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 6, 2017

Bible Readings for January 6, 2017

Today our passages are Genesis 13:5–15:21; Matthew 5:27-48; Psalm 6:1-10; and Proverbs 1:29-33. 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 13:5-15:21 (Contemporary English Version)

5Lot, who was traveling with him, also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and slaves. 6-7At this time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the same area, and so there wasn't enough pastureland left for Abram and Lot with all of their animals. Besides this, the men who took care of Abram's animals and the ones who took care of Lot's animals started quarreling.
    8Abram said to Lot, "We are close relatives. We shouldn't argue, and our men shouldn't be fighting one another. 9There is plenty of land for you to choose from. Let's separate. If you go north, I'll go south; if you go south, I'll go north."
    10This happened before the LORD had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And when Lot looked around, he saw there was plenty of water in the Jordan Valley. All the way to Zoar the valley was as green as the garden of the LORD or the land of Egypt. 11So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself, and as he started toward the east, he and Abram separated. 12Abram stayed in the land of Canaan. But Lot settled near the cities of the valley and put up his tents not far from Sodom, 13where the people were evil and sinned terribly against the LORD.
Abram Moves to Hebron
 14After Abram and Lot had gone their separate ways, the LORD said to Abram:    Look around to the north, south, east, and west. 15I will give you and your family all the land you can see. It will be theirs forever! 16I will give you more descendants than there are specks of dust on the earth, and someday it will be easier to count the specks of dust than to count your descendants. 17Now walk back and forth across the land, because I am giving it to you.
    18Abram took down his tents and went to live near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar in honor of the LORD.

Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot
 1About this time, King Amraphel of Babylonia, a<="" value="[a]" >[] King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim 2attacked King Bera of Sodom, King Birsha of Gomorrah, King Shinab of Admah, King Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, also known as the city of Zoar. 3-4King Chedorlaomer and his allies had ruled these last five kings for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year the kings rebelled and came together in Siddim Valley, which is now covered by the southern part of the Dead Sea. 5A year later King Chedorlaomer and his allies attacked and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth-Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, and the Emites in Shaveh-Kiriathaim. 6They also defeated the Horites in the hill country of Edom, [b<="">] as far as El-Paran, near the desert. 7They went back to the city of Enmishpat, better known as Kadesh. Then they captured all the land that belonged to the Amalekites, and they defeated the Amorites who were living in Hazazon-Tamar.     8-9At Siddim Valley, the armies of the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela fought the armies of King Chedorlaomer of Elam, King Tidal of Goiim, King Amraphel of Babylonia, and King Arioch of Ellasar. The valley 10was full of tar pits, and when the troops from Sodom and Gomorrah started running away, some of them fell into the pits. Others escaped to the hill country. 11Their enemies took everything of value from Sodom and Gomorrah, including their food supplies. 12They also captured Abram's nephew Lot, who lived in Sodom. They took him and his possessions and then left.
    13At this time Abram the Hebrew was living near the oaks that belonged to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's friends. Someone who had escaped from the battle told Abram 14that his nephew Lot had been taken away. Three hundred eighteen of Abram's servants were fighting men, so he took them and followed the enemy as far north as the city of Dan.
    15That night, Abram divided up his troops, attacked from all sides, and won a great victory. But some of the enemy escaped to the town of Hobah north of Damascus, 16and Abram went after them. He brought back his nephew Lot, together with Lot's possessions and the women and everyone else who had been captured.
Abram Is Blessed by Melchizedek
 17Abram returned after he had defeated King Chedorlaomer and the other kings. Then the king of Sodom went to meet Abram in Shaveh Valley, which is also known as King's Valley.     18King Melchizedek of Salem was a priest of God Most High. He brought out some bread and wine 19and said to Abram:
   "I bless you in the name
   of God Most High,
   Creator of heaven and earth.
    20All praise belongs
   to God Most High
   for helping you defeat
   your enemies."
   Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.
    21The king of Sodom said to Abram, "All I want are my people. You can keep everything else."
    22Abram answered:
   The LORD God Most High made the heavens and the earth. And I have promised him 23that I won't keep anything of yours, not even a sandal strap or a piece of thread. Then you can never say that you are the one who made me rich. 24Let my share be the food that my men have eaten. But Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre went with me, so give them their share of what we brought back.

Genesis 15

The LORD's Promise to Abram
 1Later the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision, "Abram, don't be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly."     2But Abram answered, "LORD All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own. [c<="">] 3You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything." 4The LORD replied, "No, he won't! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his." 5Then the LORD took Abram outside and said, "Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will have." 6Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD was pleased with him.
The LORD Makes Another Promise to Abram
 7The LORD said to Abram, "I brought you here from Ur in Chaldea, and I gave you this land."     8Abram asked, "LORD God, how can I know the land will be mine?"
    9Then the LORD told him, "Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a dove, and a young pigeon."
    10Abram obeyed the LORD. Then he cut [d<="">] the animals in half and laid the two halves of each animal opposite each other on the ground. But he did not cut the doves and pigeons in half. 11And when birds came down to eat the animals, Abram chased them away. 12As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and everything became dark and frightening. 13-15Then the LORD said:
   Abram, you will live to an old age and die in peace.
   But I solemnly promise that your descendants will live as foreigners in a land that doesn't belong to them. They will be forced into slavery and abused for four hundred years. But I will terribly punish the nation that enslaves them, and they will leave with many possessions.
    16Four generations later, [e<="">] your descendants will return here and take this land, because only then will the people who live here [f<="">] be so sinful that they deserve to be punished. 17Sometime after sunset, when it was very dark, a smoking cooking pot [g<="">] and a flaming fire went between the two halves of each animal. 18At that time the LORD made an agreement with Abram and told him: I will give your descendants the land east of the Shihor River [h<="">] on the border of Egypt as far as the Euphrates River. 19They will possess the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaites, 21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.
  1. Genesis 14:1 Babylonia: See the note at 10.6-20.
  2. Genesis 14:6 Edom: The Hebrew text has "Seir," another name for Edom.
  3. Genesis 15:2 And. . . own: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Genesis 15:10 cut: In Hebrew "cut" sounds something like "agreement." What follows shows that the LORD is making an agreement with Abram.
  5. Genesis 15:16 Four generations later: This may refer to the "four hundred years" of verses 13-15.
  6. Genesis 15:16 people who live here: The Hebrew text has "Amorites," a name sometimes used of the people who lived in Palestine before the Israelites.
  7. Genesis 15:17 smoking cooking pot: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The smoke and fire represent the presence of the LORD.
  8. Genesis 15:18 Shihor River: See Joshua 13.2-7.

