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 7, 2016

Bible Readings for November 7, 2016

Today our passages are Ezekiel 16:43–17:24; Hebrews 8:1-13; Psalm 106:13-31; and Proverbs 27:7-9. 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 16:43-17:24 (The Message)

 43 "'Because you didn't remember what happened when you were young but made me angry with all this behavior, I'll make you pay for your waywardness. Didn't you just exponentially compound your outrageous obscenities with all your sluttish ways?
 44-45 "'Everyone who likes to use proverbs will use this one: "Like mother, like daughter." You're the daughter of your mother, who couldn't stand her husband and children. And you're a true sister of your sisters, who couldn't stand their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
 46-48 "'Your older sister is Samaria. She lived to the north of you with her daughters. Your younger sister is Sodom, who lived to the south of you with her daughters. Haven't you lived just like they did? Haven't you engaged in outrageous obscenities just like they did? In fact, it didn't take you long to catch up and pass them! As sure as I am the living God!—Decree of God, the Master—your sister Sodom and her daughters never even came close to what you and your daughters have done.
 49-50 "'The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.
 51-52 "'And Samaria. Samaria didn't sin half as much as you. You've committed far more obscenities than she ever did. Why, you make your two sisters look good in comparison with what you've done! Face it, your sisters look mighty good compared with you. Because you've outsinned them so completely, you've actually made them look righteous. Aren't you ashamed? But you're going to have to live with it. What a reputation to carry into history: outsinning your two sisters!
 53-58 "'But I'm going to reverse their fortunes, the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters. And—get this—your fortunes right along with them! Still, you're going to have to live with your shame. And by facing and accepting your shame, you're going to provide some comfort to your two sisters. Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will become what they were before, and you will become what you were before. Remember the days when you were putting on airs, acting so high and mighty, looking down on sister Sodom? That was before your evil ways were exposed. And now you're the butt of contempt, despised by the Edomite women, the Philistine women, and everybody else around. But you have to face it, to accept the shame of your obscene and vile life. Decree of God, the Master.
 59-63 "'God, the Master, says, I'll do to you just as you have already done, you who have treated my oath with contempt and broken the covenant. All the same, I'll remember the covenant I made with you when you were young and I'll make a new covenant with you that will last forever. You'll remember your sorry past and be properly contrite when you receive back your sisters, both the older and the younger. I'll give them to you as daughters, but not as participants in your covenant. I'll firmly establish my covenant with you and you'll know that I am God. You'll remember your past life and face the shame of it, but when I make atonement for you, make everything right after all you've done, it will leave you speechless.'" Decree of God, the Master.

Ezekiel 17

The Great Tree Is Made Small and the Small Tree Great
 1-6 God's Message came to me: "Son of man, make a riddle for the house of Israel. Tell them a story. Say, 'God, the Master, says: "'A great eagle
   with a huge wingspan and long feathers,
In full plumage and bright colors,
   came to Lebanon
And took the top off a cedar,
   broke off the top branch,
Took it to a land of traders,
   and set it down in a city of shopkeepers.
Then he took a cutting from the land
   and planted it in good, well-watered soil,
   like a willow on a riverbank.
It sprouted into a flourishing vine,
   low to the ground.
Its branches grew toward the eagle
   and the roots became established—
A vine putting out shoots,
   developing branches.
 7-8"'There was another great eagle
   with a huge wingspan and thickly feathered.
This vine sent out its roots toward him
   from the place where it was planted.
Its branches reached out to him
   so he could water it
   from a long distance.
It had been planted
   in good, well-watered soil,
And it put out branches and bore fruit,
   and became a noble vine.

 9-10"'God, the Master, says,
   Will it thrive?
Won't he just pull it up by the roots
   and leave the grapes to rot
And the branches to shrivel up,
   a withered, dead vine?
It won't take much strength
   or many hands to pull it up.
Even if it's transplanted,
   will it thrive?
When the hot east wind strikes it,
   won't it shrivel up?
Won't it dry up and blow away
   from the place where it was planted?'"

