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.

The Bible in a Year is a ministry of Cove Presbyterian Church. We need your support to keep posting. If you find it helpful, you can support this blog by your contributions. They may be sent to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, WV 26062. You can also use the PayPal link below:

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Bible Readings for May 26, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 9:1–11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:49-64; and Proverbs 16:1-3. The readings are from the Contemporary English VersionIf 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.

2 Samuel 9-11:27 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 9

David Is Kind to Mephibosheth
 1One day, David thought, "I wonder if any of Saul's family are still alive. If they are, I will be kind to them, because I made a promise to Jonathan." 2David called in Ziba, one of the servants of Saul's family. David said, "So you are Ziba."    "Yes, Your Majesty, I am."
    3David asked, "Are any of Saul's family still alive? If there are, I want to be kind to them."
   Ziba answered, "One of Jonathan's sons is still alive, but he can't walk."
    4"Where is he?" David asked.
   Ziba replied, "He lives in Lo-Debar with Machir the son of Ammiel."
    5-6David sent some servants to bring Jonathan's son from Lo-Debar. His name was Mephibosheth, [a] and he was the grandson of Saul. He came to David and knelt down. David asked, "Are you Mephibosheth?"
   "Yes, I am, Your Majesty."
    7David said, "Don't be afraid. I'll be kind to you because Jonathan was your father. I'm going to give you back the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. Besides that, you will always eat with me at my table."
    8Mephibosheth knelt down again and said, "Why should you care about me? I'm worth no more than a dead dog."
    9David called in Ziba, Saul's chief servant, and told him, "Since Mephibosheth is Saul's grandson, I've given him back everything that belonged to your master Saul and his family. 10You and your fifteen sons and twenty servants will work for Mephibosheth. You will farm his land and bring in his crops, so that Saul's family and servants [b] will have food. But Mephibosheth will always eat with me at my table." 11-13Ziba replied, "Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do." So Ziba's family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.
   Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David's [c] table, just like one of David's own sons. And he had a young son of his own, named Mica.

2 Samuel 10

Israel Fights Ammon
(1 Chronicles 19.1-19)
 1Some time later, King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2David said, "Nahash was kind to me, and I will be kind to his son." So he sent some officials to the country of Ammon to tell Hanun how sorry he was that his father had died.     3But Hanun's officials told him, "Do you really believe David is honoring your father by sending these people to comfort you? He probably sent them to spy on our city, so he can destroy it." 4Hanun arrested David's officials and had their beards shaved off on one side of their faces. He had their robes cut off just below the waist, and then he sent them away. 5They were terribly ashamed.
   When David found out what had happened to his officials, he sent a message and told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back. Then you can come home."
    6The Ammonites realized that they had made David very angry, so they hired more foreign soldiers. Twenty thousand of them were foot soldiers from the Aramean cities of Beth-Rehob and Zobah, one thousand were from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand were from the region of Tob. 7David heard what they had done, and he sent out Joab with all of his well-trained soldiers.
    8The Ammonite troops came out and got ready to fight in front of the gate to their city. The Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the soldiers from Tob and Maacah formed a separate group in the nearby fields.
    9Joab saw that he had to fight in front and behind at the same time, and he picked some of the best Israelite soldiers to fight the Arameans. 10He put his brother Abishai in command of the rest of the army and had them fight the Ammonites. 11Joab told his brother, "If the Arameans are too much for me to handle, you can come and help me. If the Ammonites are too strong for you, I'll come and help you. 12Be brave and fight hard to protect our people and the cities of our God. I pray that the LORD will do whatever pleases him."
    13Joab and his soldiers attacked the Arameans, and the Arameans ran from them. 14When the Ammonite soldiers saw that the Arameans had run away, they ran from Abishai's soldiers and went back into their own city. Joab stopped fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
    15The Arameans realized they had lost the battle, so they brought all their troops together again. 16Hadadezer sent messengers to call in the Arameans who were on the other side of the Euphrates River. Then Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer's army, led them to the town of Helam.
    17David found out what the Arameans were doing, and he brought Israel's whole army together. They crossed the Jordan River and went to Helam, where the Arameans were ready to meet them. 18The Arameans attacked, but then they ran from Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry. [d] He also killed Shobach, their commander. 19When the kings who had been under Hadadezer's rule saw that Israel had beaten them, they made peace with Israel and accepted David as their ruler. The Arameans were afraid to help Ammon any more.

