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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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bible Readings for March 8, 2017

Today our passages are Numbers 10:1–11:23; Mark 14:1-21; Psalm 51:1-19; and Proverbs 10:31-32. 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 10-11:23 (Contemporary English Version)

Numbers 10

The Silver Trumpets
 1The LORD told Moses:     2Have someone make two trumpets out of hammered silver. These will be used to call the people together and to give the signal for moving your camp. 3If both trumpets are blown, everyone is to meet with you at the entrance to the sacred tent. 4But if just one is blown, only the twelve tribal leaders need to come together.
    5-6Give a signal on a trumpet when it is time to break camp. The first blast will be the signal for the tribes camped on the east side, and the second blast will be the signal for those on the south. 7But when you want everyone to come together, sound a different signal on the trumpet. 8The priests of Aaron's family will be the ones to blow the trumpets, and this law will never change.
    9Whenever you go into battle against an enemy attacking your land, give a warning signal on the trumpets. Then I, the LORD, will hear it and rescue you. 10During the celebration of the New Moon Festival and other religious festivals, sound the trumpets while you offer sacrifices. This will be a reminder that I am the LORD your God.
The Israelites Begin Their Journey
 11On the twentieth day of the second month a<="" value="[a]" >[] of that same year, the cloud over the sacred tent moved on. 12So the Israelites broke camp and left the Sinai Desert. And some time later, the cloud stopped in the Paran Desert. [b<="">] 13This was the first time the LORD had told Moses to command the people of Israel to move on. 14Judah and the tribes that camped alongside it marched out first, carrying their banner. Nahshon son of Amminadab was the leader of the Judah tribe, 15Nethanel son of Zuar was the leader of the Issachar tribe, 16and Eliab son of Helon was the leader of the Zebulun tribe.     17The sacred tent had been taken down, and the Gershonites and the Merarites carried it, marching behind the Judah camp.
    18Reuben and the tribes that camped alongside it marched out second, carrying their banner. Elizur son of Shedeur was the leader of the Reuben tribe, 19Shelumiel son of Zurishaddai was the leader of the Simeon tribe, 20and Eliasaph son of Deuel was the leader of the Gad tribe.
    21Next were the Kohathites, carrying the objects for the sacred tent, which was to be set up before they arrived at the new camp.
    22Ephraim and the tribes that camped alongside it marched next, carrying their banner. Elishama son of Ammihud was the leader of the Ephraim tribe, 23Gamaliel son of Pedahzur was the leader of the Manasseh tribe, 24and Abidan son of Gideoni was the leader of the Benjamin tribe.
    25Dan and the tribes that camped alongside it were to protect the Israelites against an attack from behind, and so they marched last, carrying their banner. Ahiezer son of Ammishaddai was the leader of the tribe of Dan, 26Pagiel son of Ochran was the leader of the Asher tribe, 27and Ahira son of Enan was the leader of the Naphtali tribe.
    28This was the order in which the Israelites marched each time they moved their camp.
    29Hobab [c<="">] the Midianite, the father-in-law of Moses, was there. And Moses said to him, " We're leaving for the place the LORD has promised us. He has said that all will go well for us. So come along, and we will make sure that all goes well for you." 30" No, I won't go," Hobab answered. " I'm returning home to be with my own people."
    31" Please go with us!" Moses said. " You can be our guide because you know the places to camp in the desert. 32Besides that, if you go, we will give you a share of the good things the LORD gives us."
    33The people of Israel began their journey from Mount Sinai. [d<="">] They traveled three days, and the Levites who carried the sacred chest led the way, so the LORD could show them where to camp. 34And the cloud always stayed with them. 35Each day as the Israelites began their journey, Moses would pray, " Our LORD, defeat your enemies and make them run!" 36And when they stopped to set up camp, he would pray, " Our LORD, stay close to Israel's thousands and thousands of people."

