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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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Bible Readings for June 21, 2016

Today our passages are 1 Kings 1:1–2:25; Acts 13:42–14:7; Psalm 139:1-24; and Proverbs 17:19-21. 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 Kings 1-2:25 (The Message)

2 Kings 1

 1After Ahab died, Moab rebelled against Israel.  2 One day Ahaziah fell through the balcony railing on the rooftop of his house in Samaria and was injured. He sent messengers off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, "Am I going to recover from this accident?" 3-4 God's angel spoke to Elijah the Tishbite: "Up on your feet! Go out and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria with this word, 'Is it because there's no God in Israel that you're running off to consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron?' Here's a message from the God you've tried to bypass: 'You're not going to get out of that bed you're in—you're as good as dead already.'" Elijah delivered the message and was gone.
 5 The messengers went back. The king said, "So why are you back so soon—what's going on?"
 6 They told him, "A man met us and said, 'Turn around and go back to the king who sent you; tell him, God's message: Is it because there's no God in Israel that you're running off to consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron? You needn't bother. You're not going to get out of that bed you're in—you're as good as dead already.'"
 7 The king said, "Tell me more about this man who met you and said these things to you. What was he like?"
 8 "Shaggy," they said, "and wearing a leather belt."
    He said, "That has to be Elijah the Tishbite!"
 9 The king sent a captain with fifty men to Elijah. Meanwhile Elijah was sitting, big as life, on top of a hill. The captain said, "O Holy Man! King's orders: Come down!"
 10 Elijah answered the captain of the fifty, "If it's true that I'm a 'holy man,' lightning strike you and your fifty men!" Out of the blue lightning struck and incinerated the captain and his fifty.
 11 The king sent another captain with his fifty men, "O Holy Man! King's orders: Come down. And right now!"
 12 Elijah answered, "If it's true that I'm a 'holy man,' lightning strike you and your fifty men!" Immediately a divine lightning bolt struck and incinerated the captain and his fifty.
 13-14 The king then sent a third captain with his fifty men. For a third time, a captain with his fifty approached Elijah. This one fell on his knees in supplication: "O Holy Man, have respect for my life and the souls of these fifty men! Twice now lightning from out of the blue has struck and incinerated captains with their fifty men; please, I beg you, respect my life!"
 15 The angel of God told Elijah, "Go ahead; and don't be afraid." Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.
 16 Elijah told him, "God's word: Because you sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub the god of Ekron, as if there were no God in Israel to whom you could pray, you'll never get out of that bed alive—already you're as good as dead."
 17 And he died, exactly as God's word spoken by Elijah had said.
    Because Ahaziah had no son, his brother Joram became the next king. The succession took place in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.
 18 The rest of Ahaziah's life is recorded in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

2 Kings 2

 1-2 Just before God took Elijah to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on a walk out of Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here. God has sent me on an errand to Bethel."     Elisha said, "Not on your life! I'm not letting you out of my sight!" So they both went to Bethel.
 3 The guild of prophets at Bethel met Elisha and said, "Did you know that God is going to take your master away from you today?"
    "Yes," he said, "I know it. But keep it quiet."
 4 Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here. God has sent me on an errand to Jericho."
    Elisha said, "Not on your life! I'm not letting you out of my sight!" So they both went to Jericho.
 5 The guild of prophets at Jericho came to Elisha and said, "Did you know that God is going to take your master away from you today?"
    "Yes," he said, "I know it. But keep it quiet."
 6 Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here. God has sent me on an errand to the Jordan."
    Elisha said, "Not on your life! I'm not letting you out of my sight!" And so the two of them went their way together.
 7 Meanwhile, fifty men from the guild of prophets gathered some distance away while the two of them stood at the Jordan.
 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up, and hit the water with it. The river divided and the two men walked through on dry land.
 9 When they reached the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, "What can I do for you before I'm taken from you? Ask anything."
    Elisha said, "Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you."
 10 "That's a hard one!" said Elijah. "But if you're watching when I'm taken from you, you'll get what you've asked for. But only if you're watching."
 11-14 And so it happened. They were walking along and talking. Suddenly a chariot and horses of fire came between them and Elijah went up in a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it all and shouted, "My father, my father! You—the chariot and cavalry of Israel!" When he could no longer see anything, he grabbed his robe and ripped it to pieces. Then he picked up Elijah's cloak that had fallen from him, returned to the shore of the Jordan, and stood there. He took Elijah's cloak—all that was left of Elijah!—and hit the river with it, saying, "Now where is the God of Elijah? Where is he?"
    When he struck the water, the river divided and Elisha walked through.
 15 The guild of prophets from Jericho saw the whole thing from where they were standing. They said, "The spirit of Elijah lives in Elisha!" They welcomed and honored him.
 16 They then said, "We're at your service. We have fifty reliable men here; let's send them out to look for your master. Maybe God's spirit has swept him off to some mountain or dropped him into a remote ravine."
    Elisha said, "No. Don't send them."
 17 But they pestered him until he caved in: "Go ahead then. Send them."
    So they sent the fifty men off. For three days they looked, searching high and low. Nothing.
 18 Finally, they returned to Elisha in Jericho. He told them, "So there— didn't I tell you?"
 19 One day the men of the city said to Elisha, "You can see for yourself, master, how well our city is located. But the water is polluted and nothing grows."
 20 He said, "Bring me a brand-new bowl and put some salt in it." They brought it to him.
 21-22 He then went to the spring, sprinkled the salt into it, and proclaimed, "God's word: I've healed this water. It will no longer kill you or poison your land." And sure enough, the water was healed—and remains so to this day, just as Elisha said.
 23 Another time, Elisha was on his way to Bethel and some little kids came out from the town and taunted him, "What's up, old baldhead! Out of our way, skinhead!"
 24 Elisha turned, took one look at them, and cursed them in the name of God. Two bears charged out of the underbrush and knocked them about, ripping them limb from limb—forty-two children in all!
 25 Elisha went on to Mount Carmel, and then returned to Samaria.