2 Samuel 11

David and Bathsheba
(1 Chronicles 20.1a)
 1It was now spring, the time when kings go to war. [e] David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem. 2-4Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required. [f] David happened to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was. The servant came back and told David, "Her name is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite."    David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. 5But later, when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to David with this message: "I'm pregnant!"
    6David sent a message to Joab: "Send Uriah the Hittite to me."
   Joab sent Uriah 7to David's palace, and David asked him, "Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?" 8Then David told Uriah, "Go home and clean up." [g] Uriah left the king's palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriah's house. 9But Uriah didn't go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal palace, where the king's guards slept. 10Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home. So the next morning David asked him, "Why didn't you go home? Haven't you been away for a long time?"
    11Uriah answered, "The sacred chest and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields [h] with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!" 12Then David said, "Stay here in Jerusalem today, and I will send you back tomorrow."
   Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next day, 13David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards. 14Early the next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15The letter said: "Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die."
    16Joab had been carefully watching the city of Rabbah, and he put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemy's best soldiers. 17When the men of the city came out, they fought and killed some of David's soldiers--Uriah the Hittite was one of them.
    18Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that was happening in the war. 19He gave the messenger these orders:
   When you finish telling the king everything that has happened, 20he may get angry and ask, "Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21Don't you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon [i] was killed at Thebez? Didn't a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?" Then you tell him, "One of your soldiers who was killed was Uriah the Hittite."
    22The messenger went to David and reported everything Joab had told him. 23He added, "The enemy chased us from the wall and out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate. 24Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite."
    25David replied, "Tell Joab to cheer up and not to be upset about what happened. You never know who will be killed in a war. Tell him to strengthen his attack against the city and break through its walls." [j] 26When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to the palace. She became David's wife, and they had a son.
   The LORD was angry at what David had done,
  1. 2 Samuel 9:5 Mephibosheth: Or "Mephibaal" (see the note at 4.4).
  2. 2 Samuel 9:10 Saul's family and servants: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation; Hebrew "the son of your master."
  3. 2 Samuel 9:11 David's: Hebrew "my."
  4. 2 Samuel 10:18 cavalry: The Hebrew manuscripts and ancient translations differ as to how many and what kind of soldiers were killed.
  5. 2 Samuel 11:1 when. . . war: Or "when the messengers had gone to Ammon" (see 10.2) or "the time when the kings had gone to war" (see 10.6-8).
  6. 2 Samuel 11:2 as. . . required: This bathing was often a requirement for worshiping God.
  7. 2 Samuel 11:8 and clean up: Or "and sleep with your wife."
  8. 2 Samuel 11:11 somewhere in the fields: Or "at Succoth."
  9. 2 Samuel 11:21 Gideon: The Hebrew text has Jerubbesheth, which stands for "Jerubbaal," another name for Gideon. See Judges 6.32 and the note on "bosheth" at 2.8 ("besheth" means the same as "bosheth").
  10. 2 Samuel 11:25 break. . . walls: Or "destroy it."

John 15:1-27 (Contemporary English Version)

John 15

Jesus Is the True Vine
 1Jesus said to his disciples:    I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. 3You are already clean because of what I have said to you.
    4Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. 5I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. 6If you don't stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire.
    7Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered. 8When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored. 9I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. 10If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.
    11I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. 12Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. 13The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. 14And you are my friends, if you obey me. 15Servants don't know what their master is doing, and so I don't speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
    16You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. [a] 17So I command you to love each other.
The World's Hatred
 18If the people of this world [b] hate you, just remember that they hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don't belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you. 20Remember how I told you that servants are not greater than their master. So if people mistreat me, they will mistreat you. If they do what I say, they will do what you say. 21People will do to you exactly what they did to me. They will do it because you belong to me, and they don't know the one who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.     23Everyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24I have done things that no one else has ever done. If they had not seen me do these things, they would not be guilty. But they did see me do these things, and they still hate me and my Father too. 25That is why the Scriptures are true when they say, "People hated me for no reason."
    26I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help [c] you and will tell you about me. 27Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
  1. John 15:16 in my name: Or " because you are my followers."
  2. John 15:18 world: See the note at 12.31.
  3. John 15:26 help: See the note at 14.16.

