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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Friday, January 20, 2017

Bible Readings for January 20, 2017

Today our passages are Genesis 41:17–42:17; Matthew 13:24-46; Psalm 18:1-15; and Proverbs 4:1-6. The readings are 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.

Genesis 41:17-42:17 (Contemporary English Version)

17The king told Joseph:
I dreamed I was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 18I saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river, and they began feeding on the grass. 19Next, seven skinny, bony cows came up out of the river. I have never seen such terrible looking cows anywhere in Egypt. 20The skinny cows ate the fat ones. 21But you couldn't tell it, because these skinny cows were just as skinny as they were before. Right away, I woke up.
22I also dreamed that I saw seven heads of grain growing on one stalk. The heads were full and ripe. 23Then seven other heads of grain came up. They were thin and scorched by a wind from the desert. 24These heads of grain swallowed the full ones. I told my dreams to the magicians, but none of them could tell me the meaning of the dreams.
25Joseph replied:
Your Majesty, both of your dreams mean the same thing, and in them God has shown what he is going to do. 26The seven good cows stand for seven years, and so do the seven good heads of grain. 27The seven skinny, ugly cows that came up later also stand for seven years, as do the seven bad heads of grain that were scorched by the east wind. The dreams mean there will be seven years when there won't be enough grain.
28It is just as I said--God has shown what he intends to do. 29For seven years Egypt will have more than enough grain, 30but that will be followed by seven years when there won't be enough. The good years of plenty will be forgotten, and everywhere in Egypt people will be starving. 31The famine will be so bad that no one will remember that once there had been plenty. 32God has given you two dreams to let you know that he has definitely decided to do this and that he will do it soon.
33Your Majesty, you should find someone who is wise and will know what to do, so that you can put him in charge of all Egypt. 34Then appoint some other officials to collect one-fifth of every crop harvested in Egypt during the seven years when there is plenty. 35Give them the power to collect the grain during those good years and to store it in your cities. 36It can be stored until it is needed during the seven years when there won't be enough grain in Egypt. This will keep the country from being destroyed because of the lack of food.
Joseph Is Made Governor over Egypt
37The king [a] and his officials liked this plan. 38So the king said to them, "No one could possibly handle this better than Joseph, since the Spirit of God is with him." 39The king told Joseph, "God is the one who has shown you these things. No one else is as wise as you are or knows as much as you do. 40I'm putting you in charge of my palace, and everybody will have to obey you. No one will be over you except me. 41You are now governor of all Egypt!" 42Then the king took off his royal ring and put it on Joseph's finger. He gave him fine clothes to wear and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43He also let him ride in the chariot next to his own, and people shouted, "Make way for Joseph!" So Joseph was governor of Egypt.
44The king told Joseph, "Although I'm king, no one in Egypt is to do anything without your permission." 45He gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath Paneah. And he let him marry Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in the city of Heliopolis. [b] Joseph traveled all over Egypt. 46Joseph was thirty when the king made him governor, and he went everywhere for the king. 47For seven years there were big harvests of grain. 48Joseph collected and stored up the extra grain in the cities of Egypt near the fields where it was harvested. 49In fact, there was so much grain that they stopped keeping record, because it was like counting the grains of sand along the beach.
50Joseph and his wife had two sons before the famine began. 51Their first son was named Manasseh, which means, "God has let me forget all my troubles and my family back home." 52His second son was named Ephraim, which means "God has made me a success [c] in the land where I suffered." [d]53Egypt's seven years of plenty came to an end, 54and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was not enough food in other countries, but all over Egypt there was plenty. 55When the famine finally struck Egypt, the people asked the king for food, but he said, "Go to Joseph and do what he tells you to do."
56The famine became bad everywhere in Egypt, so Joseph opened the storehouses and sold the grain to the Egyptians. 57People from all over the world came to Egypt, because the famine was severe in their countries.

Genesis 42

Joseph's Brothers Go to Egypt To Buy Grain
1When Jacob found out there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, "Why are you just sitting here, staring at one another? 2I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Now go down and buy some, so we won't starve to death." 3Ten of Joseph's brothers went to Egypt to buy grain. 4But Jacob did not send Joseph's younger brother Benjamin with them; he was afraid that something might happen to him. 5So Jacob's sons joined others from Canaan who were going to Egypt because of the terrible famine.
6Since Joseph was governor of Egypt and in charge of selling grain, his brothers came to him and bowed with their faces to the ground. 7-8They did not recognize Joseph, but right away he knew who they were, though he pretended not to know. Instead, he spoke harshly and asked, "Where do you come from?"
"From the land of Canaan," they answered. "We've come here to buy grain."
9Joseph remembered what he had dreamed about them and said, "You're spies! You've come here to find out where our country is weak."
10"No sir," they replied. "We're your servants, and we have only come to buy grain. 11We're honest men, and we come from the same family--we're not spies."
12"That isn't so!" Joseph insisted. "You've come here to find out where our country is weak."
13But they explained, "Sir, we come from a family of twelve brothers. The youngest is still with our father in Canaan, and one of our brothers is dead."
14Joseph replied:
It's just like I said. You're spies, 15and I'm going to find out who you really are. I swear by the life of the king that you won't leave this place until your youngest brother comes here. 16Choose one of you to go after your brother, while the rest of you stay here in jail. That will show whether you are telling the truth. But if you are lying, I swear by the life of the king that you are spies!
17Joseph kept them all under guard for three days,
  1. Genesis 41:37the king: See the note at 12.15.
  2. Genesis 41:45Heliopolis: The Hebrew text has "On," which is better known by its Greek name "Heliopolis."
  3. Genesis 41:52God has made me a success: Or "God has given me children."
  4. Genesis 41:52Ephraim. . . suffered: In Hebrew "Ephraim" actually means either "fertile land" or "pastureland."

