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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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bible Readings for June 20, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Kings 22:1-53; Acts 13:16-41; Psalm 138:1-8; and Proverbs 17:17-18. 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 22:1-53 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Kings 22

Micaiah Warns Ahab about Disaster
(2 Chronicles 18.2-27)
 1For the next three years there was peace between Israel and Syria. 2During the third year King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit King Ahab of Israel.     3Ahab asked his officials, "Why haven't we tried to get Ramoth in Gilead back from the Syrians? It belongs to us." 4Then he asked Jehoshaphat, "Would you go to Ramoth with me and attack the Syrians?"
   "Just tell me what to do," Jehoshaphat answered. "My army and horses are at your command. 5But first, let's ask the LORD."
    6Ahab sent for about four hundred prophets and asked, "Should I attack the Syrians at Ramoth?"
   "Yes!" the prophets answered. "The Lord will help you defeat them."
    7But Jehoshaphat said, "Just to make sure, is there another of the LORD's prophets we can ask?"
    8"We could ask Micaiah son of Imlah," Ahab said. "But I hate Micaiah. He always has bad news for me."
   "Don't say that!" Jehoshaphat replied. 9Then Ahab sent someone to bring Micaiah as soon as possible.
    10All this time, Ahab and Jehoshaphat were dressed in their royal robes and were seated on their thrones at the threshing place near the gate of Samaria. They were listening to the prophets tell them what the LORD had said.
    11Zedekiah son of Chenaanah was one of the prophets. He had made some horns out of iron and shouted, "Ahab, the LORD says you will attack the Syrians like a bull with iron horns and wipe them out!"
    12All the prophets agreed that Ahab should attack the Syrians at Ramoth, and they promised that the LORD would help him defeat them.
    13Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah whispered, "Micaiah, all the prophets have good news for Ahab. Now go and say the same thing."
    14"I'll say whatever the living LORD tells me to say," Micaiah replied.
    15Then Micaiah went to Ahab, and Ahab asked, "Micaiah, should I attack the Syrians at Ramoth?"
   "Yes!" Micaiah answered. "The LORD will help you defeat them."
    16"Micaiah, I've told you over and over to tell me the truth!" Ahab shouted. "What does the LORD really say?"
    17He answered, "In a vision a<="" value="[a]" >[] I saw Israelite soldiers walking around in the hills like sheep without a shepherd to guide them. The LORD said, `This army has no leader. They should go home and not fight.' " 18Ahab turned to Jehoshaphat and said, "I told you he would bring bad news!"
    19Micaiah replied:
   Listen to this! I also saw the LORD seated on his throne with every creature in heaven gathered around him. 20The LORD asked, "Who can trick Ahab and make him go to Ramoth where he will be killed?"
   They talked about it for a while, 21then finally a spirit came forward and said to the LORD, "I can trick Ahab."
   "How?" the LORD asked.
    22"I'll make Ahab's prophets lie to him."
   "Good!" the LORD replied. "Now go and do it."
    23This is exactly what has happened, Ahab. The LORD made all your prophets lie to you, and he knows you will soon be destroyed.
    24Zedekiah walked up to Micaiah and slapped him on the face. Then he asked, "Do you really think the LORD would speak to you and not to me?"
    25Micaiah answered, "You'll find out on the day you have to hide in the back room of some house."