Psalm 119:49-64 (Contemporary English Version)

49Don't forget your promise
   to me, your servant.
   I depend on it.
    50When I am hurting,
   I find comfort in your promise
   that leads to life.
    51Conceited people sneer at me,
   but I obey your Law.
    52I find true comfort, LORD,
   because your laws have stood
   the test of time.
    53I get furious when evil people
   turn against your Law.
    54No matter where I am,
   your teachings
   fill me with songs.
    55Even in the night
   I think about you, LORD,
   and I obey your Law.
    56You have blessed me
   because I have always followed
   your teachings.
    57You, LORD, are my choice,
   and I will obey you.
    58With all my heart
   I beg you to be kind to me,
   just as you have promised.
    59I pay careful attention
   as you lead me,
   and I follow closely.
    60As soon as you command,
   I do what you say.
    61Evil people may set a trap,
   but I obey your Law.
    62Your laws are so fair
   that I wake up
   and praise you
   in the middle of the night.
    63I choose as my friends
   everyone who worships you
   and follows your teachings.
    64Our LORD, your love is seen
   all over the world.
   Teach me your laws.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 16

The LORD Has the Final Word
 1We humans make plans,    but the LORD
   has the final word.
    2We may think we know
   what is right,
   but the LORD is the judge
   of our motives.
    3Share your plans with the LORD,
   and you will succeed.

Verse of the Day

“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!” - John 3:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Disraeli in old age, wearing a double-breasted suit, bow tie and hatThought for the Day

British politician and writer who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Benjamin Disraeli wrote, “Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

A Joke for Today
Image result for nervous preacherA preacher, who shall we say was "humor impaired," attended a conference to help encourage and better equip pastors for their ministry.
Among the speakers were many well known and dynamic speakers. One such boldly approached the pulpit and, gathering the entire crowd's attention, said, "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman that wasn't my wife!" The crowd was shocked! He followed up by saying, "And that woman was my mother!" - The crowd burst into laughter and delivered the rest of his talk, which went over quite well.
The next week, the pastor decided he'd give this humor thing a try, and use that joke in his sermon. As he surely approached the pulpit that sunny Sunday, he tried to rehearse the joke in his head. It suddenly seemed a bit foggy to him.

Getting to the microphone he said loudly, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman that was not my wife!" The congregation inhaled half the air in the room. After standing there for almost 10 seconds in the stunned silence, trying to recall the second half of the joke, the pastor finally blurted out, "...and I can't remember who she was!"

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bible Readings for May 25, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 7:1–8:18; John 14:15-31; Psalm 119:33-48; and Proverbs 15:33.The readings are from the Contemporary English VersionIf 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.

2 Samuel 7-8:18 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 7

The LORD's Message to David
(1 Chronicles 17.1-15)
 1King David moved into his new palace, and the LORD let his kingdom be at peace. 2Then one day, as David was talking with Nathan the prophet, David said, "Look around! I live in a palace made of cedar, but the sacred chest has to stay in a tent."     3Nathan replied, "The LORD is with you, so do what you want!"
    4That night, the LORD told Nathan 5to go to David and give him this message:
   David, you are my servant, so listen to what I say. Why should you build a temple for me? 6I didn't live in a temple when I brought my people out of Egypt, and I don't live in one now. A tent has always been my home wherever I have gone with them. 7I chose leaders and told them to be like shepherds for my people Israel. But did I ever say anything to even one of them about building a cedar temple for me?
    8David, this is what I, the LORD All-Powerful, say to you. I brought you in from the fields where you took care of sheep, and I made you the leader of my people. 9Wherever you went, I helped you and destroyed your enemies right in front of your eyes. I have made you one of the most famous people in the world.
    10I have given my people Israel a land of their own where they can live in peace, and they won't have to tremble with fear any more. Evil nations won't bother them, as they did 11when I let judges rule my people. And I have kept your enemies from attacking you.
   Now I promise that you and your descendants will be kings. 12I'll choose one of your sons to be king when you reach the end of your life and are buried in the tomb of your ancestors. I'll make him a strong ruler, 13and no one will be able to take his kingdom away from him. He will be the one to build a temple for me. 14I will be his father, and he will be my son.
   When he does wrong, I'll see that he is corrected, just as children are corrected by their parents. 15But I will never put an end to my agreement with him, as I put an end to my agreement with Saul, who was king before you. 16I will make sure that one of your descendants will always be king.
    17Nathan told David exactly what he had heard in the vision.
David Gives Thanks to the LORD
(1 Chronicles 17.16-27)
 18David went into the tent he had set up for the sacred chest. Then he sat there and prayed:    LORD All-Powerful, my family and I don't deserve what you have already done for us, 19and yet you have promised to do even more. Is this the way you usually treat people? [a] 20I am your servant, and you know my thoughts, so there is nothing more that I need to say. 21You have done this wonderful thing, and you have let me know about it, because you wanted to keep your promise. 22LORD All-Powerful, you are greater than all others. No one is like you, and you alone are God. Everything we have heard about you is true. 23And there is no other nation on earth like Israel, the nation you rescued from slavery in Egypt to be your own. You became famous by using great and wonderful miracles to force other nations and their gods out of your land, so your people could live here. [b] 24You have chosen Israel to be your people forever, and you have become their God. 25And now, LORD God, please do what you have promised me and my descendants. 26Then you will be famous forever, and everyone will say, "The LORD God All-Powerful rules Israel, and David's descendants are his chosen kings." 27After all, you really are Israel's God, the LORD All-Powerful. You've told me that you will let my descendants be kings. That's why I have the courage to pray to you like this, even though I am only your servant.
    28LORD All-Powerful, you are God. You have promised me some very good things, and you can be trusted to do what you promise. 29Please bless my descendants and let them always be your chosen kings. You have already promised, and I'm sure that you will bless my family forever.