Matthew 5:27-48 (Contemporary English Version)

 27You know the commandment which says, "Be faithful in marriage." 28But I tell you that if you look at another woman and want her, you are already unfaithful in your thoughts. 29If your right eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to end up in hell. 30If your right hand causes you to sin, chop it off and throw it away! It is better to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.    
(Matthew 19.9; Mark 10.11,12; Luke 16.18)
 31You have been taught that a man who divorces his wife must write out divorce papers for her. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 32But I tell you not to divorce your wife unless she has committed some terrible sexual sin. [b<="">] If you divorce her, you will cause her to be unfaithful, just as any man who marries her is guilty of taking another man's wife.
 33You know that our ancestors were told, "Don't use the Lord's name to make a promise unless you are going to keep it." 34But I tell you not to swear by anything when you make a promise! Heaven is God's throne, so don't swear by heaven. 35The earth is God's footstool, so don't swear by the earth. Jerusalem is the city of the great king, so don't swear by it. 36Don't swear by your own head. You cannot make one hair white or black. 37When you make a promise, say only "Yes" or "No." Anything else comes from the devil.    
(Luke 6.29,30)
 38You know that you have been taught, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." 39But I tell you not to try to get even with a person who has done something to you. When someone slaps your right cheek, [c<="">] turn and let that person slap your other cheek. 40If someone sues you for your shirt, give up your coat as well. 41If a soldier forces you to carry his pack one mile, carry it two miles. [d<="">] 42When people ask you for something, give it to them. When they want to borrow money, lend it to them.
(Luke 6.27,28,32-36)
 43You have heard people say, "Love your neighbors and hate your enemies." 44But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you. 45Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong. 46If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for that? Even tax collectors [e<="">] love their friends. 47If you greet only your friends, what's so great about that? Don't even unbelievers do that? 48But you must always act like your Father in heaven.
  1. Matthew 5:31 write out divorce papers for her: Jewish men could divorce their wives, but the women could not divorce their husbands. The purpose of writing these papers was to make it harder for a man to divorce his wife. Before this law was made, all a man had to do was to send his wife away and say that she was no longer his wife.
  2. Matthew 5:32 some terrible sexual sin: This probably refers to the laws about the wrong kinds of marriages that are forbidden in Leviticus 18.6-18 or to some serious sexual sin.
  3. Matthew 5:39 right cheek: A slap on the right cheek was a bad insult.
  4. Matthew 5:41 two miles: A Roman soldier had the right to force a person to carry his pack as far as one mile.
  5. Matthew 5:46 tax collectors: These were usually Jewish people who paid the Romans for the right to collect taxes. They were hated by other Jews who thought of them as traitors to their country and to their religion.

Psalm 6:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 6

(A psalm by David for the music leader. Use stringed instruments. (Psalm 6 instruments: The Hebrew text adds " according to the sheminith," which may refer to a musical instrument with eight strings.) )
A Prayer in Time of Trouble
 1Don't punish me, LORD,    or even correct me
   when you are angry!
    2Have pity on me and heal
   my feeble body.
   My bones tremble with fear,
    3and I am in deep distress.
   How long will it be?
    4Turn and come to my rescue.
   Show your wonderful love
   and save me, LORD.
    5If I die, I cannot praise you
   or even remember you.
    6My groaning has worn me out.
   At night my bed and pillow
   are soaked with tears.
    7Sorrow has made my eyes dim,
   and my sight has failed
   because of my enemies.
    8You, LORD, heard my crying,
   and those hateful people
   had better leave me alone.
    9You have answered my prayer
   and my plea for mercy.
    10My enemies will be ashamed
   and terrified,
   as they quickly run away
   in complete disgrace.

Proverbs 1:29-33 (Contemporary English Version)

29No, you would not learn,
   and you refused
   to respect the LORD.
    30You rejected my advice
   and paid no attention
   when I warned you.
    31"Now you will eat the fruit
   of what you have done,
   until you are stuffed full
   with your own schemes.
    32Sin and self-satisfaction
   bring destruction and death
   to stupid fools.
    33But if you listen to me,
   you will be safe and secure
   without fear of disaster."

Verse of the Day

“[Chosen To Live a Holy Life]Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears.” - 1 Peter 1:13
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Sir Thomas Browne by Joan Carlile.jpgThought for the Day

English polymath and author of varied works which reveal his wide learning in diverse fields including science and medicine, religion and the esoteric, Thomas Browne wrote, “Rough diamonds may sometimes be mistaken for worthless pebbles.”

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