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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Sunday, January 8, 2017

Bible Readings for January 8, 2017

Today our passages are Genesis 18:20–19:38; Matthew 6:25–7:14; Psalm 8:1-9; and Proverbs 2:6-15. 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 18:20-19:38 (Contemporary English Version)

20The LORD said, "Abraham, I have heard that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah are doing all kinds of evil things. 21Now I am going down to see for myself if those people really are that bad. If they aren't, I want to know about it."
    22The men turned and started toward Sodom. But the LORD stayed with Abraham, 23who asked, "LORD, when you destroy the evil people, are you also going to destroy those who are good? 24Wouldn't you spare the city if there are only fifty good people in it? 25You surely wouldn't let them be killed when you destroy the evil ones. You are the judge of all the earth, and you do what is right."
    26The LORD replied, "If I find fifty good people in Sodom, I will save the city to keep them from being killed."
    27Abraham answered, "I am nothing more than the dust of the earth. Please forgive me, LORD, for daring to speak to you like this. 28But suppose there are only forty-five good people in Sodom. Would you still wipe out the whole city?"
   "If I find forty-five good people," the LORD replied, "I won't destroy the city."
    29"Suppose there are just forty good people?" Abraham asked.
   "Even for them," the LORD replied, "I won't destroy the city."
    30Abraham said, "Please don't be angry, LORD, if I ask you what you will do if there are only thirty good people in the city."
   "If I find thirty," the LORD replied, "I still won't destroy it."
    31Then Abraham said, "I don't have any right to ask you, LORD, but what would you do if you find only twenty?"
   "Because of them, I won't destroy the city," was the LORD's answer.
    32Finally, Abraham said, "Please don't get angry, LORD, if I speak just once more. Suppose you find only ten good people there."
   "For the sake of ten good people," the LORD told him, "I still won't destroy the city."
    33After speaking with Abraham, the LORD left, and Abraham went back home.

Genesis 19

The Evil City of Sodom
 1That evening the two angels [a] arrived in Sodom, while Lot was sitting near the city gate. [b] When Lot saw them, he got up, bowed down low, 2and said, "Gentlemen, I am your servant. Please come to my home. You can wash your feet, spend the night, and be on your way in the morning." They told him, "No, we'll spend the night in the city square." 3But Lot kept insisting, until they finally agreed and went home with him. He baked some bread, [c] cooked a meal, and they ate. 4Before Lot and his guests could go to bed, every man in Sodom, young and old, came and stood outside his house 5and started shouting, "Where are your visitors? Send them out, so we can have sex with them!"     6Lot went outside and shut the door behind him. 7Then he said, "Friends, please don't do such a terrible thing! 8I have two daughters who have never been married. I'll bring them out, and you can do what you want with them. But don't harm these men. They are guests in my home."
    9"Don't get in our way," the crowd answered. "You're an outsider. What right do you have to order us around? We'll do worse things to you than we're going to do to them."
   The crowd kept arguing with Lot. Finally, they rushed toward the door to break it down. 10But the two angels in the house reached out and pulled Lot safely inside. 11Then they struck everyone in the crowd blind, and none of them could even find the door.
    12-13The two angels said to Lot, "The LORD has heard many terrible things about the people of Sodom, and he has sent us here to destroy the city. Take your family and leave. Take every relative you have in the city, as well as the men your daughters are going to marry."
    14Lot went to the men who were engaged to his daughters and said, "Hurry and get out of here! The LORD is going to destroy this city." But they thought he was joking, and they laughed at him.
    15Early the next morning the two angels tried to make Lot hurry and leave. They said, "Take your wife and your two daughters and get out of here as fast as you can! If you don't, every one of you will be killed when the LORD destroys the city." 16At first, Lot just stood there. But the LORD wanted to save him. So the angels took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city. 17When they were outside, one of the angels said, "Run for your lives! Don't even look back. And don't stop in the valley. Run to the hills, where you will be safe."
    18-19Lot answered, "You have done us a great favor, sir. You have saved our lives, but please don't make us go to the hills. That's too far away. The city will be destroyed before we can get there, and we will be killed when it happens. 20There's a town near here. It's only a small place, but my family and I will be safe, if you let us go there."
    21"All right, go there," he answered. "I won't destroy that town. 22Hurry! Run! I can't do anything until you are safely there."
   The town was later called Zoar [d] because Lot had said it was small.
Sodom and Gomorrah Are Destroyed
 23The sun was coming up as Lot reached the town of Zoar, 24and the LORD sent burning sulfur down like rain on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25He destroyed those cities and everyone who lived in them, as well as their land and the trees and grass that grew there.     26On the way, Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a block of salt.
    27That same morning Abraham got up and went to the place where he had stood and spoken with the LORD. 28He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and saw smoke rising from all over the land--it was like a flaming furnace.
    29When God destroyed the cities of the valley where Lot lived, he remembered his promise to Abraham and saved Lot from the terrible destruction.
Moab and Ammon
 30Lot was afraid to stay on in Zoar. So he took his two daughters and moved to a cave in the hill country. 31One day his older daughter said to her sister, "Our father is old, and there are no men anywhere for us to marry. 32Let's get our father drunk! Then we can sleep with him and have children." 33That night they got their father drunk, and the older daughter got in bed with him, but he was too drunk even to know she was there.     34The next day the older daughter said to her sister, "I slept with my father last night. We'll get him drunk again tonight, so you can go to bed with him, and we can each have a child." 35That night they got their father drunk, and this time the younger sister slept with him. But once again he was too drunk even to know she was there.
    36That's how Lot's two daughters had their children. 37The older daughter named her son Moab, [e] and he is the ancestor of the Moabites. 38The younger daughter named her son Benammi, [f] and he is the ancestor of the Ammonites.
  1. Genesis 19:1 two angels: The two men of 18.22.
  2. Genesis 19:1 near the city gate: In a large area where the people would gather for community business and for meeting with friends.
  3. Genesis 19:3 bread: The Hebrew text has "bread without yeast," which could be fixed quickly when guests came without warning.
  4. Genesis 19:22 Zoar: In Hebrew "Zoar" sounds like "small."
  5. Genesis 19:37 Moab: In Hebrew "Moab" sounds like "from (my) father."
  6. Genesis 19:38 Benammi: In Hebrew "Benammi" means "son of my relative.

