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, December 21, 2016

Bible Readings for December 21, 2016

Today, our passages is Zechariah 1:1-21; Revelation 12:1–13:1a; Psalm 140:1-13; and Proverbs 30:17. 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.

Zechariah 1:1-21 (The Message)

Zechariah 1

1-4 In the eighth month of the second year in the reign of Darius, God's Message came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo: "God was very angry with your ancestors. So give to the people this Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: 'Come back to me and I'll come back to you. Don't be like your parents. The old-time prophets called out to them, "A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: Leave your evil life. Quit your evil practices." But they ignored everything I said to them, stubbornly refused to listen.' 5-6"And where are your ancestors now? Dead and buried. And the prophets who preached to them? Also dead and buried. But the Message that my servants the prophets spoke, that isn't dead and buried. That Message did its work on your ancestors, did it not? It woke them up and they came back, saying, 'He did what he said he would do, sure enough. We didn't get by with a thing.'"
First Vision: Four Riders
7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month in the second year of the reign of Darius, the Message of God was given to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah, son of Iddo: 8One night I looked out and saw a man astride a red horse. He was in the shadows in a grove of birches. Behind him were more horses—a red, a chestnut, and a white.
9I said, "Sir, what are these horses doing here? What's the meaning of this?"
The Angel-Messenger said, "Let me show you."
10Then the rider in the birch grove spoke up, "These are the riders that God sent to check things out on earth."
11They reported their findings to the Angel of God in the birch grove: "We have looked over the whole earth and all is well. Everything's under control."
12The Angel of God reported back, "O God-of-the-Angel-Armies, how long are you going to stay angry with Jerusalem and the cities of Judah? When are you going to let up? Isn't seventy years long enough?"
13-15God reassured the Angel-Messenger—good words, comforting words —who then addressed me: "Tell them this. Tell them that God-of-the-Angel-Armies has spoken. This is God's Message: 'I care deeply for Jerusalem and Zion. I feel very possessive of them. But I'm thoroughly angry with the godless nations that act as if they own the whole world. I was only moderately angry earlier, but now they've gone too far. I'm going into action.
16-17"'I've come back to Jerusalem, but with compassion this time.'
This is God speaking.
'I'll see to it that my Temple is rebuilt.'
A Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
'The rebuilding operation is already staked out.'
Say it again—a Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
'My cities will prosper again,
God will comfort Zion again,
Jerusalem will be back in my favor again.'"

Second Vision: Four Horns and Four Blacksmiths
18I looked up, and was surprised by another vision: four horns! 19I asked the Messenger-Angel, "And what's the meaning of this?"
He said, "These are the powers that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem abroad."
20Then God expanded the vision to include four blacksmiths.
21I asked, "And what are these all about?"
He said, "Since the 'horns' scattered Judah so badly that no one had any hope left, these blacksmiths have arrived to combat the horns. They'll dehorn the godless nations who used their horns to scatter Judah to the four winds."

Revelation 12-13:1 (The Message)

Revelation 12

The Woman, Her Son, and the Dragon
1-2A great Sign appeared in Heaven: a Woman dressed all in sunlight, standing on the moon, and crowned with Twelve Stars. She was giving birth to a Child and cried out in the pain of childbirth. 3-4And then another Sign alongside the first: a huge and fiery Dragon! It had seven heads and ten horns, a crown on each of the seven heads. With one flick of its tail it knocked a third of the Stars from the sky and dumped them on earth. The Dragon crouched before the Woman in childbirth, poised to eat up the Child when it came.
5-6The Woman gave birth to a Son who will shepherd all nations with an iron rod. Her Son was seized and placed safely before God on his Throne. The Woman herself escaped to the desert to a place of safety prepared by God, all comforts provided her for 1,260 days.
7-12War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying,

Salvation and power are established!
Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
and the bold word of their witness.
They weren't in love with themselves;
they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil's come down on you with both feet;
he's had a great fall;
He's wild and raging with anger;
he hasn't much time and he knows it.

13-17When the Dragon saw he'd been thrown to earth, he went after the Woman who had given birth to the Man-Child. The Woman was given wings of a great eagle to fly to a place in the desert to be kept in safety and comfort for a time and times and half a time, safe and sound from the Serpent. The Serpent vomited a river of water to swamp and drown her, but earth came to her help, swallowing the water the Dragon spewed from its mouth. Helpless with rage, the Dragon raged at the Woman, then went off to make war with the rest of her children, the children who keep God's commands and hold firm to the witness of Jesus.

Revelation 13

The Beast from the Sea
1-2And the Dragon stood on the shore of the sea. I saw a Beast rising from the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads—on each horn a crown, and each head inscribed with a blasphemous name. The Beast I saw looked like a leopard with bear paws and a lion's mouth. The Dragon turned over its power to it, its throne and great authority.


Psalm 140:1-13 (The Message)

Psalm 140

A David Psalm
1-5 God, get me out of here, away from this evil; protect me from these vicious people.
All they do is think up new ways to be bad;
they spend their days plotting war games.
They practice the sharp rhetoric of hate and hurt,
speak venomous words that maim and kill.
God, keep me out of the clutch of these wicked ones,
protect me from these vicious people;
Stuffed with self-importance, they plot ways to trip me up,
determined to bring me down.
These crooks invent traps to catch me
and do their best to incriminate me.

6-8 I prayed, "God, you're my God!
Listen, God! Mercy!
God, my Lord, Strong Savior,
protect me when the fighting breaks out!
Don't let the wicked have their way, God,
don't give them an inch!"

9-11 These troublemakers all around me—
let them drown in their own verbal poison.
Let God pile hellfire on them,
let him bury them alive in crevasses!
These loudmouths—
don't let them be taken seriously;
These savages—
let the Devil hunt them down!

12-13 I know that you, God, are on the side of victims,
that you care for the rights of the poor.
And I know that the righteous personally thank you,
that good people are secure in your presence.


Proverbs 30:17 (The Message)

17 An eye that disdains a father
and despises a mother—
that eye will be plucked out by wild vultures
and consumed by young eagles.

Verse of the Day

“While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.” - Luke 2:6-7
Today's passage is from the The Message.

Image result for Roger Williams
Thought for the Day

Puritan, an English Reformed theologian, and later a Reformed Baptist who was an early proponent of religious freedom and separation of church and state, and a supporter of members of the Free Will Baptist movement, Roger Williams wrote, “It is infinitely better that the profane and loose be unmasked than to be muffled up under the veil and hood of traditional hypocrisy, which turns and dulls the very edge of all conscience either toward God or man.”

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