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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Friday, July 28, 2017

Bible Readings for July 28, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 21:1–23:21; Romans 11:13-36; Psalm 22:1-18; and Proverbs 20:7. 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 21-23:21 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 21

 1Jehoshaphat died and was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Jehoram became king.    
King Jehoram of Judah
(2 Kings 8.16-24)
 2King Jehoshaphat had seven sons: Jehoram, Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah.    3Jehoshaphat gave each of them silver and gold, as well as other valuable gifts. He also put them in charge of the fortified cities in Judah, but he had chosen his oldest son Jehoram to succeed him as king.
   4After Jehoram had taken control of Judah, he had his brothers killed, as well as some of the nation's leaders.
   5He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled eight years from Jerusalem.
   6Jehoram married Ahab's daughter and followed the sinful example of Ahab's family and the other kings of Israel. He disobeyed the LORD by doing wrong,
   7but because the LORD had made a solemn promise to King David that someone from his family would always rule in Judah, he refused to wipe out David's descendants.
   8While Jehoram was king, the people of Edom rebelled and chose their own king.
   9Jehoram, his officers, and his cavalry marched to Edom, where the Edomite army surrounded them. He escaped during the night,
   10but Judah was never able to regain control of Edom. Even the town of Libnah [a] rebelled at that time. Those things happened because Jehoram had turned away from the LORD, the God his ancestors had worshiped.
   11Jehoram even built local shrines [b] in the hills of Judah and let the people sin against the LORD by worshiping foreign gods.
   12One day, Jehoram received a letter from Elijah the prophet that said:
   I have a message for you from the LORD God your ancestor David worshiped. He knows that you have not followed the example of Jehoshaphat your father or Asa your grandfather.
   13Instead you have acted like those sinful kings of Israel and have encouraged the people of Judah to stop worshiping the LORD, just as Ahab and his descendants did. You even murdered your own brothers, who were better men than you.
   14Because you have done these terrible things, the LORD will severely punish the people in your kingdom, including your own family, and he will destroy everything you own.
   15You will be struck with a painful stomach disease and suffer until you die.
   16The LORD later caused the Philistines and the Arabs who lived near the Ethiopians [c] to become angry at Jehoram.
   17They invaded Judah and stole the royal property from the palace, and they led Jehoram's wives and sons away as prisoners. The only one left behind was Ahaziah, [d] his youngest son.
   18After this happened, the LORD struck Jehoram with an incurable stomach disease.
   19About two years later, Jehoram died in terrible pain. No bonfire was built to honor him, even though the people had done this for his ancestors.
   20Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled eight years from Jerusalem. He died, and no one even felt sad. He was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal tombs.

2 Chronicles 22

King Ahaziah of Judah
(2 Kings 8.25-29; 9.21,27,28)
 1Earlier, when the Arabs led a raid against Judah, they killed all of Jehoram's sons, except Ahaziah, the youngest one. So the people of Jerusalem crowned him their king.    2He was twenty-two [e] years old at the time, and he ruled only one year from Jerusalem. Ahaziah's mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel,
   3and she encouraged her son to sin against the LORD. He followed the evil example of King Ahab and his descendants.
   4In fact, after his father's death, Ahaziah sinned against the LORD by appointing some of Ahab's relatives to be his advisors.
   Their advice led to his downfall.
   5He listened to them and went with King Joram of Israel to attack King Hazael and the Syrian troops at Ramoth in Gilead. Joram was wounded in that battle,
   6and he went to the town of Jezreel to recover. And Ahaziah later went there to visit him.
   7It was during that visit that God had Ahaziah put to death.
   When Ahaziah arrived at Jezreel, he and Joram went to meet with Jehu grandson of Nimshi. The LORD had already told Jehu to kill every male in Ahab's family,
   8and while Jehu was doing that, he saw some of Judah's leaders and Ahaziah's nephews who had come with Ahaziah. Jehu killed them on the spot,
   9then gave orders to find Ahaziah. Jehu's officers found him hiding in Samaria. They brought Ahaziah to Jehu, who immediately put him to death. They buried Ahaziah only because they respected Jehoshaphat his grandfather, who had done his best to obey the LORD.
   There was no one from Ahaziah's family left to become king of Judah.
Queen Athaliah of Judah
(2 Kings 11.1-3)
 10As soon as Athaliah heard that her son King Ahaziah was dead, she decided to kill any relative who could possibly become king. She would have done just that,    11but Jehosheba [f] rescued Joash son of Ahaziah just as the others were about to be murdered. Jehosheba, who was Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's half sister, was married to Jehoiada the priest. So she was able to hide her nephew Joash and his personal servant in a bedroom in the LORD's temple where he was safe from Athaliah.
   12Joash hid in the temple with them for six years while Athaliah ruled as queen of Judah.

