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, April 5, 2017

Bible Readings for April 5, 2017

Today our passages are Deuteronomy 28:1-68; Luke 11:14-36; Psalm 77:1-20; and Proverbs 12:18. The readings are from 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.

Deuteronomy 28:1-68 (Contemporary English Version)

Deuteronomy 28

The LORD Will Bless You if You Obey
Moses said to Israel:
 1-2Today I am giving you the laws and teachings of the LORD your God. Always obey them, and the LORD will make Israel the most famous and important nation on earth, and he will bless you in many ways.     3The LORD will make your businesses and your farms successful.
    4You will have many children. You will harvest large crops, and your herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats will produce many young.
    5You will have plenty of bread a<="" value="[a]" >[] to eat. 6The LORD will make you successful in your daily work.
    7The LORD will help you defeat your enemies and make them scatter in all directions.
    8The LORD your God is giving you the land, and he will make sure you are successful in everything you do. Your harvests will be so large that your storehouses will be full.
    9If you follow and obey the LORD, he will make you his own special people, just as he promised. 10Then everyone on earth will know that you belong to the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.
    11The LORD will give you a lot of children and make sure that your animals give birth to many young. The LORD promised your ancestors that this land would be yours, and he will make it produce large crops for you.
    12The LORD will open the storehouses of the skies where he keeps the rain, and he will send rain on your land at just the right times. He will make you successful in everything you do. You will have plenty of money to lend to other nations, but you won't need to borrow any yourself.
    13Obey the laws and teachings that I'm giving you today, and the LORD your God will make Israel a leader among the nations, and not a follower. Israel will be wealthy and powerful, not poor and weak. 14But you must not reject any of his laws and teachings or worship other gods.
   Moses said:
The LORD Will Put Curses on You if You Disobey
(Leviticus 26.14-46)
 15Israel, today I am giving you the laws and teachings of the LORD your God. And if you don't obey them all, he will put many curses on you.     16Your businesses and farms will fail.
    17You won't have enough bread to eat.
    18You'll have only a few children, your crops will be small, and your herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats won't produce many young.
    19The LORD will make you fail in everything you do.
    20No matter what you try to accomplish, the LORD will confuse you, and you will feel his anger. You won't last long, and you may even meet with disaster, all because you rejected the LORD.
    21-23The LORD will send terrible diseases to attack you, and you will never be well again. You will suffer with burning fever and swelling and pain until you die somewhere in the land that you captured.
   The LORD will make the sky overhead seem like a bronze roof that keeps out the rain, and the ground under your feet will become as hard as iron. Your crops will be scorched by the hot east wind or ruined by mildew. 24He will send dust and sandstorms instead of rain, and you will be wiped out.
    25The LORD will let you be defeated by your enemies, and you will scatter in all directions. You will be a horrible sight for the other nations to see, 26and no one will disturb the birds and wild animals while they eat your dead bodies.
    27The LORD will make you suffer with diseases that will cause oozing sores or crusty itchy patches on your skin or boils like the ones that are common in Egypt. And there will be no cure for you! 28You will become insane and go blind. The LORD will make you so confused, 29that even in bright sunshine you will have to feel your way around like a blind person, who cannot tell day from night. For the rest of your life, people will beat and rob you, and no one will be able to stop them.
    30A man will be engaged to a woman, but before they can get married, she will be raped by enemy soldiers. Some of you will build houses, but never get to live in them. If you plant a vineyard, you won't be around long enough to enjoy the first harvest. 31Your cattle will be killed while you watch, but you won't get to eat any of the meat. Your donkeys and sheep will be stolen from you, and no one will be around to force your enemies to give them back. 32Your sons and daughters will be dragged off to a foreign country, while you stand there helpless. And even if you watch for them until you go blind, you will never see them again.
    33You will work hard on your farms, but everything you harvest will be eaten by foreigners, who will mistreat you and abuse you for the rest of your life.
    34What you see will be so horrible that you will go insane, 35and the LORD will punish you from head to toe with boils that never heal.
    36The LORD will let you and your king be taken captive to a country that you and your ancestors have never even heard of, and there you will have to worship idols [b<="">] made of wood and stone. 37People of nearby countries will shudder when they see your terrible troubles, but they will still make fun of you. 38You will plant a lot of seed, but gather a small harvest, because locusts [c<="">] will eat your crops. 39You will plant vineyards and work hard at taking care of them, but you won't gather any grapes, much less get any wine, and the vines themselves will be eaten by worms. 40Even if your olive trees grow everywhere in your country, the olives will fall off before they are ready, and there won't be enough olive oil for combing your hair. [d<="">] 41Even your infant sons and daughters will be taken as prisoners of war.
    42Locusts [e<="">] will eat your crops and strip your trees of leaves and fruit. 43Foreigners in your towns will become wealthy and powerful, while you become poor and powerless. 44You will be so short of money that you will have to borrow from those foreigners. They will be the leaders in the community, and you will be the followers.
More Curses for Disobedience
Moses said:
 45Israel, if you don't obey the laws and teachings that the LORD your God is giving you, he will send these curses to chase, attack, and destroy you. 46Then everyone will look at you and your descendants and realize that the LORD has placed you under a curse.     47If the LORD makes you wealthy, but you don't joyfully worship and honor him, 48he will send enemies to attack you and make you their slaves. Then you will live in poverty with nothing to eat, drink, or wear, and your owners will work you to death.
    49Foreigners who speak a strange language will be sent to attack you without warning, just like an eagle swooping down. 50They won't show any mercy, and they will have no respect for old people or pity for children. 51They will take your cattle, sheep, goats, grain, wine, and olive oil, then leave you to starve.
    52All over the land that the LORD your God gave you, the enemy army will surround your towns. You may feel safe inside your town walls, but the enemy will tear them down, 53while you wait in horror. Finally, you will get so hungry that you will eat the sons and daughters that the LORD gave you. 54-55Because of hunger, a man who had been gentle and kind will eat his own children and refuse to share the meal with his brother or wife or with his other children. 56-57A woman may have grown up in such luxury that she never had to put a foot on the ground. But times will be so bad that she will secretly eat both her newborn baby and the afterbirth, without sharing any with her husband or her other children.
Disobedience Brings Destruction
Moses said to Israel:
 58You must obey everything in The Book of God's Law. Because if you don't respect the LORD, 59he will punish you and your descendants with incurable diseases, 60like those you were so afraid of in Egypt. 61Remember! If the LORD decides to destroy your nation, he can use any disease or disaster, not just the ones written in The Book of God's Law.     62There are as many of you now as the stars in the sky, but if you disobey the LORD your God, only a few of you will be left. 63The LORD is happy to make you successful and to help your nation grow while you conquer the land. But if you disobey him, he will be just as happy to pull you up by your roots.
    64Those of you that survive will be scattered to every nation on earth, and you will have to worship stone and wood idols [f<="">] that never helped you or your ancestors. 65You will be restless--always longing for home, but never able to return. 66You will live in constant fear of death. 67Each morning you will wake up to such terrible sights that you will say, " I wish it were night!" But at night you will be terrified and say, " I wish it were day!" 68I told you never to go back to Egypt. But now the LORD himself will load you on ships and send you back. Then you will even try to sell yourselves as slaves, but no one will be interested.
  1. Deuteronomy 28:5 bread: The main food of the Israelites.
  2. Deuteronomy 28:36 have to worship idols: It was sometimes thought that only the gods of a country could be worshiped within the borders of that country.
  3. Deuteronomy 28:38 locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
  4. Deuteronomy 28:40 olive oil. . . hair: Olive oil was used for combing the hair.
  5. Deuteronomy 28:42 Locusts: See the note at 28.38.
  6. Deuteronomy 28:64 have to worship. . . idols: See the note at 28.36.

