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, July 29, 2017

Bible Readings for July 29, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 24:1–25:28; Romans 12:1-21; Psalm 22:19-31; and Proverbs 20:8-10. 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 24-25:28 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 24

King Joash of Judah
(2 Kings 12.1-16)
 1Joash was only seven years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled forty years from Jerusalem. His mother Zibiah was from the town of Beersheba.    2While Jehoiada the priest was alive, Joash obeyed the LORD by doing right.
   3Jehoiada even chose two women for Joash to marry so he could have a family.
   4Some time later, Joash decided it was time to repair the temple.
   5He called together the priests and Levites and said, "Go everywhere in Judah and collect the annual tax from the people. I want this done right away--we need that money to repair the temple."
   But the Levites were in no hurry to follow the king's orders.
   6So he sent for Jehoiada the high priest and asked, "Why didn't you send the Levites to collect the taxes? The LORD's servant Moses and the people agreed long ago that this tax would be collected and used to pay for the upkeep of the sacred tent.
   7And now we need it to repair the temple because the sons of that evil woman Athaliah came in and wrecked it. They even used some of the sacred objects to worship the god Baal."
   8Joash gave orders for a wooden box to be made and had it placed outside, near the gate of the temple.
   9He then sent letters everywhere in Judah and Jerusalem, asking everyone to bring their taxes to the temple, just as Moses had required their ancestors to do.
   10The people and their leaders agreed, and they brought their money to Jerusalem and placed it in the box.
   11Each day, after the Levites took the box into the temple, the king's secretary and the high priest's assistant would dump out the money and count it. Then the empty box would be taken back outside.
   This happened day after day, and soon a large amount of money was collected.
   12Joash and Jehoiada turned the money over to the men who were supervising the repairs to the temple. They used the money to hire stonecutters, carpenters, and experts in working with iron and bronze.
   13These workers went right to work repairing the temple, and when they were finished, it looked as good as new.
   14They did not use all the tax money for the repairs, so the rest of it was handed over to Joash and Jehoiada, who then used it to make dishes and other gold and silver objects for the temple.
   Sacrifices to please the LORD [a] were offered regularly in the temple for as long as Jehoiada lived.
   15He died at the ripe old age of one hundred thirty years,
   16and he was buried in the royal tombs in Jerusalem, because he had done so much good for the people of Israel, for God, and for the temple.
Joash Turns Away from the LORD
 17After the death of Jehoiada the priest, the leaders of Judah went to Joash and talked him into doing what they wanted.    18Right away, the people of Judah stopped worshiping in the temple of the LORD God, and they started worshiping idols and the symbols of the goddess Asherah. These sinful things made the LORD God angry at the people of Judah and Jerusalem,
   19but he still sent prophets who warned them to turn back to him. The people refused to listen.
   20God's Spirit spoke to Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest, and Zechariah told everyone that God was saying: "Why are you disobeying me and my laws? This will only bring punishment! You have deserted me, so now I will desert you."
   21-22King Joash forgot that Zechariah's father had always been a loyal friend. So when the people of Judah plotted to kill Zechariah, Joash joined them and gave orders for them to stone him to death in the courtyard of the temple. As Zechariah was dying, he said, "I pray that the LORD will see this and punish all of you."
Joash Is Killed
 23In the spring of the following year, the Syrian army invaded Judah and Jerusalem, killing all of the nation's leaders. They collected everything of value that belonged to the people and took it back to their king in Damascus.    24The Syrian army was very small, but the LORD let them defeat Judah's large army, because he was punishing Joash and the people of Judah for turning away from him.
   25-26Joash was severely wounded during the battle, and as soon as the Syrians left Judah, two of his officials, Zabad and Jehozabad, [b] decided to revenge the death of Zechariah. They plotted and killed Joash while he was in bed, recovering from his wounds. Joash was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal tombs.
   27The History of the Kings also tells more about the sons of Joash, what the prophets said about him, and how he repaired the temple. Amaziah son of Joash became king after his father's death.

