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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Friday, August 5, 2016

The Bible Readings for August 5, 2016

Today our passages are Ezra 1:1–2:70; 1 Corinthians 1:18–2:5; Psalm 27:7-14; and Proverbs 20:22-23. 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.

Ezra 1-2:70 (The Message)

Ezra 1

Cyrus King of Persia: "Build The Temple of God!"
 1-4In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—this fulfilled the Message of God preached by Jeremiah—God prodded Cyrus king of Persia to make an official announcement throughout his kingdom. He wrote it out as follows:    From Cyrus king of Persia, a Proclamation: God, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has also assigned me to build him a Temple of worship in Jerusalem, Judah. Who among you belongs to his people? God be with you! Go to Jerusalem which is in Judah and build The Temple of God, the God of Israel, Jerusalem's God. Those who stay behind, wherever they happen to live, will support them with silver, gold, tools, and pack animals, along with Freewill-Offerings for The Temple of God in Jerusalem.
 5-6 The heads of the families of Judah and Benjamin, along with the priests and Levites—everyone, in fact, God prodded—set out to build The Temple of God in Jerusalem. Their neighbors rallied behind them enthusiastically with silver, gold, tools, pack animals, expensive gifts, and, over and above these, Freewill-Offerings.
 7-10 Also, King Cyrus turned over to them all the vessels and utensils from The Temple of God that Nebuchadnezzar had hauled from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods. Cyrus king of Persia put Mithredath the treasurer in charge of the transfer; he provided a full inventory for Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah, including the following:
   30 gold dishes
   1,000 silver dishes
   29 silver pans
   30 gold bowls
   410 duplicate silver bowls
   1,000 miscellaneous items.
 11 All told, there were 5,400 gold and silver articles that Sheshbazzar took with him when he brought the exiles back from Babylon to Jerusalem.

Ezra 2

 1-58 These are the people from the province who now returned from the captivity, exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried off captive. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his hometown. They came in company with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.     The numbers of the returning Israelites by families of origin were as follows:
      Parosh, 2,172
      Shephatiah, 372
      Arah, 775
      Pahath-Moab (sons of Jeshua and Joab), 2,812
      Elam, 1,254
      Zattu, 945
      Zaccai, 760
      Bani, 642
      Bebai, 623
      Azgad, 1,222
      Adonikam, 666
      Bigvai, 2,056
      Adin, 454
      Ater (sons of Hezekiah), 98
      Bezai, 323
      Jorah, 112
      Hashum, 223
      Gibbar, 95.

   Israelites identified by place of origin were as follows:
      Bethlehem, 123
      Netophah, 56
      Anathoth, 128
      Azmaveth, 42
      Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth, 743
      Ramah and Geba, 621
      Micmash, 122
      Bethel and Ai, 223
      Nebo, 52
      Magbish, 156
      Elam (the other one), 1,254
      Harim, 320
      Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 725
      Jericho, 345
      Senaah, 3,630.

   Priestly families:
      Jedaiah (sons of Jeshua), 973
      Immer, 1,052
      Pashhur, 1,247
      Harim, 1,017.

   Levitical families:
      Jeshua and Kadmiel (sons of Hodaviah), 74.

      Asaph's family line, 128.

   Security guard families:
      Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai, 139.

   Families of temple support staff:
      Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
      Keros, Siaha, Padon,
      Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub,
      Hagab, Shalmai, Hanan,
      Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah,
      Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam,
      Uzza, Paseah, Besai,
      Asnah, Meunim, Nephussim,
      Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
      Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,
      Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
      Neziah, and Hatipha.

   Families of Solomon's servants:
      Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
      Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,
      Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-Hazzebaim, and Ami.

   Temple support staff and Solomon's servants added up to 392.
 59-60 These are those who came from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer. They weren't able to prove their ancestry, whether they were true Israelites or not:

 61 Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, 652 in all. Likewise with these priestly families:
      Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai, who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and took that name.

 62-63 They had thoroughly searched for their family records but couldn't find them. And so they were barred from priestly work as ritually unclean. The governor ruled that they could not eat from the holy food until a priest could determine their status with the Urim and Thummim.
 64-67 The total count for the congregation was 42,360. That did not include the male and female slaves, which numbered 7,337. There were also 200 male and female singers, and they had 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.

68-69 Some of the heads of families, on arriving at The Temple of God in Jerusalem, made Freewill-Offerings toward the rebuilding of The Temple of God on its site. They gave to the building fund as they were able, about 1,100 pounds of gold, about three tons of silver, and 100 priestly robes.

 70 The priests, Levites, and some of the people lived in Jerusalem. The singers, security guards, and temple support staff found places in their hometowns. All the Israelites found a place to live.

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 (The Message)

 18-21The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It's written,

   I'll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
   I'll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn't God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

 22-25While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God's ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can't begin to compete with God's "weakness."
 26-31Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don't see many of "the brightest and the best" among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these "nobodies" to expose the hollow pretensions of the "somebodies"? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That's why we have the saying, "If you're going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God."

1 Corinthians 2

 1-2You'll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God's master stroke, I didn't try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.  3-5I was unsure of how to go about this, and felt totally inadequate—I was scared to death, if you want the truth of it—and so nothing I said could have impressed you or anyone else. But the Message came through anyway. God's Spirit and God's power did it, which made it clear that your life of faith is a response to God's power, not to some fancy mental or emotional footwork by me or anyone else.

Psalm 27:7-14 (The Message)

 7-9 Listen, God, I'm calling at the top of my lungs:
      "Be good to me! Answer me!"
   When my heart whispered, "Seek God,"
      my whole being replied,
   "I'm seeking him!"
      Don't hide from me now!

 9-10 You've always been right there for me;
      don't turn your back on me now.
   Don't throw me out, don't abandon me;
      you've always kept the door open.
   My father and mother walked out and left me,
      but God took me in.

 11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
      direct me along a well-lighted street;
      show my enemies whose side you're on.
   Don't throw me to the dogs,
      those liars who are out to get me,
      filling the air with their threats.

 13-14 I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness
      in the exuberant earth.
   Stay with God!
      Take heart. Don't quit.
   I'll say it again:
      Stay with God.

Proverbs 20:22-23 (The Message)

 22 Don't ever say, "I'll get you for that!"
   Wait for God; he'll settle the score.

 23 God hates cheating in the marketplace;
   rigged scales are an outrage.

Verse of the Day
“Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people.” - Psalm 119:130
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day
American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet, Christopher Morley wrote, “Heavy hearts, like heavy clouds in the sky, are best relieved by the letting of a little water.”

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