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, August 15, 2016

Bible Readings for August 15, 2016

Today our passages are Nehemiah 9:22–10:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19–10:13; Psalm 34:1-10; and Proverbs 21:13. 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.

Nehemiah 9:22-10:39 (The Message)

 20-23 You gave them your good Spirit
   to teach them to live wisely. You never stinted with your manna,
   gave them plenty of water to drink. You supported them forty years in that desert;
   they had everything they needed; Their clothes didn't wear out
   and their feet never blistered. You gave them kingdoms and peoples,
   establishing generous boundaries. They took over the country of Sihon king of Heshbon
   and the country of Og king of Bashan. You multiplied children for them,
   rivaling the stars in the night skies, And you brought them into the land
   that you promised their ancestors
   they would get and own.

 24-25 Well, they entered all right,
   they took it and settled in. The Canaanites who lived there
   you brought to their knees before them. You turned over their land, kings, and peoples
   to do with as they pleased. They took strong cities and fertile fields,
   they took over well-furnished houses, Cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
   and lush, extensive orchards. And they ate, grew fat on the fat of the land;
   they reveled in your bountiful goodness.

 26-31 But then they mutinied, rebelled against you,
   threw out your laws and killed your prophets, The very prophets who tried to get them back on your side—
   and then things went from bad to worse. You turned them over to their enemies,
   who made life rough for them. But when they called out for help in their troubles
   you listened from heaven; And in keeping with your bottomless compassion
   you gave them saviors: Saviors who saved them
   from the cruel abuse of their enemies. But as soon as they had it easy again
   they were right back at it—more evil. So you turned away and left them again to their fate,
   to the enemies who came right back. They cried out to you again; in your great compassion
   you heard and helped them again.
   This went on over and over and over. You warned them to return to your Revelation,
   they responded with haughty arrogance: They flouted your commands, spurned your rules
   —the very words by which men and women live! They set their jaws in defiance,
   they turned their backs on you and didn't listen. You put up with them year after year
   and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; But when they refused to listen
   you abandoned them to foreigners. Still, because of your great compassion,
   you didn't make a total end to them. You didn't walk out and leave them for good;
   yes, you are a God of grace and compassion.

 32-37 And now, our God, the great God,
   God majestic and terrible, loyal in covenant and love, Don't treat lightly the trouble that has come to us,
   to our kings and princes, our priests and prophets, Our ancestors, and all your people from the time
   of the Assyrian kings right down to today. You are not to blame
   for all that has come down on us; You did everything right,
   we did everything wrong. None of our kings, princes, priests, or ancestors
   followed your Revelation; They ignored your commands,
   dismissed the warnings you gave them. Even when they had their own kingdom
   and were enjoying your generous goodness, Living in that spacious and fertile land
   that you spread out before them, They didn't serve you
   or turn their backs on the practice of evil. And here we are, slaves again today;
   and here's the land you gave our ancestors So they could eat well and enjoy a good life,
   and now look at us—no better than slaves on this land. Its wonderful crops go to the kings
   you put over us because of our sins; They act like they own our bodies
   and do whatever they like with our cattle.
   We're in deep trouble.

 38 "Because of all this we are drawing up a binding pledge, a sealed document signed by our princes, our Levites, and our priests."

Nehemiah 10

 1-8 The sealed document bore these signatures: Nehemiah the governor, son of Hacaliah, Zedekiah, Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,    Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,
    Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,
   Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,
   Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,
   Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,
   Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah.
These were the priests.

 9-13 The Levites:
   Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel,
   and their kinsmen: Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,
   Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,
   Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,
   Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.
 14-27 The heads of the people:
   Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,
   Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,
   Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,
   Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,
   Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,
   Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,
   Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,
   Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,
   Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,
   Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,
   Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,
   Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,
   Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,
   Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.
 28-30 The rest of the people, priests, Levites, security guards, singers, Temple staff, and all who separated themselves from the foreign neighbors to keep The Revelation of God, together with their wives, sons, daughters—everyone old enough to understand—all joined their noble kinsmen in a binding oath to follow The Revelation of God given through Moses the servant of God, to keep and carry out all the commandments of God our Master, all his decisions and standards. Thus:
   We will not marry our daughters to our foreign neighbors nor let our sons marry their daughters.
 31 When the foreign neighbors bring goods or grain to sell on the Sabbath we won't trade with them—not on the Sabbath or any other holy day.
   Every seventh year we will leave the land fallow and cancel all debts.
 32-33 We accept the responsibility for paying an annual tax of one-third of a shekel (about an eighth ounce) for providing The Temple of our God with
   bread for the Table
   regular Grain-Offerings
   regular Whole-Burnt-Offerings
   offerings for the Sabbaths, New Moons, and appointed feasts
   Absolution-Offerings to atone for Israel
   maintenance of The Temple of our God.
 34 We—priests, Levites, and the people—have cast lots to see when each of our families will bring wood for burning on the Altar of our God, following the yearly schedule set down in The Revelation.
 35-36 We take responsibility for delivering annually to The Temple of God the firstfruits of our crops and our orchards, our firstborn sons and cattle, and the firstborn from our herds and flocks for the priests who serve in The Temple of our God—just as it is set down in The Revelation.
 37-39 We will bring the best of our grain, of our contributions, of the fruit of every tree, of wine, and of oil to the priests in the storerooms of The Temple of our God.
    We will bring the tithes from our fields to the Levites, since the Levites are appointed to collect the tithes in the towns where we work. We'll see to it that a priest descended from Aaron will supervise the Levites as they collect the tithes and make sure that they take a tenth of the tithes to the treasury in The Temple of our God. We'll see to it that the People of Israel and Levites bring the grain, wine, and oil to the storage rooms where the vessels of the Sanctuary are kept and where the priests who serve, the security guards, and the choir meet.
    We will not neglect The Temple of our God.

1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13 (The Message)

 19-23Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!
 24-25You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.
 26-27I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

1 Corinthians 10

 1-5Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God's fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God's wonder and grace didn't seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.  6-10The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—"First the people partied, then they threw a dance." We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.
 11-12These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don't repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence.
 13No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.

Psalm 34:1-10 (The Message)

Psalm 34

 1 I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.

 2 I live and breathe God;
   if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy:

 3 Join me in spreading the news;
   together let's get the word out.

 4 God met me more than halfway,
   he freed me from my anxious fears.

 5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
   Never hide your feelings from him.

 6 When I was desperate, I called out,
   and God got me out of a tight spot.

 7 God's angel sets up a circle
   of protection around us while we pray.

 8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
         how good God is.
   Blessed are you who run to him.

 9 Worship God if you want the best;
   worship opens doors to all his goodness.

 10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
   but God-seekers are full of God.


Proverbs 21:13 (The Message)

 13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor,
   your cries will go unheard, unanswered.

Verse of the Day
“Whether we live or die, it must be for the Lord. Alive or dead, we still belong to the Lord.” - Romans 14:8
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day
French writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pioneering aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

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