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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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bible Readings for July 30, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 26:1–28:27; Romans 13:1-14; Psalm 23:1-6; and Proverbs 20:11. 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 26-28:27 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 26

King Uzziah of Judah
(2 Kings 14.21,22; 15.1-7)
 1-3After the death of King Amaziah, the people of Judah crowned his son Uzziah [a] king, even though he was only sixteen at the time. Uzziah ruled fifty-two years from Jerusalem, the hometown of his mother Jecoliah. During his rule, he recaptured and rebuilt the town of Elath.    4He obeyed the LORD by doing right, as his father Amaziah had done.
   5Zechariah was Uzziah's advisor and taught him to obey God. And so, as long as Zechariah was alive, Uzziah was faithful to God, and God made him successful.
   6While Uzziah was king, he started a war against the Philistines. He smashed the walls of the cities of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, then rebuilt towns around Ashdod and in other parts of Philistia.
   7God helped him defeat the Philistines, the Arabs living in Gur-Baal, and the Meunites.
   8Even the Ammonites paid taxes to Uzziah. He became very powerful, and people who lived as far away as Egypt heard about him.
   9In Jerusalem, Uzziah built fortified towers at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and the place where the city wall turned inward. [b]
   10He also built defense towers out in the desert. He owned such a large herd of livestock in the western foothills and in the flatlands, that he had cisterns dug there to catch the rainwater. He loved farming, so he had crops and vineyards planted in the hill country wherever there was fertile soil, and he hired farmers to take care of them.
   11Uzziah's army was always ready for battle. Jeiel and Maaseiah were the officers who kept track of the number of soldiers, and these two men were under the command of Hananiah, one of Uzziah's officials.
   12-13There were 307,500 trained soldiers, all under the command of 2,600 clan leaders. These powerful troops protected the king against any enemy.
   14Uzziah supplied his army with shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows, and stones used for slinging.
   15Some of his skilled workers invented machines that could shoot arrows and sling large stones. Uzziah set these up in Jerusalem at his defense towers and at the corners of the city wall.
   God helped Uzziah become more and more powerful, and he was famous all over the world.
Uzziah Becomes Too Proud
 16Uzziah became proud of his power, and this led to his downfall.    One day, Uzziah disobeyed the LORD his God by going into the temple and burning incense as an offering to him. [c]
   17Azariah the priest and eighty other brave priests followed Uzziah into the temple
   18and said, "Your Majesty, this isn't right! You are not allowed to burn incense to the LORD. That must be done only by priests who are descendants of Aaron. You will have to leave! You have sinned against the LORD, and so he will no longer bless you."
   19Uzziah, who was standing next to the incense altar at the time, was holding the incense burner, ready to offer incense to the LORD. He became very angry when he heard Azariah's warning, and leprosy [d] suddenly appeared on his forehead!
   20Azariah and the other priests saw it and immediately told him to leave the temple. Uzziah realized that the LORD had punished him, so he hurried to get outside.
   21Uzziah had leprosy the rest of his life. He was no longer allowed in the temple or in his own palace. That's why his son Jotham lived there and ruled in his place.
   22Everything else Uzziah did while he was king is in the records written by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
   23Since Uzziah had leprosy, he could not be buried in the royal tombs. Instead, he was buried in a nearby cemetery that the kings owned. His son Jotham then became king.

2 Chronicles 27

King Jotham of Judah
(2 Kings 15.32-38)
 1Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for sixteen years. Jerushah his mother was the daughter of Zadok.    2Jotham obeyed the LORD and did right. He followed the example of his father Uzziah, except he never burned incense in the temple as his father had done. But the people of Judah kept sinning against the LORD.
   3Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple and did a lot of work to repair the wall near Mount Ophel.
   4He built towns in the mountains of Judah and built fortresses and defense towers in the forests.
   5During his rule he attacked and defeated the Ammonites. Then every year for the next three years, he forced them to pay four tons of silver, sixty thousand bushels of wheat, and sixty thousand bushels of barley.
   6Jotham remained faithful to the LORD his God and became a very powerful king.
   7Everything else Jotham did while he was king, including the wars he fought, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah.
   8After he had ruled Judah sixteen years, he died at the age of forty-one.
   9He was buried in Jerusalem, and his son Ahaz became king.