Matthew 13:24-46 (Contemporary English Version)

Weeds among the Wheat
24Jesus then told them this story: The kingdom of heaven is like what happened when a farmer scattered good seed in a field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and scattered weed seeds in the field and then left.
26When the plants came up and began to ripen, the farmer's servants could see the weeds. 27The servants came and asked, "Sir, didn't you scatter good seed in your field? Where did these weeds come from?"
28"An enemy did this," he replied.
His servants then asked, "Do you want us to go out and pull up the weeds?"
29"No!" he answered. "You might also pull up the wheat. 30Leave the weeds alone until harvest time. Then I'll tell my workers to gather the weeds and tie them up and burn them. But I'll have them store the wheat in my barn."
Stories about a Mustard Seed and Yeast
(Mark 4.30-32; Luke 13.18-21)
31Jesus told them another story: The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a farmer plants a mustard seed in a field. 32Although it is the smallest of all seeds, it grows larger than any garden plant and becomes a tree. Birds even come and nest on its branches.
33Jesus also said:
The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a woman mixes a little yeast into three big batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.
The Reason for Teaching with Stories
(Mark 4.33,34)
34Jesus used stories when he spoke to the people. In fact, he did not tell them anything without using stories. 35So God's promise came true, just as the prophet [a] had said, "I will use stories to speak my message
and to explain things
that have been hidden
since the creation
of the world."
Jesus Explains the Story about the Weeds
36After Jesus left the crowd and went inside, [b] his disciples came to him and said, "Explain to us the story about the weeds in the wheat field." 37Jesus answered: The one who scattered the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seeds are the people who belong to the kingdom. The weed seeds are those who belong to the evil one, 39and the one who scattered them is the devil. The harvest is the end of time, and angels are the ones who bring in the harvest.
40Weeds are gathered and burned. That's how it will be at the end of time. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everyone who does wrong or causes others to sin. 42Then he will throw them into a flaming furnace, where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain. 43But everyone who has done right will shine like the sun in their Father's kingdom. If you have ears, pay attention!
A Hidden Treasure
44The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when someone finds a treasure hidden in a field and buries it again. A person like that is happy and goes and sells everything in order to buy that field.
A Valuable Pearl
45The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a shop owner is looking for fine pearls. 46After finding a very valuable one, the owner goes and sells everything in order to buy that pearl.
  1. Matthew 13:35the prophet: Some manuscripts have "the prophet Isaiah."
  2. Matthew 13:36went inside: Or "went home."

Psalm 18:1-15 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 18

(For the music leader. A psalm by David, the LORD's servant. David sang this to the LORD after the LORD had rescued him from his enemies, but especially from Saul.)
David's Song of Thanks
1I love you, LORD God, and you make me strong.
2You are my mighty rock, [a] my fortress, my protector,
the rock where I am safe,
my shield,
my powerful weapon, [b] and my place of shelter.
3I praise you, LORD!
I prayed, and you rescued me
from my enemies.
4Death had wrapped
its ropes around me,
and I was almost swallowed
by its flooding waters.
5Ropes from the world
of the dead
had coiled around me,
and death had set a trap
in my path.
6I was in terrible trouble
when I called out to you,
but from your temple
you heard me
and answered my prayer.
7The earth shook and shivered,
and the mountains trembled
down to their roots.
You were angry
8and breathed out smoke.
Scorching heat and fiery flames
spewed from your mouth.
9You opened the heavens
like curtains,
and you came down
with storm clouds
under your feet.
10You rode on the backs
of flying creatures
and swooped down
with the wind as wings.
11Darkness was your robe;
thunderclouds filled the sky,
hiding you from sight.
12Hailstones and fiery coals
lit up the sky
in front of you.
13LORD Most High, your voice
thundered from the heavens,
as hailstones and fiery coals
poured down like rain.
14You scattered your enemies
with arrows of lightning.
15You roared at the sea,
and its deepest channels
could be seen.
You snorted,
and the earth shook
to its foundations.

  1. Psalm 18:2mighty rock: The Hebrew text has " rock," which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
  2. Psalm 18:2my powerful weapon: The Hebrew text has " the horn," which refers to the horn of a bull, one of the most powerful animals in ancient Palestine.

Proverbs 4:1-6 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 4

Advice to Young People
1My child, listen closely to my teachings
and learn common sense.
2My advice is useful,
so don't turn away.
3When I was still very young
and my mother's favorite child,
my father 4said to me:
"If you follow my teachings
and keep them in mind,
you will live.
5Be wise and learn good sense;
remember my teachings
and do what I say.
6If you love Wisdom
and don't reject her,
she will watch over you.

Verse of the Day

“[Faith and Wisdom]My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested.” - James 1:2-3
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Herodotos Met 91.8.jpgThought For the Day

Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484–c. 425 BC), a contemporary of Socrates, Herodotus wrote, “Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.”

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