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, August 12, 2017

Bible Readings for August 12, 2017

Today our passages are Nehemiah 3:15–5:13; 1 Corinthians 7:25-40; Psalm 32:1-11; and Proverbs 21:5-7. 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.

Nehemiah 3:15-5:13 (Contemporary English Version)

15Shallum a<="" value="[a]" >[] son of Colhozeh ruled the district of Mizpah, and he rebuilt Fountain Gate. He put a cover over the gateway, then hung the doors and added metal bolts and wooden beams as locks. He also rebuilt the wall at Shelah Pool. This section was next to the king's garden and went as far as the stairs leading down from David's City. 16Nehemiah son of Azbuk ruled half of the district of Beth-Zur, and he rebuilt the next section of the wall. It went as far as the royal cemetery, [b<="">] the artificial pool, and the army barracks.
Levites Who Worked on the Wall
 17The Levites who worked on the next sections of the wall were Rehum son of Bani; Hashabiah, who ruled half of the district of Keilah and did this work for his district; 18Binnui [c<="">] son of Henadad, who ruled the other half of the district of Keilah; 19Ezer son of Jeshua, who ruled Mizpah, rebuilt the section of the wall that was in front of the armory and reached to the corner of the wall; 20Baruch son of Zabbai eagerly rebuilt the section of the wall that went all the way to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest; 21Meremoth, son of Uriah and grandson of Hakkoz, built up to the far end of Eliashib's house.
Priests Who Worked on the Wall
 22Here is a list of the priests who worked on the wall:    Priests from the region around Jerusalem rebuilt the next section of the wall.
    23Benjamin and Hasshub rebuilt the wall in front of their own houses.
   Azariah, who was the son of Maaseiah and the grandson of Ananiah, rebuilt the section in front of his house.
    24Binnui son of Henadad rebuilt the section of the wall from Azariah's house to the corner of the wall.
    25Palal son of Uzai rebuilt the next section, which began at the corner of the wall and the tower of the upper palace near the court of the guard.
   Pedaiah son of Parosh rebuilt the next section of the wall. 26He stopped at a place near the Water Gate on the east and the tower guarding the temple. This was close to a section in the city called Ophel, where the temple workers lived. [d<="">]
Other Builders Who Worked on the Wall
 27The men from Tekoa rebuilt the next section of the wall, and it was their second section. [e<="">] It started at a place across from the large tower that guarded the Temple, and it went all the way to the wall near Ophel. 28Some priests rebuilt the next section of the wall. They began working north of Horse Gate, and each one worked on a section in front of his own house.     29Zadok son of Immer rebuilt the wall in front of his house.
   Shemaiah son of Shecaniah, who looked after the East Gate, rebuilt the section after that.
    30Hananiah and Hanun [f<="">] rebuilt the next section, which was the second section [g<="">] for them. Meshullam son of Berechiah rebuilt the next section, which happened to be in front of his house.
    31Malchijah, a goldsmith, rebuilt the next section, as far as the house used by the temple workers and merchants. This area was across from Gathering Gate, near the room on top of the wall at the northeast corner.
    32The goldsmiths and merchants rebuilt the last section of the wall, which went from the corner room all the way to Sheep Gate.

