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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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bible Readings for March 2, 2017

Today our passages are Leviticus 25:47–27:13; Mark 10:32-52; Psalm 45:1-17; and Proverbs 10:22. 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.

Leviticus 25:47-27:13 (Contemporary English Version)

47Even if some of you Israelites become so much in debt that you must sell yourselves to foreigners in your country, 48you still have the right to be set free by a relative, such as a brother 49or uncle or cousin, or some other family member. In fact, if you ever get enough money, you may buy your own freedom 50by paying your owner for the number of years you would still be a slave before the next Year of Celebration. 51-52The longer the time until then, the more you will have to pay. 53And even while you are the slaves of foreigners in your own country, your people must make sure that you are not mistreated. 54If you cannot gain your freedom in any of these ways, both you and your children will still be set free in the Year of Celebration. 55People of Israel, I am the LORD your God, and I brought you out of Egypt to be my own servants.

Leviticus 26

Blessings for Obeying the LORD
The LORD said:
 1I am the LORD your God! So don't make or worship any sort of idols or images. 2Respect the Sabbath and honor the place where I am worshiped, because I am the LORD.     3Faithfully obey my laws, 4and I will send rain to make your crops grow and your trees produce fruit. 5Your harvest of grain and grapes will be so abundant, that you won't know what to do with it all. You will eat and be satisfied, and you will live in safety. 6I will bless your country with peace, and you will rest without fear. I will wipe out the dangerous animals and protect you from enemy attacks. 7You will chase and destroy your enemies, 8even if there are only five of you and a hundred of them, or only a hundred of you and ten thousand of them. 9I will treat you with such kindness that your nation will grow strong, and I will also keep my promises to you. 10Your barns will overflow with grain each year. 11I will live among you and never again look on you with disgust. 12I will walk with you--I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13I am the LORD your God, and I rescued you from Egypt, so that you would never again be slaves. I have set you free; now walk with your heads held high.
Punishment for Disobeying the LORD
The LORD said:
 14-15If you disobey me and my laws, and if you break our agreement, 16I will punish you terribly, and you will be ruined. You will be struck with incurable diseases and with fever that leads to blindness and depression. Your enemies will eat the crops you plant, 17and I will turn from you and let you be destroyed by your attackers. You will even run at the very rumor of attack. 18Then, if you still refuse to obey me, I will punish you seven times for each of your sins, 19until your pride is completely crushed. I will hold back the rain, so the sky above you will be like iron, and the ground beneath your feet will be like copper. 20All of your hard work will be for nothing--and there will be no harvest of grain or fruit.     21If you keep rebelling against me, I'll punish you seven times worse, just as your sins deserve! 22I'll send wild animals to attack you, and they will gobble down your children and livestock. So few of you will be left that your roads will be deserted.
    23If you remain my enemies after this, 24I'll remain your enemy and punish you even worse. 25War will break out because you broke our agreement, and if you escape to your walled cities, I'll punish you with horrible diseases, and you will be captured by your enemies. 26You will have such a shortage of bread, that ten women will be able to bake their bread in the same oven. Each of you will get only a few crumbs, and you will go hungry.
    27Then if you don't stop rebelling, 28I'll really get furious and punish you terribly for your sins! 29In fact, you will be so desperate for food that you will eat your own children. 30I'll destroy your shrines and tear down your incense altars, leaving your dead bodies piled on top of your idols. And you will be disgusting to me. 31I'll wipe out your towns and your places of worship and will no longer be pleased with the smell of your sacrifices. 32Your land will become so desolate that even your enemies who settle there will be shocked when they see it. 33After I destroy your towns and ruin your land with war, I'll scatter you among the nations.
    34-35While you are prisoners in foreign lands, your own land will enjoy years of rest and refreshment, as it should have done each seventh year when you lived there. 36-37In the land of your enemies, you will tremble at the rustle of a leaf, as though it were a sword. And you will become so weak that you will stumble and fall over each other, even when no one is chasing you. 38Many of you will die in foreign lands, 39and others of you will waste away in sorrow as the result of your sins and the sins of your ancestors.
    40-41Then suppose you realize that I turned against you and brought you to the land of your enemies because both you and your ancestors had stubbornly sinned against me. If you humbly confess what you have done and start living right, 42I'll keep the promise I made to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will bless your land 43and let it rest during the time that you are in a foreign country, paying for your rebellion against me and my laws.
    44No matter what you have done, I am still the LORD your God, and I will never completely reject you or become absolutely disgusted with you there in the land of your enemies. 45While nations watched, I rescued your ancestors from Egypt so that I would be their God. Yes, I am your LORD, and I will never forget our agreement.
    46Moses was on Mount Sinai when the LORD gave him these laws and teachings for the people of Israel.

