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, October 10, 2016

Bible Readings for October 10, 2016

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Today our passages are Jeremiah 12:1–14:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:1–2:9; Psalm 79:1-13; and Proverbs 24:30-34. The readings are from The Message by Eugene H. Peterson. If you missed a day, you can find all the readings at our blog, The Bible in a Year. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15 (The Message)

The Killing Fields
 11-12God said to me, "Don't pray that everything will turn out all right for this people. When they skip their meals in order to pray, I won't listen to a thing they say. When they redouble their prayers, bringing all kinds of offerings from their herds and crops, I'll not accept them. I'm finishing them off with war and famine and disease."  13I said, "But Master, God! Their preachers have been telling them that everything is going to be all right—no war and no famine—that there's nothing to worry about."
 14Then God said, "These preachers are liars, and they use my name to cover their lies. I never sent them, I never commanded them, and I don't talk with them. The sermons they've been handing out are sheer illusion, tissues of lies, whistlings in the dark.
 15-16"So this is my verdict on them: All the preachers who preach using my name as their text, preachers I never sent in the first place, preachers who say, 'War and famine will never come here'—these preachers will die in war and by starvation. And the people to whom they've been preaching will end up as corpses, victims of war and starvation, thrown out in the streets of Jerusalem unburied—no funerals for them or their wives or their children! I'll make sure they get the full brunt of all their evil.

 17-18"And you, Jeremiah, will say this to them:

   "'My eyes pour out tears.
   Day and night, the tears never quit.
My dear, dear people are battered and bruised,
   hopelessly and cruelly wounded.
I walk out into the fields,
   shocked by the killing fields strewn with corpses.
I walk into the city,
   shocked by the sight of starving bodies.
And I watch the preachers and priests
   going about their business as if nothing's happened!'"

 19-22God, have you said your final No to Judah?
   Can you simply not stand Zion any longer?
If not, why have you treated us like this,
   beaten us nearly to death?
We hoped for peace—
   nothing good came from it;
We looked for healing—
   and got kicked in the stomach.
We admit, O God, how badly we've lived,
   and our ancestors, how bad they were.
We've sinned, they've sinned,
   we've all sinned against you!
Your reputation is at stake! Don't quit on us!
   Don't walk out and abandon your glorious Temple!
Remember your covenant.
   Don't break faith with us!
Can the no-gods of the godless nations cause rain?
   Can the sky water the earth by itself?
You're the one, O God, who does this.
   So you're the one for whom we wait.
You made it all,
   you do it all.

Jeremiah 15

 1-2 Then God said to me: "Jeremiah, even if Moses and Samuel stood here and made their case, I wouldn't feel a thing for this people. Get them out of here. Tell them to get lost! And if they ask you, 'So where do we go?' tell them God says,    "'If you're assigned to die, go and die;
   if assigned to war, go and get killed;
If assigned to starve, go starve;
   if assigned to exile, off to exile you go!'

 3-4"I've arranged for four kinds of punishment: death in battle, the corpses dropped off by killer dogs, the rest picked clean by vultures, the bones gnawed by hyenas. They'll be a sight to see, a sight to shock the whole world—and all because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah and all he did in Jerusalem.
 5"Who do you think will feel sorry for you, Jerusalem?
   Who do you think will waste tears on you?
Who will bother to take the time to ask,
   'So, how are things going?'

 6-9"You left me, remember?" God's Decree.
   "You turned your back and walked out.
So I will grab you and hit you hard.
   I'm tired of letting you off the hook.
I threw you to the four winds
   and let the winds scatter you like leaves.
I made sure you'll lose everything,
   since nothing makes you change.
I created more widows among you
   than grains of sand on the ocean beaches.
At noon mothers will get the news
   of their sons killed in action.
Sudden anguish for the mothers—
   all those terrible deaths.
A mother of seven falls to the ground,
   gasping for breath,
Robbed of her children in their prime.
   Her sun sets at high noon!
Then I'll round up any of you that are left alive
   and see that you're killed by your enemies."
         God's Decree.