Numbers 11

The Israelites Complain
 1One day the Israelites started complaining about their troubles. The LORD heard them and became so angry that he destroyed the outer edges of their camp with fire.     2When the people begged Moses to help, he prayed, and the fire went out. 3They named the place " Burning," [e<="">] because in his anger the LORD had set their camp on fire.
The People Grumble about Being Hungry
 4One day some worthless foreigners among the Israelites became greedy for food, and even the Israelites themselves began moaning, " We don't have any meat! 5In Egypt we could eat all the fish we wanted, and there were cucumbers, melons, onions, and garlic. 6But we're starving out here, and the only food we have is this manna."     7The manna was like small whitish seeds 8-9and tasted like something baked with sweet olive oil. It appeared at night with the dew. In the morning the people would collect the manna, grind or crush it into flour, then boil it and make it into thin wafers.
    10The Israelites stood around their tents complaining. Moses heard them and was upset that they had made the LORD angry. 11He prayed:
   I am your servant, LORD, so why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this? You've made me responsible for all these people, 12but they're not my children. You told me to nurse them along and to carry them to the land you promised their ancestors. 13They keep whining for meat, but where can I get meat for them? 14This job is too much for me. How can I take care of all these people by myself? 15If this is the way you're going to treat me, just kill me now and end my miserable life!
Seventy Leaders Are Chosen To Help Moses
 16The LORD said to Moses:    Choose seventy of Israel's respected leaders and go with them to the sacred tent. 17While I am talking with you there, I will give them some of your authority, so they can share responsibility for my people. You will no longer have to care for them by yourself.
    18As for the Israelites, I have heard them complaining about not having meat and about being better off in Egypt. So tell them to make themselves acceptable to me, because tomorrow they will have meat. 19-20In fact, they will have meat day after day for a whole month--not just a few days, or even ten or twenty. They turned against me and wanted to return to Egypt. Now they will eat meat until they get sick of it.
    21Moses replied, " At least six hundred thousand grown men are here with me. How can you say there will be enough meat to feed them and their families for a whole month? 22Even if we butchered all of our sheep and cattle, or caught every fish in the sea, we wouldn't have enough to feed them."
    23The LORD answered, " I can do anything! Watch and you'll see my words come true."
  1. Numbers 10:11 second month: See the note at 1.1.
  2. Numbers 10:12 the Paran Desert: Probably a general name for the northernmost part of the Sinai Desert.
  3. Numbers 10:29 Hobab: Hebrew " Hobab son of Reuel."
  4. Numbers 10:33 Mount Sinai: Hebrew " the LORD's mountain."
  5. Numbers 11:3 Burning: Or " Taberah."

Mark 14:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Mark 14

A Plot To Kill Jesus
(Matthew 26.1-5; Luke 22.1,2; John 11.45-53)
 1It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Thin Bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses were planning how they could sneak around and have Jesus arrested and put to death. 2They were saying, "We must not do it during the festival, because the people will riot."    
At Bethany
(Matthew 26.6-13; John 12.1-8)
 3Jesus was eating in Bethany at the home of Simon, who once had leprosy, a<="" value="[a]" >[] when a woman came in with a very expensive bottle of sweet-smelling perfume. [b<="">] After breaking it open, she poured the perfume on Jesus' head. 4This made some of the guests angry, and they complained, "Why such a waste? 5We could have sold this perfume for more than three hundred silver coins and given the money to the poor!" So they started saying cruel things to the woman.     6But Jesus said:
   Leave her alone! Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 7You will always have the poor with you. And whenever you want to, you can give to them. But you won't always have me here with you. 8She has done all she could by pouring perfume on my body to prepare it for burial. 9You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done. And they will tell others.
Judas and the Chief Priests
(Matthew 26.14-16; Luke 22.3-6)
 10Judas Iscariot [c<="">] was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and offered to help them arrest Jesus. 11They were glad to hear this, and they promised to pay him. So Judas started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.    
Jesus Eats with His Disciples
(Matthew 26.17-25; Luke 22.7-14,21-23; John 13.21-30)
 12It was the first day of the Festival of Thin Bread, and the Passover lambs were being killed. Jesus' disciples asked him, "Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal?"     13Jesus said to two of the disciples, "Go into the city, where you will meet a man carrying a jar of water. [d<="">] Follow him, 14and when he goes into a house, say to the owner, `Our teacher wants to know if you have a room where he can eat the Passover meal with his disciples.' 15The owner will take you upstairs and show you a large room furnished and ready for you to use. Prepare the meal there."
    16The two disciples went into the city and found everything just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover meal.
    17-18While Jesus and the twelve disciples were eating together that evening, he said, "The one who will betray me is now eating with me."
    19This made the disciples sad, and one after another they said to Jesus, "You surely don't mean me!"
    20He answered, "It is one of you twelve men who is eating from this dish with me. 21The Son of Man will die, just as the Scriptures say. But it is going to be terrible for the one who betrays me. That man would be better off if he had never been born."
  1. Mark 14:3 leprosy: In biblical times the word "leprosy" was used for many different skin diseases.
  2. Mark 14:3 sweet-smelling perfume: The Greek text has "perfume made of pure spikenard," a plant used to make perfume.
  3. Mark 14:10 Iscariot: See the note at 3.19.
  4. Mark 14:13 a man carrying a jar of water: A male slave carrying water could mean that the family was rich.

