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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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bible Readings for July 26, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 17:1–18:34; Romans 9:22–10:13; Psalm 20:1-9; and Proverbs 20:2-3. 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 Steet, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

2 Chronicles 17-18:34 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 17

King Jehoshaphat of Judah
 1Jehoshaphat son of Asa became king and strengthened his defenses against Israel.    2He assigned troops to the fortified cities in Judah, as well as to other towns in Judah and to those towns in Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.
   3-4When Jehoshaphat's father had first become king of Judah, he was faithful to the LORD and refused to worship the god Baal as the kings of Israel did. Jehoshaphat followed his father's example and obeyed and worshiped the LORD. And so the LORD blessed Jehoshaphat
   5and helped him keep firm control of his kingdom. The people of Judah brought gifts to Jehoshaphat, but even after he became very rich and respected,
   6he remained completely faithful to the LORD. He destroyed all the local shrines [a] in Judah, including the places where the goddess Asherah was worshiped.
   7In the third year of Jehoshaphat's rule, he chose five officials and gave them orders to teach the LORD's Law in every city and town in Judah. They were Benhail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah.
   8Their assistants were the following nine Levites: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah. Two priests, Elishama and Jehoram, also went along.
   9They carried with them a copy of the LORD's Law wherever they went and taught the people from it.
   10The nations around Judah were afraid of the LORD's power, so none of them attacked Jehoshaphat.
   11Philistines brought him silver and other gifts to keep peace. Some of the Arab people brought him seventy-seven hundred rams and the same number of goats.
   12As Jehoshaphat became more powerful, he built fortresses and cities
   13where he stored supplies. He also kept in Jerusalem some experienced soldiers
   14from the Judah and Benjamin tribes. These soldiers were grouped according to their clans.
   Adnah was the commander of the troops from Judah, and he had three hundred thousand soldiers under his command.
   15Jehohanan was second in command, with two hundred eighty thousand soldiers under him.
   16Amasiah son of Zichri, who had volunteered to serve the LORD, was third in command, with two hundred thousand soldiers under him.
   17Eliada was a brave warrior who commanded the troops from Benjamin. He had two hundred thousand soldiers under his command, all of them armed with bows and shields.
   18Jehozabad was second in command, with one hundred eighty thousand soldiers under him.
   19These were the troops who protected the king in Jerusalem, not counting those he had assigned to the fortified cities throughout the country.

