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, August 10, 2017

Bible Readings for August 10, 2017

Today our passages are Ezra 10:1-44; 1 Corinthians 6:1-20; Psalm 31:9-18; and Proverbs 21:3. 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.

Ezra 10:1-44 (Contemporary English Version)

Ezra 10

The Plan for Ending Mixed Marriages
 1While Ezra was down on his knees in front of God's temple, praying with tears in his eyes, and confessing the sins of the people of Israel, a large number of men, women, and children gathered around him and cried bitterly.     2Shecaniah son of Jehiel from the family of Elam said:
   Ezra, we have disobeyed God by marrying these foreign women. But there is still hope for the people of Israel, 3if we follow your advice and the advice of others who truly respect the laws of God. We must promise God that we will divorce our foreign wives and send them away, together with their children.
    4Ezra, it's up to you to do something! We will support whatever you do. So be brave!
    5Ezra stood up and made the chief priests, the Levites, and everyone else in Israel swear that they would follow the advice of Shecaniah. 6Then Ezra left God's temple and went to spend the night in the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. He felt sorry for what the people had done, and he did not eat or drink a thing.
    7-8The officials and leaders sent a message to all who had returned from Babylonia and were now living in Jerusalem and Judah. It told them to meet in Jerusalem within three days, or else they would lose everything they owned and would no longer be considered part of the people that had returned from Babylonia.
    9Three days later, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, [a] everyone from Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem and sat in the temple courtyard. It was a serious meeting, and they sat there, trembling in the rain. 10Ezra the priest stood up and said:
   You have broken God's Law by marrying foreign women, and you have made the whole nation guilty! 11Now you must confess your sins to the LORD God of your ancestors and obey him. Divorce your foreign wives and don't have anything to do with the rest of the foreigners who live around here.
    12Everyone in the crowd shouted:
   You're right! We will do what you say. 13But there are so many of us, and we can't just stay out here in this downpour. A lot of us have sinned by marrying foreign women, and the matter can't be settled in only a day or two.
    14Why can't our officials stay on in Jerusalem and take care of this for us? Let everyone who has sinned in this way meet here at a certain time with leaders and judges from their own towns. If we take care of this problem, God will surely stop being so terribly angry with us.
    15Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah were the only ones who objected, except for the two Levites, Meshullam and Shabbethai.
    16Everyone else who had returned from exile agreed with the plan. So Ezra the priest chose men [b] who were heads of the families, and he listed their names. They started looking into the matter on the first day of the tenth month, [c] 17and they did not finish until the first day of the first month [d] of the next year.
The Men Who Had Foreign Wives
 18-19Here is a list of the priests who had agreed to divorce their foreign wives and to sacrifice a ram as a sin offering:    Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah from the family of Joshua son of Jozadak and his brothers; 20Hanani and Zebadiah from the family of Immer; 21Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah from the family of Harim; 22Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah from the family of Pashhur.
    23Those Levites who had foreign wives were: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (also known as Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.
    24Eliashib, the musician, had a foreign wife.
   These temple guards had foreign wives:
   Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
    25Here is a list of the others from Israel who had foreign wives:
   Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah, [e] and Benaiah from the family of Parosh; 26Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah from the family of Elam;
    27Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza from the family of Zattu;
    28Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai from the family of Bebai;
    29Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth from the family of Bani;
    30Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh from the family of Pahath Moab;
    31-32Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah from the family of Harim;
    33Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei from the family of Hashum;
    34-37Maadai, Amram, Uel, Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu from the family of Bani;
    38-42Shimei, Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph from the family of Binnui; [f] 43Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah from the family of Nebo.
    44These men divorced their foreign wives, then sent them and their children away. [g]
  1. Ezra 10:9 ninth month: Chislev, the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-November to mid-December.
  2. Ezra 10:16 So. . . men: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. Ezra 10:16 tenth month: Tebeth, the tenth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-December to mid-January.
  4. Ezra 10:17 first month: See the note at 6.19.
  5. Ezra 10:25 Hashabiah: One ancient translation; Hebrew "Malchijah."
  6. Ezra 10:38 from the family of Binnui: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. Ezra 10:44 away: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 44.

