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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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bible Readings for November 20, 2016

Today our passages are Ezekiel 40:28–41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalm 118:19-29; and Proverbs 28:3-5. 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.

Ezekiel 40:28-41:26The Message (MSG)

28-31 He led me into the inside courtyard through the south gate complex. He measured it and found it the same as the outside ones. Its alcoves, connecting walls, and vestibule were the same. The gate complex and porch, windowed all around, measured eighty-seven and a half by forty-three and three-quarters feet. The vestibule of each of the gate complexes leading to the inside courtyard was forty-three and three-quarters by eight and three-quarters feet. Each vestibule faced the outside courtyard. Palm trees were carved on its doorposts. Eight steps led up to it.
32-34 He then took me to the inside courtyard on the east and measured the gate complex. It was identical to the others—alcoves, connecting walls, and vestibule all the same. The gate complex and vestibule had windows all around. It measured eighty-seven and a half by forty-three and three-quarters feet. Its porch faced the outside courtyard. There were palm trees on the doorposts on both sides. And it had eight steps.
35-37 He brought me to the gate complex to the north and measured it: same measurements. The alcoves, connecting walls, and vestibule with its windows: eighty-seven and a half by forty-three and three-quarters feet. Its porch faced the outside courtyard. There were palm trees on its doorposts on both sides. And it had eight steps.
38-43 There was a room with a door at the vestibule of the gate complex where the burnt offerings were cleaned. Two tables were placed within the vestibule, one on either side, on which the animals for burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings were slaughtered. Two tables were also placed against both outside walls of the vestibule—four tables inside and four tables outside, eight tables in all for slaughtering the sacrificial animals. The four tables used for the burnt offerings were thirty-one and a half inches square and twenty-one inches high. The tools for slaughtering the sacrificial animals and other sacrifices were kept there. Meat hooks, three inches long, were fastened to the walls. The tables were for the sacrificial animals.
44-46 Right where the inside gate complex opened onto the inside courtyard there were two rooms, one at the north gate facing south and the one at the south gate facing north. The man told me, “The room facing south is for the priests who are in charge of the Temple. And the room facing north is for the priests who are in charge of the altar. These priests are the sons of Zadok, the only sons of Levi permitted to come near to God to serve him.”
47 He measured the inside courtyard: a hundred seventy-five feet square. The altar was in front of the Temple.
48-49 He led me to the porch of the Temple and measured the gateposts of the porch: eight and three-quarters feet high on both sides. The entrance to the gate complex was twenty-one feet wide and its connecting walls were four and a half feet thick. The vestibule itself was thirty-five feet wide and twenty-one feet deep. Ten steps led up to the porch. Columns flanked the gateposts.
41 1-2 He brought me into the Temple itself and measured the doorposts on each side. Each was ten and a half feet thick. The entrance was seventeen and a half feet wide. The walls on each side were eight and three-quarters feet thick.
He also measured the Temple Sanctuary: seventy feet by thirty-five feet.
3-4 He went further in and measured the doorposts at the entrance: Each was three and a half feet thick. The entrance itself was ten and a half feet wide, and the entrance walls were twelve and a quarter feet thick. He measured the inside Sanctuary, thirty-five feet square, set at the end of the main Sanctuary. He told me, “This is The Holy of Holies.”
5-7 He measured the wall of the Temple. It was ten and a half feet thick. The side rooms around the Temple were seven feet wide. There were three floors of these side rooms, thirty rooms on each of the three floors. There were supporting beams around the Temple wall to hold up the side rooms, but they were freestanding, not attached to the wall itself. The side rooms around the Temple became wider from first floor to second floor to third floor. A staircase went from the bottom floor, through the middle, and then to the top floor.
8-11 I observed that the Temple had a ten-and-a-half-foot-thick raised base around it, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. The outside walls of the side rooms were eight and three-quarters feet thick. The open area between the side rooms of the Temple and the priests’ rooms was a thirty-five-foot-wide strip all around the Temple. There were two entrances to the side rooms from the open area, one placed on the north side, the other on the south. There were eight and three-quarters feet of open space all around.
12 The house that faced the Temple courtyard to the west was one hundred twenty-two and a half feet wide, with eight-and-three-quarters-foot-thick walls. The length of the wall and building was one hundred fifty-seven and a half feet.
13-14 He measured the Temple: one hundred seventy-five feet long. The Temple courtyard and the house, including its walls, measured a hundred seventy-five feet. The breadth of the front of the Temple and the open area to the east was a hundred seventy-five feet.
15-18 He measured the length of the house facing the courtyard at the back of the Temple, including the shelters on each side: one hundred seventy-five feet. The main Sanctuary, the inner Sanctuary, and the vestibule facing the courtyard were paneled with wood, and had window frames and door frames in all three sections. From floor to windows the walls were paneled. Above the outside entrance to the inner Sanctuary and on the walls at regular intervals all around the inner Sanctuary and the main Sanctuary, angel-cherubim and palm trees were carved in alternating sequence.
18-20 Each angel-cherub had two faces: a human face toward the palm tree on the right and the face of a lion toward the palm tree on the left. They were carved around the entire Temple. The cherubim–palm tree motif was carved from floor to door height on the wall of the main Sanctuary.
21-22 The main Sanctuary had a rectangular doorframe. In front of the Holy Place was something that looked like an altar of wood, five and a quarter feet high and three and a half feet square. Its corners, base, and sides were of wood. The man said to me, “This is the table that stands before God.”
23-26 Both the main Sanctuary and the Holy Place had double doors. Each door had two leaves: two hinged leaves for each door, one set swinging inward and the other set outward. The doors of the main Sanctuary were carved with angel-cherubim and palm trees. There was a canopy of wood in front of the vestibule outside. There were narrow windows alternating with carved palm trees on both sides of the porch.

James 4:1-17The Message (MSG)

Get Serious

1-2 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.
2-3 You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.
4-6 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”
7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.
11-12 Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?

Nothing but a Wisp of Fog

13-15 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
16-17 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.


Psalm 118:19-29The Message (MSG)

17-20 I didn’t die. I lived!
    And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, he pushed me hard,
    but he didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
    I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
    so the victors can enter and praise.
21-25 Thank you for responding to me;
    you’ve truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed
    is now the capstone!
This is God’s work.
    We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
This is the very day God acted—
    let’s celebrate and be festive!
Salvation now, God. Salvation now!
    Oh yes, God—a free and full life!
Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—
    from God’s house we bless you!
God is God,
    he has bathed us in light.
Festoon the shrine with garlands,
    hang colored banners above the altar!
You’re my God, and I thank you.
    O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good.
    His love never quits!


Proverbs 28:3-5The Message (MSG)

The wicked who oppress the poor
are like a hailstorm that beats down the harvest.
If you desert God’s law, you’re free to embrace depravity;
if you love God’s law, you fight for it tooth and nail.
Justice makes no sense to the evilminded;
those who seek God know it inside and out.

Verse of the Day
Come, let’s shout praises to God, raise the roof for the Rock who saved us! Let’s march into his presence singing praises, lifting the rafters with our hymns!
Psalm 95:1-2 MSG
Robert F Kennedy crop.jpg
Thought for the Day

United States junior senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968, Robert F. Kennedy wrote, “Let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.”

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