Nehemiah 4

Nehemiah's Enemies
 1When Sanballat, the governor of Samaria, heard that we were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he became angry and started insulting our people. 2In front of his friends and the Samaritan army he said, " What is this feeble bunch of Jews trying to do? Are they going to rebuild the wall and offer sacrifices all in one day? Do they think they can make something out of this pile of scorched stones?"     3Tobiah from Ammon was standing beside Sanballat and said, " Look at the wall they are building! Why, even a fox could knock over this pile of stones."
    4But I prayed, " Our God, these people hate us and have wished horrible things for us. Please answer our prayers and make their insults fall on them! Let them be the ones to be dragged away as prisoners of war. 5Don't forgive the mean and evil way they have insulted the builders."
    6The people worked hard, and we built the walls of Jerusalem halfway up again. 7But Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the people from the city of Ashdod saw the walls going up and the holes being repaired. So they became angry 8and decided to stir up trouble, and to fight against the people of Jerusalem. 9But we kept on praying to our God, and we also stationed guards day and night.
    10Meanwhile, the people of Judah were singing a sorrowful song:
   " So much rubble for us to haul!
   Worn out and weary,
   will we ever finish this wall?"
    11Our enemies were saying, " Before those Jews know what has happened, we will sneak up and kill them and put an end to their work."
    12On at least ten different occasions, the Jews living near our enemies warned us against attacks from every side, [h<="">] 13and so I sent people to guard the wall at its lowest places and where there were still holes in it. I placed them according to families, and they stood guard with swords and spears and with bows and arrows. 14Then I looked things over and told the leaders, the officials, and the rest of the people, " Don't be afraid of your enemies! The Lord is great and fearsome. So think of him and fight for your relatives and children, your wives and homes!" 15Our enemies found out that we knew about their plot against us, but God kept them from doing what they had planned. So we went back to work on the wall.
    16From then on, I let half of the young men work while the other half stood guard. They wore armor and had spears and shields, as well as bows and arrows. The leaders helped the workers 17who were rebuilding the wall. Everyone who hauled building materials kept one hand free to carry a weapon. 18Even the workers who were rebuilding the wall strapped on a sword. The worker who was to blow the signal trumpet stayed with me.
    19I told the people and their officials and leaders, " Our work is so spread out, that we are a long way from one another. 20If you hear the sound of the trumpet, come quickly and gather around me. Our God will help us fight."
    21Every day from dawn to dark, half of the workers rebuilt the walls, while the rest stood guard with their spears.
    22I asked the men in charge and their workers to stay inside Jerusalem and stand guard at night. So they guarded the city at night and worked during the day. 23I even slept in my work clothes at night; my children, the workers, and the guards slept in theirs as well. And we always kept our weapons close by. [i<="">]

Nehemiah 5

Nehemiah's Concern for the Poor
 1Some of the men and their wives complained about the Jews in power 2and said, " We have large families, and it takes a lot of grain merely to keep them alive."     3Others said, " During the famine we even had to mortgage our fields, vineyards, and homes to them in order to buy grain."
    4Then others said, " We had to borrow money from those in power to pay the government tax on our fields and vineyards. 5We are Jews just as they are, and our children are as good as theirs. But we still have to sell our children as slaves, and some of our daughters have already been raped. We are completely helpless; our fields and vineyards have even been taken from us."
    6When I heard their complaints and their charges, I became very angry. 7So I thought it over and said to the leaders and officials, " How can you charge your own people interest?"
   Then I called a public meeting and accused the leaders 8by saying, " We have tried to buy back all of our people who were sold into exile. But here you are, selling more of them for us to buy back!" The officials and leaders did not say a word, because they knew this was true.
    9I continued, " What you have done is wrong! We must honor our God by the way we live, so the Gentiles can't find fault with us. 10My relatives, my friends, and I are also lending money and grain, but we must no longer demand payment in return. 11Now give back the fields, vineyards, olive orchards, and houses you have taken and also the interest you have been paid."
    12The leaders answered, " We will do whatever you say and return their property, without asking to be repaid."
   So I made the leaders promise in front of the priests to give back the property. 13Then I emptied my pockets and said, " If you don't keep your promise, that's what God will do to you. He will empty out everything you own, even taking away your houses."
   The people answered, " We will keep our promise." Then they praised the LORD and did as they had promised.
  1. Nehemiah 3:15 Shallum: A few Hebrew manuscripts and one ancient translation; most Hebrew manuscripts " Shallun" ; one ancient translation " Solomon."
  2. Nehemiah 3:16 royal cemetery: Hebrew " David's tombs."
  3. Nehemiah 3:18 Binnui: Two ancient translations; Hebrew " Bavvai."
  4. Nehemiah 3:26 This. . . lived: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Nehemiah 3:27 second section: See verse 5.
  6. Nehemiah 3:30 Hananiah and Hanun: Hebrew " Hananiah son of Shelemiah and Hanun, Zalaph's sixth son."
  7. Nehemiah 3:30 second section: See verses 8,13.
  8. Nehemiah 4:12 against. . . side: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  9. Nehemiah 4:23 And. . . by: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