Giving Everything Away for Nothing
 10-11Unlucky mother—that you had me as a son,
   given the unhappy job of indicting the whole country!
I've never hurt or harmed a soul,
   and yet everyone is out to get me.
But, God knows, I've done everything I could to help them,
   prayed for them and against their enemies.
I've always been on their side, trying to stave off disaster.
   God knows how I've tried!
 12-14"O Israel, O Judah, what are your chances
   against the iron juggernaut from the north?
In punishment for your sins, I'm giving away
   everything you've got, giving it away for nothing.
I'll make you slaves to your enemies
   in a strange and far-off land.
My anger is blazing and fierce,
   burning in hot judgment against you."

 15-18You know where I am, God! Remember what I'm doing here!
   Take my side against my detractors.
Don't stand back while they ruin me.
   Just look at the abuse I'm taking!
When your words showed up, I ate them—
   swallowed them whole. What a feast!
What delight I took in being yours,
   O God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I never joined the party crowd
   in their laughter and their fun.
Led by you, I went off by myself.
   You'd filled me with indignation. Their sin had me seething.
But why, why this chronic pain,
   this ever worsening wound and no healing in sight?
You're nothing, God, but a mirage,
   a lovely oasis in the distance—and then nothing!

 19-21This is how God answered me:
   "Take back those words, and I'll take you back.
   Then you'll stand tall before me.
Use words truly and well. Don't stoop to cheap whining.
   Then, but only then, you'll speak for me.
Let your words change them.
   Don't change your words to suit them.
I'll turn you into a steel wall,
   a thick steel wall, impregnable.
They'll attack you but won't put a dent in you
   because I'm at your side, defending and delivering."
         God's Decree.
"I'll deliver you from the grip of the wicked.
   I'll get you out of the clutch of the ruthless."

Jeremiah 16

Can Mortals Manufacture Gods?
 1 God's Message to me: 2-4"Jeremiah, don't get married. Don't raise a family here. I have signed the death warrant on all the children born in this country, the mothers who bear them and the fathers who beget them—an epidemic of death. Death unlamented, the dead unburied, dead bodies decomposing and stinking like dung, all the killed and starved corpses served up as meals for carrion crows and mongrel dogs!" 5-7God continued: "Don't enter a house where there's mourning. Don't go to the funeral. Don't sympathize. I've quit caring about what happens to this people." God's Decree. "No more loyal love on my part, no more compassion. The famous and obscure will die alike here, unlamented and unburied. No funerals will be conducted, no one will give them a second thought, no one will care, no one will say, 'I'm sorry,' no one will so much as offer a cup of tea, not even for the mother or father.  8"And if there happens to be a feast celebrated, don't go there either to enjoy the festivities."
 9God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, "Watch this! I'm about to banish smiles and laughter from this place. No more brides and bridegrooms celebrating. And I'm doing it in your lifetime, before your very eyes.
 10-13"When you tell this to the people and they ask, 'Why is God talking this way, threatening us with all these calamities? We're not criminals, after all. What have we done to our God to be treated like this?' tell them this: 'It's because your ancestors left me, walked off and never looked back. They took up with the no-gods, worshiped and doted on them, and ignored me and wouldn't do a thing I told them. And you're even worse! Take a good look in the mirror—each of you doing whatever you want, whenever you want, refusing to pay attention to me. And for this I'm getting rid of you, throwing you out in the cold, into a far and strange country. You can worship your precious no-gods there to your heart's content. Rest assured, I won't bother you anymore.'
 14-15"On the other hand, don't miss this: The time is coming when no one will say any longer, 'As sure as God lives, the God who delivered Israel from Egypt.' What they'll say is, 'As sure as God lives, the God who brought Israel back from the land of the north, brought them back from all the places where he'd scattered them.' That's right, I'm going to bring them back to the land I first gave to their ancestors.

1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13 (The Message)

 9-12You remember us in those days, friends, working our fingers to the bone, up half the night, moonlighting so you wouldn't have the burden of supporting us while we proclaimed God's Message to you. You saw with your own eyes how discreet and courteous we were among you, with keen sensitivity to you as fellow believers. And God knows we weren't freeloaders! You experienced it all firsthand. With each of you we were like a father with his child, holding your hand, whispering encouragement, showing you step-by-step how to live well before God, who called us into his own kingdom, into this delightful life.
 13And now we look back on all this and thank God, an artesian well of thanks! When you got the Message of God we preached, you didn't pass it off as just one more human opinion, but you took it to heart as God's true word to you, which it is, God himself at work in you believers!
 14-16Friends, do you realize that you followed in the exact footsteps of the churches of God in Judea, those who were the first to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ? You got the same bad treatment from your countrymen as they did from theirs, the Jews who killed the Master Jesus (to say nothing of the prophets) and followed it up by running us out of town. They make themselves offensive to God and everyone else by trying to keep us from telling people who've never heard of our God how to be saved. They've made a career of opposing God, and have gotten mighty good at it. But God is fed up, ready to put an end to it.
 17-20Do you have any idea how very homesick we became for you, dear friends? Even though it hadn't been that long and it was only our bodies that were separated from you, not our hearts, we tried our very best to get back to see you. You can't imagine how much we missed you! I, Paul, tried over and over to get back, but Satan stymied us each time. Who do you think we're going to be proud of when our Master Jesus appears if it's not you? You're our pride and joy!

