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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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bible Readings for March 7, 2017

Today our passages are Numbers 6:1–7:89; Mark 12:38–13:13; Psalm 49:1-20; and Proverbs 10:27-28. 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.

Numbers 8-9:23 (Contemporary English Version)

Numbers 8

Aaron Puts the Gold Lamps in Place
 1The LORD said to Moses, 2" Tell Aaron to put the seven lamps on the lampstand so they shine toward the front."     3Aaron obeyed and placed the lamps as he was told. 4The lampstand was made of hammered gold from its base to the decorative flowers on top, exactly like the pattern the LORD had described to Moses.
Instructions for Ordaining the Levites
 5The LORD said to Moses:     6The Levites must be acceptable to me before they begin working at the sacred tent. So separate them from the rest of the Israelites 7and sprinkle them with the water that washes away their sins. Then have them shave their entire bodies and wash their clothes.
    8They are to bring a bull and its proper grain sacrifice of flour mixed with olive oil. And they must bring a second bull as a sacrifice for sin.
    9Then you, Moses, will call together all the people of Israel and have the Levites go to my sacred tent, 10where the people will place their hands on them. 11Aaron will present the Levites to me as a gift from the people, so that the Levites will do my work.
    12After this, the Levites are to place their hands on the heads of the bulls. Then one of the bulls will be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin, and the other to make sure that I am pleased. 13The Levites will stand at my altar in front of Aaron and his sons, who will then dedicate the Levites to me.
    14This ceremony will show that the Levites are different from the other Israelites and belong to me in a special way. 15After they have been made acceptable and have been dedicated, they will be allowed to work at my sacred tent. 16They are mine and will take the place of the first-born Israelite sons. 17When I killed the oldest sons of the Egyptians, I decided that the first-born sons in each Israelite family would be mine, as well as every first-born male from their flocks and herds. 18But now I have chosen these Levites as substitutes for the first-born sons, 19and I have given them as gifts to Aaron and his sons to serve at the sacred tent. I will hold them responsible for what happens to anyone who gets too close to the sacred tent. [a]
The Levites Are Dedicated to the LORD
 20Moses, Aaron, and the other Israelites made sure that the Levites did everything the LORD had commanded. 21The Levites sprinkled themselves with the water of forgiveness and washed their clothes. Then Aaron brought them to the altar and offered sacrifices to forgive their sins and make them acceptable to the LORD. 22After this, the Levites worked at the sacred tent as assistants to Aaron and his sons, just as the LORD had commanded.     23The LORD also told Moses, 24-25" Levites who are between the ages of twenty-five and fifty can work at my sacred tent. But once they turn fifty, they must retire. 26They may help the other Levites in their duties, but they must no longer be responsible for any work themselves. Remember this when you assign their duties."

Numbers 9

Regulations for Celebrating Passover
 1During the first month of Israel's second year in the Sinai Desert, [b] the LORD had told Moses 2to say to the people, " Celebrate Passover 3in the evening of the fourteenth day of this month [c] and do it by following all the regulations." 4-5Moses told the people what the LORD had said, and they celebrated Passover there in the desert in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month. 6Some people in Israel's camp had touched a dead body and had become unfit to worship the LORD, and they could not celebrate Passover. But they asked Moses and Aaron, 7" Even though we have touched a dead body, why can't we celebrate Passover and offer sacrifices to the LORD at the same time as everyone else?"     8Moses said, " Wait here while I go into the sacred tent and find out what the LORD says about this."
    9The LORD then told Moses 10to say to the community of Israel:
   If any of you or your descendants touch a dead body and become unfit to worship me, or if you are away on a long journey, you may still celebrate Passover. 11But it must be done in the second month, [d] in the evening of the fourteenth day. Eat the Passover lamb with thin bread and bitter herbs, 12and don't leave any of it until morning or break any of the animal's bones. Be sure to follow these regulations. 13But if any of you refuse to celebrate Passover when you are not away on a journey, you will no longer belong to my people. You will be punished because you did not offer sacrifices to me at the proper time.
    14Anyone, including foreigners who live among you, can celebrate Passover, if they follow all the regulations.
The Cloud over the Sacred Tent
(Exodus 40.34-38)
 15-16As soon as the sacred tent was set up, [e] a thick cloud appeared and covered it. The cloud was there each day, and during the night, a fire could be seen in it. 17-19The LORD used this cloud to tell the Israelites when to move their camp and where to set it up again. As long as the cloud covered the tent, the Israelites did not break camp. But when the cloud moved, they followed it, and wherever it stopped, they camped and stayed there, 20-22whether it was only one night, a few days, a month, or even a year. As long as the cloud remained over the tent, the Israelites stayed where they were. But when the cloud moved, so did the Israelites. 23They obeyed the LORD's commands and went wherever he directed Moses.
  1. Numbers 8:19 I will hold. . . sacred tent: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Numbers 9:1 first month. . . Sinai Desert: The book of Numbers begins in the second month of the second year (see 1.1), so 9.1-5 refers to a Passover celebration that had already taken place.
  3. Numbers 9:3 this month: Abib (also called Nisan), the first month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-March to mid-April.
  4. Numbers 9:11 second month: See the note at 1.1.
  5. Numbers 9:15 As soon as the sacred tent was set up: According to Exodus 40.17, this took place " on the first day of the first month of the second year" of the Israelites' stay in the desert.