    26Ahab shouted, "Arrest Micaiah! Take him to Prince Joash and Governor Amon of Samaria. 27Tell them to put him in prison and to give him nothing but bread and water until I come back safely."
    28Micaiah said, "If you do come back, I was wrong about what the LORD wanted me to say." Then he told the crowd, "Don't forget what I said!"
Ahab Dies at Ramoth
(2 Chronicles 18.28-34)
 29Ahab and Jehoshaphat led their armies to Ramoth in Gilead. 30Before they went into battle, Ahab said, "Jehoshaphat, I'll disguise myself, but you wear your royal robe." Then Ahab disguised himself and went into battle.     31The king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders to attack only Ahab. 32So when they saw Jehoshaphat in his robe, they thought he was Ahab and started to attack him. But when Jehoshaphat shouted out to them, 33they realized he wasn't Ahab, and they left him alone.
    34However, during the fighting a soldier shot an arrow without even aiming, and it hit Ahab where two pieces of his armor joined. He shouted to his chariot driver, "I've been hit! Get me out of here!"
    35The fighting lasted all day, with Ahab propped up in his chariot so he could see the Syrian troops. He bled so much that the bottom of the chariot was covered with blood, and by evening he was dead.
    36As the sun was going down, someone in Israel's army shouted to the others, "Retreat! Go back home!"
    37Ahab's body was taken to Samaria and buried there. 38Some workers washed his chariot near a spring in Samaria, and prostitutes washed themselves in his blood. [b<="">] Dogs licked Ahab's blood off the ground, just as the LORD had warned. 39Everything else Ahab did while he was king, including the towns he strengthened and the palace he built and furnished with ivory, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 40Ahab died, and his son Ahaziah became king.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah
(2 Chronicles 20.31--21.1)
 41Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king of Judah in Ahab's fourth year as king of Israel. 42Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled from Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother was Azubah daughter of Shilhi.     43-46Jehoshaphat obeyed the LORD, just as his father Asa had done, and during his rule he was at peace with the king of Israel.
   He got rid of the rest of the prostitutes [c<="">] from the local shrines, but he did not destroy the shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices. Everything else Jehoshaphat did while he was king, including his brave deeds and military victories, is written in The History of the Kings of Judah.
    47The country of Edom had no king at the time, so a lower official ruled the land.
    48Jehoshaphat had seagoing ships [d<="">] built to sail to Ophir for gold. But they were wrecked at Ezion-Geber and never sailed. 49Ahaziah son of Ahab offered to let his sailors go with Jehoshaphat's sailors, but Jehoshaphat refused. 50Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, [e<="">] and his son Jehoram became king.
King Ahaziah of Israel
 51Ahaziah son of Ahab became king of Israel in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat's rule in Judah, and he ruled two years from Samaria.     52Ahaziah disobeyed the LORD, just as his father, his mother, and Jeroboam had done. They all led Israel to sin. 53Ahaziah worshiped Baal and made the LORD God of Israel very angry, just as his father had done.
  1. 1 Kings 22:17 vision: In ancient times, prophets often told about future events from what they had seen in visions or dreams.
  2. 1 Kings 22:38 prostitutes. . . blood: Or "they cleaned his weapons."
  3. 1 Kings 22:43 prostitutes: See the note at 14.24.
  4. 1 Kings 22:48 seagoing ships: See the note at 10.22.
  5. 1 Kings 22:50 Jerusalem: Hebrew "the city of his ancestor David."

