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, April 6, 2017

Bible Readings for April 6, 2017

Today our passages are Deuteronomy 29:1–30:20; Luke 11:37–12:7; Psalm 78:1-31; and Proverbs 12:19-20. 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 29-30:20 (Contemporary English Version)

Deuteronomy 29

The Agreement in Moab
 1So Moses finished telling the Israelites what they had to do in order to keep the agreement the LORD was making with them in Moab, which was in addition to the one the LORD had made with them at Mount Sinai. [a] The LORD Is Your God    
 2-3Moses called the nation of Israel together and told them:    When you were in Egypt, you saw the LORD perform great miracles that caused trouble for the king, his officials, and everyone else in the country. 4-6He has even told you, " For forty years I, the LORD, led you through the desert, but your clothes and your sandals didn't wear out, and I gave you special food. [b] I did these things so you would realize that I am your God." But the LORD must give you a change of heart before you truly understand what you have seen and heard.
    7When we first camped here, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan attacked, but we defeated them. 8Then we captured their land and divided it among the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh.
Keep the Agreement
Moses said:
 9Israel, the LORD has made an agreement with you, and if you keep your part, you will be successful in everything you do. 10-12Today everyone in our nation is standing here in the LORD's presence, including leaders and officials, parents and children, and even those foreigners who cut wood and carry water for us. We are at this place of worship to promise that we will keep our part of the agreement with the LORD our God.     13-15In this agreement, the LORD promised that you would be his people and that he would be your God. He first made this promise to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and today the LORD is making this same promise to you. But it isn't just for you; it is also for your descendants.
    16-17When we lived in Egypt, you saw the Egyptians worship disgusting idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold. Then as we traveled through other nations, you saw those people worship other disgusting idols. 18So make sure that everyone in your tribe remains faithful to the LORD and never starts worshiping gods of other nations.
   If even one of you worships idols, you will be like the root of a plant that produces bitter, poisonous fruit. 19You may be an Israelite and know all about the LORD's agreement with us, but he won't bless you if you rebel against him. You may think you can get away with it, but you will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you. [c] 20-21The LORD will be furious, and instead of forgiving you, he will separate you from the other tribes. Then he will destroy you, by piling on you all the curses in The Book of God's Law, and you will be forgotten forever. 22The LORD will strike your country with diseases and disasters. Your descendants and foreigners from distant countries will see that your land 23has become a scorching desert of salt and sulfur, where nothing is planted, nothing sprouts, and nothing grows. It will be as lifeless as the land around the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, after the LORD became angry and destroyed them. [d] 24People from other nations will ask, " Why did the LORD destroy this country? Why was he so furious?"
    25And they will be given this answer:
   Our ancestors worshiped the LORD, but after he brought them out of Egypt and made an agreement with them, they rejected the agreement 26and decided to worship gods that had never helped them. The LORD had forbidden Israel to worship these gods, 27-28and so he became furious and punished the land with all the curses in The Book of God's Law. Then he pulled up Israel by the roots and tossed them into a foreign country, where they still are today.
    29The LORD our God hasn't explained the present or the future, but he has commanded us to obey the laws he gave to us and our descendants.