2 Samuel 8

A List of David's Victories in War
(1 Chronicles 18.1-13)
 1Later, David attacked and badly defeated the Philistines. Israel was now free from their control. [c] 2David also defeated the Moabites. Then he made their soldiers lie down on the ground, and he measured them off with a rope. He would measure off two lengths of the rope and have those men killed, then he would measure off one length and let those men live. The people of Moab had to accept David as their ruler and pay taxes to him.     3David set out for the Euphrates River to build a monument [d] there. On his way, [e] he defeated the king of Zobah, whose name was Hadadezer the son of Rehob. 4In the battle, David captured seventeen hundred cavalry [f] and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He also captured war chariots, but he destroyed all but one hundred of them. [g] 5When troops from the Aramean kingdom of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, David killed twenty thousand of them. 6He left some of his soldiers in Damascus, and the Arameans had to accept David as their ruler and pay taxes to him. Everywhere David went, the LORD helped him win battles.
    7Hadadezer's officers had carried their arrows in gold cases hung over their shoulders, but David took these cases [h] and brought them to Jerusalem. 8He also took a lot of bronze from the cities of Betah and Berothai, which had belonged to Hadadezer. 9-10King Toi of Hamath and King Hadadezer had been enemies. So when Toi heard that David had attacked and defeated [i] Hadadezer's whole army, he sent his son Joram to praise and congratulate David. Joram also brought him gifts made of silver, gold, and bronze. 11David gave these to the LORD, just as he had done with the silver and gold that he had captured from 12Edom, [j] Moab, Ammon, Philistia, and from King Hadadezer of Zobah. 13David fought the Edomite [k] army in Salt Valley and killed eighteen thousand of their soldiers. When he returned, he built a monument. [l] 14David left soldiers all through Edom, and the people of Edom had to accept him as their ruler. Wherever David went, the LORD helped him.
A List of David's Officials
(1 Chronicles 18.14-17)
 15David ruled all Israel with fairness and justice.     16Joab the son of Zeruiah was the commander in chief of the army.
   Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud kept the government records.
    17Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abiathar the son of Ahimelech, [m] were the priests. Seraiah was the secretary.
    18Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was the commander of [n] David's bodyguard. [o] David's sons were priests.
  1. 2 Samuel 7:19 Is this. . . people: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 2 Samuel 7:23 You. . . here: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 2 Samuel 8:1 Israel. . . control: Or "David also took the town of Metheg-Ammah away from them."
  4. 2 Samuel 8:3 monument: Kings sometimes set up monuments in lands they had conquered.
  5. 2 Samuel 8:3 David. . . way: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. It may have been Hadadezer who was going to the Euphrates River. And he may have gone there either to build a monument or to put down a rebellion.
  6. 2 Samuel 8:4 seventeen hundred cavalry: Hebrew; one ancient translation and 1 Chronicles 18.4 "a thousand chariots and seven thousand cavalry."
  7. 2 Samuel 8:4 He also captured. . . them: Or "He crippled all but one hundred of the horses."
  8. 2 Samuel 8:7 Hadadezer's. . . cases: Or "Hadadezer's soldiers carried gold shields, but David took these shields."
  9. 2 Samuel 8:9 defeated: Or "killed."
  10. 2 Samuel 8:12 Edom: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations (see also 1 Chronicles 18.11); most Hebrew manuscripts "Aram." In Hebrew the words for "Edom" and "Aram" look almost alike.
  11. 2 Samuel 8:13 Edomite: Some Hebrew manuscripts and two ancient translations (see also 1 Chronicles 18.12); most Hebrew manuscripts "Aramean." In Hebrew the words for "Edomite" and "Aramean" look almost alike.
  12. 2 Samuel 8:13 built a monument: Or "was famous."
  13. 2 Samuel 8:17 Abiathar the son of Ahimelech: One ancient translation and 1 Samuel 22.11-23; Hebrew "Ahimelech the son of Abiathar."
  14. 2 Samuel 8:18 was the commander of: Not in the Hebrew text of this verse, but see 1 Chronicles 18.17.
  15. 2 Samuel 8:18 David's bodyguard: The Hebrew text has "the Cherethites and the Pelethites," who were foreign soldiers hired by David to be his bodyguard.

