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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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bible Readings for August 3, 2016

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 33:14–34:33; Romans 16:8-27; Psalm 26:1-12; and Proverbs 20:19. 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 Chronicles 33:14-34:33 (The Message)

 14-17 After that Manasseh rebuilt the outside defensive wall of the City of David to the west of the Gihon spring in the valley. It went from the Fish Gate and around the hill of Ophel. He also increased its height. He tightened up the defense system by posting army captains in all the fortress cities of Judah. He also did a good spring cleaning on The Temple, carting out the pagan idols and the goddess statue. He took all the altars he had set up on The Temple hill and throughout Jerusalem and dumped them outside the city. He put the Altar of God back in working order and restored worship, sacrificing Peace-Offerings and Thank-Offerings. He issued orders to the people: "You shall serve and worship God, the God of Israel." But the people didn't take him seriously—they used the name "God" but kept on going to the old pagan neighborhood shrines and doing the same old things.
 18-19 The rest of the history of Manasseh—his prayer to his God, and the sermons the prophets personally delivered by authority of God, the God of Israel—this is all written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. His prayer and how God was touched by his prayer, a list of all his sins and the things he did wrong, the actual places where he built the pagan shrines, the installation of the sex-goddess Asherah sites, and the idolatrous images that he worshiped previous to his conversion—this is all described in the records of the prophets.
 20 When Manasseh died, they buried him in the palace garden. His son Amon was the next king.
King Amon
21-23 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king. He was king for two years in Jerusalem. In God's opinion he lived an evil life, just like his father Manasseh, but he never did repent to God as Manasseh repented. He just kept at it, going from one thing to another.  24-25 In the end Amon's servants revolted and assassinated him—killed the king right in his own palace. The citizens in their turn then killed the king's assassins. The citizens then crowned Josiah, Amon's son, as king.

2 Chronicles 34

King Josiah
 1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He behaved well before God. He kept straight on the path blazed by his ancestor David, not one step to the left or right.  3-7 When he had been king for eight years—he was still only a teenager— he began to seek the God of David his ancestor. Four years later, the twelfth year of his reign, he set out to cleanse the neighborhood of sex-and-religion shrines, and get rid of the sacred Asherah groves and the god and goddess figurines, whether carved or cast, from Judah. He wrecked the Baal shrines, tore down the altars connected with them, and scattered the debris and ashes over the graves of those who had worshiped at them. He burned the bones of the priests on the same altars they had used when alive. He scrubbed the place clean, Judah and Jerusalem, clean inside and out. The cleanup campaign ranged outward to the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and the surrounding neighborhoods—as far north as Naphtali. Throughout Israel he demolished the altars and Asherah groves, pulverized the god and goddess figures, chopped up the neighborhood shrines into firewood. With Israel once more intact, he returned to Jerusalem.
 8-13 One day in the eighteenth year of his kingship, with the cleanup of country and Temple complete, King Josiah sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the mayor of the city, and Joah son of Joahaz the historian to renovate The Temple of God. First they turned over to Hilkiah the high priest all the money collected by the Levitical security guards from Manasseh and Ephraim and the rest of Israel, and from Judah and Benjamin and the citizens of Jerusalem. It was then put into the hands of the foremen managing the work on The Temple of God who then passed it on to the workers repairing God's Temple—the carpenters, construction workers, and masons—so they could buy the lumber and dressed stone for rebuilding the foundations the kings of Judah had allowed to fall to pieces. The workmen were honest and diligent. Their foremen were Jahath and Obadiah, the Merarite Levites, and Zechariah and Meshullam from the Kohathites—these managed the project. The Levites—they were all skilled musicians—were in charge of the common laborers and supervised the workers as they went from job to job. The Levites also served as accountants, managers, and security guards.
 14-17 While the money that had been given for The Temple of God was being received and dispersed, Hilkiah the high priest found a copy of The Revelation of Moses. He reported to Shaphan the royal secretary, "I've just found the Book of God's Revelation, instructing us in God's way—found it in The Temple!" He gave it to Shaphan, who then gave it to the king. And along with the book, he gave this report: "The job is complete—everything you ordered done is done. They took all the money that was collected in The Temple of God and handed it over to the managers and workers."
 18 And then Shaphan told the king, "Hilkiah the priest gave me a book." Shaphan proceeded to read it out to the king.
 19-21 When the king heard what was written in the book, God's Revelation, he ripped his robes in dismay. And then he called for Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the royal secretary, and Asaiah the king's personal aide. He ordered them all: "Go and pray to God for me and what's left of Israel and Judah. Find out what we must do in response to what is written in this book that has just been found! God's anger must be burning furiously against us—our ancestors haven't obeyed a thing written in this book of God, followed none of the instructions directed to us."
 22-25 Hilkiah and those picked by the king went straight to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, who was in charge of the palace wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter. The men consulted with her. In response to them she said, "God's word, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you here, 'God has spoken, I'm on my way to bring the doom of judgment on this place and this people. Every word written in the book read by the king of Judah will happen. And why? Because they've deserted me and taken up with other gods; they've made me thoroughly angry by setting up their god-making businesses. My anger is raging white-hot against this place and nobody is going to put it out.'
 26-28 "And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction, God's comment on what he read in the book: 'Because you took seriously the doom of judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I'm taking you seriously. God's word. I'll take care of you; you'll have a quiet death and be buried in peace. You won't be around to see the doom that I'm going to bring upon this place and people.'"
    The men took her message back to the king.
 29-31 The king acted immediately, assembling all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, and then proceeding to The Temple of God bringing everyone in his train—priests and prophets and people ranging from the least to the greatest. Then he read out publicly everything written in the Book of the Covenant that was found in The Temple of God. The king stood by his pillar and before God solemnly committed himself to the covenant: to follow God believingly and obediently; to follow his instructions, heart and soul, on what to believe and do; to confirm with his life the entire covenant, all that was written in the book.
 32 Then he made everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin commit themselves. And they did it. They committed themselves to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
 33 Josiah did a thorough job of cleaning up the pollution that had spread throughout Israelite territory and got everyone started fresh again, serving and worshiping their God. All through Josiah's life the people kept to the straight and narrow, obediently following God, the God of their ancestors.