2 Chronicles 23

Jehoiada Makes Joash King of Judah
(2 Kings 11.4-21)
 1After Ahaziah's son Joash had hidden in the temple for six years, Jehoiada the priest knew that something had to be done. So he made sure he had the support of several army officers. They were Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zichri.    2These five men went to the towns in Judah and called together the Levites and the clan leaders. They all came to Jerusalem
   3and gathered at the temple, where they agreed to help Joash.
   Jehoiada said to them:
   Joash will be our next king, because long ago the LORD promised that one of David's descendants would always be king.
   4Here is what we will do. Three groups of priests and Levites will be on guard duty on the Sabbath--one group will guard the gates of the temple,
   5one will guard the palace, and the other will guard Foundation Gate. The rest of you will stand guard in the temple courtyards.
   6Only the priests and Levites who are on duty will be able to enter the temple, because they will be the only ones who have gone through the ceremony to make themselves clean and acceptable. The others must stay outside in the courtyards, just as the LORD has commanded.
   7You Levites must protect King Joash. Don't let him out of your sight! And keep your swords ready to kill anyone who comes into the temple.
   8The Levites and the people of Judah followed Jehoiada's orders. The guards going off duty were not allowed to go home, and so each commander had all his guards available--those going off duty as well as those coming on duty.
   9Jehoiada went into the temple and brought out the swords and shields that had belonged to King David, and he gave them to the commanders.
   10They gave the weapons to the guards, and Jehoiada then made sure that the guards took their positions around the temple and the altar to protect the king on every side.
   11Jehoiada and his sons brought Joash outside, where they placed the crown on his head and gave him a copy of the instructions for ruling the nation. Olive oil was poured on his head to show that he was now king, and the crowd cheered and shouted, "Long live the king!"
   12As soon as Queen Athaliah heard the crowd cheering for Joash, she went to the temple.
   13There she saw Joash standing by one of the columns near the entrance, which was the usual place for the king. The commanders and the trumpet players were standing next to him, and the musicians were playing instruments and leading the people as they celebrated and blew trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes in anger and shouted, "You betrayed me, you traitors!"
   14Right away, Jehoiada said to the army commanders, "Don't kill her near the LORD's temple. Take her out in front of the troops, and be sure to kill all of her followers!"
   15She tried to escape, but the commanders caught and killed her near the gate where horses are led into the palace.
   16Jehoiada asked King Joash and the people to join with him in being faithful to the LORD. They agreed,
   17then rushed to the temple of the god Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and the idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
   18Jehoiada assigned the priests and Levites their duties at the temple, just as David had done. They were in charge of offering sacrifices to the LORD according to the Law of Moses, and they were responsible for leading the celebrations with singing.
   19Jehoiada ordered the guards at the temple gates to keep out anyone who was unclean.
   20Finally, Jehoiada called together the army commanders, the most important citizens of Judah, and the government officials. The crowd of people followed them as they led Joash from the temple, through the Upper Gate, and into the palace, where he took his place as king of Judah.
   21Everyone celebrated because Athaliah had been killed and Jerusalem was peaceful again.
  1. 2 Chronicles 21:10 Even the town of Libnah: This was a town on the border between Philistia and Judah, which means that Jehoram was facing rebellion on both sides of his kingdom.
  2. 2 Chronicles 21:11 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.
  3. 2 Chronicles 21:16 Ethiopians: See the note at 12.3.
  4. 2 Chronicles 21:17 Ahaziah: The Hebrew text has "Jehoahaz," another spelling of the name.
  5. 2 Chronicles 22:2 twenty-two: One ancient translation (see also 2 Kings 8.26); Hebrew "forty-two."
  6. 2 Chronicles 22:11 Jehosheba: The Hebrew text has "Jehoshabeath," another spelling of the name.

Romans 11:13-36 (Contemporary English Version)