John 14:15-31 (Contemporary English Version)

The Holy Spirit Is Promised
 15Jesus said to his disciples:    If you love me, you will do as I command. 16Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help [a] you and always be with you. 17The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you. 18I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you. 19In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live. 20Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you. 21If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.
    22The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, [b] then spoke up and asked, "Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world?" 23Jesus replied:
   If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. 24But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.
    25I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26But the Holy Spirit will come and help [c] you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you. 27I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn't like the peace that this world can give. So don't be worried or afraid.
    28You have already heard me say that I am going and that I will also come back to you. If you really love me, you should be glad that I am going back to the Father, because he is greater than I am.
    29I am telling you this before I leave, so that when it does happen, you will have faith in me. 30I cannot speak with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. But he has no power over me. 31I obey my Father, so that everyone in the world might know that I love him.
   It is time for us to go now.
  1. John 14:16 help: The Greek word may mean " comfort," " encourage," or " defend."
  2. John 14:22 Iscariot: See the note at 6.71.
  3. John 14:26 help: See the note at 14.16.

Psalm 119:33-48 (Contemporary English Version)

33Point out your rules to me,
   and I won't disobey
   even one of them.
    34Help me to understand your Law;
   I promise to obey it
   with all my heart.
    35Direct me by your commands!
   I love to do what you say.
    36Make me want to obey you,
   rather than to be rich.
    37Take away my foolish desires,
   and let me find life
   by walking with you.
    38I am your servant!
   Do for me what you promised
   to those who worship you.
    39Your wonderful teachings
   protect me from the insults
   that I hate so much.
    40I long for your teachings.
   Be true to yourself
   and let me live.
    41Show me your love
   and save me, LORD,
   as you have promised.
    42Then I will have an answer
   for everyone
   who insults me
   for trusting your word.
    43I rely on your laws!
   Don't take away my chance
   to speak your truth.
    44I will keep obeying your Law
   forever and ever.
    45I have gained perfect freedom
   by following your teachings,
    46and I trust them so much
   that I tell them to kings.
    47I love your commands!
   They bring me happiness.
    48I love and respect them
   and will keep them in mind.

Proverbs 15:33 (Contemporary English Version)

33Showing respect to the LORD
   will make you wise,
   and being humble
   will bring honor to you.

Verse of the Day

“[Hearing and Obeying]My dear friends, you should be quick to listen and slow to speak or to get angry.” - James 1:19
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Ian MckellenThought for the Day

English actor, Ian Mckellen wrote, “People who are truly horrible are often the most interesting people in the room. You look at them and just say, ‘Why?’”

Image result for museum dinosaur bones jokeA Joke for Today
Some tourists in the Chicago Museum of Natural History are marveling at the dinosaur bones. One of them asks the guard, "Can you tell me how old the dinosaur bones are?"
The guard replies, "They are 3 million, four years, and six months old."
"That's an awfully exact number," says the tourist. "How do you know their age so precisely?"

The guard answers, "Well, the dinosaur bones were three million years old when I started working here, and that was four and a half years ago."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, May 28, 2017 (The Seventh Sunday of Easter)

Bible Talk: The Lectionary Passages for Sunday, May 28, 2017 (...: Below are NRSV translations of the lessons from Acts ( Acts 1:6-14 ), the  Psalms ( Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 ), the Epistles ( 1 Peter 4:12-14; ...