Romans 16:8-27 (The Message)

 8Hello to Ampliatus, my good friend in the family of God.
 9Hello to Urbanus, our companion in Christ's work, and my good friend Stachys.
 10Hello to Apelles, a tried-and-true veteran in following Christ.
   Hello to the family of Aristobulus.
 11Hello to my cousin Herodion.
   Hello to those who belong to the Lord from the family of Narcissus.
 12Hello to Tryphena and Tryphosa—such diligent women in serving the Master.
   Hello to Persis, a dear friend and hard worker in Christ.
 13Hello to Rufus—a good choice by the Master!—and his mother. She has also been a dear mother to me.
 14Hello to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and also to all of their families.
 15Hello to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas— and all the followers of Jesus who live with them.
 16Holy embraces all around! All the churches of Christ send their warmest greetings!
 17-18One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They're only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren't above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.
 19-20And so while there has never been any question about your honesty in these matters—I couldn't be more proud of you!—I want you also to be smart, making sure every "good" thing is the real thing. Don't be gullible in regard to smooth-talking evil. Stay alert like this, and before you know it the God of peace will come down on Satan with both feet, stomping him into the dirt. Enjoy the best of Jesus!
 21And here are some more greetings from our end. Timothy, my partner in this work, Lucius, and my cousins Jason and Sosipater all said to tell you hello.
 22I, Tertius, who wrote this letter at Paul's dictation, send you my personal greetings.
 23Gaius, who is host here to both me and the whole church, wants to be remembered to you.
   Erastus, the city treasurer, and our good friend Quartus send their greetings.
 25-26All of our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to make you strong, exactly as preached in Jesus Christ, precisely as revealed in the mystery kept secret for so long but now an open book through the prophetic Scriptures. All the nations of the world can now know the truth and be brought into obedient belief, carrying out the orders of God, who got all this started, down to the very last letter.
 27All our praise is focused through Jesus on this incomparably wise God! Yes!

Psalm 26:1-12 (The Message)

Psalm 26

A David Psalm
 1 Clear my name, God; I've kept an honest shop.
   I've thrown in my lot with you, God, and
      I'm not budging.

 2 Examine me, God, from head to foot,
      order your battery of tests.
   Make sure I'm fit
      inside and out

 3 So I never lose
      sight of your love,
   But keep in step with you,
      never missing a beat.

 4-5 I don't hang out with tricksters,
      I don't pal around with thugs;
   I hate that pack of gangsters,
      I don't deal with double-dealers.

 6-7 I scrub my hands with purest soap,
      then join hands with the others in the great circle,
      dancing around your altar, God,
   Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs,
      telling God-stories.

 8-10 God, I love living with you;
      your house glows with your glory.
   When it's time for spring cleaning,
      don't sweep me out with the quacks and crooks,
   Men with bags of dirty tricks,
      women with purses stuffed with bribe-money.

 11-12 You know I've been aboveboard with you;
      now be aboveboard with me.
   I'm on the level with you, God;
      I bless you every chance I get.


Proverbs 20:19 (The Message)

 19 Gossips can't keep secrets,
   so never confide in blabbermouths.

Verse of the Day
“But the LORD told him, 'Samuel, don't think Eliab is the one just because he's tall and handsome. He isn't the one I've chosen. People judge others by what they look like, but I judge people by what is in their hearts.'” - 1 Samuel 16:7
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English

Henry Ward Beecher - Brady-Handy.jpg
Thought for the Day
American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”

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