13I am now speaking to you Gentiles, and as long as I am an apostle to you, I will take pride in my work. 14I hope in this way to make some of my own people jealous enough to be saved. 15When Israel rejected God, [a] the rest of the people in the world were able to turn to him. So when God makes friends with Israel, it will be like bringing the dead back to life. 16If part of a batch of dough is made holy by being offered to God, then all of the dough is holy. If the roots of a tree are holy, the rest of the tree is holy too. 17You Gentiles are like branches of a wild olive tree that were made to be part of a cultivated olive tree. You have taken the place of some branches that were cut away from it. And because of this, you enjoy the blessings that come from being part of that cultivated tree. 18But don't think you are better than the branches that were cut away. Just remember that you are not supporting the roots of that tree. Its roots are supporting you.
    19Maybe you think those branches were cut away, so that you could be put in their place. 20That's true enough. But they were cut away because they did not have faith, and you are where you are because you do have faith. So don't be proud, but be afraid. 21If God cut away those natural branches, couldn't he do the same to you?
    22Now you see both how kind and how hard God can be. He was hard on those who fell, but he was kind to you. And he will keep on being kind to you, if you keep on trusting in his kindness. Otherwise, you will be cut away too.
    23If those other branches will start having faith, they will be made a part of that tree again. God has the power to put them back. 24After all, it wasn't natural for branches to be cut from a wild olive tree and to be made part of a cultivated olive tree. So it is much more likely that God will join the natural branches back to the cultivated olive tree.
The People of Israel Will Be Brought Back
 25My friends, I don't want you Gentiles to be too proud of yourselves. So I will explain the mystery of what has happened to the people of Israel. Some of them have become stubborn, and they will stay like that until the complete number of you Gentiles has come in. 26In this way all of Israel will be saved, as the Scriptures say,    "From Zion someone will come
   to rescue us.
   Then Jacob's descendants
   will stop being evil.
    27This is what the Lord
   has promised to do
   when he forgives their sins."
    28The people of Israel are treated as God's enemies, so that the good news can come to you Gentiles. But they are still the chosen ones, and God loves them because of their famous ancestors. 29God doesn't take back the gifts he has given or forget about the people he has chosen.
    30At one time you Gentiles rejected God. But now Israel has rejected God, and you have been shown mercy. 31And because of the mercy shown to you, they will also be shown mercy. 32All people have disobeyed God, and that's why he treats them as prisoners. But he does this, so that he can have mercy on all of them.
    33Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?
    34"Has anyone known
   the thoughts of the Lord
   or given him advice?
    35Has anyone loaned
   something to the Lord
   that must be repaid?"
    36Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him. Praise the Lord forever! Amen.
  1. Romans 11:15 When Israel rejected God: Or " When Israel was rejected."

Psalm 22:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 22

(A psalm by David for the music leader. To the tune "A Deer at Dawn." )
Suffering and Praise
 1My God, my God, why have you    deserted me?
   Why are you so far away?
   Won't you listen to my groans
   and come to my rescue?
    2I cry out day and night,
   but you don't answer,
   and I can never rest.
    3Yet you are the holy God,
   ruling from your throne
   and praised by Israel.
    4Our ancestors trusted you,
   and you rescued them.
    5When they cried out for help,
   you saved them,
   and you did not let them down
   when they depended on you.
    6But I am merely a worm,
   far less than human,
   and I am hated and rejected
   by people everywhere.
    7Everyone who sees me
   makes fun and sneers.
   They shake their heads,
    8and say,
   "Trust the LORD!
   If you are his favorite,
   let him protect you
   and keep you safe."
    9You, LORD, brought me
   safely through birth,
   and you protected me
   when I was a baby
   at my mother's breast.
    10From the day I was born,
   I have been in your care,
   and from the time of my birth,
   you have been my God.
    11Don't stay far off
   when I am in trouble
   with no one to help me.
    12Enemies are all around
   like a herd of wild bulls.
   Powerful bulls from Bashan [a] are everywhere.
    13My enemies are like lions
   roaring and attacking
   with jaws open wide.
    14I have no more strength
   than a few drops of water.
   All my bones are out of joint;
   my heart is like melted wax.
    15My strength has dried up
   like a broken clay pot,
   and my tongue sticks
   to the roof of my mouth.
   You, God, have left me
   to die in the dirt.
    16Brutal enemies attack me
   like a pack of dogs,
   tearing at [b] my hands and my feet.
    17I can count all my bones,
   and my enemies just stare
   and sneer at me.
    18They took my clothes
   and gambled for them.
  1. Psalm 22:12 Bashan: A land east of the Jordan River, where there were pastures suitable for raising fine cattle.
  2. Psalm 22:16 tearing at: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 20:7 (Contemporary English Version)

7Good people live right,
   and God blesses the children
   who follow their example.

Verse of the Day

“I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.” - Philippians 3:14
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Alexis de tocqueville.jpgThought for the Day

French diplomat, political scientist, and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, “There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”

A Joke for Today

Image result for beautiful angel food cakeHave you ever told a white lie? You are going to love this — especially all the ladies who bake for church events.

Alice was to bake a cake for the church ladies' group bake sale, but she forgot to do it until the last minute.

She baked an angel food cake and when she took it from the oven, the center had dropped flat.

She said, “Oh dear, there's no time to bake another cake.”

So, she looked around the house for something to build up the center of the cake.

Alice found it in the bathroom … a roll of toilet paper.

She plunked it in and covered it with icing.

The finished product looked beautiful, so she rushed it to the church. Before she left the house, Alice had given her daughter some money and specific instructions to be at the bake sale the minute it opened, and to buy that cake and bring it home.

When the daughter arrived at the sale, the attractive cake had already been sold.

Alice was beside herself.

The next day, Alice was invited to a friend's home where two tables of bridge were to be played that afternoon.

After the game, a fancy lunch was served, and to top it off, the cake in question was presented for dessert.

Alice saw the cake, she started to get out of her chair to rush into the kitchen to tell her hostess all about it, but before she could get to her feet, one of the other ladies said, “What a beautiful cake!”

Alice sat back in her chair when she heard the hostess (who was a prominent church member) say,

“Thank you, I baked it myself.”

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