Mark 13:14-37 (Contemporary English Version)

The Horrible Thing
(Matthew 24.15-21; Luke 21.20-24)
 14Someday you will see that "Horrible Thing" where it should not be. [a] Everyone who reads this must try to understand! If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. 15If you are on the roof [b] of your house, don't go inside to get anything. 16If you are out in the field, don't go back for your coat. 17It will be an awful time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children. 18Pray that it won't happen in winter. [c] 19This will be the worst time of suffering since God created the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. 20If the Lord doesn't make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of his chosen and special ones, he will make the time shorter.     21If someone should say, "Here is the Messiah!" or "There he is!" don't believe it. 22False messiahs and false prophets will come and work miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God's chosen ones. 23But be on your guard! That's why I am telling you these things now.
When the Son of Man Appears
(Matthew 24.29-31; Luke 21.25-28)
 24In those days, right after that time of suffering,    "The sun will become dark,
   and the moon
   will no longer shine.
    25The stars will fall,
   and the powers in the sky [d]
   will be shaken."
    26Then the Son of Man will be seen coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27He will send his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the earth.
A Lesson from a Fig Tree
(Matthew 24.32-35; Luke 21.29-33)
 28Learn a lesson from a fig tree. When its branches sprout and start putting out leaves, you know summer is near. 29So when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time has almost come. [e] 30You can be sure that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens. 31The sky and the earth will not last forever, but my words will.    
No One Knows the Day or Time
(Matthew 24.36-44)
 32No one knows the day or the time. The angels in heaven don't know, and the Son himself doesn't know. Only the Father knows. 33So watch out and be ready! You don't know when the time will come. 34It is like what happens when a man goes away for a while and places his servants in charge of everything. He tells each of them what to do, and he orders the guard to keep alert. 35So be alert! You don't know when the master of the house will come back. It could be in the evening or at midnight or before dawn or in the morning. 36But if he comes suddenly, don't let him find you asleep. 37I tell everyone just what I have told you. Be alert!    
  1. Mark 13:14 where it should not be: Probably the holy place in the temple.
  2. Mark 13:15 roof: See the note at 2.4.
  3. Mark 13:18 in winter: In Palestine the winters are cold and rainy and make travel difficult.
  4. Mark 13:25 the powers in the sky: In ancient times people thought that the stars were spiritual powers.
  5. Mark 13:29 the time has almost come: Or "he (that is, the Son of Man) will soon be here."

Psalm 50:1-23 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 50

(A psalm by Asaph.)
What Pleases God
 1From east to west,    the powerful LORD God
   has been calling together
   everyone on earth.
    2God shines brightly from Zion,
   the most beautiful city.
    3Our God approaches,
   but not silently;
   a flaming fire comes first,
   and a storm surrounds him.
    4God comes to judge his people.
   He shouts to the heavens
   and to the earth,
    5"Call my followers together!
   They offered me a sacrifice,
   and we made an agreement."
    6The heavens announce,
   "God is the judge,
   and he is always honest."
    7My people, I am God!
   Israel, I am your God.
   Listen to my charges
   against you.
    8Although you offer sacrifices
   and always bring gifts,
    9I won't accept your offerings
   of bulls and goats.
    10Every animal in the forest
   belongs to me,
   and so do the cattle
   on a thousand hills.
    11I know all the birds
   in the mountains,
   and every wild creature
   is in my care.
    12If I were hungry,
   I wouldn't tell you,
   because I own the world
   and everything in it.
    13I don't eat the meat of bulls
   or drink the blood of goats.
    14I am God Most High!
   The only sacrifice I want
   is for you to be thankful
   and to keep your word.
    15Pray to me in time of trouble.
   I will rescue you,
   and you will honor me.
    16But to the wicked I say:
   "You don't have the right
   to mention my laws
   or claim
   to keep our agreement!
    17You refused correction
   and rejected my commands.
    18You made friends
   with every crook you met,
   and you liked people who break
   their wedding vows.
    19You talked only about violence
   and told nothing but lies;
    20you sat around gossiping,
   ruining the reputation
   of your own relatives."
    21When you did all of this,
   I didn't say a word,
   and you thought,
   "God is just like us!"
   But now I will accuse you.
    22You have ignored me!
   So pay close attention
   or I will tear you apart,
   and no one can help you.
    23The sacrifice that honors me
   is a thankful heart.
   Obey me, [a] and I, your God,
   will show my power to save.
  1. Psalm 50:23 Obey me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 10:29-30 (Contemporary English Version)

29The LORD protects everyone
   who lives right,
   but he destroys anyone
   who does wrong.
    30Good people will stand firm,
   but the wicked
   will lose their land.

Verse of the Day

“Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking. Don't let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.” - Psalm 139:23-24
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Gabriel García Márquez
Thought for the Day

Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America, Gabriel García Márquez wrote, “If you say that there are elephants flying in the sky, people are not going to believe you. But if you say that there are four hundred and twenty-five elephants flying in the sky, people will probably believe you.”

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