1 Corinthians 6:1-20 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Corinthians 6

Taking Each Other to Court
 1When one of you has a complaint against another, do you take your complaint to a court of sinners? Or do you take it to God's people? 2Don't you know that God's people will judge the world? And if you are going to judge the world, can't you settle small problems? 3Don't you know that we will judge angels? And if that is so, we can surely judge everyday matters. 4Why do you take everyday complaints to judges who are not respected by the church? 5I say this to your shame. Aren't any of you wise enough to act as a judge between one follower and another? 6Why should one of you take another to be tried by unbelievers?     7When one of you takes another to court, all of you lose. It would be better to let yourselves be cheated and robbed. 8But instead, you cheat and rob other followers.
    9Don't you know that evil people won't have a share in the blessings of God's kingdom? Don't fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual 10will share in God's kingdom. Neither will any thief or greedy person or drunkard or anyone who curses and cheats others. 11Some of you used to be like that. But now the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God's Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God.
Honor God with Your Body
 12Some of you say, "We can do anything we want to." But I tell you that not everything is good for us. So I refuse to let anything have power over me. 13You also say, "Food is meant for our bodies, and our bodies are meant for food." But I tell you that God will destroy them both. We are not supposed to do indecent things with our bodies. We are to use them for the Lord who is in charge of our bodies. 14God will raise us from death by the same power that he used when he raised our Lord to life.     15Don't you know that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? Is it right for me to join part of the body of Christ to a prostitute? No, it isn't! 16Don't you know that a man who does that becomes part of her body? The Scriptures say, "The two of them will be like one person." 17But anyone who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit with him.
    18Don't be immoral in matters of sex. That is a sin against your own body in a way that no other sin is. 19You surely know that your body is a temple where the Holy Spirit lives. The Spirit is in you and is a gift from God. You are no longer your own. 20God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God.

Psalm 31:9-18 (Contemporary English Version)

9Have pity, LORD!
   I am hurting and almost blind.
   My whole body aches.
    10I have known only sorrow
   all my life long,
   and I suffer
   year after year.
   I am weak from sin,
   and my bones are limp.
    11My enemies insult me.
   Neighbors are even worse,
   and I disgust my friends.
   People meet me on the street,
   and they turn and run.
    12I am completely forgotten
   like someone dead.
   I am merely a broken dish.
    13I hear the crowds whisper,
   "Everyone is afraid!"
   They are plotting and scheming
   to murder me.
    14But I trust you, LORD,
   and I claim you as my God.
    15My life is in your hands.
   Save me from enemies
   who hunt me down.
    16Smile on me, your servant.
   Have pity and rescue me.
    17I pray only to you.
   Don't disappoint me.
   Disappoint my cruel enemies
   until they lie silent
   in their graves.
    18Silence those proud liars!
   Make them stop bragging
   and insulting your people.

Proverbs 21:3 (Contemporary English Version)

3Doing what is right and fair
   pleases the LORD
   more than an offering.

Verse of the Day

“[(A special song for the people of Korah and for the music leader.)][God Is Our Mighty Fortress]God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble.” - Psalm 46:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Andrew SullivanThought for the Day

English-born American author, editor, and blogger, Andrew Sullivan wrote, “Reactionism is not the same thing as conservatism. It’s far more potent a brew. Reactionary thought begins, usually, with acute despair at the present moment and a memory of a previous golden age. It then posits a moment in the past when everything went to hell and proposes to turn things back to what they once were. It is not simply a conservative preference for things as they are, with a few nudges back, but a passionate loathing of the status quo and a desire to return to the past in one emotionally cathartic revolt. If conservatives are pessimistic, reactionaries are apocalyptic. If conservatives value elites, reactionaries seethe with contempt for them. If conservatives believe in institutions, reactionaries want to blow them up. If conservatives tend to resist too radical a change, reactionaries want a revolution.”

A Joke for Today

Image result for annoying passengers on planeA programmer and an engineer are sitting next to each other on a long flight from Los Angeles to New York.

The programmer leans over to the engineer and asks if he would like to play a fun game.

The engineer just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.

The programmer persists and explains that the game is real easy and is a lot of fun. He explains "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $5."

Again, the engineer politely declines and tries to get to sleep.

The programmer, now somewhat agitated, says, "OK, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $100!"

This catches the engineer's attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game.

The programmer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The engineer doesn't say a word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five dollar bill and hands it to the programmer.

Now, it's the engineer's turn. He asks the programmer "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?"

The programmer looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the Airphone with his modem and searches the net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends e-mail to his co-workers--all to no avail.

After about an hour, he wakes the Engineer and hands him $100. The engineer politely takes the $100 and turns away to try to get back to sleep. The programmer, more than a little miffed, shakes the engineer and asks "Well, so what's the answer?" Without a word, the engineer reaches into his wallet, hands the programmer $5, and turns away to get back to sleep.

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