded."
 35-37 All day the fighting continued, hot and heavy. Propped up in his chariot, the king watched from the sidelines. He died that evening. Blood from his wound pooled in the chariot. As the sun went down, shouts reverberated through the ranks, "Abandon camp! Head for home! The king is dead!"
 37-38 The king was brought to Samaria and there they buried him. They washed down the chariot at the pool of Samaria where the town whores bathed, and the dogs lapped up the blood, just as God's word had said.
 39-40 The rest of Ahab's life—everything he did, the ivory palace he built, the towns he founded, and the defense system he built up—is all written up in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. He was buried in the family cemetery and his son Ahaziah was the next king.
Jehoshaphat of Judah
41-44 Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king and he ruled for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. He continued the kind of life characteristic of his father Asa—no detours, no dead ends—pleasing God with his life. But he failed to get rid of the neighborhood sex-and-religion shrines. People continued to pray and worship at these idolatrous shrines. And he kept on good terms with the king of Israel.  45-46 The rest of Jehoshaphat's life, his achievements and his battles, is all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. Also, he got rid of the sacred prostitutes left over from the days of his father Asa.
 47 Edom was kingless during his reign; a deputy was in charge.
 48-49 Jehoshaphat built ocean-going ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But they never made it; they shipwrecked at Ezion Geber. During that time Ahaziah son of Ahab proposed a joint shipping venture, but Jehoshaphat wouldn't go in with him.
 50 Then Jehoshaphat died and was buried in the family cemetery in the City of David his ancestor. Jehoram his son was the next king.
Ahaziah of Israel
51-53 Ahaziah son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. He ruled Israel for two years. As far as God was concerned, he lived an evil life, reproducing the bad life of his father and mother, repeating the pattern set down by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin. Worshiping at the Baal shrines, he made God, the God of Israel, angry, oh, so angry. If anything, he was worse than his father.


Acts 13:16-41 (The Message)

 16-20Paul stood up, paused and took a deep breath, then said, "Fellow Israelites and friends of God, listen. God took a special interest in our ancestors, pulled our people who were beaten down in Egyptian exile to their feet, and led them out of there in grand style. He took good care of them for nearly forty years in that godforsaken wilderness and then, having wiped out seven enemies who stood in the way, gave them the land of Canaan for their very own—a span in all of about 450 years.
 20-22"Up to the time of Samuel the prophet, God provided judges to lead them. But then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul, son of Kish, out of the tribe of Benjamin. After Saul had ruled forty years, God removed him from office and put King David in his place, with this commendation: 'I've searched the land and found this David, son of Jesse. He's a man whose heart beats to my heart, a man who will do what I tell him.'
 23-25"From out of David's descendants God produced a Savior for Israel, Jesus, exactly as he promised—but only after John had thoroughly alerted the people to his arrival by preparing them for a total life-change. As John was finishing up his work, he said, 'Did you think I was the One? No, I'm not the One. But the One you've been waiting for all these years is just around the corner, about to appear. And I'm about to disappear.'
 26-29"Dear brothers and sisters, children of Abraham, and friends of God, this message of salvation has been precisely targeted to you. The citizens and rulers in Jerusalem didn't recognize who he was and condemned him to death. They couldn't find a good reason, but demanded that Pilate execute him anyway. They did just what the prophets said they would do, but had no idea they were following to the letter the script of the prophets, even though those same prophets are read every Sabbath in their meeting places.
 29-31"After they had done everything the prophets said they would do, they took him down from the cross and buried him. And then God raised him from death. There is no disputing that—he appeared over and over again many times and places to those who had known him well in the Galilean years, and these same people continue to give witness that he is alive.
 32-35"And we're here today bringing you good news: the Message that what God promised the fathers has come true for the children—for us! He raised Jesus, exactly as described in the second Psalm:

   My Son! My very own Son!
   Today I celebrate you!
"When he raised him from the dead, he did it for good—no going back to that rot and decay for him. That's why Isaiah said, 'I'll give to all of you David's guaranteed blessings.' So also the psalmist's prayer: 'You'll never let your Holy One see death's rot and decay.'

 36-39"David, of course, having completed the work God set out for him, has been in the grave, dust and ashes, a long time now. But the One God raised up—no dust and ashes for him! I want you to know, my very dear friends, that it is on account of this resurrected Jesus that the forgiveness of your sins can be promised. He accomplishes, in those who believe, everything that the Law of Moses could never make good on. But everyone who believes in this raised-up Jesus is declared good and right and whole before God.
 40-41"Don't take this lightly. You don't want the prophet's sermon to describe you:

   Watch out, cynics;
   Look hard—watch your world fall to pieces.
   I'm doing something right before your eyes
   That you won't believe, though it's staring you in the face."

Psalm 138:1-8 (The Message)

Psalm 138

A David Psalm
 1-3 Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!" Angels listen as I sing my thanks.
   I kneel in worship facing your holy temple
      and say it again: "Thank you!"
   Thank you for your love,
      thank you for your faithfulness;
   Most holy is your name,
      most holy is your Word.
   The moment I called out, you stepped in;
      you made my life large with strength.

 4-6 When they hear what you have to say, God,
      all earth's kings will say "Thank you."
   They'll sing of what you've done:
      "How great the glory of God!"
   And here's why: God, high above, sees far below;
      no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.

 7-8 When I walk into the thick of trouble,
      keep me alive in the angry turmoil.
   With one hand
      strike my foes,
   With your other hand
      save me.
   Finish what you started in me, God.
      Your love is eternal—don't quit on me now.


Proverbs 17:17-18 (The Message)

One Who Knows Much Says Little
 17 Friends love through all kinds of weather,
   and families stick together in all kinds of trouble.

 18 It's stupid to try to get something for nothing,
   or run up huge bills you can never pay.

Verse of the Day
“What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?” - Mark 8:36
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known for being the multi-tasking leader and co-founder of the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson wrote, “All of us have the privilege of making music that helps and heals — to make music that makes people happier, stronger and kinder. Don't forget: music is God's voice.”

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