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, June 12, 2017

Bible Readings for June 11, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Kings 8:1-66; Acts 7:51–8:13; Psalm 129:1-8; and Proverbs 17:1. 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 Kings 8:1-66 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Kings 8

Solomon Brings the Sacred Chest to the Temple
(2 Chronicles 5.2--6.2)
 1-2The sacred chest had been kept on Mount Zion, also known as the city of David. But Solomon decided to have the chest moved to the temple while everyone was in Jerusalem, celebrating the Festival of Shelters during Ethanim, a<="" value="[a]" >[] the seventh month of the year. Solomon called together the important leaders of Israel. 3-4Then the priests and the Levites carried to the temple the sacred chest, the sacred tent, and the objects used for worship. 5Solomon and a crowd of people walked in front of the chest, and along the way they sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted.     6The priests carried the chest into the most holy place and put it under the winged creatures, 7whose wings covered the chest and the poles used for carrying it. 8The poles were so long that they could be seen from right outside the most holy place, but not from anywhere else. And they stayed there from then on.
    9The only things kept in the chest were the two flat stones Moses had put there when the LORD made his agreement with the people of Israel at Mount Sinai, [b<="">] after bringing them out of Egypt. 10Suddenly a cloud filled the temple as the priests were leaving the most holy place. 11The LORD's glory was in the cloud, and the light from it was so bright that the priests could not stay inside to do their work. 12Then Solomon prayed:
   "Our LORD, you said that you
   would live in a dark cloud.
    13Now I have built a glorious temple
   where you can live forever."
Solomon Speaks to the People
(2 Chronicles 6.3-11)
 14Solomon turned toward the people standing there. Then he blessed them 15-16and said:    Praise the LORD God of Israel! Long ago he brought his people out of Egypt. He later kept his promise to make my father David the king of Israel. The LORD also said that he had not chosen the city where his temple would be built.
    17So when David wanted to build a temple for the LORD God of Israel, 18the LORD said, "It's good that you want to build a temple where I can be worshiped. 19But you're not the one to do it. Your son will build a temple to honor me."
    20The LORD has done what he promised. I am the king of Israel like my father, and I've built a temple for the LORD our God. 21I've also made a place in the temple for the sacred chest. And in that chest are the two flat stones on which is written the solemn agreement the LORD made with our ancestors when he led them out of Egypt.
Solomon Prays at the Temple
(2 Chronicles 6.12-42)
 22Solomon stood facing the altar with everyone standing behind him. Then he lifted his arms toward heaven 23and prayed:    LORD God of Israel, no other god in heaven or on earth is like you!
   You never forget the agreement you made with your people, and you are loyal to anyone who faithfully obeys your teachings. 24My father David was your servant, and today you have kept every promise you made to him.
    25LORD God of Israel, you promised my father that someone from his family would always be king of Israel, if they do their best to obey you, just as he did. 26Please keep this promise you made to your servant David.
    27There's not enough room in all of heaven for you, LORD God. How could you possibly live on earth in this temple I have built? 28But I ask you to answer my prayer. 29This is the temple where you have chosen to be worshiped. Please watch over it day and night and listen when I turn toward it and pray. 30I am your servant, and the people of Israel belong to you. So whenever any of us look toward this temple and pray, answer from your home in heaven and forgive our sins.
    31Suppose someone accuses a person of a crime, and the accused has to stand in front of the altar in your temple and say, "I swear I am innocent!" 32Listen from heaven and decide who is right. Then punish the guilty person and let the innocent one go free.
    33Suppose your people Israel sin against you, and then an enemy defeats them. If they come to this temple and beg for forgiveness, 34listen from your home in heaven. Forgive them and bring them back to the land you gave their ancestors.
    35Suppose your people sin against you, and you punish them by holding back the rain. If they turn toward this temple and pray in your name and stop sinning, 36listen from your home in heaven and forgive them. The people of Israel are your servants, so teach them to live right. And please send rain on the land you promised them forever.
    37Sometimes the crops may dry up or rot or be eaten by locusts [c<="">] or grasshoppers, and your people will be starving. Sometimes enemies may surround their towns, or your people will become sick with deadly diseases. 38Listen when anyone in Israel truly feels sorry and sincerely prays with arms lifted toward your temple. 39You know what is in everyone's heart. So from your home in heaven answer their prayers, according to the way they live and what is in their hearts. 40Then your people will worship and obey you for as long as they live in the land you gave their ancestors. 41-42Foreigners will hear about you and your mighty power, and some of them will come to live among your people Israel. If any of them pray toward this temple, 43listen from your home in heaven and answer their prayers. Then everyone on earth will worship you, just like your people Israel, and they will know that I have built this temple to honor you.
    44Our LORD, sometimes you will order your people to attack their enemies. Then your people will turn toward this temple I have built for you in your chosen city, and they will pray to you. 45Answer their prayers from heaven and give them victory.
    46Everyone sins. But when your people sin against you, suppose you get angry enough to let their enemies drag them away to foreign countries. 47-49Later, they may feel sorry for what they did and ask your forgiveness. Answer them when they pray toward this temple I have built for you in your chosen city, here in this land you gave their ancestors. From your home in heaven, listen to their sincere prayers and do what they ask. 50Forgive your people no matter how much they have sinned against you. Make the enemies who defeated them be kind to them. 51Remember, they are the people you chose and rescued from Egypt that was like a blazing fire to them.
    52I am your servant, and the people of Israel belong to you. So listen when any of us pray and cry out for your help. 53When you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, you told your servant Moses to say to them, ">From all people on earth, the LORD God has chosen you to be his very own."
Solomon Blesses the People
 54When Solomon finished his prayer at the altar, he was kneeling with his arms lifted toward heaven. He stood up, 55turned toward the people, blessed them, and said loudly:     56Praise the LORD! He has kept his promise and given us peace. Every good thing he promised to his servant Moses has happened.
    57The LORD our God was with our ancestors to help them, and I pray that he will be with us and never abandon us. 58May the LORD help us obey him and follow all the laws and teachings he gave our ancestors.
    59I pray that the LORD our God will remember my prayer day and night. May he help everyone in Israel each day, in whatever way we need it. 60Then every nation will know that the LORD is the only true God.
    61Obey the LORD our God and follow his commands with all your heart, just as you are doing today.
Solomon Dedicates the Temple
(2 Chronicles 7.4-10)
 62-63Solomon and the people dedicated the temple to the LORD by offering twenty-two thousand cattle and one hundred twenty thousand sheep as sacrifices to ask the LORD's blessing. [d<="">] 64On that day, Solomon dedicated the courtyard in front of the temple and made it acceptable for worship. He offered the sacrifices there because the bronze altar in front of the temple was too small. 65Solomon and the huge crowd celebrated the Festival of Shelters at the temple for seven days. [e<="">] There were people from as far away as the Egyptian Gorge in the south and Lebo-Hamath in the north. 66Then on the eighth day, he sent everyone home. They said good-by and left, very happy, because of all the good things the LORD had done for his servant David and his people Israel.
  1. 1 Kings 8:1 Ethanim: The seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-September to mid-October.
  2. 1 Kings 8:9 Sinai: Hebrew "Horeb."
  3. 1 Kings 8:37 locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.
  4. 1 Kings 8:62 sacrifices to ask the LORD's blessing: See Leviticus 3.1-17.
  5. 1 Kings 8:65 seven days: One ancient translation; Hebrew "seven days and seven more days, fourteen days in all."