 11-12 God's Message came to me: "Tell this house of rebels, 'Do you get it? Do you know what this means?'
 12-14 "Tell them, 'The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took its king and its leaders back to Babylon. He took one of the royal family and made a covenant with him, making him swear his loyalty. The king of Babylon took all the top leaders into exile to make sure that this kingdom stayed weak—didn't get any big ideas of itself—and kept the covenant with him so that it would have a future.
 15 "'But he rebelled and sent emissaries to Egypt to recruit horses and a big army. Do you think that's going to work? Are they going to get by with this? Does anyone break a covenant and get off scot-free?
 16-18 "'As sure as I am the living God, this king who broke his pledge of loyalty and his covenant will die in that country, in Babylon. Pharaoh with his big army—all those soldiers!—won't lift a finger to fight for him when Babylon sets siege to the city and kills everyone inside. Because he broke his word and broke the covenant, even though he gave his solemn promise, because he went ahead and did all these things anyway, he won't escape.
 19-21 "'Therefore, God, the Master, says, As sure as I am the living God, because the king despised my oath and broke my covenant, I'll bring the consequences crashing down on his head. I'll send out a search party and catch him. I'll take him to Babylon and have him brought to trial because of his total disregard for me. All his elite soldiers, along with the rest of the army, will be killed in battle, and whoever is left will be scattered to the four winds. Then you'll realize that I, God, have spoken.
 22-24 "'God, the Master, says, I personally will take a shoot from the top of the towering cedar, a cutting from the crown of the tree, and plant it on a high and towering mountain, on the high mountain of Israel. It will grow, putting out branches and fruit—a majestic cedar. Birds of every sort and kind will live under it. They'll build nests in the shade of its branches. All the trees of the field will recognize that I, God, made the great tree small and the small tree great, made the green tree turn dry and the dry tree sprout green branches. I, God, said it—and I did it.'"

Hebrews 8:1-13 (The Message)

Hebrews 8

A New Plan with Israel
 1-2In essence, we have just such a high priest: authoritative right alongside God, conducting worship in the one true sanctuary built by God. 3-5The assigned task of a high priest is to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and it's no different with the priesthood of Jesus. If he were limited to earth, he wouldn't even be a priest. We wouldn't need him since there are plenty of priests who offer the gifts designated in the law. These priests provide only a hint of what goes on in the true sanctuary of heaven, which Moses caught a glimpse of as he was about to set up the tent-shrine. It was then that God said, "Be careful to do it exactly as you saw it on the Mountain."  6-13But Jesus' priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he's working from a far better plan. If the first plan—the old covenant—had worked out, a second wouldn't have been needed. But we know the first was found wanting, because God said,

   Heads up! The days are coming
      when I'll set up a new plan
      for dealing with Israel and Judah.
   I'll throw out the old plan
      I set up with their ancestors
      when I led them by the hand out of Egypt.
   They didn't keep their part of the bargain,
      so I looked away and let it go.
   This new plan I'm making with Israel
      isn't going to be written on paper,
      isn't going to be chiseled in stone;
   This time I'm writing out the plan in them,
      carving it on the lining of their hearts.
   I'll be their God,
      they'll be my people.
   They won't go to school to learn about me,
      or buy a book called God in Five Easy Lessons.
   They'll all get to know me firsthand,
      the little and the big, the small and the great.
   They'll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
      with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and his people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust.

Psalm 106:13-31 (The Message)

 13-18 But it wasn't long before they forgot the whole thing,
      wouldn't wait to be told what to do.
   They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert,
      provoked God with their insistent demands.
   He gave them exactly what they asked for—
      but along with it they got an empty heart.
   One day in camp some grew jealous of Moses,
      also of Aaron, holy priest of God.
   The ground opened and swallowed Dathan,
      then buried Abiram's gang.
   Fire flared against that rebel crew
      and torched them to a cinder.

 19-22 They cast in metal a bull calf at Horeb
      and worshiped the statue they'd made.
   They traded the Glory
      for a cheap piece of sculpture—a grass-chewing bull!
   They forgot God, their very own Savior,
      who turned things around in Egypt,
   Who created a world of wonders in the Land of Ham,
      who gave that stunning performance at the Red Sea.

 23-27 Fed up, God decided to get rid of them—
      and except for Moses, his chosen, he would have.
   But Moses stood in the gap and deflected God's anger,
      prevented it from destroying them utterly.
   They went on to reject the Blessed Land,
      didn't believe a word of what God promised.
   They found fault with the life they had
      and turned a deaf ear to God's voice.
   Exasperated, God swore
      that he'd lay them low in the desert,
   Scattering their children hither and yon,
      strewing them all over the earth.

 28-31 Then they linked up with Baal Peor,
      attending funeral banquets and eating idol food.
   That made God so angry
      that a plague spread through their ranks;
   Phinehas stood up and pled their case
      and the plague was stopped.
   This was counted to his credit;
      his descendants will never forget it.

Proverbs 27:7-9 (The Message)

 7 When you've stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert;
   when you're starved, you could eat a horse.

 8 People who won't settle down, wandering hither and yon,
   are like restless birds, flitting to and fro.

 9 Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight,
   a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.

Verse of the Day

“[How To Pray]First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them. Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God.” - 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Marie Curie c1920.jpg
Thought for the Day

Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity, Marie Curie wrote, “Humanity needs practical men, who get the most out of their work, and, without forgetting the general good, safeguard their own interests. But humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit.”

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