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, February 3, 2017

Bible Readings for February 3, 2017

Today our passages are Exodus 17:8–19:15; Matthew 22:34–23:12; Psalm 27:7-14; and Proverbs 6:27-35. The readings are the Contemporary English Version. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

Exodus 17:8-19:15 (Contemporary English Version)

Israel Defeats the Amalekites
 8When the Israelites were at Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites. 9So Moses told Joshua, " Have some men ready to attack the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on a hilltop, holding this walking stick that has the power of God."     10Joshua led the attack as Moses had commanded, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur stood on the hilltop. 11The Israelites out-fought the Amalekites as long as Moses held up his arms, but they started losing whenever he had to lower them. 12Finally, Moses was so tired that Aaron and Hur got a rock for him to sit on. Then they stood beside him and supported his arms in the same position until sunset. 13That's how Joshua defeated the Amalekites.
    14Afterwards, the LORD said to Moses, " Write an account of this victory and read it to Joshua. I want the Amalekites to be forgotten forever."
    15Moses built an altar and named it " The LORD Gives Me Victory." 16Then Moses explained, " This is because I depended on the LORD. a<="" value="[a]" >[] But in future generations, the LORD will have to fight the Amalekites again."

Exodus 18

Jethro Visits Moses
 1Jethro was the priest of Midian and the father-in-law of Moses. And he heard what the LORD God had done for Moses and his people, after rescuing them from Egypt.     2-4In the meantime, Moses had sent his wife Zipporah and her two sons to stay with Jethro, and he had welcomed them. Moses was still a foreigner in Midian when his first son was born, and so Moses said, " I'll name him Gershom." [b<="">] When his second son was born, Moses said, " I'll name him Eliezer, [c<="">] because the God my father worshiped has saved me from the king of Egypt." [d<="">] 5-6While Israel was camped in the desert near Mount Sinai, [e<="">] Jethro sent Moses this message: " I am coming to visit you, and I am bringing your wife and two sons." 7When they arrived, Moses went out and bowed down in front of Jethro, then kissed him. After they had greeted each other, they went into the tent, 8where Moses told him everything the LORD had done to protect Israel against the Egyptians and their king. He also told him how the LORD had helped them in all of their troubles.
    9Jethro was so pleased to hear this good news about what the LORD had done, 10that he shouted, " Praise the LORD! He rescued you and the Israelites from the Egyptians and their king. 11Now I know that the LORD is the greatest God, because he has rescued Israel from their arrogant enemies." 12Jethro offered sacrifices to God. Then Aaron and Israel's leaders came to eat with Jethro there at the place of worship.
Judges Are Appointed
(Deuteronomy 1.9-18)
 13The next morning Moses sat down at the place where he decided legal cases for the people, and everyone crowded around him until evening. 14Jethro saw how much Moses had to do for the people, and he asked, " Why are you the only judge? Why do you let these people crowd around you from morning till evening?"     15Moses answered, " Because they come here to find out what God wants them to do. 16They bring their complaints to me, and I make decisions on the basis of God's laws."
    17Jethro replied:
   That isn't the best way to do it. 18You and the people who come to you will soon be worn out. The job is too much for one person; you can't do it alone. 19God will help you if you follow my advice. You should be the one to speak to God for the people, 20and you should teach them God's laws and show them what they must do to live right.
    21You will need to appoint some competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy and honest. Then put them over groups of ten, fifty, a hundred, and a thousand. 22These judges can handle the ordinary cases and bring the more difficult ones to you. Having them to share the load will make your work easier. 23This is the way God wants it done. You won't be under nearly as much stress, and everyone else will return home feeling satisfied.
    24Moses followed Jethro's advice. 25He chose some competent leaders from every tribe in Israel and put them over groups of ten, fifty, a hundred, and a thousand. 26They served as judges, deciding the easy cases themselves, but bringing the more difficult ones to Moses.
    27After Moses and his father-in-law Jethro had said good-by to each other, Jethro returned home.

