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 5, 2017

Bible Readings for May 5, 2017

Today our passages are Judges 21:1–Ruth 1:22; John 4:4-42; Psalm 105:1-15; and Proverbs 14:25. 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.

Judges 21 - Ruth 1:22 (Contemporary English Version)

Ruth 1

Ruth Is Loyal to Naomi
 1-2Before Israel was ruled by kings, Elimelech from the tribe of Ephrath lived in the town of Bethlehem. His wife was named Naomi, and their two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. But when their crops failed, they moved to the country of Moab. a<="" value="[a]" >[] And while they were there, 3Elimelech died, leaving Naomi with only her two sons. 4Later, Naomi's sons married Moabite women. One was named Orpah and the other Ruth. About ten years later, 5Mahlon and Chilion also died. Now Naomi had no husband or sons.     6-7When Naomi heard that the LORD had given his people a good harvest, she and her two daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab and go to Judah. As they were on their way there, 8Naomi said to them, "Don't you want to go back home to your own mothers? You were kind to my husband and sons, and you have always been kind to me. I pray that the LORD will be just as kind to you. 9May he give each of you another husband and a home of your own."
   Naomi kissed them. They cried 10and said, "We want to go with you and live among your people."
    11But she replied, "My daughters, why don't you return home? What good will it do you to go with me? Do you think I could have more sons for you to marry? [b<="">] 12You must go back home, because I am too old to marry again. Even if I got married tonight and later had more sons, 13would you wait for them to become old enough to marry? No, my daughters! Life is harder for me than it is for you, because the LORD has turned against me." [c<="">] 14They cried again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth held on to her. 15Naomi then said to Ruth, "Look, your sister-in-law is going back to her people and to her gods! Why don't you go with her?"
    16Ruth answered,
   "Please don't tell me
   to leave you
   and return home!
   I will go where you go,
   I will live where you live;
   your people will be my people,
   your God will be my God.
    17I will die where you die
   and be buried beside you.
   May the LORD punish me
   if we are ever separated,
   even by death!" [d<="">] 18When Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped urging her to go back.
    19They reached Bethlehem, and the whole town was excited to see them. The women who lived there asked, "Can this really be Naomi?"
    20Then she told them, "Don't call me Naomi any longer! Call me Mara, [e<="">] because God has made my life bitter. 21I had everything when I left, but the LORD has brought me back with nothing. How can you still call me Naomi, when God has turned against me and made my life so hard?" 22The barley harvest was just beginning when Naomi and Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, arrived in Bethlehem.

