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, November 14, 2016

Bible Readings for November 14, 2016

Today our passages are Ezekiel 29:1–30:26; Hebrews 11:32–12:13; Psalm 112:1-10; and Proverbs 27:17. 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.

Ezekiel 29-30:26 (The Message)

Ezekiel 29

Never a World Power Again
 1-6 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day, God's Message came to me: "Son of man, confront Pharaoh king of Egypt. Preach against him and all the Egyptians. Tell him,
         'God, the Master, says:
   "'Watch yourself, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
   I'm dead set against you,
You lumbering old dragon,
   lolling and flaccid in the Nile,
Saying, "It's my Nile.
   I made it. It's mine."
I'll set hooks in your jaw;
   I'll make the fish of the Nile stick to your scales.
I'll pull you out of the Nile,
   with all the fish stuck to your scales.
Then I'll drag you out into the desert,
   you and all the Nile fish sticking to your scales.
You'll lie there in the open, rotting in the sun,
   meat to the wild animals and carrion birds.
Everybody living in Egypt
   will realize that I am God.

 6-9 "'Because you've been a flimsy reed crutch to Israel so that when they gripped you, you splintered and cut their hand, and when they leaned on you, you broke and sent them sprawling—Message of God, the Master—I'll bring war against you, do away with people and animals alike, and turn the country into an empty desert so they'll realize that I am God.
 9-11 "'Because you said, "It's my Nile. I made it. It's all mine," therefore I am against you and your rivers. I'll reduce Egypt to an empty, desolate wasteland all the way from Migdol in the north to Syene and the border of Ethiopia in the south. Not a human will be seen in it, nor will an animal move through it. It'll be just empty desert, empty for forty years.
 12 "'I'll make Egypt the most desolate of all desolations. For forty years I'll make her cities the most wasted of all wasted cities. I'll scatter Egyptians to the four winds, send them off every which way into exile.
 13-16 "'But,' says God, the Master, 'that's not the end of it. After the forty years, I'll gather up the Egyptians from all the places where they've been scattered. I'll put things back together again for Egypt. I'll bring her back to Pathros where she got her start long ago. There she'll start over again from scratch. She'll take her place at the bottom of the ladder and there she'll stay, never to climb that ladder again, never to be a world power again. Never again will Israel be tempted to rely on Egypt. All she'll be to Israel is a reminder of old sin. Then Egypt will realize that I am God, the Master.'"
 17-18 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, God's Message came to me: "Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has worn out his army against Tyre. They've worked their fingers to the bone and have nothing to show for it.
 19-20 "Therefore, God, the Master, says, 'I'm giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He'll haul away its wealth, pick the place clean. He'll pay his army with Egyptian plunder. He's been working for me all these years without pay. This is his pay: Egypt. Decree of God, the Master.
 21 "'And then I'll stir up fresh hope in Israel—the dawn of deliverance!— and I'll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they'll realize that I am God.'"

Ezekiel 30

Egypt on Fire
 1-5 God, the Master, spoke to me: "Son of man, preach. Give them the Message of God, the Master. Wail:    "'Doomsday!'
   Time's up!
   God's big day of judgment is near.
Thick clouds are rolling in.
   It's doomsday for the nations.
Death will rain down on Egypt.
   Terror will paralyze Ethiopia
When they see the Egyptians killed,
   their wealth hauled off,
   their foundations demolished,
And Ethiopia, Put, Lud, Arabia, Libya
   —all of Egypt's old allies—
   killed right along with them.

 6-8"'God says:
   "'Egypt's allies will fall
   and her proud strength will collapse—
From Migdol in the north to Syene in the south,
   a great slaughter in Egypt!
   Decree of God, the Master.
Egypt, most desolate of the desolate,
   her cities wasted beyond wasting,
Will realize that I am God
   when I burn her down
   and her helpers are knocked flat.

 9 "'When that happens, I'll send out messengers by ship to sound the alarm among the easygoing Ethiopians. They'll be terrorized. Egypt's doomed! Judgment's coming!

 10-12 "'God, the Master, says:

   "'I'll put a stop to Egypt's arrogance.
   I'll use Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to do it.
He and his army, the most brutal of nations,
   shall be used to destroy the country.
They'll brandish their swords
   and fill Egypt with corpses.
I'll dry up the Nile
   and sell off the land to a bunch of crooks.
I'll hire outsiders to come in
   and waste the country, strip it clean.
   I, God, have said so.

 13-19 "'And now this is what God, the Master, says:
   "'I'll smash all the no-god idols;
   I'll topple all those huge statues in Memphis.
The prince of Egypt will be gone for good,
   and in his place I'll put fear—fear throughout Egypt!
I'll demolish Pathros,
   burn Zoan to the ground, and punish Thebes,
Pour my wrath on Pelusium, Egypt's fort,
   and knock Thebes off its proud pedestal.
I'll set Egypt on fire:
   Pelusium will writhe in pain,
Thebes blown away,
   Memphis raped.
The young warriors of On and Pi-beseth
   will be killed and the cities exiled.
A dark day for Tahpanhes
   when I shatter Egypt,
When I break Egyptian power
   and put an end to her arrogant oppression!
She'll disappear in a cloud of dust,
   her cities hauled off as exiles.
That's how I'll punish Egypt,
   and that's how she'll realize that I am God.'"

 20 In the eleventh year, on the seventh day of the first month, God's Message came to me:
 21 "Son of man, I've broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And look! It hasn't been set. No splint has been put on it so the bones can knit and heal, so he can use a sword again.
 22-26 "Therefore, God, the Master, says, I am dead set against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will go ahead and break his other arm—both arms broken! There's no way he'll ever swing a sword again. I'll scatter Egyptians all over the world. I'll make the arms of the king of Babylon strong and put my sword in his hand, but I'll break the arms of Pharaoh and he'll groan like one who is mortally wounded. I'll make the arms of the king of Babylon strong, but the arms of Pharaoh shall go limp. The Egyptians will realize that I am God when I place my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon. He'll wield it against Egypt and I'll scatter Egyptians all over the world. Then they'll realize that I am God."

Hebrews 11:32-12:13 (The Message)

 32-38I could go on and on, but I've run out of time. There are so many more— Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets....Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn't deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
 39-40Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.

Hebrews 12

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
 1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!  4-11In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

   My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline,
      but don't be crushed by it either.
   It's the child he loves that he disciplines;
      the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

 12-13So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

Psalm 112:1-10 (The Message)

Psalm 112

    Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
   Who cherish and relish his commandments,
   Their children robust on the earth,
   And the homes of the upright—how blessed!
   Their houses brim with wealth
   And a generosity that never runs dry.
   Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—
   God's grace and mercy and justice!
   The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
   No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
   But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
   Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
   Heart ready, trusting in God,
   Spirit firm, unperturbed,
   Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
   They lavish gifts on the poor—
   A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
   An honored life! A beautiful life!
   Someone wicked takes one look and rages,
   Blusters away but ends up speechless.
   There's nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.


Proverbs 27:17 (The Message)

Your Face Mirrors Your Heart
 17 You use steel to sharpen steel,
   and one friend sharpens another.

Verse of the Day
“Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty. Christ did this to bring you to God, when his body was put to death and his spirit was made alive.” - 1 Peter 3:18
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

The first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote, “Great causes and little men go ill together.”

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