Leviticus 27

Making Promises to the LORD
 1The LORD told Moses 2to say to the community of Israel:    If you ever want to free someone who has been promised to me, 3-7you may do so by paying the following amounts, weighed according to the official standards:
   fifty pieces of silver for men ages twenty to sixty,
   and thirty pieces for women;
   twenty pieces of silver for young men
   ages five to twenty,
   and ten pieces for young women;
   fifteen pieces of silver for men
   ages sixty and above and ten pieces for women;
   five pieces of silver for boys
   ages one month to five years, and three pieces for girls.
    8If you have promised to give someone to me and can't afford to pay the full amount for that person's release, you will be taken to a priest, and he will decide how much you can afford.
    9If you promise to sacrifice an animal to me, it becomes holy, and there is no way you can set it free. 10If you try to substitute any other animal, no matter how good, for the one you promised, they will both become holy and must be sacrificed. 11Donkeys are unfit for sacrifice, so if you promise me a donkey, a<="" value="[a]" >[] you must bring it to the priest, 12and let him determine its value. 13But if you want to buy it back, you must pay an additional twenty percent.
  1. Leviticus 27:11 Donkeys. . . donkey: The Hebrew text has " If you promise me an unclean animal," which probably refers to a donkey (see Exodus 13.13; 34.20).

Mark 10:32-52 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus Again Tells about His Death
(Matthew 20.17-19; Luke 18.31-34)
 32The disciples were confused as Jesus led them toward Jerusalem, and his other followers were afraid. Once again, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and told them what was going to happen to him. He said:     33We are now on our way to Jerusalem where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses. They will sentence him to death and hand him over to foreigners, a<="" value="[a]" >[] 34who will make fun of him and spit on him. They will beat him and kill him. But three days later he will rise to life.
The Request of James and John
(Matthew 20.20-28)
 35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, will you do us a favor?"     36Jesus asked them what they wanted, 37and they answered, "When you come into your glory, please let one of us sit at your right side and the other at your left." [b<="">]
    38Jesus told them, "You don't really know what you're asking! Are you able to drink from the cup [c<="">] that I must soon drink from or be baptized as I must be baptized?" [d<="">]
    39"Yes, we are!" James and John answered.
   Then Jesus replied, "You certainly will drink from the cup from which I must drink. And you will be baptized just as I must! 40But it isn't for me to say who will sit at my right side and at my left. That is for God to decide."
    41When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with James and John. 42But Jesus called the disciples together and said:
   You know that those foreigners who call themselves kings like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over the people they rule. 43But don't act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. 44And if you want to be first, you must be everyone's slave. 45The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue [e<="">] many people.
Jesus Heals Blind Bartimaeus
(Matthew 20.29-34; Luke 18.35-43)
 46Jesus and his disciples went to Jericho. And as they were leaving, they were followed by a large crowd. A blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus son of Timaeus was sitting beside the road. 47When he heard that it was Jesus from Nazareth, he shouted, "Jesus, Son of David, [f<="">] have pity on me!" 48Many people told the man to stop, but he shouted even louder, "Son of David, have pity on me!"     49Jesus stopped and said, "Call him over!"
   They called out to the blind man and said, "Don't be afraid! Come on! He is calling for you." 50The man threw off his coat as he jumped up and ran to Jesus.
    51Jesus asked, "What do you want me to do for you?"
   The blind man answered, "Master, [g<="">] I want to see!"
    52Jesus told him, "You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith."
   Right away the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.
  1. Mark 10:33 foreigners: The Romans who ruled Judea at this time.
  2. Mark 10:37 right side. . . left: The most powerful people in a kingdom sat at the right and left side of the king.
  3. Mark 10:38 drink from the cup: In the Scriptures a "cup" is sometimes used as a symbol of suffering. To "drink from the cup" would be to suffer.
  4. Mark 10:38 as I must be baptized: Baptism is used with the same meaning that "cup" has in this verse.
  5. Mark 10:45 rescue: The Greek word often, though not always, means the payment of a price to free a slave or a prisoner.
  6. Mark 10:47 Son of David: The Jewish people expected the Messiah to be from the family of King David, and for this reason the Messiah was often called the "Son of David."
  7. Mark 10:51 Master: A Hebrew word that may also mean "Teacher."

