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, May 18, 2017

Bible Readings for May 18, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Samuel 22:1–23:29; John 10:1-21; Psalm 115:1-18; and Proverbs 15:18-19. 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 22-23:29 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Samuel 22

People Join David
 1When David escaped from the town of Gath, he went to Adullam Cave. His brothers and the rest of his family found out where he was, and they followed him there. 2A lot of other people joined him too. Some were in trouble, others were angry or in debt, and David was soon the leader of four hundred men.     3David left Adullam Cave and went to the town of Mizpeh in Moab, where he talked with the king of Moab. "Please," David said, "let my father and mother stay with you until I find out what God will do with me." 4So he brought his parents to the king of Moab, and they stayed with him while David was in hiding.
    5One day the prophet Gad told David, "Don't stay here! Go back to Judah." David then left and went to Hereth Forest.
Saul Kills the Priests of the LORD
 6Saul was sitting under a small tree on top of the hill at Gibeah when he heard that David and his men had been seen. Saul was holding his spear, and his officers were standing in front of him. 7He told them:    Listen to me! You belong to the Benjamin tribe, [a] so if that son of Jesse ever becomes king, he won't give you fields or vineyards. He won't make you officers in charge of thousands or hundreds as I have done. 8But you're all plotting against me! Not one of you told me that my own son Jonathan had made an agreement with him. Not one of you cared enough to tell me that Jonathan had helped one of my officers [b] rebel. Now that son of Jesse is trying to ambush me. 9Doeg the Edomite was standing with the other officers and spoke up, "When I was in the town of Nob, I saw that son of Jesse. He was visiting the priest Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10Ahimelech talked to the LORD for him, then gave him food and the sword that had belonged to Goliath the Philistine."
    11Saul sent a message to Ahimelech and his whole family of priests at Nob, ordering them to come to him. When they came, 12Saul told them, "Listen to me, you son of Ahitub."
   "Certainly, Your Majesty," Ahimelech answered.
    13Saul demanded, "Why did you plot against me with that son of Jesse? You helped him rebel against me by giving him food and a sword, and by talking with God for him. Now he's trying to ambush me!"
    14"Your Majesty, none of your officers is more loyal than David!" Ahimelech replied. "He's your son-in-law and the captain of your bodyguard. Everyone in your family respects him. 15This isn't the first time I've talked with God for David, and it's never made you angry before! Please don't accuse me or my family like this. I have no idea what's going on!"
    16"Ahimelech," Saul said, "you and your whole family are going to die."
    17Saul shouted to his bodyguards, "These priests of the LORD helped David! They knew he was running away, but they didn't tell me. Kill them!"
   But the king's officers would not attack the priests of the LORD.
    18Saul turned to Doeg, who was from Edom, and said, "Kill the priests!"
   On that same day, Doeg killed eighty-five priests. 19Then he attacked the town of Nob, where the priests had lived, and he killed everyone there--men, women, children, and babies. He even killed their cattle, donkeys, and sheep.
Only Abiathar Escapes from Nob
 20Ahimelech's son Abiathar was the only one who escaped. He ran to David 21and told him, "Saul has murdered the priests at Nob!"     22David answered, "That day when I saw Doeg, I knew he would tell Saul! Your family died because of me. 23Stay here. Isn't the same person trying to kill both of us? Don't worry! You'll be safe here with me."