Bible Readings for May 24, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 4:1–6:23; John 13:31–14:14; Psalm 119:17-32; and Proverbs 15:31-32.The readings are from the Contemporary English VersionIf 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.

2 Samuel 4-6:23 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 4

Ishbosheth Is Killed
 1Ishbosheth a<="" value="[a]" >[] felt like giving up after he heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Everyone in Israel was terrified. 2Ishbosheth had put the two brothers Baanah and Rechab in charge of the soldiers who raided enemy villages. Rimmon was their father, and they were from the town of Beeroth, which belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. 3The people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim, and they still live [b<="">] there. 4Saul's son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, [c<="">] who had not been able to walk since he was five years old. It happened when someone from Jezreel told his nurse that Saul and Jonathan had died. [d<="">] She hurried off with the boy in her arms, but he fell and injured his legs. 5One day about noon, Rechab and Baanah went to Ishbosheth's house. It was a hot day, and he was resting 6-7in his bedroom. The two brothers went into the house, pretending to get some flour. But once they were inside, they stabbed Ishbosheth in the stomach and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them.    Rechab and Baanah walked through the Jordan River valley all night long. 8Finally they turned west and went to Hebron. They went in to see David and told him, "Your Majesty, here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you! The LORD has let you get even with Saul and his family."
    9David answered:
   I swear that only the LORD rescues me when I'm in trouble! 10When a man came to Ziklag and told me that Saul was dead, he thought he deserved a reward for bringing good news. But I grabbed him and killed him.
    11You evil men have done something much worse than he did. You've killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed. I'll make you pay for that. I'll wipe you from the face of the earth!
    12Then David said to his troops, "Kill these two brothers! Cut off their hands and feet and hang their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But bury Ishbosheth's head in Abner's tomb near Hebron." And they did.

2 Samuel 5

David Becomes King of Israel
(1 Chronicles 11.1-3)
 1Israel's leaders met with David at Hebron and said, "We are your relatives. 2Even when Saul was king, you led our nation in battle. And the LORD promised that someday you would rule Israel and take care of us like a shepherd."     3During the meeting, David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the LORD to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David's head to show that he was now the king of Israel.
    4David was thirty years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years. 5He lived in Hebron for the first seven and a half years and ruled only Judah. Then he moved to Jerusalem, where he ruled both Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.
How David Captured Jerusalem
(1 Chronicles 11.4-9; 14.1,2)
 6The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and David led his army there to attack them. The Jebusites did not think he could get in, so they told him, "You can't get in here! We could run you off, even if we couldn't see or walk!"     7-9David told his troops, "You will have to go up through the water tunnel to get those Jebusites. I hate people like them who can't walk or see." [e<="">] That's why there is still a rule that says, "Only people who can walk and see are allowed in the temple." [f<="">] David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David's City. He had the city rebuilt, starting with the landfill to the east. 10David became a great and strong ruler, because the LORD All-Powerful was on his side.
    11King Hiram of Tyre sent some officials to David. Carpenters and stone workers came with them, and they brought cedar logs so they could build David a palace.
    12David knew that the LORD had made him king of Israel and that he had made him a powerful ruler for the good of his people.
David's Sons Born in Jerusalem
(1 Chronicles 14.3-7)
 13After David left Hebron and moved to Jerusalem, he married many women [g<="">] from Jerusalem, [h<="">] and he had a lot of children. 14His sons who were born there were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16Elishama, Eliada, [i<="">] and Eliphelet.
David Fights the Philistines
(1 Chronicles 14.8-17)
 17The Philistines heard that David was now king of Israel, and they came into the hill country to try and capture him. But David found out and went into his fortress. [j<="">] 18So the Philistines camped in Rephaim Valley. [k<="">] 19David asked the LORD, "Should I attack the Philistines? Will you let me win?"    The LORD told David, "Attack! I will let you win."
    20David attacked the Philistines and defeated them. Then he said, "I watched the LORD break through my enemies like a mighty flood." So he named the place "The Lord Broke Through. " [l<="">] 21David and his troops also carried away the idols that the Philistines had left behind. 22Some time later, the Philistines came back into the hill country and camped in Rephaim Valley. 23David asked the LORD what he should do, and the LORD answered:
   Don't attack them from the front. Circle around behind and attack from among the balsam [m<="">] trees. 24Wait until you hear a sound like troops marching through the tops of the trees. Then attack quickly! That sound will mean I have marched out ahead of you to fight the Philistine army. 25David obeyed the LORD and defeated the Philistines. He even chased them all the way from Geba to the entrance to Gezer.