Psalm 45:1-17 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 45

(A special psalm for the people of Korah and for the music leader. To the tune "Lilies." A love song.)
For a Royal Wedding
 1My thoughts are filled    with beautiful words
   for the king,
   and I will use my voice
   as a writer would use
   pen and ink.
    2No one is as handsome as you!
   Your words are always kind.
   That is why God
   will always bless you.
    3Mighty king, glorious ruler,
   strap on your sword
    4and ride out in splendor!
   Win victories for truth
   and mercy and justice.
   Do fearsome things
   with your powerful arm.
    5Send your sharp arrows
   through enemy hearts
   and make all nations fall
   at your feet.
    6You are God, and you will rule
   forever as king. a<="" value="[a]" >[] Your royal power
   brings about justice.
    7You love justice and hate evil.
   And so, your God chose you
   and made you happier
   than any of your friends.
    8The sweet aroma of the spices
   myrrh, aloes, and cassia,
   covers your royal robes.
   You enjoy the music of harps
   in palaces decorated
   with ivory.
    9Daughters of kings are here,
   and your bride stands
   at your right side,
   wearing a wedding gown
   trimmed with pure gold. [b<="">] 10Bride of the king,
   listen carefully to me.
   Forget your own people
   and your father's family.
    11The king is your husband,
   so do what he desires.
    12All of the richest people
   from the city of Tyre
   will try to influence you
    13with precious treasures.
   Your bride, my king,
   has inward beauty, [c<="">] and her wedding gown is woven
   with threads of gold.
    14Wearing the finest garments,
   she is brought to you,
   followed by her young friends,
   the bridesmaids.
    15Everyone is excited,
   as they follow you
   to the royal palace.
    16Your sons and your grandsons
   will also be kings
   as your ancestors were.
   You will make them the rulers
   everywhere on earth.
    17I will make your name famous
   from now on,
   and you will be praised
   forever and ever.
  1. Psalm 45:6 You. . . king: Or " God has made you king, and you will rule forever."
  2. Psalm 45:9 trimmed with pure gold: Hebrew has " with gold from Ophir," which may have been in Africa or India. Gold from there was considered the very best.
  3. Psalm 45:13 has inward beauty: Or " is dressed in her room."

Proverbs 10:22 (Contemporary English Version)

22When the LORD blesses you
   with riches,
   you have nothing to regret. a<="" value="[a]" >[]
  1. Proverbs 10:22 When. . . regret: Or " No matter how hard you work, your riches really come From the LORD."

Verse of the Day
“But he knows what I am doing, and when he tests me, I will be pure as gold. I have never refused to follow any of his commands,” - Job 23:10-11
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Mir-Hossein Mousavi
Thought for the Day

Iranian reformist politician, artist and architect who served as the seventy-ninth and last Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989, Mir-Hossein Mousavi wrote, “There are two ways of confronting the country's problems. One is through a management style based on adventurism, instability, play-acting, exaggerations, wrongdoing, being secretive, self-importance, superficiality and ignoring the law. The second way is based on realism, respect, openness, collective wisdom and avoiding extremism.”

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