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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Monday, May 22, 2017

Bible Readings for May 22, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 1:1–2:11; John 12:20-50; Psalm 118:19-29; and Proverbs 15:27-28. 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.

2 Samuel 1-2:11 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 1

David Finds Out about Saul's Death
 1Saul was dead.    Meanwhile, David had defeated the Amalekites and returned to Ziklag. 2Three days later, a soldier came from Saul's army. His clothes were torn, and dirt was on his head. a<="" value="[a]" >[] He went to David and knelt down in front of him. 3David asked, "Where did you come from?"
   The man answered, "From Israel's army. I barely escaped with my life."
    4"Who won the battle?" David asked.
   The man said, "Our army turned and ran, but many were wounded and died. Even King Saul and his son Jonathan are dead."
    5David asked, "How do you know Saul and Jonathan are dead?"
    6The young man replied:
   I was on Mount Gilboa and saw King Saul leaning on his spear. The enemy's war chariots and cavalry were closing in on him. 7When he turned around and saw me, he called me over. I went and asked what he wanted.
    8Saul asked me, "Who are you?"
   "An Amalekite," I answered.
    9Then he said, "Kill me! I'm dying, and I'm in terrible pain." [b<="">] 10So I killed him. I knew he was too badly wounded to live much longer. Then I took his crown and his arm-band, and I brought them to you, Your Majesty. Here they are.
    11Right away, David and his soldiers tore their clothes in sorrow. 12They cried all day long and would not eat anything. Everyone was sad because Saul, his son Jonathan, and many of the LORD's people had been killed in the battle.
    13David asked the young man, "Where is your home?"
   The man replied, "My father is an Amalekite, but we live in Israel."
    14-16David said to him, "Why weren't you afraid to kill the LORD's chosen king? And you even told what you did. It's your own fault that you're going to die!"
   Then David told one of his soldiers, "Come here and kill this man!"
David Sings in Memory of Saul
 17David sang a song in memory of Saul and Jonathan, 18and he ordered his men to teach the song to everyone in Judah. He called it "The Song of the Bow," and it can be found in The Book of Jashar. [c<="">] This is the song: 19Israel, your famous hero    lies dead on the hills,
   and your mighty warriors
   have fallen!
    20Don't tell it in Gath
   or spread the news
   on the streets of Ashkelon.
   The godless Philistine women
   will be happy
   and jump for joy.
    21Don't let dew or rain fall
   on the hills of Gilboa.
   Don't let its fields
   grow offerings for God.
   There the warriors' shields
   were smeared with mud,
   and Saul's own shield
   was left unpolished. [d<="">] 22The arrows of Jonathan struck,
   and warriors died.
   The sword of Saul cut
   the enemy apart.
    23It was easy to love Saul
   and Jonathan.
   Together in life,
   together in death,
   they were faster than eagles
   and stronger than lions.
    24Women of Israel, cry for Saul.
   He brought you fine red cloth
   and jewelry made of gold.
    25Our warriors have fallen
   in the heat of battle,
   and Jonathan lies dead
   on the hills of Gilboa.
    26Jonathan, I miss you most!
   I loved you
   like a brother.
   You were truly loyal to me,
   more faithful than a wife
   to her husband. [e<="">] 27Our warriors have fallen,
   and their weapons [f<="">] are destroyed.