2 Chronicles 28

King Ahaz of Judah
(2 Kings 16.1-4)
 1Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for sixteen years.    Ahaz was nothing like his ancestor David. Ahaz disobeyed the LORD
   2and was as sinful as the kings of Israel. He made idols of the god Baal,
   3and he offered sacrifices in Hinnom Valley. Worst of all, Ahaz sacrificed his own sons, which was a disgusting custom of the nations that the LORD had forced out of Israel.
   4Ahaz offered sacrifices at the local shrines, [e] as well as on every hill and in the shade of large trees.
Syria and Israel Attack Judah
(2 Kings 16.5,6)
 5-6Ahaz and the people of Judah sinned and turned away from the LORD, the God their ancestors had worshiped. So the LORD punished them by letting their enemies defeat them.    The king of Syria attacked Judah and took many of its people to Damascus as prisoners. King Pekah [f] of Israel later defeated Judah and killed one hundred twenty thousand of its bravest soldiers in one day.
   7During that battle, an Israelite soldier named Zichri killed three men from Judah: Maaseiah the king's son; Azrikam, the official in charge of the palace; and Elkanah, the king's second in command.
   8The Israelite troops captured two hundred thousand women and children and took them back to their capital city of Samaria, along with a large amount of their possessions. They did these things even though the people of Judah were their own relatives.
Oded the Prophet Condemns Israel
 9Oded lived in Samaria and was one of the LORD's prophets. He met Israel's army on their way back from Judah and said to them:    The LORD God of your ancestors let you defeat Judah's army only because he was angry with them. But you should not have been so cruel!
   10If you make slaves of the people of Judah and Jerusalem, you will be as guilty as they are of sinning against the LORD.
   11Send these prisoners back home--they are your own relatives. If you don't, the LORD will punish you in his anger.
   12About the same time, four of Israel's leaders arrived. They were Azariah son of Johanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai. They agreed with Oded that the Israelite troops were wrong,
   13and they said:
   If you bring these prisoners into Samaria, that will be one more thing we've done to sin against the LORD. And he is already angry enough at us.
   14So in front of the leaders and the crowd, the troops handed over their prisoners and the property they had taken from Judah.
   15The four leaders took some of the stolen clothes and gave them to the prisoners who needed something to wear. They later gave them all a new change of clothes and shoes, then fixed them something to eat and drink, and cleaned their wounds with olive oil. They gave donkeys to those who were too weak to walk, and led all of them back to Jericho, the city known for its palm trees. The leaders then returned to Samaria.
Ahaz Asks the King of Assyria for Help
(2 Kings 16.7-9)
 16-18Some time later, the Edomites attacked the eastern part of Judah again and carried away prisoners. And at the same time, the Philistines raided towns in the western foothills and in the Southern Desert. They conquered the towns of Beth-Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco, Timnah, and Gimzo, including the villages around them. Then some of the Philistines went to live in these places.    Ahaz sent a message to King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria and begged for help.
   19But God was punishing Judah with these disasters, because Ahaz had disobeyed him and refused to stop Judah from sinning.
   20So Tiglath Pileser came to Judah, but instead of helping, he made things worse.
   21Ahaz gave him gifts from the LORD's temple and the king's palace, as well as from the homes of Israel's other leaders. The Assyrian king still refused to help Ahaz.
The Final Sin of Ahaz and His Death
 22Even after all these terrible things happened to Ahaz, he sinned against the LORD even worse than before.    23He said to himself, "The Syrian gods must have helped their kings defeat me. Maybe if I offer sacrifices to those gods, they will help me." That was the sin that finally led to the downfall of Ahaz, as well as to the destruction of Judah.
   24Ahaz collected all the furnishings of the temple and smashed them to pieces. Then he locked the doors to the temple and set up altars to foreign gods on every street corner in Jerusalem.
   25In every city and town in Judah he built local shrines [g] to worship foreign gods. All of this made the LORD God of his ancestors very angry.
   26Everything else Ahaz did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
   27Ahaz died and was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal tombs. His son Hezekiah then became king.
  1. 2 Chronicles 26:1 Uzziah: In the parallel passages in 2 Kings, he is called "Azariah" (see also 1 Chronicles 3.10-15). He is also called "Uzziah" in 2 Kings 15.13; Isaiah 1.1; Hosea 1.1; and Amos 1.1. One of these names was probably his birth name, while the other was his name after he became king.
  2. 2 Chronicles 26:9 the place where the city wall turned inward: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 2 Chronicles 26:16 going into the temple and burning incense as an offering to him: This was to be done only by priests (see Exodus 30.1-10; Numbers 16.39,40).
  4. 2 Chronicles 26:19 leprosy: The word translated "leprosy" was used for many different kinds of skin diseases.
  5. 2 Chronicles 28:4 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.
  6. 2 Chronicles 28:5 Pekah: Hebrew "Pekah son of Remaliah."
  7. 2 Chronicles 28:25 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.