Deuteronomy 30

The LORD Will Bring You Back
Moses said to Israel:
 1I have told you everything the LORD your God will do for you, and I've also told you the curses he will put on you if you reject him. He will scatter you in faraway countries, but when you realize that he is punishing you, 2return to him with all your heart and soul and start obeying the commands I have given to you today. 3-4Then he will stop punishing you and treat you with kindness. He may have scattered you to the farthest countries on earth, but he will bring you back 5to the land that had belonged to your ancestors and make you even more successful and powerful than they ever were.     6You and your descendants are stubborn, but the LORD will make you willing to obey him and love him with all your heart and soul, and you will enjoy a long life.
    7Then the LORD your God will remove the curses from you and put them on those enemies who hate and attack you.
    8You will again obey the laws and teachings of the LORD, 9and he will bless you with many children, large herds and flocks, and abundant crops. The LORD will be happy to do good things for you, just as he did for your ancestors. 10But you must decide once and for all to worship him with all your heart and soul and to obey everything in The Book of God's Law.
Choose Life, Not Death
Moses said to Israel:
 11You know God's laws, and it isn't impossible to obey them. 12His commands aren't in heaven, so you can't excuse yourselves by saying, " How can we obey the LORD's commands? They are in heaven, and no one can go up to get them, then bring them down and explain them to us." 13And you can't say, " How can we obey the LORD's commands? They are across the sea, and someone must go across, then bring them back and explain them to us." 14No, these commands are nearby and you know them by heart. All you have to do is obey!     15Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. 16-18I am commanding you to be loyal to the LORD, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful.
   On the other hand, you might choose to disobey the LORD and reject him. So I'm warning you that if you bow down and worship other gods, you won't have long to live.
    19Right now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the LORD to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will he put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life! 20Be completely faithful to the LORD your God, love him, and do whatever he tells you. The LORD is the only one who can give life, and he will let you live a long time in the land that he promised to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
   Joshua Is Appointed the Leader of Israel
  1. Deuteronomy 29:1 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  2. Deuteronomy 29:4 I gave. . . food: Hebrew " you didn't eat bread or drink any wine or beer."
  3. Deuteronomy 29:19 you will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you: Hebrew " The mud will be swept away as well as the dust."
  4. Deuteronomy 29:23 Sodom. . . destroyed them: See Genesis 18.16-28.

Luke 11:37-12:7 (Contemporary English Version)

Jesus Condemns the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law of Moses
(Matthew 23.1-36; Mark 12.38-40; Luke 20.45-47)
 37When Jesus finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him home for a meal. Jesus went and sat down to eat. [a] 38The Pharisee was surprised that he did not wash his hands [b] before eating. 39So the Lord said to him: You Pharisees clean the outside of cups and dishes, but on the inside you are greedy and evil. 40You fools! Didn't God make both the outside and the inside? [c] 41If you would only give what you have to the poor, everything you do would please God. 42You Pharisees are in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your gardens, such as mint and rue. But you cheat people, and you don't love God. You should be fair and kind to others and still give a tenth to God.     43You Pharisees are in for trouble! You love the front seats in the meeting places, and you like to be greeted with honor in the market. 44But you are in for trouble! You are like unmarked graves [d] that people walk on without even knowing it. 45A teacher of the Law of Moses spoke up, "Teacher, you said cruel things about us."
    46Jesus replied:
   You teachers are also in for trouble! You load people down with heavy burdens, but you won't lift a finger to help them carry the loads. 47Yes, you are really in for trouble. You build monuments to honor the prophets your own people murdered long ago. 48You must think that was the right thing for your people to do, or else you would not have built monuments for the prophets they murdered.
    49Because of your evil deeds, the Wisdom of God said, "I will send prophets and apostles to you. But you will murder some and mistreat others." 50You people living today will be punished for all the prophets who have been murdered since the beginning of the world. 51This includes every prophet from the time of Abel to the time of Zechariah, [e] who was murdered between the altar and the temple. You people will certainly be punished for all of this. 52You teachers of the Law of Moses are really in for trouble! You carry the keys to the door of knowledge about God. But you never go in, and you keep others from going in.
    53Jesus was about to leave, but the teachers and the Pharisees wanted to get even with him. They tried to make him say what he thought about other things, 54so that they could catch him saying something wrong.