1 Thessalonians 3

 1-2So when we couldn't stand being separated from you any longer and could find no way to visit you ourselves, we stayed in Athens and sent Timothy to get you up and about, cheering you on so you wouldn't be discouraged by these hard times. He's a brother and companion in the faith, God's man in spreading the Message, preaching Christ.  3-5Not that the troubles should come as any surprise to you. You've always known that we're in for this kind of thing. It's part of our calling. When we were with you, we made it quite clear that there was trouble ahead. And now that it's happened, you know what it's like. That's why I couldn't quit worrying; I had to know for myself how you were doing in the faith. I didn't want the Tempter getting to you and tearing down everything we had built up together.
 6-8But now that Timothy is back, bringing this terrific report on your faith and love, we feel a lot better. It's especially gratifying to know that you continue to think well of us, and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you! In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you're doing keeps us going. Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive.
 9-10What would be an adequate thanksgiving to offer God for all the joy we experience before him because of you? We do what we can, praying away, night and day, asking for the bonus of seeing your faces again and doing what we can to help when your faith falters.
 11-13May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.

Psalm 80:1-19 (The Message)

Psalm 80

An Asaph Psalm
 1-2 Listen, Shepherd, Israel's Shepherd— get all your Joseph sheep together.
   Throw beams of light
      from your dazzling throne
   So Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh
      can see where they're going.
   Get out of bed—you've slept long enough!
      Come on the run before it's too late.

 3 God, come back!
      Smile your blessing smile:
      That will be our salvation.

 4-6 God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
      how long will you smolder like a sleeping volcano
      while your people call for fire and brimstone?
   You put us on a diet of tears,
      bucket after bucket of salty tears to drink.
   You make us look ridiculous to our friends;
      our enemies poke fun day after day.

 7 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, come back!
      Smile your blessing smile:
          That will be our salvation.

 8-18 Remember how you brought a young vine from Egypt,
      cleared out the brambles and briers
      and planted your very own vineyard?
   You prepared the good earth,
      you planted her roots deep;
      the vineyard filled the land.
   Your vine soared high and shaded the mountains,
      even dwarfing the giant cedars.
   Your vine ranged west to the Sea,
      east to the River.
   So why do you no longer protect your vine?
      Trespassers pick its grapes at will;
   Wild pigs crash through and crush it,
      and the mice nibble away at what's left.
   God-of-the-Angel-Armies, turn our way!
      Take a good look at what's happened
      and attend to this vine.
   Care for what you once tenderly planted—
      the vine you raised from a shoot.
   And those who dared to set it on fire—
      give them a look that will kill!
   Then take the hand of your once-favorite child,
      the child you raised to adulthood.
   We will never turn our back on you;
      breathe life into our lungs so we can shout your name!

 19 God, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, come back!
      Smile your blessing smile:
      That will be our salvation.

Proverbs 25:1-5 (The Message)

Proverbs 25

Further Wise Sayings of Solomon
The Right Word at the Right Time
 1 There are also these proverbs of Solomon, collected by scribes of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

 2 God delights in concealing things;
   scientists delight in discovering things.

 3 Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth,
   the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.

 4-5 Remove impurities from the silver
   and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice;
Remove the wicked from leadership
   and authority will be credible and God-honoring.

Verse of the Day
“Pay attention to advice and accept correction, so you can live sensibly. We may make a lot of plans, but the LORD will do what he has decided.” - Proverbs 19:20-21
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Australian-born British (later naturalized American) novelist, screenwriter, director and World War II veteran and prisoner of war, James Clavell wrote, “To think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral down into ever-increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that discipline — training — is about.”

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