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 28, 2016

Bible Readings for December 28, 2016

Today, our passages are Zechariah 12:1–13:9; Revelation 19:1-21; Psalm 147:1-20; and Proverbs 31:1-7. 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.

Zechariah 12-13:9 (The Message)

Zechariah 12

Home Again in Jerusalem
1-2 War Bulletin: God's Message concerning Israel, God's Decree—the very God who threw the skies into space, set earth on a firm foundation, and breathed his own life into men and women: "Watch for this: I'm about to turn Jerusalem into a cup of strong drink that will have the people who have set siege to Judah and Jerusalem staggering in a drunken stupor. 3"On the Big Day, I'll turn Jerusalem into a huge stone blocking the way for everyone. All who try to lift it will rupture themselves. All the pagan nations will come together and try to get rid of it.
4-5"On the Big Day"—this is God speaking—"I'll throw all the war horses into a crazed panic, and their riders along with them. But I'll keep my eye on Judah, watching out for her at the same time that I make the enemy horses go blind. The families of Judah will then realize, 'Why, our leaders are strong and able through God-of-the-Angel-Armies, their personal God.'
6"On the Big Day, I'll turn the families of Judah into something like a burning match in a tinder-dry forest, like a fiercely flaming torch in a barn full of hay. They'll burn up everything and everyone in sight—people to the right, people to the left—while Jerusalem fills up with people moving in and making themselves at home—home again in Jerusalem.
7-8"I, God, will begin by restoring the common households of Judah so that the glory of David's family and the leaders in Jerusalem won't overshadow the ordinary people in Judah. On the Big Day, I'll look after everyone who lives in Jerusalem so that the lowliest, weakest person will be as glorious as David and the family of David itself will be godlike, like the Angel of God leading the people.
9"On the Big Day, I'll make a clean sweep of all the godless nations that fought against Jerusalem.
10-14"Next I'll deal with the family of David and those who live in Jerusalem. I'll pour a spirit of grace and prayer over them. They'll then be able to recognize me as the One they so grievously wounded—that piercing spear-thrust! And they'll weep—oh, how they'll weep! Deep mourning as of a parent grieving the loss of the firstborn child. The lamentation in Jerusalem that day will be massive, as famous as the lamentation over Hadad-Rimmon on the fields of Megiddo:

Everyone will weep and grieve,
the land and everyone in it:
The family of David off by itself
and their women off by themselves;
The family of Nathan off by itself
and their women off by themselves;
The family of Levi off by itself
and their women off by themselves;
The family of Shimei off by itself
and their women off by themselves;
And all the rest of the families off by themselves
and their women off by themselves."

Zechariah 13

Washing Away Sins
1 "On the Big Day, a fountain will be opened for the family of David and all the leaders of Jerusalem for washing away their sins, for scrubbing their stained and soiled lives clean. 2-3"On the Big Day"—this is God-of-the-Angel-Armies speaking—"I will wipe out the store-bought gods, erase their names from memory. People will forget they ever heard of them. And I'll get rid of the prophets who polluted the air with their diseased words. If anyone dares persist in spreading diseased, polluting words, his very own parents will step in and say, 'That's it! You're finished! Your lies about God put everyone in danger,' and then they'll stab him to death in the very act of prophesying lies about God—his own parents, mind you!
4-6"On the Big Day, the lying prophets will be publicly exposed and humiliated. Then they'll wish they'd never swindled people with their 'visions.' No more masquerading in prophet clothes. But they'll deny they've even heard of such things: 'Me, a prophet? Not me. I'm a farmer—grew up on the farm.' And if someone says, 'And so where did you get that black eye?' they'll say, 'I ran into a door at a friend's house.'
7-9"Sword, get moving against my shepherd,
against my close associate!"
Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
"Kill the shepherd! Scatter the sheep!
The back of my hand against even the lambs!
All across the country"—God's Decree—
"two-thirds will be devastated
and one-third survive.
I'll deliver the surviving third to the refinery fires.
I'll refine them as silver is refined,
test them for purity as gold is tested.
Then they'll pray to me by name
and I'll answer them personally.
I'll say, 'That's my people.'
They'll say, 'God—my God!'"