2 Samuel 6

David Brings the Sacred Chest Back to Jerusalem
(1 Chronicles 13.1-14; 15.1--16.3,43)
 1David brought together thirty thousand of Israel's best soldiers and 2led them to Baalah in Judah, which was also called Kiriath-Jearim. They were going there [n<="">] to get the sacred chest and bring it back to Jerusalem. The throne of the LORD All-Powerful is above the winged creatures [o<="">] on top of this chest, and he is worshiped there. [p<="">] 3They put the sacred chest on a new ox cart and started bringing it down the hill from Abinadab's house. Abinadab's sons Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the ox cart, 4with Ahio [q<="">] walking in front of it. 5Some of the people of Israel were playing music on small harps and other stringed instruments, and on tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. David and the others were happy, and they danced for the LORD with all their might. 6But when they came to Nacon's threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled, so Uzzah reached out and took hold of the sacred chest. 7The LORD God was very angry at Uzzah for doing this, and he killed Uzzah right there beside the chest.     8David got angry at God for killing Uzzah. He named that place "Bursting Out Against Uzzah," [r<="">] and that's what it's still called. 9David was afraid of the LORD and thought, "Should I really take the sacred chest to my city?" 10He decided not to take it there. Instead, he turned off the road and took it to the home of Obed Edom, who was from Gath. [s<="">] 11-12The chest stayed there for three months, and the LORD greatly blessed Obed Edom, his family, and everything he owned. Then someone told King David, "The LORD has done this because the sacred chest is in Obed Edom's house."
   Right away, David went to Obed Edom's house to get the chest and bring it to David's City. Everyone was celebrating. 13The people carrying the chest walked six steps, then David sacrificed an ox and a choice cow. 14He was dancing for the LORD with all his might, but he wore only a linen cloth. [t<="">] 15He and everyone else were celebrating by shouting and blowing horns while the chest was being carried along. 16Saul's daughter Michal looked out her window and watched the chest being brought into David's City. But when she saw David jumping and dancing for the LORD, she was disgusted.
    17They put the chest inside a tent that David had set up for it. David worshiped the LORD by sacrificing animals and burning them on an altar, [u<="">] 18then he blessed the people in the name of the LORD All-Powerful. 19He gave all the men and women in the crowd a small loaf of bread, some meat, and a handful of raisins, and everyone went home.
Michal Talks to David
 20David went home so he could ask the LORD to bless his family. But Saul's daughter Michal went out and started yelling at him. "You were really great today!" she said. "You acted like a dirty old man, dancing around half-naked in front of your servants' slave-girls."     21David told her, "The LORD didn't choose your father or anyone else in your family to be the leader of his people. The LORD chose me, and I was celebrating in honor of him. 22I'll show you just how great I can be! I'll even be disgusting to myself. But those slave-girls you talked about will still honor me!"
    23Michal never had any children.
  1. 2 Samuel 4:1 Ishbosheth: Hebrew "The Son of Saul."
  2. 2 Samuel 4:3 live: The Hebrew word means that they did not have the full legal rights of citizens.
  3. 2 Samuel 4:4 Mephibosheth: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation have "Mephibaal." In 1 Chronicles 8.34 and 9.40 he is called "Meribbaal." See the note on "baal" and "bosheth" at 2.8.
  4. 2 Samuel 4:4 Saul. . . died: See 1 Samuel 31.1-6.
  5. 2 Samuel 5:7 You will. . . or see: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 2 Samuel 5:7 temple: Or "palace."
  7. 2 Samuel 5:13 married many women: Some of these women were second-class wives (see the note at 3.7).
  8. 2 Samuel 5:13 from Jerusalem: Or "in Jerusalem."
  9. 2 Samuel 5:16 Eliada: See 1 Chronicles 3.8. First Chronicles 14.7 has "Baalyada."
  10. 2 Samuel 5:17 fortress: Probably the fortress of Adullam, which was David's former hideout (see 1 Samuel 22.1,4; 24.22). Or it could refer to the older walled city of Jerusalem, called the "fortress on Mount Zion" in verses 7-9.
  11. 2 Samuel 5:18 Rephaim Valley: A few miles southwest of Jerusalem.
  12. 2 Samuel 5:20 The Lord Broke Through: Or "Baal-Perazim."
  13. 2 Samuel 5:23 balsam: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. 2 Samuel 6:2 to Baalah. . . there: The Dead Sea Scrolls and 1 Chronicles 13.6; the Standard Hebrew Text "from Baalah in Judah. They had gone there."
  15. 2 Samuel 6:2 winged creatures: Two golden statues of winged creatures were on top of the sacred chest and were symbols of the LORD's throne on earth (see Exodus 25.18).
  16. 2 Samuel 6:2 he is worshiped there: Or "the chest belongs to him."
  17. 2 Samuel 6:4 Ahio. . . Ahio: Or "his brother. . . his brother."
  18. 2 Samuel 6:8 Bursting. . . Uzzah: Or "Perez-Uzzah."
  19. 2 Samuel 6:10 Gath: Or perhaps, "Gittaim."
  20. 2 Samuel 6:14 only a linen cloth: The Hebrew word is "ephod," which can mean either a piece of clothing like a skirt that went from the waist to the knee or a garment like a vest or a jacket that only the priests wore.
  21. 2 Samuel 6:17 sacrificing. . . altar: The Hebrew mentions two kinds of sacrifices. In one kind of sacrifice, the whole animal was burned on the altar. In the other kind, only part was burned, and the worshipers ate the rest, as in verse 19 (see Leviticus 1.2-17; 3.1-17).

