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 6, 2016

Bible Readings for November 6, 2016

Today our passages are Ezekiel 14:12–16:42; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; and Proverbs 27:4-6. 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 14:12-16:42 (The Message)

 12-14 God's Message came to me: "Son of man, when a country sins against me by living faithlessly and I reach out and destroy its food supply by bringing on a famine, wiping out humans and animals alike, even if Noah, Daniel, and Job—the Big Three—were alive at the time, it wouldn't do the population any good. Their righteousness would only save their own lives." Decree of God, the Master.
 15-16 "Or, if I make wild animals go through the country so that everyone has to leave and the country becomes wilderness and no one dares enter it anymore because of the wild animals, even if these three men were living there, as sure as I am the living God, neither their sons nor daughters would be rescued, but only those three, and the country would revert to wilderness.
 17-18 "Or, if I bring war on that country and give the order, 'Let the killing begin!' leaving both people and animals dead, even if those three men were alive at the time, as sure as I am the living God, neither sons nor daughters would be rescued, but only these three.
 19-20 "Or, if I visit a deadly disease on that country, pouring out my lethal anger, killing both people and animals, and Noah, Daniel, and Job happened to be alive at the time, as sure as I am the living God, not a son, not a daughter, would be rescued. Only these three would be delivered because of their righteousness.
 21-23 "Now then, that's the picture," says God, the Master, "once I've sent my four catastrophic judgments on Jerusalem—war, famine, wild animals, disease—to kill off people and animals alike. But look! Believe it or not, there'll be survivors. Some of their sons and daughters will be brought out. When they come out to you and their salvation is right in your face, you'll see for yourself the life they've been saved from. You'll know that this severe judgment I brought on Jerusalem was worth it, that it had to be. Yes, when you see in detail the kind of lives they've been living, you'll feel much better. You'll see the reason behind all that I've done in Jerusalem." Decree of God, the Master.

Ezekiel 15

Used as Fuel for the Fire
 1-3 God's Message came to me: "Son of man, how would you compare the wood of a vine with the branches of any tree you'd find in the forest? Is vine wood ever used to make anything? Is it used to make pegs to hang things from?  4 "I don't think so. At best it's good for fuel. Look at it: A flimsy piece of vine, thrown in the fire and then rescued—the ends burned off and the middle charred. Now is it good for anything?
 5 "Hardly. When it was whole it wasn't good for anything. Half-burned is no improvement. What's it good for?
 6-8 "So here's the Message of God, the Master: Like the wood of the vine I selected from among the trees of the forest and used as fuel for the fire, just so I'll treat those who live in Jerusalem. I am dead set against them. Even though at one time they got out of the fire charred, the fire's going to burn them up. When I take my stand against them, you'll realize that I am God. I'll turn this country into a wilderness because they've been faithless." Decree of God, the Master.