2 Samuel 2

David Becomes King of Judah
 1Later, David asked the LORD, "Should I go back to one of the towns of Judah?"    The LORD answered, "Yes."
   David asked, "Which town should I go to?"
   "Go to Hebron," the LORD replied.
    2David went to Hebron with his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail. Ahinoam was from Jezreel, and Abigail was the widow of Nabal from Carmel. 3David also had his men and their families come and live in the villages near Hebron.
    4The people of Judah met with David at Hebron and poured olive oil on his head to show that he was their new king. Then they told David, "The people from Jabesh in Gilead buried Saul."
    5David sent messengers to tell them:
   The LORD bless you! You were kind enough to bury Saul your ruler, 6and I pray that the LORD will be kind and faithful to you. I will be your friend because of what you have done. 7Saul is dead, but the tribe of Judah has made me their king. So be strong and have courage.
Ishbosheth Becomes King of Israel
 8Abner the son of Ner [g<="">] had been the general of Saul's army. He took Saul's son Ishbosheth [h<="">] across the Jordan River to Mahanaim 9and made him king of Israel, [i<="">] including the areas of Gilead, Asher, [j<="">] Jezreel, Ephraim, and Benjamin. 10Ishbosheth was forty years old at the time, and he ruled for two years. But the tribe of Judah made David their king, 11and he ruled from Hebron for seven and a half years.
  1. 2 Samuel 1:2 His clothes. . . his head: People tore their clothes and put dirt on their heads to show they were sad because someone had died.
  2. 2 Samuel 1:9 in terrible pain: Or "very weak."
  3. 2 Samuel 1:18 The Book of Jashar: This book may have been a collection of ancient war songs.
  4. 2 Samuel 1:21 unpolished: Some shields were made of leather and were polished with olive oil.
  5. 2 Samuel 1:26 You. . . husband: Or "You loved me more than a wife could possibly love her husband."
  6. 2 Samuel 1:27 weapons: This may refer to Saul and Jonathan.
  7. 2 Samuel 2:8 son of Ner: Abner was Saul's cousin (see 1 Samuel 14.50).
  8. 2 Samuel 2:8 Ishbosheth: One ancient translation has "Ishbaal" (see also 1 Chronicles 8.33). In Hebrew "baal" means "lord" and was used as the name of a Canaanite god. The people of Israel often changed "baal" to "bosheth" (which means "shame") in personal names. Ishbosheth was probably called Ishvi or Ishyo in 1 Samuel 14.49.
  9. 2 Samuel 2:9 Israel: Sometimes "Israel" means the northern tribes and does not include the tribes of Judah and Simeon. That is how it is used in this verse.
  10. 2 Samuel 2:9 Asher: The Hebrew text has "Ashur," which is the Hebrew name for the Assyrians. It may be another spelling for Asher (one of the tribes of Israel) or it may refer to Geshur (a small area between Gilead and Jezreel, east of Lake Galilee).

John 12:20-50 (Contemporary English Version)

Some Greeks Want To Meet Jesus
 20Some Greeks a<="" value="[a]" >[] had gone to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. 21Philip from Bethsaida in Galilee was there too. So they went to him and said, "Sir, we would like to meet Jesus." 22Philip told Andrew. Then the two of them went to Jesus and told him.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
 23Jesus said:    The time has come for the Son of Man to be given his glory. [b<="">] 24I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat. 25If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life. 26If you serve me, you must go with me. My servants will be with me wherever I am. If you serve me, my Father will honor you. 27Now I am deeply troubled, and I don't know what to say. But I must not ask my Father to keep me from this time of suffering. In fact, I came into the world to suffer. 28So Father, bring glory to yourself.
   A voice from heaven then said, "I have already brought glory to myself, and I will do it again!" 29When the crowd heard the voice, some of them thought it was thunder. Others thought an angel had spoken to Jesus.
    30Then Jesus told the crowd, "That voice spoke to help you, not me. 31This world's people are now being judged, and the ruler of this world [c<="">] is already being thrown out! 32If I am lifted up above the earth, I will make everyone want to come to me." 33Jesus was talking about the way he would be put to death. 34The crowd said to Jesus, "The Scriptures teach that the Messiah will live forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"
    35Jesus answered, "The light will be with you for only a little longer. Walk in the light while you can. Then you won't be caught walking blindly in the dark. 36Have faith in the light while it is with you, and you will be children of the light."
   After Jesus had said these things, he left and went into hiding.
The People Refuse To Have Faith in Jesus
 37He had worked a lot of miracles [d<="">] among the people, but they were still not willing to have faith in him. 38This happened so that what the prophet Isaiah had said would come true, "Lord, who has believed    our message?
   And who has seen
   your mighty strength?"
    39The people could not have faith in Jesus, because Isaiah had also said,
    40"The Lord has blinded
   the eyes of the people,
   and he has made
   the people stubborn.
   He did this so that they
   could not see
   or understand,
   and so that they
   would not turn to the Lord
   and be healed."
    41Isaiah said this, because he saw the glory of Jesus and spoke about him. [e<="">] 42Even then, many of the leaders put their faith in Jesus, but they did not tell anyone about it. The Pharisees had already given orders for the people not to have anything to do with anyone who had faith in Jesus. 43And besides, the leaders liked praise from others more than they liked praise from God.
Jesus Came To Save the World
 44In a loud voice Jesus said:    Everyone who has faith in me also has faith in the one who sent me. 45And everyone who has seen me has seen the one who sent me. 46I am the light that has come into the world. No one who has faith in me will stay in the dark.
    47I am not the one who will judge those who refuse to obey my teachings. I came to save the people of this world, not to be their judge. 48But everyone who rejects me and my teachings will be judged on the last day [f<="">] by what I have said. 49I don't speak on my own. I say only what the Father who sent me has told me to say. 50I know that his commands will bring eternal life. That is why I tell you exactly what the Father has told me.
  1. John 12:20 Greeks: Perhaps Gentiles who worshiped with the Jews. See the note at 7.35.
  2. John 12:23 be given his glory: See the note at 7.39.
  3. John 12:31 world: In the Gospel of John " world" sometimes refers to the people who live in this world and to the evil forces that control their lives.
  4. John 12:37 miracles: See the note at 2.11.
  5. John 12:41 he saw the glory of Jesus and spoke about him: Or " he saw the glory of God and spoke about Jesus."
  6. John 12:48 the last day: See the note at 6.39.

