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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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bible Readings for June 17, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Kings 18:1-46; Acts 11:1-30; Psalm 135:1-21; and Proverbs 17:12-13. 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 18:1-46 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Kings 18

Elijah Proves He Is the LORD's Prophet
 1-2For three years no rain fell in Samaria, and there was almost nothing to eat anywhere. The LORD said to Elijah, "Go and meet with King Ahab. I will soon make it rain." So Elijah went to see Ahab.     3-4At that time Obadiah was in charge of Ahab's palace, but he faithfully worshiped the LORD. In fact, when Jezebel was trying to kill the LORD's prophets, Obadiah hid one hundred of them in two caves and gave them food and water.
   Ahab sent for Obadiah 5and said, "We have to find something for our horses and mules to eat. If we don't, we will have to kill them. Let's look around every creek and spring in the country for some grass. 6You go one way, and I'll go the other." Then they left in separate directions.
    7As Obadiah was walking along, he met Elijah. Obadiah recognized him, bowed down, and asked, "Elijah, is it really you?"
    8"Yes. Go tell Ahab I'm here."
    9Obadiah replied:
   King Ahab would kill me if I told him that. And I haven't even done anything wrong. 10I swear to you in the name of the living LORD your God that the king has looked everywhere for you. He sent people to look in every country, and when they couldn't find you, he made the leader of each country swear that you were not in that country. 11Do you really want me to tell him you're here?
    12What if the LORD's Spirit takes you away as soon as I leave? When Ahab comes to get you, he won't find you. Then he will surely kill me.
   I have worshiped the LORD since I was a boy. 13I even hid one hundred of the LORD's prophets in caves when Jezebel was trying to kill them. I also gave them food and water. 14Do you really want me to tell Ahab you're here? He will kill me!
    15Elijah said, "I'm a servant of the living LORD All-Powerful, and I swear in his name that I will meet with Ahab today."
    16Obadiah left and told Ahab where to find Elijah.
   Ahab went to meet Elijah, 17and when he saw him, Ahab shouted, "There you are, the biggest troublemaker in Israel!"
    18Elijah answered:
   You're the troublemaker--not me! You and your family have disobeyed the LORD's commands by worshiping Baal.
    19Call together everyone from Israel and have them meet me on Mount Carmel. Be sure to bring along the four hundred fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel's table.
    20Ahab got everyone together, then they went to meet Elijah on Mount Carmel. 21Elijah stood in front of them and said, "How much longer will you try to have things both ways? If the LORD is God, worship him! But if Baal is God, worship him!"
   The people did not say a word.
    22Then Elijah continued:
   I am the LORD's only prophet, but Baal has four hundred fifty prophets.
    23Bring us two bulls. Baal's prophets can take one of them, kill it, and cut it into pieces. Then they can put the meat on the wood without lighting the fire. I will do the same thing with the other bull, and I won't light a fire under it either.
    24The prophets of Baal will pray to their god, and I will pray to the LORD. The one who answers by starting the fire is God.
   "That's a good idea," everyone agreed.
    25Elijah said to Baal's prophets, "There are more of you, so you go first. Pick out a bull and get it ready, but don't light the fire. Then pray to your god."
    26They chose their bull, then they got it ready and prayed to Baal all morning, asking him to start the fire. They danced around the altar and shouted, "Answer us, Baal!" But there was no answer.
    27At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. "Pray louder!" he said. "Baal must be a god. Maybe he's day-dreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. Or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up."
    28The prophets kept shouting louder and louder, and they cut themselves with swords and knives until they were bleeding. This was the way they worshiped, 29and they kept it up all afternoon. But there was no answer of any kind.
    30Elijah told everyone to gather around him while he repaired the LORD's altar. 31-32Then he used twelve stones to build an altar in honor of the LORD. Each stone stood for one of the tribes of Israel, which was the name the LORD had given to their ancestor Jacob. Elijah dug a ditch around the altar, large enough to hold about thirteen quarts. 33He placed the wood on the altar, then they cut the bull into pieces and laid the meat on the wood.
   He told the people, "Fill four large jars with water and pour it over the meat and the wood." After they did this, 34he told them to do it two more times. They did exactly as he said 35until finally, the water ran down the altar and filled the ditch.
    36When it was time for the evening sacrifice, Elijah prayed:
   Our LORD, you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. Now, prove that you are the God of this nation, [a] and that I, your servant, have done this at your command. 37Please answer me, so these people will know that you are the LORD God, and that you will turn their hearts back to you. [b] 38The LORD immediately sent fire, and it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, and the stones. It scorched the ground everywhere around the altar and dried up every drop of water in the ditch. 39When the crowd saw what had happened, they all bowed down and shouted, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!"
    40Just then, Elijah said, "Grab the prophets of Baal! Don't let any of them get away."
   So the people captured the prophets and took them to Kishon River, where Elijah killed every one of them.
It Starts To Rain
 41Elijah told Ahab, "Get something to eat and drink. I hear a heavy rain coming."     42Ahab left, but Elijah climbed back to the top of Mount Carmel. Then he stooped down with his face almost to the ground 43and said to his servant, "Look toward the sea."
   The servant left. And when he came back, he said, "I looked, but I didn't see anything." Elijah told him to look seven more times.
    44After the seventh time the servant replied, "I see a small cloud coming this way. But it's no bigger than a fist."
   Elijah told him, "Tell Ahab to get his chariot ready and start home now. Otherwise, the rain will stop him."
    45-46A few minutes later, it got very cloudy and windy, and rain started pouring down. So Elijah wrapped his coat around himself, and the LORD gave him strength to run all the way to Jezreel. Ahab followed him.
  1. 1 Kings 18:36 this nation: Hebrew "Israel."
  2. 1 Kings 18:37 will turn. . . to you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Acts 11:1-30 (Contemporary English Version)