2 Chronicles 25

King Amaziah of Judah
(2 Kings 14.1-6)
 1Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem, the hometown of his mother Jehoaddin. [c]    2Even though Amaziah obeyed the LORD by doing right, he refused to be completely faithful.
   3For example, as soon as he had control of Judah, he arrested and killed the officers who had murdered his father.
   4But the children of those officers were not killed; the LORD had commanded in the Law of Moses that only the people who sinned were to be punished. [d]
Edom Is Defeated
(2 Kings 14.7)
 5Amaziah sent a message to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and called together all the men who were twenty years old and older. Three hundred thousand men went to Jerusalem, all of them ready for battle and able to fight with spears and shields. Amaziah grouped these soldiers according to their clans and put them under the command of his army officers.    6Amaziah also paid almost four tons of silver to hire one hundred thousand soldiers from Israel.
   7One of God's prophets said, "Your Majesty, don't let these Israelite soldiers march into battle with you. The LORD has refused to help anyone from the northern kingdom of Israel,
   8and so he will let your enemies defeat you, even if you fight hard. He is the one who brings both victory and defeat."
   9Amaziah replied, "What am I supposed to do about all the silver I paid those troops?"
   "The LORD will give you back even more than you paid," the prophet answered.
   10Amaziah ordered the troops from Israel to go home, but when they left, they were furious with the people of Judah.
   11After Amaziah got his courage back, he led his troops to Salt Valley, where he killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers in battle.
   12He captured ten thousand more soldiers and dragged them to the top of a high cliff. Then he pushed them over the side, and they all were killed on the rocks below.
   13Meanwhile, the Israelite troops that Amaziah had sent home, raided the towns in Judah between Samaria and Beth-Horon. They killed three thousand people and carried off their possessions.
   14After Amaziah had defeated the Edomite army, he returned to Jerusalem. He took with him the idols of the Edomite gods and set them up. Then he bowed down and offered them sacrifices.
   15This made the LORD very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask Amaziah, "Why would you worship these foreign gods that couldn't even save their own people from your attack?"
   16But before the prophet finished speaking, Amaziah interrupted and said, "You're not one of my advisors! Don't say another word, or I'll have you killed."
   The prophet stopped. But then he added, "First you sinned and now you've ignored my warning. It's clear that God has decided to punish you!"
Israel Defeats Judah
(2 Kings 14.8-14)
 17King Amaziah of Judah talked with his officials, then sent a message to King Jehoash [e] of Israel: "Come out and face me in battle!"    18Jehoash sent back a reply that said:
   Once upon a time, a small thornbush in Lebanon arranged the marriage between his son and the daughter of a large cedar tree. But a wild animal came along and trampled the small bush.
   19Amaziah, you think you're so powerful because you defeated Edom. But stay at home and do your celebrating. If you cause any trouble, both you and your kingdom of Judah will be destroyed.
   20God made Amaziah stubborn because he was planning to punish him for worshiping the Edomite gods. Amaziah refused to listen to Jehoash's warning,
   21so Jehoash led his army to the town of Beth-Shemesh in Judah to attack Amaziah and his troops.
   22During the battle, Judah's army was crushed. Every soldier from Judah ran back home,
   23and Jehoash captured Amaziah.
   Jehoash took Amaziah with him when he went to attack Jerusalem. Jehoash broke down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate, a section about six hundred feet long.
   24He carried away the gold, the silver, and all the valuable furnishings from God's temple where the descendants of Obed-Edom stood guard. He robbed the king's treasury, took hostages, then returned to Samaria.
Amaziah Is Killed
(2 Kings 14.15-20)
 25Amaziah lived fifteen years after Jehoash died.    26Everything else Amaziah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
   27As soon as Amaziah started disobeying the LORD, some people in Jerusalem plotted against Amaziah. He was able to escape to the town of Lachish, but another group of people caught him and killed him there.
   28His body was taken to Jerusalem on horseback and buried beside his ancestors.
  1. 2 Chronicles 24:14 Sacrifices to please the LORD: See the note at 1.6.
  2. 2 Chronicles 24:25 Zabad and Jehozabad: Hebrew "Zabad son of Shimeath from Ammon and Jehozabad son of Shimrith from Moab."
  3. 2 Chronicles 25:1 Jehoaddin: The Hebrew text has "Jehoaddan," another spelling of the name.
  4. 2 Chronicles 25:4 the LORD had commanded. . . punished: See Deuteronomy 24.16.
  5. 2 Chronicles 25:17 King Jehoash: The Hebrew text has "King Joash son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu"; Jehoash is another spelling for the name Joash.