John 13:31-14:14 (Contemporary English Version)

The New Command
 31After Judas had gone, Jesus said:    Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.
    33My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won't find me. I tell you just as I told the people, "You cannot go where I am going." 34But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.
Peter's Promise
(Matthew 26.31-35; Mark 14.27-31; Luke 22.31-34)
 36Simon Peter asked, "Lord, where are you going?"    Jesus answered, "You can't go with me now, but later on you will."
    37Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I go with you now? I would die for you!"
    38"Would you really die for me?" Jesus asked. "I tell you for certain that before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don't even know me."

John 14

Jesus Is the Way to the Father
 1Jesus said to his disciples, "Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 2There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. 3After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. 4You know the way to where I am going." 5Thomas said, "Lord, we don't even know where you are going! How can we know the way?"     6"I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father. 7If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him."
    8Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need."
    9Jesus replied:
   Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.
    11Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father. 14I will do whatever you ask me to do.
  1. John 14:1 Have faith in God and have faith in me: Or " You have faith in God, so have faith in me."

Psalm 119:17-32 (Contemporary English Version)

17Treat me with kindness, LORD,
   so that I may live
   and do what you say.
    18Open my mind
   and let me discover
   the wonders of your Law.
    19I live here as a stranger.
   Don't keep me from knowing
   your commands.
    20What I want most of all
   and at all times
   is to honor your laws.
    21You punish those boastful,
   worthless nobodies
   who turn
   from your commands.
    22Don't let them sneer
   and insult me
   for following you.
    23I keep thinking about
   your teachings, LORD,
   even if rulers plot
   against me.
    24Your laws are my greatest joy!
   I follow their advice.
    25I am at the point of death.
   Let your teachings
   breathe new life into me.
    26When I told you my troubles,
   you answered my prayers.
   Now teach me your laws.
    27Help me to understand
   your teachings,
   and I will think about
   your marvelous deeds.
    28I am overcome with sorrow.
   Encourage me,
   as you have promised to do.
    29Keep me from being deceitful,
   and be kind enough
   to teach me your Law.
    30I am determined to be faithful
   and to respect your laws.
    31I follow your rules, LORD.
   Don't let me be ashamed.
    32I am eager to learn all
   that you want me to do;
   help me to understand
   more and more.

Proverbs 15:31-32 (Contemporary English Version)

31Healthy correction is good,
   and if you accept it,
   you will be wise.
    32You hurt only yourself
   by rejecting instruction,
   but it makes good sense
   to accept it.

Verse of the Day

“Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself.” - Romans 12:10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Harry Emerson Fosdick.jpgThought for the Day

American pastor, Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote, “No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined. One of the widest gaps in human experience is the gap between what we say we want to be and our willingness to discipline ourselves to get there.”

A Joke for Today
Image result for cow alcoholThe wise old Mother Superior from county Tipperary was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her some warm milk to drink, but she refused it. Then one nun took the glass back to the kitchen. 

Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a gift the previous Christmas, she opened and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior's bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother Superior drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she had drunk the whole glass down to the last drop.

"Mother", the nuns pleaded, "Please give us some wisdom before you die". She raised herself up in bed with a pious look on her face and said, "Don't sell that cow".