Judges 21

Wives for the Men of Benjamin
 1When the Israelites had met at Mizpah before the war with Benjamin, [f<="">] they had made this sacred promise: " None of us will ever let our daughters marry any man from Benjamin."     2After the war with Benjamin, the Israelites went to the place of worship at Bethel and sat there until sunset. They cried loudly and bitterly
    3and prayed, " Our LORD, you are the God of Israel. Why did you let this happen? Now one of our tribes is almost gone."
    4Early the next morning, the Israelites built an altar and offered sacrifices to please the LORD and to ask his blessing. [g<="">]
    5Then they asked each other, " Did any of the tribes of Israel fail to come to the place of worship? We made a sacred promise that anyone who didn't come to the meeting at Mizpah would be put to death."
    6The Israelites were sad about what had happened to the Benjamin tribe, and they said, " One of our tribes was almost wiped out.
    7Only a few men of Benjamin weren't killed in the war. We need to get wives for them, so the tribe won't completely disappear. But how can we do that, after promising in the LORD's name that we wouldn't let them marry any of our daughters?"
    8-9Again the Israelites asked, " Did any of the tribes stay away from the meeting at Mizpah?"
   After asking around, they discovered that no one had come from Jabesh in Gilead.
    10-11So they sent twelve thousand warriors with these orders: " Attack Jabesh in Gilead and kill everyone, except the women who have never been married."
    12The warriors attacked Jabesh in Gilead, and returned to their camp in Canaan [h<="">] with four hundred young women.
    13The Israelites met and sent messengers to the men of Benjamin at Rimmon Rock, telling them that the Israelites were willing to make peace with them.
    14So the men of Benjamin came back from Rimmon Rock, and the Israelites let them marry the young women from Jabesh. But there weren't enough women.
    15The Israelites were very sad, because the LORD had almost wiped out one of their tribes.
    16Then their national leaders said:
   All the women of the Benjamin tribe were killed. How can we get wives for the men of Benjamin who are left?
    17If they don't have children, one of the Israelite tribes will die out.
    18But we can't let the men of Benjamin marry any of our daughters. We made a sacred promise not to do that, and if we break our promise, we will be under our own curse.
    19Then someone suggested, " What about the LORD's Festival that takes place each year in Shiloh? It's held north of Bethel, south of Lebonah, and just east of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem."
    20The leaders told the men of Benjamin who still did not have wives:
   Go to Shiloh and hide in the vineyards near the festival.
    21Wait there for the young women of Shiloh to come out and perform their dances. Then rush out and grab one of the young women, then take her home as your wife.
    22If the fathers or brothers of these women complain about this, we'll say, " Be kind enough to let those men keep your daughter. After all, we couldn't get enough wives for all the men of Benjamin in the battle at Jabesh. And because you didn't give them permission to marry your daughters, you won't be under the curse we earlier agreed on. [i<="">]
    23The men of Benjamin went to Shiloh and hid in the vineyards. The young women soon started dancing, and each man grabbed one of them and carried her off. Then the men of Benjamin went back to their own land and rebuilt their towns and started living in them again.
    24Afterwards, the rest of the Israelites returned to their homes and families.
Israel Was Not Ruled by a King
 25In those days Israel wasn't ruled by a king, and everyone did what they thought was right.    

  1. Ruth 1:1 Moab: The people of Moab worshiped idols and were usually enemies of the people of Israel.
  2. Ruth 1:11 for you to marry: When a married man died and left no children, it was the custom for one of his brothers to marry his widow. Any children they had would then be thought of as those of the dead man, so that his family name would live on.
  3. Ruth 1:13 Life. . . me: Or "I'm sorry that the LORD has turned against me and made life so hard for you."
  4. Ruth 1:17 even by death: Or "by anything but death."
  5. Ruth 1:20 Mara: In Hebrew "Naomi" means "pleasant," and "Mara" means "bitter."
  6. Judges 21:1 the Israelites. . . Benjamin: See 20.1-3.
  7. Judges 21:4 sacrifices. . . blessing: See the note at 20.26-28.
  8. Judges 21:12 in Canaan: Jabesh was in Gilead, across the Jordan River from the land of Canaan.
  9. Judges 21:22 on: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.

John 4:4-42 (Contemporary English Version)

