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, May 16, 2017

Bible Readings for May 16, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 18:5–19:24; John 8:31-59; Psalm 112:1-10; and Proverbs 15:12-14. 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.

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24 (Contemporary English Version)

5David was a success in everything that Saul sent him to do, and Saul made him a high officer in his army. That pleased everyone, including Saul's other officers.
Saul Becomes David's Enemy
 6David had killed Goliath, the battle was over, and the Israelite army set out for home. As the army went along, women came out of each Israelite town to welcome King Saul. They were singing happy songs and dancing to the music of tambourines and harps. 7They sang:    Saul has killed
   a thousand enemies;
   David has killed
   ten thousand enemies!
    8This song made Saul very angry, and he thought, "They are saying that David has killed ten times more enemies than I ever did. Next they will want to make him king." 9Saul never again trusted David.
    10The next day the LORD let an evil spirit take control of Saul, and he began acting like a crazy man inside his house. David came to play the harp for Saul as usual, but this time Saul had a spear in his hand. 11Saul thought, "I'll pin David to the wall." He threw the spear at David twice, but David dodged and got away both times.
    12Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was helping David and was no longer helping him. 13Saul put David in charge of a thousand soldiers and sent him out to fight. 14The LORD helped David, and he and his soldiers always won their battles. 15This made Saul even more afraid of David. 16But everyone else in Judah and Israel was loyal to a<="" value="[a]" >[] David, because he led the army in battle. 17One day, Saul told David, "If you'll be brave and fight the LORD's battles for me, I'll let you marry my oldest daughter Merab." But Saul was really thinking, "I don't want to kill David myself, so I'll let the Philistines do it for me."
    18David answered, "How could I possibly marry your daughter? I'm not very important, and neither is my family."
    19But when the time came for David to marry Saul's daughter Merab, Saul told her to marry Adriel from the town of Meholah.
    20Saul had another daughter. Her name was Michal, and Saul found out that she was in love with David. This made Saul happy, 21and he thought, "I'll tell David he can marry Michal, but I'll set it up so that the Philistines will kill him." He told David, "I'm going to give you a second chance to marry one of my daughters."
    22-23Saul ordered his officials to speak to David in private, so they went to David and said, "Look, the king likes you, and all of his officials are loyal to you. Why not ask the king if you can marry his daughter Michal?"
   "I'm not rich [b<="">] or famous enough to marry princess Michal!" David answered. 24The officials went back to Saul and told him exactly what David had said. 25Saul was hoping that the Philistines would kill David, and he told his officials to tell David, "The king doesn't want any silver or gold. He only wants to get even with his enemies. All you have to do is to bring back proof that you have killed a hundred Philistines!" [c<="">] 26The officials told David, and David wanted to marry the princess. King Saul had set a time limit, and before it ran out, 27David and his men left and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought back the proof and showed it to Saul, so he could marry Michal. Saul agreed to let David marry Michal. 28Saul knew that she loved David, [d<="">] and he also realized that the LORD was helping David. 29But knowing those things made Saul even more afraid of David, and he was David's enemy for the rest of his life. 30The Philistine rulers kept coming to fight Israel, but whenever David fought them, he won. He was famous because he won more battles against the Philistines than any of Saul's other officers.

1 Samuel 19

Saul Tries To Have David Killed
 1One day, Saul told his son Jonathan and his officers to kill David. But Jonathan liked David a lot, 2-3and he warned David, "My father is trying to have you killed, so be very careful. Hide in a field tomorrow morning, and I'll bring him there. Then I'll talk to him about you, and if I find out anything, I'll let you know."     4-5The next morning, Jonathan reminded Saul about the many good things David had done for him. Then he said, "Why do you want to kill David? He hasn't done anything to you. He has served in your army and has always done what's best for you. He even risked his life to kill Goliath. The LORD helped Israel win a great victory that day, and it made you happy."
    6Saul agreed and promised, "I swear by the living LORD that I won't have David killed!"
    7Jonathan called to David and told him what Saul had said. Then he brought David to Saul, and David served in Saul's army just as he had done before.
    8The next time there was a war with the Philistines, David fought hard and forced them to retreat.
Michal Helps David Escape
 9-10One night, David was in Saul's home, playing the harp for him. Saul was sitting there, holding a spear, when an evil spirit from the LORD took control of him. Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear, but David dodged, and it stuck in the wall. David ran out of the house and escaped.     11Saul sent guards to watch David's house all night and then to kill him in the morning.
   Michal, David's wife, told him, "If you don't escape tonight, they'll kill you tomorrow!" 12She helped David go through a window and climb down to the ground. [e<="">] As David ran off, 13Michal put a statue in his bed. She put goat hair on its head and dressed it in some of David's clothes. 14The next morning, Saul sent guards to arrest David. But Michal told them, "David is sick."
    15Saul sent the guards back and told them, "Get David out of his bed and bring him to me, so I can have him killed."
    16When the guards went in, all they found in the bed was the statue with the goat hair on its head.
    17"Why have you tricked me this way?" Saul asked Michal. "You helped my enemy get away!"
   She answered, "He said he would kill me if I didn't help him escape!"
Samuel Helps David Escape
 18Meanwhile, David went to Samuel at Ramah and told him what Saul had done. Then Samuel and David went to Prophets Village [f<="">] and stayed there. 19Someone told Saul, "David is at Prophets Village in Ramah."     20Saul sent a few soldiers to bring David back. They went to Ramah and found Samuel in charge of a group of prophets who were all prophesying. Then the Spirit of God took control of the soldiers and they started prophesying too.
    21When Saul heard what had happened, he sent another group of soldiers, but they prophesied the same way. He sent a third group of soldiers, but the same thing happened to them. 22Finally, Saul left for Ramah himself. He went as far as the deep pit [g<="">] at the town of Secu, and he asked, "Where are Samuel and David?" "At Prophets Village in Ramah," the people answered.
    23Saul left for Ramah. But as he walked along, the Spirit of God took control of him, and he started prophesying. Then, when he reached Prophets Village, 24he stripped off his clothes and prophesied in front of Samuel. He dropped to the ground and lay there naked all day and night. That's how the saying started, "Is Saul now a prophet?"
  1. 1 Samuel 18:16 was loyal to: Or "loved."
  2. 1 Samuel 18:22 not rich: It was the custom for a man to give the bride's father some silver or gold in order to marry his daughter, and it would take a large amount to marry the daughter of the king.
  3. 1 Samuel 18:25 proof. . . Philistines: Hebrew "one hundred Philistine foreskins." In ancient times soldiers would sometimes cut off body parts of their dead enemies to prove how many they had killed.
  4. 1 Samuel 18:28 she. . . David: Hebrew; one ancient translation "all Israel was loyal to David."
  5. 1 Samuel 19:12 ground: The house was probably built into the town wall, allowing David to come down outside the wall.
  6. 1 Samuel 19:18 Prophets Village: Or "Naioth."
  7. 1 Samuel 19:22 pit: A cistern, a large pit dug down into the rock and used for storing rainwater.