Acts 11

Peter Reports to the Church in Jerusalem
 1The apostles and the followers in Judea heard that Gentiles had accepted God's message. 2So when Peter came to Jerusalem, some of the Jewish followers started arguing with him. They wanted Gentile followers to be circumcised, and 3they said, "You stayed in the homes of Gentiles, and you even ate with them!"     4Then Peter told them exactly what had happened:
    5I was in the town of Joppa and was praying when I fell sound asleep and had a vision. I saw heaven open, and something like a huge sheet held by its four corners came down to me. 6When I looked in it, I saw animals, wild beasts, snakes, and birds. 7I heard a voice saying to me, "Peter, get up! Kill these and eat them."
    8But I said, "Lord, I can't do that! I've never taken a bite of anything that is unclean and not fit to eat." [a] 9The voice from heaven spoke to me again, "When God says that something can be used for food, don't say it isn't fit to eat." 10This happened three times before it was all taken back into heaven.
    11Suddenly three men from Caesarea stood in front of the house where I was staying. 12The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry. Then six of the Lord's followers went with me to the home of a man 13who told us that an angel had appeared to him. The angel had ordered him to send to Joppa for someone named Simon Peter. 14Then Peter would tell him how he and everyone in his house could be saved.
    15After I started speaking, the Holy Spirit was given to them, just as the Spirit had been given to us at the beginning. 16I remembered that the Lord had said, "John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 17God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So how could I have gone against God?
    18When they heard Peter say this, they stopped arguing and started praising God. They said, "God has now let Gentiles turn to him, and he has given life to them!"
The Church in Antioch
 19Some of the Lord's followers had been scattered because of the terrible trouble that started when Stephen was killed. They went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, but they told the message only to the Jews.     20Some of the followers from Cyprus and Cyrene went to Antioch and started telling Gentiles [b] the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21The Lord's power was with them, and many people turned to the Lord and put their faith in him. 22News of what was happening reached the church in Jerusalem. Then they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23When Barnabas got there and saw what God had been kind enough to do for them, he was very glad. So he begged them to remain faithful to the Lord with all their hearts. 24Barnabas was a good man of great faith, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Many more people turned to the Lord.
    25Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul. 26He found Saul and brought him to Antioch, where they met with the church for a whole year and taught many of its people. There in Antioch the Lord's followers were first called Christians.
    27During this time some prophets from Jerusalem came to Antioch. 28One of them was Agabus. Then with the help of the Spirit, he told that there would be a terrible famine everywhere in the world. And it happened when Claudius was Emperor. [c] 29The followers in Antioch decided to send whatever help they could to the followers in Judea. 30So they had Barnabas and Saul take their gifts to the church leaders in Jerusalem.
  1. Acts 11:8 unclean and not fit to eat: See the note at 10.14.
  2. Acts 11:20 Gentiles: This translates a Greek word that may mean "people who speak Greek" or "people who live as Greeks do." Here the word seems to mean "people who are not Jews." Some manuscripts have "Greeks," which also seems to mean "people who are not Jews."
  3. Acts 11:28 when Claudius was Emperor: A.D. 41-54.