Psalm 118:19-29 (Contemporary English Version)

19Open the gates of justice!
   I will enter and tell the LORD
   how thankful I am.
    20Here is the gate of the LORD!
   Everyone who does right
   may enter this gate.
    21I praise the LORD
   for answering my prayers
   and saving me.
    22The stone that the builders
   tossed aside
   has now become
   the most important stone.
    23The LORD has done this,
   and it is amazing to us.
    24This day belongs to the LORD!
   Let's celebrate
   and be glad today.
    25We'll ask the LORD to save us!
   We'll sincerely ask the LORD
   to let us win.
    26God bless the one who comes
   in the name of the LORD!
   We praise you from here
   in the house of the LORD.
    27The LORD is our God,
   and he has given us light!
   Start the celebration!
   March with palm branches
   all the way to the altar. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 28The LORD is my God!
   I will praise him and tell him
   how thankful I am.
    29Tell the LORD
   how thankful you are,
   because he is kind
   and always merciful.
  1. Psalm 118:27 Start. . . altar: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 15:27-28 (Contemporary English Version)

27Being greedy causes trouble
   for your family,
   but you protect yourself
   by refusing bribes.
    28Good people think
   before they answer,
   but the wicked speak evil
   without ever thinking.

Verse of the Day

“My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don't use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.” - Galatians 5:13
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Scott PeckThought for the Day

American psychiatrist and best-selling author, M. Scott Peck wrote, “Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity.”

Image result for two trains on the same track
A Joke for Today

Tom is applying for a job as a signalman for the local railroad and is told to meet the inspector at the signal box.

The inspector decides to give Tom a pop quiz, asking: "What would you do if you realized that two trains were heading towards each other on the same track?"

Tom says: "I would switch one train to another track."

"What if the lever broke?" asks the inspector.

"Then I'd run down to the tracks and use the manual lever down there," answers Tom.

"What if that had been struck by lightning?" challenges the inspector.

"Then," Tom continued, "I'd run back up here and use the phone to call the next signal box."

"What if the phone was busy?"

"In that case," Tom argued, "I'd run to the street level and use the public phone near the station."

"What if that had been vandalized?"

"Oh well," said Tom, "in that case I would run into town and get my Uncle Leo.

This puzzled the inspector, so he asked "Why would you do that?"

"Because he's never seen a train crash."

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