Luke 12

 1As thousands of people crowded around Jesus and were stepping on each other, he told his disciples:    Be sure to guard against the dishonest teaching [f] of the Pharisees! It is their way of fooling people. 2Everything that is hidden will be found out, and every secret will be known. 3Whatever you say in the dark will be heard when it is day. Whatever you whisper in a closed room will be shouted from the housetops.
The One To Fear
(Matthew 10.28-31)
 4My friends, don't be afraid of people. They can kill you, but after that, there is nothing else they can do. 5God is the one you must fear. Not only can he take your life, but he can throw you into hell. God is certainly the one you should fear!     6Five sparrows are sold for just two pennies, but God doesn't forget a one of them. 7Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.
  1. Luke 11:37 sat down to eat: See the note at 7.36.
  2. Luke 11:38 did not wash his hands: The Jewish people had strict laws about washing their hands before eating, especially if they had been out in public.
  3. Luke 11:40 Didn't God make both the outside and the inside: Or " Doesn't the person who washes the outside always wash the inside too?"
  4. Luke 11:44 unmarked graves: Tombs were whitewashed to keep anyone from accidentally touching them. A person who touched a dead body or a tomb was considered unclean and could not worship with other Jewish people.
  5. Luke 11:51 from the time of Abel. . . Zechariah: Genesis is the first book in the Jewish Scriptures, and it tells that Abel was the first person to be murdered. Second Chronicles is the last book in the Jewish Scriptures, and the last murder that it tells about is that of Zechariah.
  6. Luke 12:1 dishonest teaching: The Greek text has " yeast," which is used here of a teaching that is not true (see Matthew 16.6,12).

Psalm 78:1-31 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 78

(A special psalm by Asaph.)
What God Has Done for His People
 1My friends, I beg you    to listen as I teach.
    2I will give instruction
   and explain the mystery
   of what happened long ago.
    3These are things we learned
   from our ancestors,
    4and we will tell them
   to the next generation.
   We won't keep secret
   the glorious deeds
   and the mighty miracles
   of the LORD.
    5God gave his Law
   to Jacob's descendants,
   the people of Israel.
   And he told our ancestors
   to teach their children,
    6so that each new generation
   would know his Law
   and tell it to the next.
    7Then they would trust God
   and obey his teachings,
   without forgetting anything
   God had done.
    8They would be different
   from their ancestors,
   who were stubborn, rebellious,
   and unfaithful to God.
    9The warriors from Ephraim
   were armed with arrows,
   but they ran away
   when the battle began.
    10They broke their agreement
   with God,
   and they turned their backs
   on his teaching.
    11They forgot all he had done,
   even the mighty miracles
    12he did for their ancestors
   near Zoan [a] in Egypt. 13God made a path in the sea
   and piled up the water
   as he led them across.
    14He guided them during the day
   with a cloud,
   and each night he led them
   with a flaming fire.
    15God made water flow
   from rocks
   he split open
   in the desert,
   and his people drank freely,
   as though from a lake.
    16He made streams gush out
   like rivers from rocks.
    17But in the desert,
   the people of God Most High
   kept sinning and rebelling.
    18They stubbornly tested God
   and demanded from him
   what they wanted to eat.
    19They challenged God by saying,
   "Can God provide food
   out here in the desert?
    20It's true God struck the rock
   and water gushed out
   like a river,
   but can he give his people
   bread and meat?"
    21When the LORD heard this,
   he was angry and furious
   with Jacob's descendants,
   the people of Israel.
    22They had refused to trust him,
   and they had doubted
   his saving power.
    23But God gave a command
   to the clouds,
   and he opened the doors
   in the skies.
    24From heaven he sent grain
   that they called manna. [b] 25He gave them more than enough,
   and each one of them ate
   this special food.
    26God's mighty power
   brought a strong wind
   from the southeast,
    27and it brought birds
   that covered the ground,
   like sand on the beach.
    28Then God made the birds fall
   in the camp of his people
   near their tents.
    29God gave his people
   all they wanted,
   and each of them ate
   until they were full.
    30But before they had swallowed
   the last bite,
    31God became angry and killed
   the strongest
   and best
   from the families of Israel.
  1. Psalm 78:12 Zoan: A city in the eastern part of the Nile Delta.
  2. Psalm 78:24 manna: When the people of Israel were wandering through the desert, the Lord gave them a special kind of food to eat. It tasted like a wafer and was called " manna," which in Hebrew means, " What is this?"

Proverbs 12:19-20 (Contemporary English Version)

19Truth will last forever;
   lies are soon found out.
    20An evil mind is deceitful,
   but gentle thoughts
   bring happiness.

Verse of the Day

“We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That's why we must give our lives for each other.” - 1 John 3:16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

James D Watson.jpg
Thought for the Day

American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist, James D. Watson wrote, “It's necessary to be slightly underemployed if you are to do something significant.”

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