1 Samuel 23

David Rescues the Town of Keilah
 1One day some people told David, "The Philistines keep attacking the town of Keilah and stealing grain from the threshing place."     2David asked the LORD, "Should I attack these Philistines?"
   "Yes," the LORD answered. "Attack them and rescue Keilah."
    3But David's men said, "Look, even here in Judah we're afraid of the Philistines. We will be terrified if we try to fight them at Keilah!" [c] 4David asked the LORD about it again. "Leave right now," the LORD answered. "I will give you victory over the Philistines at Keilah."
    5David and his men went there and fiercely attacked the Philistines. They killed many of them, then led away their cattle, and rescued the people of Keilah.
    6-8Meanwhile, Saul heard that David was in Keilah. "God has let me catch David," Saul said. "David is trapped inside a walled town where the gates can be locked." Saul decided to go there and surround the town, in order to trap David and his men. He sent messengers who told the towns and villages, "Send men to serve in Saul's army!"
   By this time, Abiathar had joined David in Keilah and had brought along everything he needed to get answers from God.
    9David heard about Saul's plan to capture him, and he told Abiathar, "Let's ask God what we should do."
    10David prayed, "LORD God of Israel, I was told that Saul is planning to come here. What should I do? Suppose he threatens to destroy the town because of me. 11Would the leaders of Keilah turn me over to Saul? Or is he really coming? Please tell me, LORD."
   "Yes, he will come," the LORD answered.
    12David asked, "Would the leaders of Keilah hand me and my soldiers over to Saul?"
   "Yes, they would," the LORD answered.
    13David and his six hundred men got out of there fast and started moving from place to place. Saul heard that David had left Keilah, and he decided not to go after him.
Jonathan Says David Will Be King
 14David stayed in hideouts in the hill country of Ziph Desert. Saul kept searching, but God never let Saul catch him.     15One time, David was at Horesh in Ziph Desert. He was afraid because [d] Saul had come to the area to kill him. 16But Jonathan went to see David, and God helped him encourage David. 17"Don't be afraid," Jonathan said. "My father Saul will never get his hands on you. In fact, you're going to be the next king of Israel, and I'll be your highest official. Even my father knows it's true." 18They both promised the LORD that they would always be loyal to each other. Then Jonathan went home, but David stayed at Horesh.
David Escapes from Saul
 19Some people from the town of Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and said, "Your Majesty, David has a hideout not far from us! It's near Horesh, somewhere on Mount Hachilah south of Jeshimon. [e] 20If you come, we will help you catch him." 21Saul told them:    You've done me a big favor, and I pray that the LORD will bless you. 22Now please do just a little more for me. Find out exactly where David is, as well as where he goes, and who has seen him there. I've been told that he's very tricky. 23Find out where all his hiding places are and come back when you're sure. Then I'll go with you. If he is still in the area, or anywhere among the clans of Judah, I'll find him.
    24The people from Ziph went back ahead of Saul, and they found out that David and his men were still south of Jeshimon in the Maon Desert. 25Saul and his army set out to find David. But David heard that Saul was coming, and he went to a place called The Rock, one of his hideouts in Maon Desert.
   Saul found out where David was and started closing in on him. 26Saul was going around a hill on one side, and David and his men were on the other side, trying to get away. Saul and his soldiers were just about to capture David and his men, 27when a messenger came to Saul and said, "Come quickly! The Philistines are attacking Israel and taking everything."
    28Saul stopped going after David and went back to fight the Philistines. That's why the place is called "Escape Rock."
    29David left and went to live in the hideouts at En-Gedi.
  1. 1 Samuel 22:7 You. . . Benjamin tribe: David was from the Judah tribe and would have given special privileges to the people of his own tribe rather than to those of Benjamin.
  2. 1 Samuel 22:8 son of Jesse. . . officers: That is, David. Saul avoids even saying David's name.
  3. 1 Samuel 23:3 Keilah: Keilah was probably not controlled by Israelites at this time.
  4. 1 Samuel 23:15 He. . . because: Or "He saw that."
  5. 1 Samuel 23:19 Jeshimon: A place in the desert near the southern border of Judah.

John 10:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

John 10

A Story about Sheep
 1Jesus said:    I tell you for certain that only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd's voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.
    4When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5The sheep will not follow strangers. They don't recognize a stranger's voice, and they run away.
    6Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.
Jesus Is the Good Shepherd
 7Jesus said:    I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.
    10A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. 11I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don't own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13Hired workers run away because they don't care about the sheep.
    14I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. 16I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them together too, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.
    17The Father loves me, because I give up my life, so that I may receive it back again. 18No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.
    19The people took sides because of what Jesus had told them. 20Many of them said, "He has a demon in him! He is crazy! Why listen to him?"
    21But others said, "How could anyone with a demon in him say these things? No one like that could give sight to a blind person!"