Psalm 51:1-19 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 51

(For the music leader. A psalm by David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had been with Bathsheba.)
A Prayer for Forgiveness
 1You are kind, God!    Please have pity on me.
   You are always merciful!
   Please wipe away my sins.
    2Wash me clean from all
   of my sin and guilt.
    3I know about my sins,
   and I cannot forget
   my terrible guilt.
    4You are really the one
   I have sinned against;
   I have disobeyed you
   and have done wrong.
   So it is right and fair for you
   to correct and punish me.
    5I have sinned and done wrong
   since the day I was born.
    6But you want complete honesty,
   so teach me true wisdom.
    7Wash me with hyssop a<="" value="[a]" >[] until I am clean
   and whiter than snow.
    8Let me be happy and joyful!
   You crushed my bones,
   now let them celebrate.
    9Turn your eyes from my sin
   and cover my guilt.
    10Create pure thoughts in me
   and make me faithful again.
    11Don't chase me away from you
   or take your Holy Spirit
   away from me.
    12Make me as happy as you did
   when you saved me;
   make me want to obey!
    13I will teach sinners your Law,
   and they will return to you.
    14Keep me from any deadly sin.
   Only you can save me!
   Then I will shout and sing
   about your power to save.
    15Help me to speak,
   and I will praise you, Lord.
    16Offerings and sacrifices
   are not what you want.
    17The way to please you
   is to feel sorrow
   deep in our hearts.
   This is the kind of sacrifice
   you won't refuse.
    18Please be willing, Lord,
   to help the city of Zion
   and to rebuild its walls.
    19Then you will be pleased
   with the proper sacrifices,
   and we will offer bulls
   on your altar once again.
  1. Psalm 51:7 hyssop: A small bush with bunches of small, white flowers. It was sometimes used as a symbol for making a person clean from sin.

Proverbs 10:31-32 (Contemporary English Version)

31Honest people speak sensibly,
   but deceitful liars
   will be silenced.
    32If you obey the Lord,
   you will always know
   the right thing to say.
   But no one will trust you
   if you tell lies.

Verse of the Day

“[Paul Gives Thanks]Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort. He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.” - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Neil PostmanThought for the Day

American author, educator, media theorist and cultural critic, who is best known for his seventeen books, Neil Postman wrote, “The computer and its information cannot answer any of the fundamental questions we need to address to make our lives more meaningful and humane. The computer cannot provide an organizing moral framework. It cannot tell us what questions are worth asking. It cannot provide a means of understanding why we are here or why we fight each other or why decency eludes us so often, especially when we need it the most. The computer is... a magnificent toy that distracts us from facing what we most need to confront — spiritual emptiness, knowledge of ourselves, usable conceptions of the past and future.”

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