4This time he had to go through Samaria, 5and on his way he came to the town of Sychar. It was near the field that Jacob had long ago given to his son Joseph. 6-8The well that Jacob had dug was still there, and Jesus sat down beside it because he was tired from traveling. It was noon, and after Jesus' disciples had gone into town to buy some food, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well.
   Jesus asked her, "Would you please give me a drink of water?"
    9"You are a Jew," she replied, "and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink of water when Jews and Samaritans won't have anything to do with each other?" a<="" value="[a]" >[] 10Jesus answered, "You don't know what God wants to give you, and you don't know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would ask me for the water that gives life."
    11"Sir," the woman said, "you don't even have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this life-giving water? 12Our ancestor Jacob dug this well for us, and his family and animals got water from it. Are you greater than Jacob?"
    13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. 14But no one who drinks the water I give will ever be thirsty again. The water I give is like a flowing fountain that gives eternal life."
    15The woman replied, "Sir, please give me a drink of that water! Then I won't get thirsty and have to come to this well again."
    16Jesus told her, "Go and bring your husband."
    17-18The woman answered, "I don't have a husband."
   "That's right," Jesus replied, "you're telling the truth. You don't have a husband. You have already been married five times, and the man you are now living with isn't your husband."
    19The woman said, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20My ancestors worshiped on this mountain, [b<="">] but you Jews say Jerusalem is the only place to worship." 21Jesus said to her:
   Believe me, the time is coming when you won't worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans don't really know the one you worship. But we Jews do know the God we worship, and by using us, God will save the world. 23But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him. 24God is Spirit, and those who worship God must be led by the Spirit to worship him according to the truth.
    25The woman said, "I know that the Messiah will come. He is the one we call Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
    26"I am that one," Jesus told her, "and I am speaking to you now."
    27The disciples returned about this time and were surprised to find Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked him what he wanted or why he was talking with her.
    28The woman left her water jar and ran back into town. She said to the people, 29"Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Could he be the Messiah?" 30Everyone in town went out to see Jesus.
    31While this was happening, Jesus' disciples were saying to him, "Teacher, please eat something."
    32But Jesus told them, "I have food that you don't know anything about."
    33His disciples started asking each other, "Has someone brought him something to eat?"
    34Jesus said:
   My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do. 35You may say that there are still four months until harvest time. But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest.
    36Even now the harvest workers are receiving their reward by gathering a harvest that brings eternal life. Then everyone who planted the seed and everyone who harvests the crop will celebrate together. 37So the saying proves true, "Some plant the seed, and others harvest the crop." 38I am sending you to harvest crops in fields where others have done all the hard work.
    39A lot of Samaritans in that town put their faith in Jesus because the woman had said, "This man told me everything I have ever done." 40They came and asked him to stay in their town, and he stayed on for two days.
    41Many more Samaritans put their faith in Jesus because of what they heard him say. 42They told the woman, "We no longer have faith in Jesus just because of what you told us. We have heard him ourselves, and we are certain that he is the Savior of the world!"

  1. John 4:9 won't have anything to do with each other: Or " won't use the same cups." The Samaritans lived in the land between Judea and Galilee. They worshiped God differently from the Jews and did not get along with them.
  2. John 4:20 this mountain: Mount Gerizim, near the city of Shechem.

Psalm 105:1-15 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 105

The LORD Can Be Trusted
 1Praise the LORD    and pray in his name!
   Tell everyone
   what he has done.
    2Sing praises to the LORD!
   Tell about his miracles.
    3Celebrate and worship
   his holy name
   with all your heart.
    4Trust the LORD
   and his mighty power.
    5Remember his miracles
   and all his wonders
   and his fair decisions.
    6You belong to the family
   of Abraham, his servant;
   you are his chosen ones,
   the descendants of Jacob.
    7The LORD is our God,
   bringing justice
   everywhere on earth.
    8He will never forget
   his agreement or his promises,
   not in thousands of years.
    9God made an eternal promise
    10to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
    11when he said, "I'll give you
   the land of Canaan."
    12At the time there were
   only a few of us,
   and we were homeless.
    13We wandered from nation
   to nation,
   from one country
   to another.
    14God did not let anyone
   mistreat our people.
   Instead he protected us
   by punishing rulers
    15and telling them,
   "Don't touch my chosen leaders
   or harm my prophets!"

Proverbs 14:25 (Contemporary English Version)

25An honest witness
   can save your life,
   but liars can't be trusted.

Verse for the Day

“Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” - Philippians 4:6-7
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

GKpress.jpgThought for the Day

American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality, Garrison Keillor wrote, “Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.”

A Joke for the Day
Image result for priest minister rabbi bear joke

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job. So each one goes into the woods, finds a bear, and attempts to convert it. Later, they all get together. The priest begins: “When I found the bear, I read to him from the catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his first Communion.”

“I found a bear by the stream,” says the minister, “and preached God’s holy Word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him.”

They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast. “Looking back,” he says, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision.”

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