John 8:31-59 (Contemporary English Version)

The Truth Will Set You Free
 31Jesus told the people who had faith in him, "If you keep on obeying what I have said, you truly are my disciples. 32You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."     33They answered, "We are Abraham's children! We have never been anyone's slaves. How can you say we will be set free?"
    34Jesus replied:
   I tell you for certain that anyone who sins is a slave of sin! 35And slaves don't stay in the family forever, though the Son will always remain in the family. 36If the Son gives you freedom, you are free! 37I know that you are from Abraham's family. Yet you want to kill me, because my message isn't really in your hearts. 38I am telling you what my Father has shown me, just as you are doing what your father has taught you.
Your Father Is the Devil
 39The people said to Jesus, "Abraham is our father!"    Jesus replied, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did. 40Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that. 41But you are doing exactly what your father does."
   "Don't accuse us of having someone else as our father!" they said. "We just have one father, and he is God."
    42Jesus answered:
   If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own. 43Why can't you understand what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying? 44Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.
    45Everything I have told you is true, and you still refuse to have faith in me. 46Can any of you accuse me of sin? If you cannot, why won't you have faith in me? After all, I am telling you the truth. 47Anyone who belongs to God will listen to his message. But you refuse to listen, because you don't belong to God.
Jesus and Abraham
 48The people told Jesus, "We were right to say that you are a Samaritan a<="" value="[a]" >[] and that you have a demon in you!" 49Jesus answered, "I don't have a demon in me. I honor my Father, and you refuse to honor me. 50I don't want honor for myself. But there is one who wants me to be honored, and he is also the one who judges. 51I tell you for certain that if you obey my words, you will never die."     52Then the people said, "Now we are sure that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and so are the prophets. How can you say that no one who obeys your words will ever die? 53Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"
    54Jesus replied, "If I honored myself, it would mean nothing. My Father is the one who honors me. You claim that he is your God, 55even though you don't really know him. If I said I didn't know him, I would be a liar, just like all of you. But I know him, and I do what he says. 56Your father Abraham was really glad to see me."
    57"You are not even fifty years old!" they said. "How could you have seen Abraham?"
    58Jesus answered, "I tell you for certain that even before Abraham was, I was, and I am." [b<="">] 59The people picked up stones to kill Jesus, but he hid and left the temple.
  1. John 8:48 Samaritan: See 4.9 and the note there.
  2. John 8:58 I am: See the note at 8.24.

Psalm 112:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 112

God Blesses His Worshipers
 1Shout praises to the LORD!    The LORD blesses everyone
   who worships him and gladly
   obeys his teachings.
    2Their descendants will have
   great power in the land,
   because the LORD blesses
   all who do right.
    3They will get rich and prosper
   and will always be remembered
   for their fairness.
    4They will be so kind
   and merciful and good,
   that they will be a light
   in the dark
   for others
   who do the right thing.
    5Life will go well for those
   who freely lend
   and are honest in business.
    6They won't ever be troubled,
   and the kind things they do
   will never be forgotten.
    7Bad news won't bother them;
   they have decided
   to trust the LORD.
    8They are dependable
   and not afraid,
   and they will live to see
   their enemies defeated.
    9They will always be remembered
   and greatly praised,
   because they were kind
   and freely gave to the poor.
    10When evil people see this,
   they angrily bite their tongues
   and disappear.
   They will never get
   what they really want.

Proverbs 15:12-14 (Contemporary English Version)

12Those who sneer at others
   don't like to be corrected,
   and they won't ask help
   from someone with sense.
    13Happiness makes you smile;
   sorrow can crush you.
    14Anyone with good sense
   is eager to learn more,
   but fools are hungry
   for foolishness.

Verse of the Day

“The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love.” - Zephaniah 3:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Ralph Waldo Emerson ca1857 retouched.jpgThought for the Day

American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “A man is usually more careful of his money than he is of his principles.”

Image result for missionaries cannibalsA Joke for the Day
Two missionaries in Africa get apprehended by a tribe of very hostile cannibals who put them in a large pot of water. They build a huge fire under it, and leave them there. A few minutes later, one of the missionaries starts to laugh uncontrollably.
The other missionary can't believe it. He says, "What's wrong with you? We're being boiled alive! They're gonna eat us! What could possibly be funny at a time like this?"

The other missionary says, "I just peed in the soup!"

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