Psalm 115:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 115

The LORD Deserves To Be Praised
 1We don't deserve praise!    The LORD alone deserves
   all of the praise,
   because of his love
   and faithfulness.
    2Why should the nations ask,
   "Where is your God?"
    3Our God is in the heavens,
   doing as he chooses.
    4The idols of the nations
   are made of silver and gold.
    5They have a mouth and eyes,
   but they can't speak or see.
    6Their ears can't hear,
   and their noses can't smell.
    7Their hands have no feeling,
   their legs don't move,
   and they can't make a sound.
    8Everyone who made the idols
   and all who trust them
   are just as helpless
   as those useless gods.
    9People of Israel,
   you must trust the LORD
   to help and protect you.
    10Family of Aaron the priest,
   you must trust the LORD
   to help and protect you.
    11All of you worship the LORD,
   so you must trust him
   to help and protect you.
    12The LORD will not forget
   to give us his blessing;
   he will bless all of Israel
   and the family of Aaron.
    13All who worship the LORD,
   no matter who they are,
   will receive his blessing.
    14I pray that the LORD
   will let your family
   and your descendants
   always grow strong.
    15May the LORD who created
   the heavens and the earth
   give you his blessing.
    16The LORD has kept the heavens
   for himself,
   but he has given the earth
   to us humans.
    17The dead are silent
   and cannot praise the LORD,
    18but we will praise him
   now and forevermore.
   Shout praises to the LORD!

Proverbs 15:18-19 (Contemporary English Version)

18Losing your temper
   causes a lot of trouble,
   but staying calm
   settles arguments.
    19Being lazy is like walking
   in a thorn patch,
   but everyone who does right
   walks on a smooth road.

Verse of the Day

“God is always fair. He will remember how you helped his people in the past and how you are still helping them. You belong to God, and he won't forget the love you have shown his people.” - Hebrews 6:10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Bertrand RussellThought for the Day

British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate, Bertrand Russell wrote, “In America everybody is of opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.”

A Joke for Today
Image result for shrimp and sharksFar away in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, two prawns were swimming around in the sea - one called Justin & the other called Christian.
The prawns were constantly being harassed & threatened by sharks that inhabited the area. Finally one day Justin said to Christian, "I'm fed up with being a prawn, I wish I was a shark, then I wouldn't have any worries about being eaten."
A large mysterious cod appeared & said, "Your wish is granted" & lo & behold, Justin turned into a shark.
Horrified, Christian immediately swam away, afraid of being eaten by his old mate.
Time passed (as it invariably does) & Justin found life as a shark boring & lonely. All his old mates simply swam away whenever he came close to them. Justin didn't realize that his new menacing appearance was the cause of his sad plight.
While swimming alone one day he saw the mysterious cod again & he thought perhaps the mysterious fish could change him back into a prawn. He approached the cod & begged to be changed back, & lo & behold, he found himself turned back into a prawn.
With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes Justin swam back to his friends & bought them all a cocktail.
Looking around the gathering at the reef he realized he couldn't see his old pal. "Where's Christian?" he asked.
"He's at home, still distraught that his best friend changed sides to the enemy & became a shark",came the reply.
Eager to put things right again & end the mutual pain & torture, he set off to Christian's abode.
As he opened the coral gate memories came flooding back. He banged on the door & shouted, "It's me, Justin, your old friend, come out & see me again."
Christian replied,"No way man, you'll eat me. You're now a shark, the enemy, & I'll not be tricked into being your dinner."

Justin cried back "No, I'm not. That was the old me. I've changed.... I've found Cod. I'm a Prawn again Christian." 

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