Acts 13:16-41 (Contemporary English Version)

16Paul got up. He motioned with his hand and said:
   People of Israel, and everyone else who worships God, listen! 17The God of Israel chose our ancestors, and he let our people prosper while they were living in Egypt. Then with his mighty power he led them out, 18and for about forty years he took care of a<="" value="[a]" >[] them in the desert. 19He destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan and gave their land to our people. 20All this happened in about 450 years. Then God gave our people judges until the time of the prophet Samuel, 21but the people demanded a king. So for forty years God gave them King Saul, the son of Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. 22Later, God removed Saul and let David rule in his place. God said about him, "David the son of Jesse is the kind of person who pleases me most! He does everything I want him to do."
    23God promised that someone from David's family would come to save the people of Israel, and that one is Jesus. 24But before Jesus came, John was telling everyone in Israel to turn back to God and be baptized. 25Then, when John's work was almost done, he said, "Who do you people think I am? Do you think I am the Promised One? He will come later, and I am not good enough to untie his sandals."
    26Now listen, you descendants of Abraham! Pay attention, all of you Gentiles who are here to worship God! Listen to this message about how to be saved, because it is for everyone. 27The people of Jerusalem and their leaders didn't realize who Jesus was. And they didn't understand the words of the prophets that they read each Sabbath. So they condemned Jesus just as the prophets had said.
    28-29They did exactly what the Scriptures said they would. Even though they couldn't find any reason to put Jesus to death, they still asked Pilate to have him killed.
   After Jesus had been put to death, he was taken down from the cross [b<="">] and placed in a tomb. 30But God raised him from death! 31Then for many days Jesus appeared to his followers who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. Now they are telling our people about him. 32God made a promise to our ancestors. And we are here to tell you the good news 33that he has kept this promise to us. It is just as the second Psalm says about Jesus,
   "You are my son because today
   I have become your Father."
    34God raised Jesus from death and will never let his body decay. It is just as God said,
   "I will make to you
   the same holy promise
   that I made to David."
    35And in another psalm it says, "God will never let the body of his Holy One decay."
    36When David was alive, he obeyed God. Then after he died, he was buried in the family grave, and his body decayed. 37But God raised Jesus from death, and his body did not decay.
    38My friends, the message is that Jesus can forgive your sins! The Law of Moses could not set you free from all your sins. 39But everyone who has faith in Jesus is set free. 40Make sure that what the prophets have said doesn't happen to you. They said,
    41"Look, you people
   who make fun of God!
   Be amazed
   and disappear.
   I will do something today
   that you won't believe,
   even if someone
   tells you about it!"
  1. Acts 13:18 took care of: Some manuscripts have "put up with."
  2. Acts 13:28 cross: This translates a Greek word that means "wood," "pole," or "tree."

Psalm 138:1-8 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 138

(By David.)
Praise the LORD with All Your Heart
 1With all my heart    I praise you, LORD.
   In the presence of angels a<="" value="[a]" >[] I sing your praises.
    2I worship at your holy temple
   and praise you for your love
   and your faithfulness.
   You were true to your word
   and made yourself more famous
   than ever before. [b<="">] 3When I asked for your help,
   you answered my prayer
   and gave me courage. [c<="">] 4All kings on this earth
   have heard your promises, LORD,
   and they will praise you.
    5You are so famous
   that they will sing
   about the things you have done.
    6Though you are above us all,
   you care for humble people,
   and you keep a close watch
   on everyone who is proud.
    7I am surrounded by trouble,
   but you protect me
   against my angry enemies.
   With your own powerful arm
   you keep me safe.
    8You, LORD, will always
   treat me with kindness.
   Your love never fails.
   You have made us what we are.
   Don't give up on us now! [d<="">]
  1. Psalm 138:1 angels: Or " gods" or " supernatural beings" who worship and serve God in heaven or " rulers" or " leaders."
  2. Psalm 138:2 You were. . . before: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. Psalm 138:3 and gave me courage: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Psalm 138:8 You have. . . now: Or " Please don't desert your people."

Proverbs 17:17-18 (Contemporary English Version)

17A friend is always a friend,
   and relatives are born
   to share our troubles.
    18It's stupid to guarantee
   someone else's loan.

Verse of the Day

“What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?” - Mark 8:36
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Lillian-Hellman-1935.jpgThought for the Day

American dramatist and screenwriter known for her success as a playwright on Broadway, as well as her left-wing sympathies and political activism, Lillian Hellman wrote, “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashion.”

A Joke for Today
Image result for "princess frog"An old country preacher was fishing one afternoon when he noticed a frog sitting next to him. The frog said, “Mister, I’ve had a spell cast on me. If you’ll kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess and I’ll make you happy for the rest of your life.”
The old preacher smiled, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket. After a while, he looked into his pocket to see how the frog was doing.
The frog said again, “Mister, I’ve had a spell cast on me. If you’ll kiss me, I’ll turn into a beautiful princess and I’ll make you happy for the rest of your life.”
The preacher just smiled and kept on fishing. When he checked on the frog again, it said, “What’s wrong with you, fella? I said I’ve been bewitched. Just kiss me and I’ll turn back into a beautiful princess and make you the happiest man on earth for the rest of your life!”

The old preacher just smiled and said, “Frog, I’m sorry to tell you this…but at my age, I’d rather have a talking frog than a beautiful princess!”

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