2 Chronicles 18

Micaiah Warns King Ahab of Israel
(1 Kings 22.1-28)
 1Jehoshaphat was now very rich and famous. He signed a treaty with King Ahab of Israel by arranging the marriage of his son and Ahab's daughter.    2One day, Jehoshaphat went to visit Ahab in his capital city of Samaria. Ahab slaughtered sheep and cattle and prepared a big feast to honor Jehoshaphat and the officials with him. Ahab talked about attacking the city of Ramoth in Gilead, [b]
   3and finally asked, "Jehoshaphat, would you go with me to attack Ramoth?" "Yes," Jehoshaphat answered. "My army is at your command.
   4But first let's ask the LORD what to do."
   5Ahab sent for four hundred prophets and asked, "Should I attack the city of Ramoth?"
   "Yes!" the prophets answered. "God will help you capture the city."
   6But Jehoshaphat said, "Just to make sure, is there another of the LORD's prophets we can ask?"
   7"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.
   8Then Ahab sent someone to bring Micaiah as soon as possible.
   9All 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, listening to the prophets tell them what the LORD had said.
   10Zedekiah 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!"
   11All the prophets agreed that Ahab should attack the Syrians at Ramoth and promised that the LORD would help him defeat them.
   12Meanwhile, the messenger who went to get Micaiah whispered, "Micaiah, all the prophets have good news for Ahab. Now go and say the same thing."
   13"I'll say whatever the living LORD my God tells me to say," Micaiah replied.
   14Then Micaiah went up to Ahab, who asked, "Micaiah, should we attack Ramoth?"
   "Yes!" Micaiah answered. "The LORD will help you capture the city."
   15Ahab shouted, "Micaiah, I've told you over and over to tell me the truth! What does the LORD really say?"
   16Micaiah answered, "In a vision [c] I saw Israelite soldiers wandering around, lost in the hills like sheep without a shepherd. The LORD said, `These troops have no leader. They should go home and not fight.' "
   17Ahab turned to Jehoshaphat and said, "I told you he would bring me bad news!"
   18Micaiah replied:
   I then saw the LORD seated on his throne with every creature in heaven gathered around him.
   19The LORD asked, "Who can trick Ahab and make him go to Ramoth where he will be killed?"
   They talked about it for a while,
   20then finally a spirit came forward and said to the LORD, "I can trick Ahab."
   "How?" the LORD asked.
   21"I'll make Ahab's prophets lie to him."
   "Good!" the LORD replied. "Now go and do it. You will be successful."
   22Ahab, this is exactly what has happened. The LORD made all your prophets lie to you, and he knows you will soon be destroyed.
   23Zedekiah walked over and slapped Micaiah on the face. Then he asked, "Do you really think the LORD would speak to you and not to me?"
   24Micaiah answered, "You'll find out on the day you have to hide in the back room of some house."
   25Ahab shouted, "Arrest Micaiah! Take him to Prince Joash and Governor Amon of Samaria.
   26Tell them to put him in prison and to give him nothing but bread and water until I come back safely."
   27Micaiah 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
(1 Kings 22.29-35)
 28Ahab and Jehoshaphat led their armies to Ramoth in Gilead.    29Before they went into battle, Ahab said, "Jehoshaphat, I'll disguise myself, but you wear your royal robe." Ahab disguised himself and went into battle.
   30The king of Syria had ordered his chariot commanders to attack only Ahab.
   31So when they saw Jehoshaphat in his robe, they thought he was Ahab and started to attack him. But Jehoshaphat prayed, and the LORD made the Syrian soldiers stop.
   32And when they realized he wasn't Ahab, they left him alone.
   33However, during the fighting a soldier shot an arrow without even aiming, and it hit Ahab between two pieces of his armor. He shouted to his chariot driver, "I've been hit! Get me out of here!"
   34The fighting lasted all day, with Ahab propped up in his chariot so he could see the Syrian troops. He stayed there until evening, and by sundown he was dead.
  1. 2 Chronicles 17:6 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.
  2. 2 Chronicles 18:2 attacking the city of Ramoth in Gilead: The Syrians had taken control of Ramoth (see 1 Kings 22.3,4).
  3. 2 Chronicles 18:16 vision: In ancient times, prophets often told about future events from what they had seen in visions or dreams.

Romans 9:22-10:13 (Contemporary English Version)

22God wanted to show his anger and reveal his power against everyone who deserved to be destroyed. But instead, he patiently put up with them. 23He did this by showing how glorious he is when he has pity on the people he has chosen to share in his glory. 24Whether Jews or Gentiles, we are those chosen ones, 25just as the Lord says in the book of Hosea,
   "Although they are not
   my people,
   I will make them my people.
   I will treat with love
   those nations
   that have never been loved.
    26"Once they were told,
   `You are not my people.'
   But in that very place
   they will be called
   children of the living God."
    27And this is what the prophet Isaiah said about the people of Israel,
   "The people of Israel
   are as many
   as the grains of sand
   along the beach.
   But only a few who are left
   will be saved.
    28The Lord will be quick
   and sure to do on earth
   what he has warned
   he will do."
    29Isaiah also said,
   "If the Lord All-Powerful
   had not spared some
   of our descendants,
   we would have been destroyed
   like the cities of Sodom
   and Gomorrah." [a]
Israel and the Good News
 30What does all of this mean? It means that the Gentiles were not trying to be acceptable to God, but they found that he would accept them if they had faith. 31-32It also means that the people of Israel were not acceptable to God. And why not? It was because they were trying [b] to be acceptable by obeying the Law instead of by having faith in God. The people of Israel fell over the stone that makes people stumble, 33just as God says in the Scriptures, "Look! I am placing in Zion    a stone to make people
   stumble and fall.
   But those who have faith
   in that one
   will never
   be disappointed."