Exodus 19

At Mount Sinai
 1-2The Israelites left Rephidim. [f<="">] Then two months after leaving Egypt, they arrived at the desert near Mount Sinai, where they set up camp at the foot of the mountain. 3Moses went up the mountain to meet with the LORD God, who told him to say to the people:     4You saw what I did in Egypt, and you know how I brought you here to me, just as a mighty eagle carries its young. 5Now if you will faithfully obey me, you will be my very own people. The whole world is mine, 6but you will be my holy nation and serve me as priests.
   Moses, that is what you must tell the Israelites.
    7After Moses went back, he reported to the leaders what the LORD had said, 8and they promised, " We will do everything the LORD has commanded." So Moses told the LORD about this.
    9The LORD said to Moses, " I will come to you in a thick cloud and let the people hear me speak to you. Then they will always trust you." Again Moses reported to the people what the LORD had told him.
    10Once more the LORD spoke to Moses:
   Go back and tell the people that today and tomorrow they must get themselves ready to meet me. They must wash their clothes 11and be ready by the day after tomorrow, when I will come down to Mount Sinai, where all of them can see me.
    12Warn the people that they are forbidden to touch any part of the mountain. Anyone who does will be put to death, 13either with stones or arrows, and no one must touch the body of a person killed in this way. Even an animal that touches this mountain must be put to death. You may go up the mountain only after a signal is given on the trumpet.
    14After Moses went down the mountain, he gave orders for the people to wash their clothes and make themselves acceptable to worship God. 15He told them to be ready in three days and not to have sex in the meantime.
  1. Exodus 17:16 This. . . LORD: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Exodus 18:2 Gershom: See the note at 2.22.
  3. Exodus 18:2 Eliezer: In Hebrew " Eliezer" means " God has helped me."
  4. Exodus 18:2 saved. . . Egypt: See 2.1-15.
  5. Exodus 18:5 Mount Sinai: Hebrew " the mountain of God."
  6. Exodus 19:1 Rephidim: See the note at 17.1.

Matthew 22:34-23:12 (Contemporary English Version)

The Most Important Commandment
(Mark 12.28-34; Luke 10.25-28)
 34After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together. 35One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36"Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?"     37Jesus answered:
   Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, "Love others as much as you love yourself." 40All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets a<="" value="[a]" >[] are based on these two commandments.
About David's Son
(Mark 12.35-37; Luke 20.41-44)
 41While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them, 42"What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?"    They answered, "He will be a son of King David." [b<="">] 43Jesus replied, "How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said,
    44'The Lord said to my Lord:
   Sit at my right side [c<="">] until I make your enemies
   into a footstool for you.'
    45If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?" 46No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.

Matthew 23

Jesus Condemns the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law of Moses
(Mark 12.38-40; Luke 11.37-52; 20.45-47)
 1Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:     2The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. 3So obey everything they teach you, but don't do as they do. After all, they say one thing and do something else.
    4They pile heavy burdens on people's shoulders and won't lift a finger to help. 5Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels [d<="">] for everyone to see. 6They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting places. 7And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers. 8But none of you should be called a teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters. 9Don't call anyone on earth your father. All of you have the same Father in heaven. 10None of you should be called the leader. The Messiah is your only leader. 11Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. 12If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.
  1. Matthew 22:40 the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets: The Jewish Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament.
  2. Matthew 22:42 son of King David: See the note at 9.27.
  3. Matthew 22:44 right side: The place of power and honor.
  4. Matthew 23:5 wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms. . . tassels: As a sign of their love for the Lord and his teachings, the Jewish people had started wearing Scripture verses in small leather boxes. But the Pharisees tried to show off by making the boxes bigger than necessary. The Jewish people were also taught to wear tassels on the four corners of their robes to show their love for God.

Psalm 27:7-14 (Contemporary English Version)

7Please listen when I pray!
   Have pity. Answer my prayer.
    8My heart tells me to pray.
   I am eager to see your face,
    9so don't hide from me.
   I am your servant,
   and you have helped me.
   Don't turn from me in anger.
   You alone keep me safe.
   Don't reject or desert me.
    10Even if my father and mother
   should desert me,
   you will take care of me.
    11Teach me to follow, LORD,
   and lead me on the right path
   because of my enemies.
    12Don't let them do to me
   what they want.
   People tell lies about me
   and make terrible threats,
    13but I know I will live
   to see how kind you are.
    14Trust the LORD!
   Be brave and strong
   and trust the LORD.

Proverbs 6:27-35 (Contemporary English Version)

27If you carry burning coals,
   you burn your clothes;
    28if you step on hot coals,
   you burn your feet.
    29And if you go to bed
   with another man's wife,
   you pay the price.
    30We don't put up with thieves,
   not even a<="" value="[a]" >[] with one who steals for something to eat.
    31And thieves who get caught
   must pay back
   seven times what was stolen
   and lose everything.
    32But if you go to bed
   with another man's wife,
   you will destroy yourself
   by your own stupidity.
    33You will be beaten
   and forever disgraced,
    34because a jealous husband
   can be furious and merciless
   when he takes revenge.
    35He won't let you pay him off,
   no matter what you offer.
  1. Proverbs 6:30 not even: Or " except."

Verse of the Day
“But I will sing about your strength, my God, and I will celebrate because of your love. You are my fortress, my place of protection in times of trouble.” - Psalm 59:16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

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Thought for the Day

French philosopher, mystic, and political activist, Simone Weil wrote, “Anyone whose attention and love are really directed towards the reality outside the world recognizes at the same time that he is bound, both in public and private life, by the single and permanent obligation to remedy, according to his responsibilities and to the extent of his power, all the privations of soul and body which are liable to destroy or damage the earthly life of any human being whatsoever.”

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