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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Friday, May 26, 2017

Bible Readings for May 26, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Samuel 9:1–11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalm 119:49-64; and Proverbs 16:1-3. 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 9-11:27 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 9

David Is Kind to Mephibosheth
 1One day, David thought, "I wonder if any of Saul's family are still alive. If they are, I will be kind to them, because I made a promise to Jonathan." 2David called in Ziba, one of the servants of Saul's family. David said, "So you are Ziba."    "Yes, Your Majesty, I am."
    3David asked, "Are any of Saul's family still alive? If there are, I want to be kind to them."
   Ziba answered, "One of Jonathan's sons is still alive, but he can't walk."
    4"Where is he?" David asked.
   Ziba replied, "He lives in Lo-Debar with Machir the son of Ammiel."
    5-6David sent some servants to bring Jonathan's son from Lo-Debar. His name was Mephibosheth, [a] and he was the grandson of Saul. He came to David and knelt down. David asked, "Are you Mephibosheth?"
   "Yes, I am, Your Majesty."
    7David said, "Don't be afraid. I'll be kind to you because Jonathan was your father. I'm going to give you back the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. Besides that, you will always eat with me at my table."
    8Mephibosheth knelt down again and said, "Why should you care about me? I'm worth no more than a dead dog."
    9David called in Ziba, Saul's chief servant, and told him, "Since Mephibosheth is Saul's grandson, I've given him back everything that belonged to your master Saul and his family. 10You and your fifteen sons and twenty servants will work for Mephibosheth. You will farm his land and bring in his crops, so that Saul's family and servants [b] will have food. But Mephibosheth will always eat with me at my table." 11-13Ziba replied, "Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do." So Ziba's family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.
   Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David's [c] table, just like one of David's own sons. And he had a young son of his own, named Mica.

2 Samuel 10

Israel Fights Ammon
(1 Chronicles 19.1-19)
 1Some time later, King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2David said, "Nahash was kind to me, and I will be kind to his son." So he sent some officials to the country of Ammon to tell Hanun how sorry he was that his father had died.     3But Hanun's officials told him, "Do you really believe David is honoring your father by sending these people to comfort you? He probably sent them to spy on our city, so he can destroy it." 4Hanun arrested David's officials and had their beards shaved off on one side of their faces. He had their robes cut off just below the waist, and then he sent them away. 5They were terribly ashamed.
   When David found out what had happened to his officials, he sent a message and told them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back. Then you can come home."
    6The Ammonites realized that they had made David very angry, so they hired more foreign soldiers. Twenty thousand of them were foot soldiers from the Aramean cities of Beth-Rehob and Zobah, one thousand were from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand were from the region of Tob. 7David heard what they had done, and he sent out Joab with all of his well-trained soldiers.
    8The Ammonite troops came out and got ready to fight in front of the gate to their city. The Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the soldiers from Tob and Maacah formed a separate group in the nearby fields.
    9Joab saw that he had to fight in front and behind at the same time, and he picked some of the best Israelite soldiers to fight the Arameans. 10He put his brother Abishai in command of the rest of the army and had them fight the Ammonites. 11Joab told his brother, "If the Arameans are too much for me to handle, you can come and help me. If the Ammonites are too strong for you, I'll come and help you. 12Be brave and fight hard to protect our people and the cities of our God. I pray that the LORD will do whatever pleases him."
    13Joab and his soldiers attacked the Arameans, and the Arameans ran from them. 14When the Ammonite soldiers saw that the Arameans had run away, they ran from Abishai's soldiers and went back into their own city. Joab stopped fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
    15The Arameans realized they had lost the battle, so they brought all their troops together again. 16Hadadezer sent messengers to call in the Arameans who were on the other side of the Euphrates River. Then Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer's army, led them to the town of Helam.
    17David found out what the Arameans were doing, and he brought Israel's whole army together. They crossed the Jordan River and went to Helam, where the Arameans were ready to meet them. 18The Arameans attacked, but then they ran from Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry. [d] He also killed Shobach, their commander. 19When the kings who had been under Hadadezer's rule saw that Israel had beaten them, they made peace with Israel and accepted David as their ruler. The Arameans were afraid to help Ammon any more.

