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, October 12, 2016

Bible Readings for October 12, 2016

Today our passages are Jeremiah 19:1–21:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28; Psalm 82:1-8; and Proverbs 25:8-10. 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 by using the link below.

Jeremiah 19-21:14 (The Message)

Jeremiah 19

Smashing the Clay Pot
 1-2 God said to me, "Go, buy a clay pot. Then get a few leaders from the people and a few of the leading priests and go out to the Valley of Ben-hinnom, just outside the Potsherd Gate, and preach there what I tell you.  3-5"Say, 'Listen to God's Word, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem! This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel. I'm about to bring doom crashing down on this place. Oh, and will ears ever ring! Doom—because they've walked off and left me, and made this place strange by worshiping strange gods, gods never heard of by them, their parents, or the old kings of Judah. Doom—because they have massacred innocent people. Doom—because they've built altars to that no-god Baal, and burned their own children alive in the fire as offerings to Baal, an atrocity I never ordered, never so much as hinted at!
 6-9"'And so it's payday, and soon'—God's Decree!—'this place will no longer be known as Topheth or Valley of Ben-hinnom, but Massacre Meadows. I'm canceling all the plans Judah and Jerusalem had for this place, and I'll have them killed by their enemies. I'll stack their dead bodies to be eaten by carrion crows and wild dogs. I'll turn this city into such a museum of atrocities that anyone coming near will be shocked speechless by the savage brutality. The people will turn into cannibals. Dehumanized by the pressure of the enemy siege, they'll eat their own children! Yes, they'll eat one another, family and friends alike.'
 10-13"Say all this, and then smash the pot in front of the men who have come with you. Then say, 'This is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies says: I'll smash this people and this city like a man who smashes a clay pot into so many pieces it can never be put together again. They'll bury bodies here in Topheth until there's no more room. And the whole city will become a Topheth. The city will be turned by people and kings alike into a center for worshiping the star gods and goddesses, turned into an open grave, the whole city an open grave, stinking like a sewer, like Topheth.'"
 14-15Then Jeremiah left Topheth, where God had sent him to preach the sermon, and took his stand in the court of God's Temple and said to the people, "This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies to you: 'Warning! Danger! I'm bringing down on this city and all the surrounding towns the doom that I have pronounced. They're set in their ways and won't budge. They refuse to do a thing I say.'"

Jeremiah 20

Life's Been Nothing but Trouble and Tears
 1-5 The priest Pashur son of Immer was the senior priest in God's Temple. He heard Jeremiah preach this sermon. He whipped Jeremiah the prophet and put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate of God's Temple. The next day Pashur came and let him go. Jeremiah told him, "God has a new name for you: not Pashur but Danger-Everywhere, because God says, 'You're a danger to yourself and everyone around you. All your friends are going to get killed in battle while you stand there and watch. What's more, I'm turning all of Judah over to the king of Babylon to do whatever he likes with them—haul them off into exile, kill them at whim. Everything worth anything in this city, property and possessions along with everything in the royal treasury—I'm handing it all over to the enemy. They'll rummage through it and take what they want back to Babylon.  6"'And you, Pashur, you and everyone in your family will be taken prisoner into exile—that's right, exile in Babylon. You'll die and be buried there, you and all your cronies to whom you preached your lies.'"
 7-10You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it.
   You were too much for me.
And now I'm a public joke.
   They all poke fun at me.
Every time I open my mouth
   I'm shouting, "Murder!" or "Rape!"
And all I get for my God-warnings
   are insults and contempt.
But if I say, "Forget it!
   No more God-Messages from me!"
The words are fire in my belly,
   a burning in my bones.
I'm worn out trying to hold it in.
   I can't do it any longer!
Then I hear whispering behind my back:
   "There goes old 'Danger-Everywhere.' Shut him up! Report him!"
Old friends watch, hoping I'll fall flat on my face:
   "One misstep and we'll have him. We'll get rid of him for good!"

 11But God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side.
   Those who are after me will be sent sprawling—
Slapstick buffoons falling all over themselves,
   a spectacle of humiliation no one will ever forget.