Romans 12:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Romans 12

Christ Brings New Life
 1Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. 2Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.     3I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you. 4A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. 5That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another.
    6God has also given each of us different gifts to use. If we can prophesy, we should do it according to the amount of faith we have. 7If we can serve others, we should serve. If we can teach, we should teach. 8If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. If we can give, we should be generous. If we are leaders, we should do our best. If we are good to others, we should do it cheerfully.
Rules for Christian Living
 9Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 10Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. 11Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 12Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 13Take care of God's needy people and welcome strangers into your home.     14Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 15When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad. 16Be friendly with everyone. Don't be proud and feel that you are smarter than others. Make friends with ordinary people. [a] 17Don't mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 18and do your best to live at peace with everyone. 19Dear friends, don't try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says,
   "I am the one to take revenge
   and pay them back."
    20The Scriptures also say,
   "If your enemies are hungry,
   give them something to eat.
   And if they are thirsty,
   give them something
   to drink.
   This will be the same
   as piling burning coals
   on their heads."
    21Don't let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.
  1. Romans 12:16 Make friends with ordinary people: Or " Do ordinary jobs."

Psalm 22:19-31 (Contemporary English Version)

19Don't stay far away, LORD!
   My strength comes from you,
   so hurry and help.
    20Rescue me from enemy swords
   and save me from those dogs.
    21Don't let lions eat me.
   You rescued me from the horns
   of wild bulls,
    22and when your people meet,
   I will praise you, LORD.
    23All who worship the LORD,
   now praise him!
   You belong to Jacob's family
   and to the people of Israel,
   so fear and honor the LORD!
    24The LORD doesn't hate
   or despise the helpless
   in all of their troubles.
   When I cried out, he listened
   and did not turn away.
    25When your people meet,
   you will fill my heart
   with your praises, LORD,
   and everyone will see me
   keep my promises to you.
    26The poor will eat and be full,
   and all who worship you
   will be thankful
   and live in hope.
    27Everyone on this earth
   will remember you, LORD.
   People all over the world
   will turn and worship you,
    28because you are in control,
   the ruler of all nations.
    29All who are rich
   and have more than enough
   will bow down to you, Lord.
   Even those who are dying
   and almost in the grave
   will come and bow down.
    30In the future, everyone
   will worship
   and learn
   about you, our Lord.
    31People not yet born
   will be told,
   "The Lord has saved us!"

Proverbs 20:8-10 (Contemporary English Version)

8When rulers decide cases,
   they weigh the evidence.
    9Can any of us really say,
   "My thoughts are pure,
   and my sins are gone"?
    10Two things the LORD hates
   are dishonest scales
   and dishonest measures.

Verse of the Day

“I won't ever forget your teachings, because you give me new life by following them.” - Psalm 119:93
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Dag Hammarskjold-2.jpgThought for the Day

Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld wrote, “God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.”

A Joke for Today

Image result for old couple jokes
A couple had been married for 35 years, and the pair was also celebrating their 60th birthdays. During the celebration, a fairy godmother appeared and said that because they had been such a loving couple all those years, she would give them each one wish.

The wife said she wanted to travel around the world. The fairy godmother waved her magic wand and BOOM! The wife had the tickets in her hand.

Then it was the husband's turn. He paused for a moment, then said boldly, "Well, I'd like to have a wife 30 years younger than I." The fairy godmother picked up her wand and BOOM! He was now 90.

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