2 Samuel 11

David and Bathsheba
(1 Chronicles 20.1a)
 1It was now spring, the time when kings go to war. [e] David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem. 2-4Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required. [f] David happened to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was. The servant came back and told David, "Her name is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite."    David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. 5But later, when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to David with this message: "I'm pregnant!"
    6David sent a message to Joab: "Send Uriah the Hittite to me."
   Joab sent Uriah 7to David's palace, and David asked him, "Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?" 8Then David told Uriah, "Go home and clean up." [g] Uriah left the king's palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriah's house. 9But Uriah didn't go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal palace, where the king's guards slept. 10Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home. So the next morning David asked him, "Why didn't you go home? Haven't you been away for a long time?"
    11Uriah answered, "The sacred chest and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields [h] with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!" 12Then David said, "Stay here in Jerusalem today, and I will send you back tomorrow."
   Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next day, 13David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards. 14Early the next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15The letter said: "Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die."
    16Joab had been carefully watching the city of Rabbah, and he put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemy's best soldiers. 17When the men of the city came out, they fought and killed some of David's soldiers--Uriah the Hittite was one of them.
    18Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that was happening in the war. 19He gave the messenger these orders:
   When you finish telling the king everything that has happened, 20he may get angry and ask, "Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21Don't you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon [i] was killed at Thebez? Didn't a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?" Then you tell him, "One of your soldiers who was killed was Uriah the Hittite."
    22The messenger went to David and reported everything Joab had told him. 23He added, "The enemy chased us from the wall and out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate. 24Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite."
    25David replied, "Tell Joab to cheer up and not to be upset about what happened. You never know who will be killed in a war. Tell him to strengthen his attack against the city and break through its walls." [j] 26When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to the palace. She became David's wife, and they had a son.
   The LORD was angry at what David had done,
  1. 2 Samuel 9:5 Mephibosheth: Or "Mephibaal" (see the note at 4.4).
  2. 2 Samuel 9:10 Saul's family and servants: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation; Hebrew "the son of your master."
  3. 2 Samuel 9:11 David's: Hebrew "my."
  4. 2 Samuel 10:18 cavalry: The Hebrew manuscripts and ancient translations differ as to how many and what kind of soldiers were killed.
  5. 2 Samuel 11:1 when. . . war: Or "when the messengers had gone to Ammon" (see 10.2) or "the time when the kings had gone to war" (see 10.6-8).
  6. 2 Samuel 11:2 as. . . required: This bathing was often a requirement for worshiping God.
  7. 2 Samuel 11:8 and clean up: Or "and sleep with your wife."
  8. 2 Samuel 11:11 somewhere in the fields: Or "at Succoth."
  9. 2 Samuel 11:21 Gideon: The Hebrew text has Jerubbesheth, which stands for "Jerubbaal," another name for Gideon. See Judges 6.32 and the note on "bosheth" at 2.8 ("besheth" means the same as "bosheth").
  10. 2 Samuel 11:25 break. . . walls: Or "destroy it."

John 15:1-27 (Contemporary English Version)

John 15

Jesus Is the True Vine
 1Jesus said to his disciples:    I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit. 3You are already clean because of what I have said to you.
    4Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. 5I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me. 6If you don't stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire.
    7Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered. 8When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored. 9I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you. 10If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.
    11I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am. 12Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you. 13The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them. 14And you are my friends, if you obey me. 15Servants don't know what their master is doing, and so I don't speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
    16You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. [a] 17So I command you to love each other.
The World's Hatred
 18If the people of this world [b] hate you, just remember that they hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don't belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you. 20Remember how I told you that servants are not greater than their master. So if people mistreat me, they will mistreat you. If they do what I say, they will do what you say. 21People will do to you exactly what they did to me. They will do it because you belong to me, and they don't know the one who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.     23Everyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24I have done things that no one else has ever done. If they had not seen me do these things, they would not be guilty. But they did see me do these things, and they still hate me and my Father too. 25That is why the Scriptures are true when they say, "People hated me for no reason."
    26I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help [c] you and will tell you about me. 27Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
  1. John 15:16 in my name: Or " because you are my followers."
  2. John 15:18 world: See the note at 12.31.
  3. John 15:26 help: See the note at 14.16.

Psalm 119:49-64 (Contemporary English Version)

49Don't forget your promise
   to me, your servant.
   I depend on it.
    50When I am hurting,
   I find comfort in your promise
   that leads to life.
    51Conceited people sneer at me,
   but I obey your Law.
    52I find true comfort, LORD,
   because your laws have stood
   the test of time.
    53I get furious when evil people
   turn against your Law.
    54No matter where I am,
   your teachings
   fill me with songs.
    55Even in the night
   I think about you, LORD,
   and I obey your Law.
    56You have blessed me
   because I have always followed
   your teachings.
    57You, LORD, are my choice,
   and I will obey you.
    58With all my heart
   I beg you to be kind to me,
   just as you have promised.
    59I pay careful attention
   as you lead me,
   and I follow closely.
    60As soon as you command,
   I do what you say.
    61Evil people may set a trap,
   but I obey your Law.
    62Your laws are so fair
   that I wake up
   and praise you
   in the middle of the night.
    63I choose as my friends
   everyone who worships you
   and follows your teachings.
    64Our LORD, your love is seen
   all over the world.
   Teach me your laws.

Proverbs 16:1-3 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 16

The LORD Has the Final Word
 1We humans make plans,    but the LORD
   has the final word.
    2We may think we know
   what is right,
   but the LORD is the judge
   of our motives.
    3Share your plans with the LORD,
   and you will succeed.

Verse of the Day

“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!” - John 3:17
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Disraeli in old age, wearing a double-breasted suit, bow tie and hatThought for the Day

British politician and writer who twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Benjamin Disraeli wrote, “Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

A Joke for Today
Image result for nervous preacherA preacher, who shall we say was "humor impaired," attended a conference to help encourage and better equip pastors for their ministry.
Among the speakers were many well known and dynamic speakers. One such boldly approached the pulpit and, gathering the entire crowd's attention, said, "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman that wasn't my wife!" The crowd was shocked! He followed up by saying, "And that woman was my mother!" - The crowd burst into laughter and delivered the rest of his talk, which went over quite well.
The next week, the pastor decided he'd give this humor thing a try, and use that joke in his sermon. As he surely approached the pulpit that sunny Sunday, he tried to rehearse the joke in his head. It suddenly seemed a bit foggy to him.

Getting to the microphone he said loudly, "The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman that was not my wife!" The congregation inhaled half the air in the room. After standing there for almost 10 seconds in the stunned silence, trying to recall the second half of the joke, the pastor finally blurted out, "...and I can't remember who she was!"

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