Acts 7:51-8:13 (Contemporary English Version)

51You stubborn and hardheaded people! You are always fighting against the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors did. 52Is there one prophet that your ancestors didn't mistreat? They killed the prophets who told about the coming of the One Who Obeys God. a<="" value="[a]" >[] And now you have turned against him and killed him. 53Angels gave you God's Law, but you still don't obey it.
Stephen Is Stoned to Death
 54When the council members heard Stephen's speech, they were angry and furious. 55But Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked toward heaven, where he saw our glorious God and Jesus standing at his right side. [b<="">] 56Then Stephen said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right side of God!" 57The council members shouted and covered their ears. At once they all attacked Stephen 58and dragged him out of the city. Then they started throwing stones at him. The men who had brought charges against him put their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. [c<="">] 59As Stephen was being stoned to death, he called out, "Lord Jesus, please welcome me!" 60He knelt down and shouted, "Lord, don't blame them for what they have done." Then he died.    

Acts 8

 1-2Saul approved the stoning of Stephen. Some faithful followers of the Lord buried Stephen and mourned very much for him.    At that time the church in Jerusalem suffered terribly. All of the Lord's followers, except the apostles, were scattered everywhere in Judea and Samaria.
Saul Makes Trouble for the Church
 3Saul started making a lot of trouble for the church. He went from house to house, arresting men and women and putting them in jail.    
The Good News Is Preached in Samaria
 4The Lord's followers who had been scattered went from place to place, telling the good news. 5Philip went to the city of Samaria and told the people about Christ. 6They crowded around Philip because they were eager to hear what he was saying and to see him work miracles. 7Many people with evil spirits were healed, and the spirits went out of them with a shout. A lot of crippled and lame people were also healed. 8Everyone in that city was very glad because of what was happening.     9For some time a man named Simon had lived in the city of Samaria and had amazed the people. He practiced witchcraft and claimed to be somebody great. 10Everyone, rich and poor, crowded around him. They said, "This man is the power of God called `The Great Power.' "
    11For a long time, Simon had used witchcraft to amaze the people, and they kept crowding around him. 12But when they believed what Philip was saying about God's kingdom and about the name of Jesus Christ, they were all baptized. 13Even Simon believed and was baptized. He stayed close to Philip, because he marveled at all the miracles and wonders.
  1. Acts 7:52 One Who Obeys God: That is, Jesus.
  2. Acts 7:55 standing at his right side: The "right side" is the place of honor and power. "Standing" may mean that Jesus is welcoming Stephen (see verse 59).
  3. Acts 7:58 Saul: Better known as Paul, who became a famous follower of Jesus.

Psalm 129:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 129

(A song for worship.)
A Prayer for Protection
 1Since the time I was young,    enemies have often attacked!
   Let everyone in Israel say:
    2"Since the time I was young,
   enemies have often attacked!
   But they have not defeated me,
    3though my back is like a field
   that has just been plowed."
    4The LORD always does right,
   and he has set me free
   from the ropes
   of those cruel people.
    5I pray that all who hate
   the city of Zion
   will be made ashamed
   and forced to turn and run.
    6May they be like grass
   on the flat roof of a house,
   grass that dries up
   as soon as it sprouts.
    7Don't let them be like wheat
   gathered in bundles.
    8And don't let anyone
   who passes by say to them,
   "The LORD bless you!
   I give you my blessing
   in the name of the LORD."

Proverbs 17:1 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 17

Our Thoughts Are Tested by the LORD
 1A dry crust of bread eaten    in peace and quiet
   is better than a feast eaten
   where everyone argues.

Verse of the Day

“Our God says, "Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honor me.” - Psalm 46:10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version

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