Acts 13:42-14:7 (The Message)

 42-43When the service was over, Paul and Barnabas were invited back to preach again the next Sabbath. As the meeting broke up, a good many Jews and converts to Judaism went along with Paul and Barnabas, who urged them in long conversations to stick with what they'd started, this living in and by God's grace.
 44-45When the next Sabbath came around, practically the whole city showed up to hear the Word of God. Some of the Jews, seeing the crowds, went wild with jealousy and tore into Paul, contradicting everything he was saying, making an ugly scene.
 46-47But Paul and Barnabas didn't back down. Standing their ground they said, "It was required that God's Word be spoken first of all to you, the Jews. But seeing that you want no part of it—you've made it quite clear that you have no taste or inclination for eternal life—the door is open to all the outsiders. And we're on our way through it, following orders, doing what God commanded when he said,

   I've set you up
      as light to all nations.
   You'll proclaim salvation
      to the four winds and seven seas!"

 48-49When the non-Jewish outsiders heard this, they could hardly believe their good fortune. All who were marked out for real life put their trust in God—they honored God's Word by receiving that life. And this Message of salvation spread like wildfire all through the region.
 50-52Some of the Jews convinced the most respected women and leading men of the town that their precious way of life was about to be destroyed. Alarmed, they turned on Paul and Barnabas and forced them to leave. Paul and Barnabas shrugged their shoulders and went on to the next town, Iconium, brimming with joy and the Holy Spirit, two happy disciples.

Acts 14

 1-3 When they got to Iconium they went, as they always did, to the meeting place of the Jews and gave their message. The Message convinced both Jews and non-Jews—and not just a few, either. But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street. The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God's gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders.  4-7But then there was a split in public opinion, some siding with the Jews, some with the apostles. One day, learning that both the Jews and non-Jews had been organized by their leaders to beat them up, they escaped as best they could to the next towns—Lyconia, Lystra, Derbe, and that neighborhood—but then were right back at it again, getting out the Message.

Psalm 139:1-24 (The Message)

Psalm 139

A David Psalm
 1-6 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand.
   I'm an open book to you;
      even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking.
   You know when I leave and when I get back;
      I'm never out of your sight.
   You know everything I'm going to say
      before I start the first sentence.
   I look behind me and you're there,
      then up ahead and you're there, too—
      your reassuring presence, coming and going.
   This is too much, too wonderful—
      I can't take it all in!

 7-12 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
      to be out of your sight?
   If I climb to the sky, you're there!
      If I go underground, you're there!
   If I flew on morning's wings
      to the far western horizon,
   You'd find me in a minute—
      you're already there waiting!
   Then I said to myself, "Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
      At night I'm immersed in the light!"
   It's a fact: darkness isn't dark to you;
      night and day, darkness and light, they're all the same to you.

 13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother's womb.
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
      how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
      all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
   The days of my life all prepared
      before I'd even lived one day.

 17-22 Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
      God, I'll never comprehend them!
   I couldn't even begin to count them—
      any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
   Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
      And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
   And you murderers—out of here!—
      all the men and women who belittle you, God,
      infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
   See how I hate those who hate you, God,
      see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
   I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
      Your enemies are my enemies!

 23-24 Investigate my life, O God,
      find out everything about me;
   Cross-examine and test me,
      get a clear picture of what I'm about;
   See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong—
      then guide me on the road to eternal life.


Proverbs 17:19-21 (The Message)

 19 The person who courts sin marries trouble;
   build a wall, invite a burglar.

 20 A bad motive can't achieve a good end;
   double-talk brings you double trouble.

 21 Having a fool for a child is misery;
   it's no fun being the parent of a dolt.

Verse of the Day
“[The LORD Is My Fortress]Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.” - Psalm 91:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Sir Winston S Churchill.jpg
Thought for the Day
British statesman who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955, Winston Churchill wrote, “I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.”

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