 12Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, no one fools you.
   You see through everyone, everything.
I want to see you pay them back for what they've done.
   I rest my case with you.

 13Sing to God! All praise to God!
   He saves the weak from the grip of the wicked.

 14-18Curse the day
   I was born!
The day my mother bore me—
   a curse on it, I say!
And curse the man who delivered
   the news to my father:
"You've got a new baby—a boy baby!"
   (How happy it made him.)
Let that birth notice be blacked out,
   deleted from the records,
And the man who brought it haunted to his death
   with the bad news he brought.
He should have killed me before I was born,
   with that womb as my tomb,
My mother pregnant for the rest of her life
   with a baby dead in her womb.
Why, oh why, did I ever leave that womb?
   Life's been nothing but trouble and tears,
   and what's coming is more of the same.

Jeremiah 21

Start Each Day with a Sense of Justice
 1-2 God's Message to Jeremiah when King Zedekiah sent Pashur son of Malkijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to him with this request: "Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has waged war against us. Pray to God for us. Ask him for help. Maybe God will intervene with one of his famous miracles and make him leave."  3-7But Jeremiah said, "Tell Zedekiah: 'This is the God of Israel's Message to you: You can say good-bye to your army, watch morale and weapons flushed down the drain. I'm going to personally lead the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans, against whom you're fighting so hard, right into the city itself. I'm joining their side and fighting against you, fighting all-out, holding nothing back. And in fierce anger. I'm prepared to wipe out the population of this city, people and animals alike, in a raging epidemic. And then I will personally deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his princes, and any survivors left in the city who haven't died from disease, been killed, or starved. I'll deliver them to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—yes, hand them over to their enemies, who have come to kill them. He'll kill them ruthlessly, showing no mercy.'
 8-10"And then tell the people at large, 'God's Message to you is this: Listen carefully. I'm giving you a choice: life or death. Whoever stays in this city will die—either in battle or by starvation or disease. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who have surrounded the city will live. You'll lose everything—but not your life. I'm determined to see this city destroyed. I'm that angry with this place! God's Decree. I'm going to give it to the king of Babylon, and he's going to burn it to the ground.'
 11-14"To the royal house of Judah, listen to God's Message!
   House of David, listen—God's Message to you:
'Start each day by dealing with justice.
   Rescue victims from their exploiters.
Prevent fire—the fire of my anger—
   for once it starts, it can't be put out.
Your evil regime
   is fuel for my anger.
Don't you realize that I'm against you,
   yes, against you.
You think you've got it made,
   all snug and secure.
You say, "Who can possibly get to us?
   Who can crash our party?"
Well, I can—and will!
   I'll punish your evil regime.
I'll start a fire that will rage unchecked,
   burn everything in sight to cinders.'"

1 Thessalonians 5:4-28 (The Message)

 4-8But friends, you're not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You're sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let's not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let's keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we're creatures of Day, let's act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
 9-11God didn't set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we're awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we're alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.
The Way He Wants You to Live
 12-13And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!  13-15Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other's nerves you don't snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
 16-18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
 19-22Don't suppress the Spirit, and don't stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don't be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what's good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
 23-24May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!
 25-27Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don't leave anyone out.
 28The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!

Psalm 82:1-8 (The Message)

Psalm 82

An Asaph Psalm
 1 God calls the judges into his courtroom, he puts all the judges in the dock.

 2-4 "Enough! You've corrupted justice long enough,
      you've let the wicked get away with murder.
   You're here to defend the defenseless,
      to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;
   Your job is to stand up for the powerless,
      and prosecute all those who exploit them."

 5 Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!
      They haven't a clue to what's going on.
   And now everything's falling apart,
      the world's coming unglued.

 6-7 "I commissioned you judges, each one of you,
      deputies of the High God,
   But you've betrayed your commission
      and now you're stripped of your rank, busted."

 8 O God, give them their just deserts!
      You've got the whole world in your hands!


Proverbs 25:8-10 (The Message)

 8 Don't jump to conclusions—there may be
   a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.

 9-10 In the heat of an argument,
   don't betray confidences;
Word is sure to get around,
   and no one will trust you.

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

English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist, William Shakespeare wrote, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

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