1 Corinthians 7:25-40 (Contemporary English Version)

Unmarried People
 25I don't know of anything that the Lord said about people who have never been married. a<="" value="[a]" >[] But I will tell you what I think. And you can trust me, because the Lord has treated me with kindness. 26We are now going through hard times, and I think it is best for you to stay as you are. 27If you are married, stay married. If you are not married, don't try to get married. 28It isn't wrong to marry, even if you have never been married before. But those who marry will have a lot of trouble, and I want to protect you from that. 29My friends, what I mean is that the Lord will soon come, [b<="">] and it won't matter if you are married or not. 30It will be all the same if you are crying or laughing, or if you are buying or are completely broke. 31It won't make any difference how much good you are getting from this world or how much you like it. This world as we know it is now passing away. 32I want all of you to be free from worry. An unmarried man worries about how to please the Lord. 33But a married man has more worries. He must worry about the things of this world, because he wants to please his wife. 34So he is pulled in two directions. Unmarried women and women who have never been married [c<="">] worry only about pleasing the Lord, and they keep their bodies and minds pure. But a married woman worries about the things of this world, because she wants to please her husband. 35What I am saying is for your own good--it isn't to limit your freedom. I want to help you to live right and to love the Lord above all else. 36But suppose you are engaged to someone old enough to be married, and you want her so much that all you can think about is getting married. Then go ahead and marry. [d<="">] There is nothing wrong with that. 37But it is better to have self-control and to make up your mind not to marry. 38It is perfectly all right to marry, but it is better not to get married at all. 39A wife should stay married to her husband until he dies. Then she is free to marry again, but only to a man who is a follower of the Lord. 40However, I think I am obeying God's Spirit when I say she would be happier to stay single.    
  1. 1 Corinthians 7:25 people who have never been married: Or "virgins."
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:29 the Lord will soon come: Or "there's not much time left" or "the time for decision comes quickly."
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:34 women who have never been married: Or "virgins."
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:36 But suppose you are engaged. . . go ahead and marry: Verses 36-38 may also be translated: !sr36"If you feel that you are not treating your grown daughter right by keeping her from getting married, then let her marry. You won't be doing anything wrong. !sr37But it is better to have self-control and make up your mind not to let your daughter get married. !sr38It is all right for you to let her marry. But it is better if you don't let her marry at all."

Psalm 32:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 32

(A special psalm by David.)
The Joy of Forgiveness
 1Our God, you bless everyone    whose sins you forgive
   and wipe away.
    2You bless them by saying,
   "You told me your sins,
   without trying to hide them,
   and now I forgive you."
    3Before I confessed my sins,
   my bones felt limp,
   and I groaned all day long.
    4Night and day your hand
   weighed heavily on me,
   and my strength was gone
   as in the summer heat.
    5So I confessed my sins
   and told them all to you.
   I said, "I'll tell the LORD
   each one of my sins."
   Then you forgave me
   and took away my guilt.
    6We worship you, Lord,
   and we should always pray
   whenever we find out
   that we have sinned. a<="" value="[a]" >[] Then we won't be swept away
   by a raging flood.
    7You are my hiding place!
   You protect me from trouble,
   and you put songs in my heart
   because you have saved me.
    8You said to me,
   "I will point out the road
   that you should follow.
   I will be your teacher
   and watch over you.
    9Don't be stupid
   like horses and mules
   that must be led with ropes
   to make them obey."
    10All kinds of troubles
   will strike the wicked,
   but your kindness shields those
   who trust you, LORD.
    11And so your good people
   should celebrate and shout.
  1. Psalm 32:6 whenever. . . sinned: Hebrew " at a time of finding only."

Proverbs 21:5-7 (Contemporary English Version)

5If you plan and work hard,
   you will have plenty;
   if you get in a hurry,
   you will end up poor.
    6Cheating to get rich
   is a foolish dream
   and no less than suicide. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 7You destroy yourself
   by being cruel and violent
   and refusing to live right.
  1. Proverbs 21:6 and. . . suicide: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Verse of the Day
“You 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. God paid a great price for you. So use your body to honor God.” - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Hans Urs von BalthasarThought for the Day

Swiss theologian and Catholic priest who was to be created a cardinal of the Catholic Church but died before the ceremony, Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote, “The Christian response is contained in these two fundamental dogmas: that of the Trinity and that of the Incarnation. In the trinitarian dogma God is one, good, true, and beautiful because he is essentially Love, and Love supposes the one, the other, and their unity.”

Image result for fake diamond ringA Joke for Today

A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas.

A friend of his said, "I thought she wanted one of those sporty 4-Wheel drive vehicles."

"She did," he replied. "But where in the world was I gonna find a fake Jeep?"

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