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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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bible Readings for June 8, 2017

Today our passages are 1 Kings 3:4–4:34; Acts 6:1-15; Psalm 126:1-6; and Proverbs 16:26-27.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 3:4-4:34 (Contemporary English Version)

4The most important shrine was in Gibeon, and Solomon had offered more than a thousand sacrifices on that altar.
    5One night while Solomon was in Gibeon, the LORD God appeared to him in a dream and said, "Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you."
    6Solomon answered:
   My father David, your servant, was honest and did what you commanded. You were always loyal to him, and you gave him a son who is now king. 7LORD God, I'm your servant, and you've made me king in my father's place. But I'm very young and know so little about being a leader. 8And now I must rule your chosen people, even though there are too many of them to count.
    9Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don't, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.
    10-11God said:
   Solomon, I'm pleased that you asked for this. You could have asked to live a long time or to be rich. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom to make right decisions. 12So I'll make you wiser than anyone who has ever lived or ever will live.
    13I'll also give you what you didn't ask for. You'll be rich and respected as long as you live, and you'll be greater than any other king. 14If you obey me and follow my commands, as your father David did, I'll let you live a long time.
    15Solomon woke up and realized that God had spoken to him in the dream. He went back to Jerusalem and stood in front of the sacred chest, where he offered sacrifices to please the Lord a<="" value="[a]" >[] and sacrifices to ask his blessing. [b<="">] Then Solomon gave a feast for his officials.
Solomon Makes a Difficult Decision
 16One day two women [c<="">] came to King Solomon, 17and one of them said: Your Majesty, this woman and I live in the same house. Not long ago my baby was born at home, 18and three days later her baby was born. Nobody else was there with us.     19One night while we were all asleep, she rolled over on her baby, and he died. 20Then while I was still asleep, she got up and took my son out of my bed. She put him in her bed, then she put her dead baby next to me.
    21In the morning when I got up to feed my son, I saw that he was dead. But when I looked at him in the light, I knew he wasn't my son.
    22"No!" the other woman shouted. "He was your son. My baby is alive!"
   "The dead baby is yours," the first woman yelled. "Mine is alive!"
   They argued back and forth in front of Solomon, 23until finally he said, "Both of you say this live baby is yours. 24Someone bring me a sword."
   A sword was brought, and Solomon ordered, 25"Cut the baby in half! That way each of you can have part of him."
    26"Please don't kill my son," the baby's mother screamed. "Your Majesty, I love him very much, but give him to her. Just don't kill him."
   The other woman shouted, "Go ahead and cut him in half. Then neither of us will have the baby."
    27Solomon said, "Don't kill the baby." Then he pointed to the first woman, "She is his real mother. Give the baby to her."
    28Everyone in Israel was amazed when they heard how Solomon had made his decision. They realized that God had given him wisdom to judge fairly.

1 Kings 4

Solomon's Officials
 1-6Here is a list of Solomon's highest officials while he was king of Israel:    Azariah son of Zadok was the priest;
   Elihoreph and Ahijah sons of Shisha were the secretaries;
   Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud kept the government records;
   Benaiah son of Jehoiada was the army commander;
   Zadok and Abiathar were priests;
   Azariah son of Nathan was in charge of the regional officers;
   Zabud son of Nathan was a priest and the king's advisor;
   Ahishar was the prime minister;
   Adoniram son of Abda was in charge of the forced labor.
    7Solomon chose twelve regional officers, who took turns bringing food for him and his household. Each officer provided food from his region for one month of the year. 8These were the twelve officers:
   The son of Hur was in charge of the hill country of Ephraim.
    9The son of Deker was in charge of the towns of Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-Shemesh, and Elon-Beth-Hanan.
    10The son of Hesed was in charge of the towns of Arubboth and Socoh, and the region of Hepher.
    11The son of Abinadab was in charge of Naphath-Dor and was married to Solomon's daughter Taphath.
    12Baana son of Ahilud was in charge of the towns of Taanach and Megiddo. He was also in charge of the whole region of Beth-Shan near the town of Zarethan, south of Jezreel from Beth-Shan to Abel-Meholah to the other side of Jokmeam.
    13The son of Geber was in charge of the town of Ramoth in Gilead and the villages in Gilead belonging to the family of Jair, a descendant of Manasseh. He was also in charge of the region of Argob in Bashan, which had sixty walled towns with bronze bars on their gates.
    14Ahinadab son of Iddo was in charge of the territory of Mahanaim.
    15Ahimaaz was in charge of the territory of Naphtali and was married to Solomon's daughter Basemath.
    16Baana son of Hushai was in charge of the territory of Asher and the town of Bealoth.
    17Jehoshaphat son of Paruah was in charge of the territory of Issachar.
    18Shimei son of Ela was in charge of the territory of Benjamin.
    19Geber son of Uri was in charge of Gilead, where King Sihon of the Amorites and King Og of Bashan had lived.
   And one officer was in charge of the territory of Judah. [d<="">]
The Size of Solomon's Kingdom
 20There were so many people living in Judah and Israel while Solomon was king that they seemed like grains of sand on a beach. Everyone had enough to eat and drink, and they were happy.     21Solomon ruled every kingdom between the Euphrates River and the land of the Philistines down to Egypt. These kingdoms paid him taxes as long as he lived.
    22Every day, Solomon needed one hundred fifty bushels of fine flour, three hundred bushels of coarsely-ground flour, 23ten grain-fed cattle, twenty pasture-fed cattle, one hundred sheep, as well as deer, gazelles, and geese.
    24Solomon ruled the whole region west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and he was at peace with all of the countries around him. 25Everyone living in Israel, from the town of Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, was safe as long as Solomon lived. Each family sat undisturbed beneath its own grape vines and fig trees.
    26Solomon had forty thousand stalls of chariot horses and twelve thousand chariot soldiers.
    27Each of the twelve regional officers brought food to Solomon and his household for one month of the year. They provided everything he needed, 28as well as barley and straw for the horses.
Solomon's Wisdom
 29Solomon was brilliant. God had blessed him with insight and understanding. 30-31He was wiser than anyone else in the world, including the wisest people of the east and of Egypt. He was even wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Mahol's three sons, Heman, Calcol, and Darda. Solomon became famous in every country around Judah and Israel. 32Solomon wrote three thousand wise sayings and composed more than one thousand songs. 33He could talk about all kinds of plants, from large trees to small bushes, and he taught about animals, birds, reptiles, and fish. 34Kings all over the world heard about Solomon's wisdom and sent people to listen to him teach.    
  1. 1 Kings 3:15 sacrifices to please the Lord: See Leviticus 1.1-17.
  2. 1 Kings 3:15 sacrifices to ask his blessing: See Leviticus 3.1-17.
  3. 1 Kings 3:16 women: Hebrew "prostitutes."
  4. 1 Kings 4:19 of Judah: One ancient translation; these words are not in the Hebrew text.