Matthew 6:25-7:14 (Contemporary English Version)

(Luke 12.22-31)
 25I tell you not to worry about your life. Don't worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn't life more than food or clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky! They don't plant or harvest. They don't even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren't you worth more than birds?     27Can worry make you live longer? [a] 28Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don't work hard to make their clothes. 29But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth [b] wasn't as well clothed as one of them. 30God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith? 31Don't worry and ask yourselves, "Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?" 32Only people who don't know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
    34Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.

Matthew 7

Judging Others
(Luke 6.37,38,41,42)
 1Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you. 2God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.     3You can see the speck in your friend's eye, but you don't notice the log in your own eye. 4How can you say, "My friend, let me take the speck out of your eye," when you don't see the log in your own eye? 5You're nothing but show-offs! First, take the log out of your own eye. Then you can see how to take the speck out of your friend's eye.
    6Don't give to dogs what belongs to God. They will only turn and attack you. Don't throw pearls down in front of pigs. They will trample all over them.
Ask, Search, Knock
(Luke 11.9-13)
 7Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. 9Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? 10Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 11As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.     12Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets [c] are all about.
The Narrow Gate
(Luke 13.24)
 13Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. 14But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.    
  1. Matthew 6:27 live longer: Or "grow taller."
  2. Matthew 6:29 Solomon with all his wealth: The Jewish people thought that Solomon was the richest person who had ever lived.
  3. Matthew 7:12 the Law and the Prophets: See the note at 5.17.

Psalm 8:1-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 8

(A psalm by David for the music leader. (Psalm 8 leader: The Hebrew text adds " according to the gittith," which may refer to either a musical instrument or a tune.) )
The Wonderful Name of the LORD
 1Our LORD and Ruler,    your name is wonderful
   everywhere on earth!
   You let your glory be seen [a] in the heavens above.
    2With praises from children
   and from tiny infants,
   you have built a fortress.
   It makes your enemies silent,
   and all who turn against you
   are left speechless.
    3I often think of the heavens
   your hands have made,
   and of the moon and stars
   you put in place.
    4Then I ask, "Why do you care
   about us humans?
   Why are you concerned
   for us weaklings?"
    5You made us a little lower
   than you yourself, [b] and you have crowned us
   with glory and honor.
    6You let us rule everything
   your hands have made.
   And you put all of it
   under our power--
    7the sheep and the cattle,
   and every wild animal,
    8the birds in the sky,
   the fish in the sea,
   and all ocean creatures.
    9Our LORD and Ruler,
   your name is wonderful
   everywhere on earth!
  1. Psalm 8:1 You. . . seen: Or " I will worship your glory."
  2. Psalm 8:5 you yourself: Or " the angels" or " the beings in heaven."

Proverbs 2:6-15 (Contemporary English Version)

6All wisdom comes from the LORD,
   and so do common sense
   and understanding.
    7God gives helpful advice [a] to everyone who obeys him
   and protects all of those
   who live as they should.
    8God sees that justice is done,
   and he watches over everyone
   who is faithful to him.
    9With wisdom you will learn
   what is right
   and honest and fair.
    10Wisdom will control your mind,
   and you will be pleased
   with knowledge.
    11Sound judgment and good sense
   will watch over you.
    12Wisdom will protect you
   from evil schemes
   and from those liars
    13who turned from doing good
   to live in the darkness.
    14Most of all they enjoy
   being mean and deceitful.
    15They are dishonest themselves,
   and all they do is crooked.
  1. Proverbs 2:7 helpful advice: Or " wisdom."

Verse of the Day
“If you really want to live, you must stop doing wrong and start doing right. I, the LORD God All-Powerful, will then be on your side, just as you claim I am. Choose good instead of evil! See that justice is done. Maybe I, the LORD All-Powerful, will be kind to what's left of your people.” - Amos 5:14-15
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

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Thought for the Day

A semi-retired American trial lawyer, Gerry Spence wrote, “Teach the child to respect that which is not respectable and you teach the child the first requirement of slavery: submission to unjust authority.”

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