Ezekiel 16

Your Beauty Went to Your Head
 1-3 God's Message came to me: "Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her outrageous violations. Say this: 'The Message of God, the Master, to Jerusalem: You were born and bred among Canaanites. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.  4-5 "'On the day you were born your umbilical cord was not cut, you weren't bathed and cleaned up, you weren't rubbed with salt, you weren't wrapped in a baby blanket. No one cared a fig for you. No one did one thing to care for you tenderly in these ways. You were thrown out into a vacant lot and left there, dirty and unwashed—a newborn nobody wanted.
 6-7 "'And then I came by. I saw you all miserable and bloody. Yes, I said to you, lying there helpless and filthy, "Live! Grow up like a plant in the field!" And you did. You grew up. You grew tall and matured as a woman, full-breasted, with flowing hair. But you were naked and vulnerable, fragile and exposed.
 8-14 "'I came by again and saw you, saw that you were ready for love and a lover. I took care of you, dressed you and protected you. I promised you my love and entered the covenant of marriage with you. I, God, the Master, gave my word. You became mine. I gave you a good bath, washing off all that old blood, and anointed you with aromatic oils. I dressed you in a colorful gown and put leather sandals on your feet. I gave you linen blouses and a fashionable wardrobe of expensive clothing. I adorned you with jewelry: I placed bracelets on your wrists, fitted you out with a necklace, emerald rings, sapphire earrings, and a diamond tiara. You were provided with everything precious and beautiful: with exquisite clothes and elegant food, garnished with honey and oil. You were absolutely stunning. You were a queen! You became world-famous, a legendary beauty brought to perfection by my adornments. Decree of God, the Master.
 15-16 "'But your beauty went to your head and you became a common whore, grabbing anyone coming down the street and taking him into your bed. You took your fine dresses and made "tents" of them, using them as brothels in which you practiced your trade. This kind of thing should never happen, never.
What a Sick Soul!
 17-19 "'And then you took all that fine jewelry I gave you, my gold and my silver, and made pornographic images of them for your brothels. You decorated your beds with fashionable silks and cottons, and perfumed them with my aromatic oils and incense. And then you set out the wonderful foods I provided—the fresh breads and fruits, with fine herbs and spices, which were my gifts to you—and you served them as delicacies in your whorehouses. That's what happened, says God, the Master.  20-21 "'And then you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had given birth to as my children, and you killed them, sacrificing them to idols. Wasn't it bad enough that you had become a whore? And now you're a murderer, killing my children and sacrificing them to idols.
 22 "'Not once during these years of outrageous obscenities and whorings did you remember your infancy, when you were naked and exposed, a blood-smeared newborn.
 23-24 "'And then to top off all your evil acts, you built your bold brothels in every town square. Doom! Doom to you, says God, the Master! At every major intersection you built your bold brothels and exposed your sluttish sex, spreading your legs for everyone who passed by.
 25-27 "'And then you went international with your whoring. You fornicated with the Egyptians, seeking them out in their sex orgies. The more promiscuous you became, the angrier I got. Finally, I intervened, reduced your borders and turned you over to the rapacity of your enemies. Even the Philistine women—can you believe it?—were shocked at your sluttish life.
 28-29 "'You went on to fornicate with the Assyrians. Your appetite was insatiable. But still you weren't satisfied. You took on the Babylonians, a country of businessmen, and still you weren't satisfied.
 30-31 "'What a sick soul! Doing all this stuff—the champion whore! You built your bold brothels at every major intersection, opened up your whorehouses in every neighborhood, but you were different from regular whores in that you wouldn't accept a fee.
 32-34 "'Wives who are unfaithful to their husbands accept gifts from their lovers. And men commonly pay their whores. But you pay your lovers! You bribe men from all over to come to bed with you! You're just the opposite of the regular whores who get paid for sex. Instead, you pay men for their favors! You even pervert whoredom!
 35-38 "'Therefore, whore, listen to God's Message: I, God, the Master, say, Because you've been unrestrained in your promiscuity, stripped down for every lover, flaunting your sex, and because of your pornographic idols and all the slaughtered children you offered to them, therefore, because of all this, I'm going to get all your lovers together, all those you've used for your own pleasure, the ones you loved and the ones you loathed. I'll assemble them as a courtroom of spectators around you. In broad daylight I'll strip you naked before them—they'll see what you really look like. Then I'll sentence you to the punishment for an adulterous woman and a murderous woman. I'll give you a taste of my wrath!
 39-41 "'I'll gather all your lovers around you and turn you over to them. They'll tear down your bold brothels and sex shrines. They'll rip off your clothes, take your jewels, and leave you naked and exposed. Then they'll call for a mass meeting. The mob will stone you and hack you to pieces with their swords. They'll burn down your houses. A massive judgment—with all the women watching!
 41-42 "'I'll have put a full stop to your whoring life—no more paying lovers to come to your bed! By then my anger will be played out. My jealousy will subside.

Hebrews 7:18-28 (The Message)

 15-19But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy: Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life—he lives!—"priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek." The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way—Jesus!—a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place.
 20-22The old priesthood of Aaron perpetuated itself automatically, father to son, without explicit confirmation by God. But then God intervened and called this new, permanent priesthood into being with an added promise:

   God gave his word;
      he won't take it back:
   "You're the permanent priest."
This makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between us and God—one that really works! A new covenant.

 23-25Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. But Jesus' priesthood is permanent. He's there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them.
 26-28So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God's presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn't have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He's done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect.

Psalm 106:1-12 (The Message)

Psalm 106

    Hallelujah! Thank God! And why?
      Because he's good, because his love lasts.
   But who on earth can do it—
      declaim God's mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?
   You're one happy man when you do what's right,
      one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.

 4-5 Remember me, God, when you enjoy your people;
      include me when you save them;
   I want to see your chosen succeed,
      celebrate with your celebrating nation,
      join the Hallelujahs of your pride and joy!

 6-12 We've sinned a lot, both we and our parents;
      We've fallen short, hurt a lot of people.
   After our parents left Egypt,
      they took your wonders for granted,
      forgot your great and wonderful love.
   They were barely beyond the Red Sea
      when they defied the High God
      —the very place he saved them!
      —the place he revealed his amazing power!
   He rebuked the Red Sea so that it dried up on the spot
      —he paraded them right through!
      —no one so much as got wet feet!
   He saved them from a life of oppression,
      pried them loose from the grip of the enemy.
   Then the waters flowed back on their oppressors;
      there wasn't a single survivor.
   Then they believed his words were true
      and broke out in songs of praise.


Proverbs 27:4-6 (The Message)

 4 We're blasted by anger and swamped by rage,
   but who can survive jealousy?

 5 A spoken reprimand is better
   than approval that's never expressed.

 6 The wounds from a lover are worth it;
   kisses from an enemy do you in.

Verse of the Day

“and by what Christ has done, God has shown us his own mysterious ways. Then when the time is right, God will do all that he has planned, and Christ will bring together everything in heaven and on earth.” - Ephesians 1:9-10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Middle aged man with greying hair and full beard
Thought for the Day

Anglo-Irish playwright, critic and polemicist, George Bernard Shaw wrote, “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

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