Romans 10

 1Dear friends, my greatest wish and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. 2I know they love God, but they don't understand 3what makes people acceptable to him. So they refuse to trust God, and they try to be acceptable by obeying the Law. 4But Christ makes the Law no longer necessary [c] for those who become acceptable to God by faith.
Anyone Can Be Saved
 5Moses said that a person could become acceptable to God by obeying the Law. He did this when he wrote, "If you want to live, you must do all that the Law commands."     6But people whose faith makes them acceptable to God will never ask, "Who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down?" 7Neither will they ask, "Who will go down into the world of the dead to raise him to life?"
    8All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, "The message is as near as your mouth or your heart." And this is the same message we preach about faith. 9So you will be saved, if you honestly say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. 10God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.
    11The Scriptures say that no one who has faith will be disappointed, 12no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. 13All who call out to the Lord will be saved.
  1. Romans 9:29 Sodom and Gomorrah: During the time of Abraham the Lord destroyed these two cities because their people were so sinful.
  2. Romans 9:31 because they were trying: Or " while they were trying" or " even though they were trying."
  3. Romans 10:4 But Christ makes the Law no longer necessary: Or " But Christ gives the full meaning to the Law."

Psalm 20:1-9 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 20

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)
A Prayer for Victory
 1I pray that the LORD    will listen
   when you
   are in trouble,
   and that the God of Jacob
   will keep you safe.
    2May the LORD send help
   from his temple
   and come to your rescue
   from Mount Zion.
    3May he remember your gifts
   and be pleased
   with what you bring.
    4May God do what you want most
   and let all go well for you.
    5Then you will win victories,
   and we will celebrate,
   while raising our banners
   in the name of our God.
   May the LORD answer
   all of your prayers!
    6I am certain, LORD,
   that you will help
   your chosen king.
   You will answer my prayers
   from your holy place
   in heaven,
   and you will save me
   with your mighty arm.
    7Some people trust the power
   of chariots or horses,
   but we trust you, LORD God.
    8Others will stumble and fall,
   but we will be strong
   and stand firm.
    9Give the king victory, LORD,
   and answer our prayers. [a]
  1. Psalm 20:9 victory. . . prayers: Or " victory. He (God or the king) answers us."

Proverbs 20:2-3 (Contemporary English Version)

2An angry ruler
   is like a roaring lion--
   make either one angry,
   and you are dead.
    3It makes you look good
   when you avoid a fight--
   only fools love to quarrel.

Verse of the Day

“[The Great Faith of God's People]Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.” - Hebrews 11:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American scholar, author, and public speaker, Brené Brown wrote, "Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them."

A Joke for Today

A minister dies and is waiting in line at the Pearly Gates. Ahead of him is a guy who's dressed in sunglasses, a loud shirt, leather jacket, and jeans.

Saint Peter addresses this guy, "Who are you, so that I may know whether or not to admit you to the Kingdom of Heaven?"

The guy replies, "I'm Joe Cohen, taxi-driver, of Noo Yawk City."

Saint Peter consults his list. He smiles and says to the taxi-driver, "Take this silken robe and golden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

The taxi-driver goes into Heaven with his robe and staff, and it's the minister's turn. He stands erect and booms out, "I am Joseph Snow, pastor of Saint Mary's for the last forty-three years."

Saint Peter consults his list. He says to the minister, "Take this cotton robe and wooden staff and enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

"Just a minute," says the minister. "That man was a taxi-driver and he gets a silken robe and golden staff. How can this be?"

"Up here, we work by results," says Saint Peter. "While you preached, people slept; while he drove, people prayed." 

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