Luke 11:14-36 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus and the Ruler of Demons
(Matthew 12.22-30; Mark 3.20-27)
 14Jesus forced a demon out of a man who could not talk. And after the demon had gone out, the man started speaking, and the crowds were amazed. 15But some people said, "He forces out demons by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons!"     16Others wanted to put Jesus to the test. So they asked him to show them a sign from God. 17Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said:
   A kingdom where people fight each other will end up in ruin. And a family that fights will break up. 18If Satan fights against himself, how can his kingdom last? Yet you say that I force out demons by the power of Beelzebul. 19If I use his power to force out demons, whose power do your own followers use to force them out? They are the ones who will judge you. 20But if I use God's power to force out demons, it proves that God's kingdom has already come to you.
    21When a strong man arms himself and guards his home, everything he owns is safe. 22But if a stronger man comes and defeats him, he will carry off the weapons in which the strong man trusted. Then he will divide with others what he has taken. 23If you are not on my side, you are against me. If you don't gather in the crop with me, you scatter it.
Return of an Evil Spirit
(Matthew 12.43-45)
 24When an evil spirit leaves a person, it travels through the desert, looking for a place to rest. But when it doesn't find a place, it says, "I will go back to the home I left." 25When it gets there and finds the place clean and fixed up, 26it goes off and finds seven other evil spirits even worse than itself. They all come and make their home there, and that person ends up in worse shape than before.    
Being Really Blessed
 27While Jesus was still talking, a woman in the crowd spoke up, "The woman who gave birth to you and nursed you is blessed!"     28Jesus replied, "That's true, but the people who are really blessed are the ones who hear and obey God's message!" a<="" value="[a]" >[]
A Sign from God
(Matthew 12.38-42; Mark 8.12)
 29As crowds were gathering around Jesus, he said:    You people of today are evil! You keep looking for a sign from God. But what happened to Jonah [b<="">] is the only sign you will be given. 30Just as Jonah was a sign to the people of Nineveh, the Son of Man will be a sign to the people of today. 31When the judgment comes, the Queen of the South [c<="">] will stand there with you and condemn you. She traveled a long way to hear Solomon's wisdom, and yet here is something far greater than Solomon. 32The people of Nineveh will also stand there with you and condemn you. They turned to God when Jonah preached, and yet here is something far greater than Jonah.
(Matthew 5.15; 6.22,23)
 33No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a clay pot. A lamp is put on a lampstand, so that everyone who comes into the house can see the light. 34Your eyes are the lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. 35So be sure that your light isn't darkness. 36If you have light, and nothing is dark, then light will be everywhere, as when a lamp shines brightly on you.    
  1. Luke 11:28 " That's true, but the people who are really blessed. . . message" : Or " `That's not true, the people who are blessed. . . message.' "
  2. Luke 11:29 what happened to Jonah: Jonah was in the stomach of a big fish for three days and nights (see Matthew 12.40).
  3. Luke 11:31 Queen of the South: Sheba, probably a country in southern Arabia.