Revelation 19:1-21 (The Message)

Revelation 19

The Sound of Hallelujahs
1-3 I heard a sound like massed choirs in Heaven singing, Hallelujah!
The salvation and glory and power are God's—
his judgments true, his judgments just.
He judged the great Whore
who corrupted the earth with her lust.
He avenged on her the blood of his servants.
Then, more singing:
The smoke from her burning billows up
to high Heaven forever and ever and ever.
4The Twenty-four Elders and the Four Animals fell to their knees and worshiped God on his Throne, praising,

Amen! Yes! Hallelujah!

5From the Throne came a shout, a command:

Praise our God, all you his servants,
All you who fear him, small and great!

6-8Then I heard the sound of massed choirs, the sound of a mighty cataract, the sound of strong thunder:

The Master reigns,
our God, the Sovereign-Strong!
Let us celebrate, let us rejoice,
let us give him the glory!
The Marriage of the Lamb has come;
his Wife has made herself ready.
She was given a bridal gown
of bright and shining linen.
The linen is the righteousness of the saints.

9The Angel said to me, "Write this: 'Blessed are those invited to the Wedding Supper of the Lamb.'" He added, "These are the true words of God!"
10I fell at his feet to worship him, but he wouldn't let me. "Don't do that," he said. "I'm a servant just like you, and like your brothers and sisters who hold to the witness of Jesus. The witness of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
A White Horse and Its Rider
11-16Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that's known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as "Word of God." The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords. 17-18I saw an Angel standing in the sun, shouting to all flying birds in Middle-Heaven, "Come to the Great Supper of God! Feast on the flesh of kings and captains and champions, horses and their riders. Eat your fill of them all—free and slave, small and great!"
19-21I saw the Beast and, assembled with him, earth's kings and their armies, ready to make war against the One on the horse and his army. The Beast was taken, and with him, his puppet, the False Prophet, who used signs to dazzle and deceive those who had taken the mark of the Beast and worshiped his image. They were thrown alive, those two, into Lake Fire and Brimstone. The rest were killed by the sword of the One on the horse, the sword that comes from his mouth. All the birds held a feast on their flesh.

Psalm 147:1-20 (The Message)

Psalm 147

Hallelujah! It's a good thing to sing praise to our God;
praise is beautiful, praise is fitting.

2-6 God's the one who rebuilds Jerusalem,
who regathers Israel's scattered exiles.
He heals the heartbroken
and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars
and assigns each a name.
Our Lord is great, with limitless strength;
we'll never comprehend what he knows and does.
God puts the fallen on their feet again
and pushes the wicked into the ditch.

7-11 Sing to God a thanksgiving hymn,
play music on your instruments to God,
Who fills the sky with clouds,
preparing rain for the earth,
Then turning the mountains green with grass,
feeding both cattle and crows.
He's not impressed with horsepower;
the size of our muscles means little to him.
Those who fear God get God's attention;
they can depend on his strength.

12-18 Jerusalem, worship God!
Zion, praise your God!
He made your city secure,
he blessed your children among you.
He keeps the peace at your borders,
he puts the best bread on your tables.
He launches his promises earthward—
how swift and sure they come!
He spreads snow like a white fleece,
he scatters frost like ashes,
He broadcasts hail like birdseed—
who can survive his winter?
Then he gives the command and it all melts;
he breathes on winter—suddenly it's spring!

19-20 He speaks the same way to Jacob,
speaks words that work to Israel.
He never did this to the other nations;
they never heard such commands.


Proverbs 31:1-7 (The Message)

Proverbs 31

Speak Out for Justice
1The words of King Lemuel, the strong advice his mother gave him:

2-3 "Oh, son of mine, what can you be thinking of!
Child whom I bore! The son I dedicated to God!
Don't dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women,
promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.

4-7 "Leaders can't afford to make fools of themselves,
gulping wine and swilling beer,
Lest, hung over, they don't know right from wrong,
and the people who depend on them are hurt.
Use wine and beer only as sedatives,
to kill the pain and dull the ache
Of the terminally ill,
for whom life is a living death.

Verse of the Day
“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

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Thought for the Day

Roman poet and teacher of rhetoric, Ausonius wrote, “Let us never know what old age is. Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.”

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