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 27, 2016

Bible Readings for June 27, 2016

Today our passages are 2 Kings 10:32–12:21; Acts 18:1-22; Psalm 145:1-21; and Proverbs 18:1. 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 10:32-12:21 (The Message)

 32-33 It was about this time that God began to shrink Israel. Hazael hacked away at the borders of Israel from the Jordan to the east—all the territory of Gilead, Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh from Aroer near the Brook Arnon. In effect, all Gilead and Bashan.
 34-36 The rest of the life and times of Jehu, his accomplishments and fame, are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Jehu died and was buried in the family plot in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz was the next king. Jehu ruled Israel from Samaria for twenty-eight years.

2 Kings 11

Athaliah of Judah
 1-3Athaliah was the mother of Ahaziah. When she saw that her son was dead, she took over. She began by massacring the entire royal family. But Jehosheba, daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah's son Joash and kidnapped him from among the king's sons slated for slaughter. She hid him and his nurse in a private room away from Athaliah. He didn't get killed. He was there with her, hidden away for six years in The Temple of God. Athaliah, oblivious to his existence, ruled the country.  4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the captains of the bodyguards and the Palace Security Force. They met him in The Temple of God. He made a covenant with them, swore them to secrecy, and only then showed them the young prince.
 5-8 Then he commanded them, "These are your instructions: Those of you who come on duty on the Sabbath and guard the palace, and those of you who go off duty on the Sabbath and guard The Temple of God, are to join forces at the time of the changing of the guard and form a ring around the young king, weapons at the ready. Kill anyone who tries to break through your ranks. Your job is to stay with the king at all times and places, coming and going."
 9-11 The captains obeyed the orders of Jehoiada the priest. Each took his men, those who came on duty on the Sabbath and those who went off duty on the Sabbath, and presented them to Jehoiada the priest. The priest armed the officers with spears and shields originally belonging to King David, stored in The Temple of God. Well-armed, the guards took up their assigned positions for protecting the king, from one end of The Temple to the other, surrounding both Altar and Temple.
 12 Then the priest brought the prince into view, crowned him, handed him the scroll of God's covenant, and made him king. As they anointed him, everyone applauded and shouted, "Long live the king!"
 13-14 Athaliah heard the shouting of guards and people and came to the crowd gathered at The Temple of God. Astonished, she saw the king standing beside the throne, flanked by the captains and heralds, with everybody beside themselves with joy, trumpets blaring. Athaliah ripped her robes in dismay and shouted, "Treason! Treason!"
 15-16 Jehoiada the priest ordered the military officers, "Drag her outside and kill anyone who tries to follow her!" (The priest had said, "Don't kill her inside The Temple of God.") So they dragged her out to the palace's horse corral; there they killed her.
 17 Jehoiada now made a covenant between God and the king and the people: They were God's people. Another covenant was made between the king and the people.
 18-20 The people poured into the temple of Baal and tore it down, smashing altar and images to smithereens. They killed Mattan the priest in front of the altar.
    Jehoiada then stationed sentries in The Temple of God. He arranged for the officers of the bodyguard and the palace security, along with the people themselves, to escort the king down from The Temple of God through the Gate of the Guards and into the palace. There he sat on the royal throne. Everybody celebrated the event. And the city was safe and undisturbed—they had killed Athaliah with the royal sword.
 21 Joash was seven years old when he became king.

2 Kings 12

Joash of Judah
 1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash began his kingly rule. He was king for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Gazelle. She was from Beersheba.  2-3 Taught and trained by Jehoiada the priest, Joash did what pleased God for as long as he lived. (Even so, he didn't get rid of the sacred fertility shrines—people still frequented them, sacrificing and burning incense.)
 4-5 Joash instructed the priests: "Take the money that is brought into The Temple of God for holy offerings—both mandatory offerings and freewill offerings—and, keeping a careful accounting, use them to renovate The Temple wherever it has fallen into disrepair."
 6 But by the twenty-third year of Joash's rule, the priests hadn't done one thing—The Temple was as dilapidated as ever.
 7 King Joash called Jehoiada the priest and the company of priests and said, "Why haven't you renovated this sorry-looking Temple? You are forbidden to take any more money for Temple repairs—from now on, hand over everything you get."
 8 The priests agreed not to take any more money or to be involved in The Temple renovation.
 9-16 Then Jehoiada took a single chest and bored a hole in the lid and placed it to the right of the main entrance into The Temple of God. All the offerings that were brought to The Temple of God were placed in the chest by the priests who guarded the entrance. When they saw that a large sum of money had accumulated in the chest, the king's secretary and the chief priest would empty the chest and count the offerings. They would give the money accounted for to the managers of The Temple project; they in turn would pay the carpenters, construction workers, masons, stoneworkers, and the buyers of timber and quarried stone for the repair and renovation of The Temple of God—any expenses connected with fixing up The Temple. But none of the money brought into The Temple of God was used for liturgical "extras" (silver chalices, candle snuffers, trumpets, various gold and silver vessels, etc.). It was given to the workmen to pay for their repairing God's Temple. And no one even had to check on the men who handled the money given for the project—they were honest men. Offerings designated for Compensation Offerings and Absolution Offerings didn't go into the building project—those went directly to the priests.
 17-18 Around this time Hazael king of Aram ventured out and attacked Gath, and he captured it. Then he decided to try for Jerusalem. Joash king of Judah countered by gathering up all the sacred memorials—gifts dedicated for holy use by his ancestors, the kings of Judah, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, along with the holy memorials he himself had received, plus all the gold that he could find in the temple and palace storerooms—and sent it to Hazael king of Aram. Appeased, Hazael went on his way and didn't bother Jerusalem.
 19-21 The rest of the life and times of Joash and all that he did are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. At the last his palace staff formed a conspiracy and assassinated Joash as he was strolling along the ramp of the fortified outside city wall. Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer were the assassins. And so Joash died and was buried in the family plot in the City of David. His son Amaziah was king after him.