Psalm 77:1-20 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 77

(A psalm by Asaph for Jeduthun, the music leader.)
In Times of Trouble God Is with His People
 1I pray to you, Lord God,    and I beg you to listen.
    2In days filled with trouble,
   I search for you.
   And at night I tirelessly
   lift my hands in prayer,
   refusing comfort.
    3When I think of you,
   I feel restless and weak.
    4Because of you, Lord God,
   I can't sleep.
   I am restless
   and can't even talk.
    5I think of times gone by,
   of those years long ago.
    6Each night my mind
   is flooded with questions: a<="" value="[a]" >[] 7"Have you rejected me forever?
   Won't you be kind again?
    8Is this the end of your love
   and your promises?
    9Have you forgotten
   how to have pity?
   Do you refuse to show mercy
   because of your anger?"
    10Then I said, "God Most High,
   what hurts me most
   is that you no longer help us
   with your mighty arm."
    11Our LORD, I will remember
   the things you have done,
   your miracles of long ago.
    12I will think about each one
   of your mighty deeds.
    13Everything you do is right,
   and no other god
   compares with you.
    14You alone work miracles,
   and you have let nations
   see your mighty power.
    15With your own arm you rescued
   your people,
   the descendants
   of Jacob and Joseph.
    16The ocean looked at you, God,
   and it trembled deep down
   with fear.
    17Water flowed from the clouds.
   Thunder was heard above
   as your arrows of lightning
   flashed about.
    18Your thunder roared
   like chariot wheels.
   The world was made bright
   by lightning,
   and all the earth trembled.
    19You walked through the water
   of the mighty sea,
   but your footprints
   were never seen.
    20You guided your people
   like a flock of sheep,
   and you chose Moses and Aaron
   to be their leaders.
  1. Psalm 77:6 my mind. . . questions: One ancient translation; Hebrew " I remember my music."

Proverbs 12:18 (Contemporary English Version)

18Sharp words cut like a sword,
   but words of wisdom heal.

Verse of the Day

“We are ruled by Christ's love for us. We are certain that if one person died for everyone else, then all of us have died. And Christ did die for all of us. He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died and was raised to life for us.” - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Booker T Washington retouched flattened-crop.jpg
Thought for the Day

American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States, Booker T. Washington wrote, “My whole life has largely been one of surprises. I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant, unexpected encouragements of this kind if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day of his life — that is, tries to make each day reach as nearly as possible the high-water mark of pure, unselfish, useful living.”

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