Psalm 135:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 135

In Praise of the LORD's Kindness
 1Shout praises to the LORD!    You are his servants,
   so praise his name.
    2All who serve in the temple
   of the LORD our God,
    3come and shout praises.
   Praise the name of the LORD!
   He is kind and good.
    4He chose the family of Jacob
   and the people of Israel
   for his very own.
    5The LORD is much greater
   than any other god.
    6He does as he chooses
   in heaven and on earth
   and deep in the sea.
    7The LORD makes the clouds rise
   from far across the earth,
   and he makes lightning
   to go with the rain.
   Then from his secret place
   he sends out the wind.
    8The LORD killed the first-born
   of people and animals
   in the land of Egypt.
    9God used miracles and wonders
   to fight the king of Egypt
   and all of his officials.
    10He destroyed many nations
   and killed powerful kings,
    11including King Sihon
   of the Amorites
   and King Og of Bashan.
   He conquered every kingdom
   in the land of Canaan
    12and gave their property
   to his people Israel.
    13The name of the LORD
   will be remembered forever,
   and he will be famous
   for all time to come.
    14The LORD will bring justice
   and show mercy
   to all
   who serve him.
    15Idols of silver and gold
   are made
   and worshiped
   in other nations.
    16They have a mouth and eyes,
   but they can't speak or see.
    17They are completely deaf,
   and they can't breathe.
    18Everyone who makes idols
   and all who trust them
   will end up as helpless
   as their idols.
    19Everyone in Israel,
   come praise the LORD!
   All the family of Aaron
    20and all the tribe of Levi, [a] come praise the LORD!
   All of his worshipers,
   come praise the LORD.
    21Praise the LORD from Zion!
   He lives here in Jerusalem.
   Shout praises to the LORD!
  1. Psalm 135:20 Aaron. . . Levi: Aaron was from the tribe of Levi, and all priests were from his family. The temple helpers, singers, and musicians were also from the tribe of Levi.

Proverbs 17:12-13 (Contemporary English Version)

12A bear robbed of her cubs
   is far less dangerous
   than a stubborn fool.
    13You will always have trouble
   if you are mean to those
   who are good to you.

Verse of the Day

“Our God, you are the one who rides on the clouds, and we praise you. Your name is the LORD, and we celebrate as we worship you. Our God, from your sacred home you take care of orphans and protect widows.” - Psalm 68:4-5
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Igor StravinskyThought for the Day

Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor, Igor Stravinsky wrote, “Harpists spend 90 percent of their lives tuning their harps and 10 percent playing out of tune.”

Image result for pastor nominating committeeA Joke for Today
Dear Member,
We do not have a happy report, as we have not been able to find a suitable candidate for pastor of our church thus far. We do, however, have one promising prospect. The following is our confidential report on the candidates:
Adam: Good man, but has problems with his wife.
Noah: Former pastorate of 120 years with no converts. Prone to unrealistic building projects.
Joseph: A big thinker, but a braggart. Interprets dreams. Has a prison record.
Moses: Modest and meek, but poor communicator; even stutters at times. Sometimes blows his stack and acts rashly in business meetings.
Deborah: One word—female.
David: The most promising candidate of all, until we discovered the affair he had with a neighbor’s wife.
Solomon: Great preacher, but serious woman problems.
Elijah: Prone to depression; collapses under pressure.
Jonah: Told us he was swallowed by a huge fish. He said the fish later spit him out on the shore near here. We hung up.
Amos: Backward and unpolished. With some seminary training, he might have promise; but he has a problem with wealthy people.
John: Says he’s a Baptist, but doesn’t dress like one. Sleeps in the outdoors, has a weird diet, and provokes denominational leaders.
Paul: Powerful CEO type and fascinating preacher. But he’s short on tact, unforgiving with young ministers, harsh, and has been known to preach all night.
Timothy: Too young.

Judas: His references are solid. A steady plodder. Conservative. Good connections. Knows how to handle money. We’re inviting him to preach this Sunday with great hopes that he will accept our offer!

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