Acts 6:1-15 (Contemporary English Version)

Acts 6

Seven Leaders for the Church
 1A lot of people were now becoming followers of the Lord. But some of the ones who spoke Greek started complaining about the ones who spoke Aramaic. They complained that the Greek-speaking widows were not given their share when the food supplies were handed out each day.     2The twelve apostles called the whole group of followers together and said, "We should not give up preaching God's message in order to serve at tables. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 3My friends, choose seven men who are respected and wise and filled with God's Spirit. We will put them in charge of these things. 4We can spend our time praying and serving God by preaching." 5This suggestion pleased everyone, and they began by choosing Stephen. He had great faith and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they chose Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and also Nicolaus, who worshiped with the Jewish people [b<="">] in Antioch. 6These men were brought to the apostles. Then the apostles prayed and placed their hands on the men to show that they had been chosen to do this work. 7God's message spread, and many more people in Jerusalem became followers. Even a large number of priests put their faith in the Lord.
Stephen Is Arrested
 8God gave Stephen the power to work great miracles and wonders among the people. 9But some Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria were members of a group who called themselves "Free Men." [c<="">] They started arguing with Stephen. Some others from Cilicia and Asia also argued with him. 10But they were no match for Stephen, who spoke with the great wisdom that the Spirit gave him. 11So they talked some men into saying, "We heard Stephen say terrible things against Moses and God!" 12They turned the people and their leaders and the teachers of the Law of Moses against Stephen. Then they all grabbed Stephen and dragged him in front of the council.     13Some men agreed to tell lies about Stephen, and they said, "This man keeps on saying terrible things about this holy temple and the Law of Moses. 14We have heard him claim that Jesus from Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses gave us." 15Then all the council members stared at Stephen. They saw that his face looked like the face of an angel.
  1. Acts 6:2 to serve at tables: This may mean either that they were in charge of handing out food to the widows or that they were in charge of the money, since the Greek word "table" may also mean "bank."
  2. Acts 6:5 worshiped with the Jewish people: This translates the Greek word "proselyte" that means a Gentile who had accepted the Jewish religion.
  3. Acts 6:9 Free Men: A group of Jewish men who had once been slaves, but had been freed.

Psalm 126:1-6 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 126

(A song for worship.)
Celebrating the Harvest
 1It seemed like a dream    when the LORD brought us back
   to the city of Zion. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 2We celebrated with laughter
   and joyful songs.
   In foreign nations it was said,
   "The LORD has worked miracles
   for his people."
    3And so we celebrated
   because the LORD had indeed
   worked miracles for us.
    4Our LORD, we ask you to bless
   our people again,
   and let us be like streams
   in the Southern Desert.
    5We cried as we went out
   to plant our seeds.
   Now let us celebrate
   as we bring in the crops.
    6We cried on the way
   to plant our seeds,
   but we will celebrate and shout
   as we bring in the crops.
  1. Psalm 126:1 brought. . . Zion: Or " made the city of Zion prosperous again."

Proverbs 16:26-27 (Contemporary English Version)

26The hungrier you are,
   the harder you work.
    27Worthless people plan trouble.
   Even their words burn
   like a flaming fire.

Verse of the Day

“The LORD gives me strength. He makes my feet as sure as those of a deer, and he helps me stand on the mountains. To the music director: Use stringed instruments.” - Habakkuk 3:19
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

John F. Kennedy, White House photo portrait, looking up.jpgThought for the Day

American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963, John F. Kennedy wrote, “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.”

Image result for little boy church cartoon 
A Joke for the Day

A father asked his little boy if he knew how a person gets saved.“We’ll be saved by going to our church every Sunday,” the boy said without hesitation.His father explained that going to their church each week would not save them.“Well, then, we better find another church!” replied the boy.

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