Romans 13:1-14 (Contemporary English Version)

Romans 13

Obey Rulers
 1Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power. 2People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. 3Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. 4After all, they are God's servants, and it is their duty to help you.    If you do something wrong, you ought to be afraid, because these rulers have the right to punish you. They are God's servants who punish criminals to show how angry God is. 5But you should obey the rulers because you know it is the right thing to do, and not just because of God's anger.
    6You must also pay your taxes. The authorities are God's servants, and it is their duty to take care of these matters. 7Pay all that you owe, whether it is taxes and fees or respect and honor.
 8Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands. 9In the Law there are many commands, such as, "Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others." But all of these are summed up in the command that says, "Love others as much as you love yourself." 10No one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands.    
The Day When Christ Returns
 11You know what sort of times we live in, and so you should live properly. It is time to wake up. You know that the day when we will be saved is nearer now than when we first put our faith in the Lord. 12Night is almost over, and day will soon appear. We must stop behaving as people do in the dark and be ready to live in the light. 13So behave properly, as people do in the day. Don't go to wild parties or get drunk or be vulgar or indecent. Don't quarrel or be jealous. 14Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Then you won't try to satisfy your selfish desires.

Psalm 23:1-6 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 23

(A psalm by David.)
The Good Shepherd
 1You, LORD, are my shepherd.    I will never be in need.
    2You let me rest in fields
   of green grass.
   You lead me to streams
   of peaceful water,
    3and you refresh my life.
   You are true to your name,
   and you lead me
   along the right paths.
    4I may walk through valleys
   as dark as death,
   but I won't be afraid.
   You are with me,
   and your shepherd's rod [a] makes me feel safe.
    5You treat me to a feast,
   while my enemies watch.
   You honor me as your guest,
   and you fill my cup
   until it overflows.
    6Your kindness and love
   will always be with me
   each day of my life,
   and I will live forever
   in your house, LORD.
  1. Psalm 23:4 shepherd's rod: The Hebrew text mentions two objects carried by the shepherd: a club to defend against wild animals and a long pole to guide and control the sheep.

Proverbs 20:11 (Contemporary English Version)

11The good or bad
   that children do
   shows what they are like.

Verse of the Day

“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:14,16
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

An iconic photograph of a bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.Thought for the Day

American politician and lawyer who served as the 16th President of the United States from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865, Abraham Lincoln wrote, “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”

A Joke for Today

Image result for pope chauffeur jokeThe Pope just finished a tour of the East Coast and was taking a limousine to the airport. Since he'd never driven a limo, he asked the chauffeur if he could drive for a while. The reluctant chauffeur pulled over along the roadside, climbed into the back of the limo, and the Pope took the wheel. The Pope then merged onto the highway and accelerated to over 90 mph to see what the limo could do. 

Suddenly, the Pope noticed the blue light of the State Patrol in his side mirror, so he pulled over. The trooper approached the limo, peered in through the windows, then said, "Just a moment please, I need to call in." 

The trooper called in and explained to the chief that he had a very important person pulled over for speeding. "How do I handle this, chief?" asked the trooper. "Is it the Governor?" questioned the chief. "No! This guy is even more important!" 

"Is it the President?" asked the chief. 

"No! Even more important!" 

"Well, who the heck is it?" screamed the chief. 

"I don't know, sir," replied the trooper, "but he's got the Pope as his chauffeur." 

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