Acts 18:1-22 (The Message)

Acts 18

 1-4After Athens, Paul went to Corinth. That is where he discovered Aquila, a Jew born in Pontus, and his wife, Priscilla. They had just arrived from Italy, part of the general expulsion of Jews from Rome ordered by Claudius. Paul moved in with them, and they worked together at their common trade of tentmaking. But every Sabbath he was at the meeting place, doing his best to convince both Jews and Greeks about Jesus.  5-6When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was able to give all his time to preaching and teaching, doing everything he could to persuade the Jews that Jesus was in fact God's Messiah. But no such luck. All they did was argue contentiously and contradict him at every turn. Totally exasperated, Paul had finally had it with them and gave it up as a bad job. "Have it your way, then," he said. "You've made your bed; now lie in it. From now on I'm spending my time with the other nations."
 7-8He walked out and went to the home of Titius Justus, a God-fearing man who lived right next to the Jews' meeting place. But Paul's efforts with the Jews weren't a total loss, for Crispus, the meeting-place president, put his trust in the Master. His entire family believed with him.
 8-11In the course of listening to Paul, a great many Corinthians believed and were baptized. One night the Master spoke to Paul in a dream: "Keep it up, and don't let anyone intimidate or silence you. No matter what happens, I'm with you and no one is going to be able to hurt you. You have no idea how many people I have on my side in this city." That was all he needed to stick it out. He stayed another year and a half, faithfully teaching the Word of God to the Corinthians.
 12-13But when Gallio was governor of Achaia province, the Jews got up a campaign against Paul, hauled him into court, and filed charges: "This man is seducing people into acts of worship that are illegal."
 14-16Just as Paul was about to defend himself, Gallio interrupted and said to the Jews, "If this was a matter of criminal conduct, I would gladly hear you out. But it sounds to me like one more Jewish squabble, another of your endless hairsplitting quarrels over religion. Take care of it on your own time. I can't be bothered with this nonsense," and he cleared them out of the courtroom.
 17Now the street rabble turned on Sosthenes, the new meeting-place president, and beat him up in plain sight of the court. Gallio didn't raise a finger. He could not have cared less.
 18Paul stayed a while longer in Corinth, but then it was time to take leave of his friends. Saying his good-byes, he sailed for Syria, Priscilla and Aquila with him. Before boarding the ship in the harbor town of Cenchrea, he had his head shaved as part of a vow he had taken.  19-21They landed in Ephesus, where Priscilla and Aquila got off and stayed. Paul left the ship briefly to go to the meeting place and preach to the Jews. They wanted him to stay longer, but he said he couldn't. But after saying good-bye, he promised, "I'll be back, God willing."
 21-22From Ephesus he sailed to Caesarea. He greeted the church there, and then went on to Antioch, completing the journey.

Psalm 145:1-21 (The Message)

Psalm 145

David's Praise
 1 I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King! and I'll bless your name into eternity.

 2 I'll bless you every day,
      and keep it up from now to eternity.
 3 God is magnificent; he can never be praised enough.
      There are no boundaries to his greatness.
 4 Generation after generation stands in awe of your work;
      each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
 5 Your beauty and splendor have everyone talking;
      I compose songs on your wonders.
 6 Your marvelous doings are headline news;
      I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.
 7 The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
      your righteousness is on everyone's lips.

 8 God is all mercy and grace—
      not quick to anger, is rich in love.

 9 God is good to one and all;
      everything he does is suffused with grace.

 10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God;
      your holy people bless you.
   They talk about the glories of your rule,
      they exclaim over your splendor,

 12 Letting the world know of your power for good,
      the lavish splendor of your kingdom.

 13 Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal;
      you never get voted out of office.

   God always does what he says,
      and is gracious in everything he does.

 14 God gives a hand to those down on their luck,
      gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.

 15 All eyes are on you, expectant;
      you give them their meals on time.

 16 Generous to a fault,
      you lavish your favor on all creatures.

 17 Everything God does is right—
      the trademark on all his works is love.

 18 God's there, listening for all who pray,
      for all who pray and mean it.

 19 He does what's best for those who fear him—
      hears them call out, and saves them.

 20 God sticks by all who love him,
      but it's all over for those who don't.

 21 My mouth is filled with God's praise.
      Let everything living bless him,
      bless his holy name from now to eternity!

Proverbs 18:1 (The Message)

Proverbs 18

Words Kill, Words Give Life
 1 Loners who care only for themselves spit on the common good.

Verse of the Day
“If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it.” - Matthew 16:25
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

A woman with full dark hair and wearing a long dark dress, her face in partial profile, sits in a simple wooden chair. A locket hangs from a slender chain around her neck; in her hands is a magnolia, its large white flower surrounded by dark leaves.
Thought for the Day

American author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Keller wrote, “Every optimist moves along with progress and hastens it, while every pessimist would keep the world at a standstill. The consequence of pessimism in the life of a nation is the same as in the life of the individual. Pessimism kills the instinct that urges men to struggle against poverty, ignorance and crime, and dries up all the fountains of joy in the world.”

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