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, August 13, 2017

Bible Readings for August 13, 2017

Today our passages are Nehemiah 5:14–7:60; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Psalm 33:1-11; and Proverbs 21:8-10. 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.

Nehemiah 5:14-7:60 (Contemporary English Version)

Nehemiah Is Generous
 14I was governor of Judah from the twentieth year that Artaxerxes a<="" value="[a]" >[] was king until the thirty-second year. And during these entire twelve years, my relatives and I refused to accept the food that I was allowed. 15Each governor before me had been a burden to the people by making them pay for his food and wine and by demanding forty silver coins a day. Even their officials had been a burden to the people. But I respected God, and I didn't think it was right to be so hard on them. 16I spent all my time getting the wall rebuilt and did not buy any property. Everyone working for me did the same thing. 17I usually fed a hundred fifty of our own Jewish people and their leaders, as well as foreign visitors from surrounding lands. 18Each day one ox, six of the best sheep, and lots of chickens were prepared. Then every ten days, a large supply of wine was brought in. I knew what a heavy burden this would have been for the people, and so I did not ask for my food allowance as governor. 19I pray that God will bless me for everything I have done for my people.    

Nehemiah 6

Plots against Nehemiah
 1Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem, and our other enemies learned that I had completely rebuilt the wall. All I lacked was hanging the doors in the gates. 2Then Sanballat and Geshem sent a message, asking me to meet with them in one of the villages in Ono Valley. I knew they were planning to harm me in some way. 3So I sent messengers to tell them, " My work is too important to stop now and go there. I can't afford to slow down the work just to visit with you." 4They invited me four times, but each time I refused to go.     5Finally, Sanballat sent an official to me with an unsealed letter, 6which said:
   A rumor is going around among the nations that you and the other Jews are rebuilding the wall and planning to rebel, because you want to be their king. And Geshem [b<="">] says it's true! 7You even have prophets in Jerusalem, claiming you are now the king of Judah. You know the Persian king will hear about this, so let's get together and talk it over. 8I sent a message back to Sanballat, saying, " None of this is true! You are making it all up."
    9Our enemies were trying to frighten us and to keep us from our work. But I asked God to give me strength.
    10One day I went to visit Shemaiah. [c<="">] He was looking very worried, and [d<="">] he said, " Let's hurry to the holy place of the temple and hide there. [e<="">] We will lock the temple doors, because your enemies are planning to kill you tonight." 11I answered, " Why should someone like me have to run and hide in the temple to save my life? I won't go!"
    12Suddenly I realized that God had not given Shemaiah this message. But Tobiah and Sanballat had paid him to trick me 13and to frighten me into doing something wrong, because they wanted to ruin my good name.
    14Then I asked God to punish Tobiah and Sanballat for what they had done. I prayed that God would punish the prophet Noadiah and the other prophets who, together with her, had tried to frighten me.
The Work Is Finished
 15On the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, [f<="">] the wall was completely rebuilt. It had taken fifty-two days. 16When our enemies in the surrounding nations learned that the work was finished, they felt helpless, because they knew that our God had helped us rebuild the wall. 17All this time the Jewish leaders and Tobiah had been writing letters back and forth. 18Many people in Judah were loyal to Tobiah for two reasons: Shecaniah son of Arah was his father-in-law, and Tobiah's son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berechiah. [g<="">] 19The people would always tell me about the good things Tobiah had done, and then they would tell Tobiah everything I had said. So Tobiah kept sending letters, trying to frighten me.

Nehemiah 7

 1After the wall had been rebuilt and the gates hung, then the temple guards, the singers, and the other Levites were assigned their work. 2I put my brother Hanani in charge of Jerusalem, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, because Hananiah could be trusted, and he respected God more than most people did. 3I said to them, " Don't let the gates to the city be opened until the sun has been up for a while. And make sure that they are closed and barred before the guards go off duty at sunset. Choose people from Jerusalem to stand guard at different places around the wall and others to stand guard near their own houses."    
A List of Exiles Who Returned
(Ezra 2.1-70)
 4Although Jerusalem covered a large area, not many people lived there, and no new houses had been built. 5-6So God gave me the idea to bring together the people, their leaders, and officials and to check the family records of those who had returned from captivity in Babylonia, after having been taken there by King Nebuchadnezzar. [h<="">] About this same time, I found records of those who had been the first to return to Jerusalem from Babylon Province. [i<="">] By reading these records, I learned that they settled in their own hometowns, 7and that they had come with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, and Baanah. 8-25Here is how many had returned from each family group: 2,172 from Parosh; 372 from Shephatiah; 652 from Arah; 2,818 from Pahath Moab, who were all descendants of Jeshua and Joab; 1,254 from Elam; 845 from Zattu; 760 from Zaccai; 648 from Binnui; 628 from Bebai; 2,322 from Azgad; 667 from Adonikam; 2,067 from Bigvai; 655 from Adin; 98 from Ater, also known as Hezekiah; 328 from Hashum; 324 from Bezai; 112 from Hariph; and 95 from Gibeon.     26-38Here is how many people returned whose ancestors had come from the following towns: 188 from Bethlehem and Netophah; 128 from Anathoth; 42 from Beth-Azmaveth; 743 from Kiriath-Jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth; 621 from Ramah and Geba; 122 from Michmas; 123 from Bethel and Ai; 52 from Nebo; [j<="">] 1,254 from Elam; [k<="">] 320 from Harim; 345 from Jericho; 721 from Lod, Hadid, and Ono; and 3,930 from Senaah. 39-42Here is how many returned from each family of priests: 973 descendants of Jeshua from Jedaiah; 1,052 from Immer; 1,247 from Pashhur; and 1,017 from Harim.
    43-45Here is how many returned from the families of Levites: 74 descendants of Hodevah from the families of Jeshua and Kadmiel; 148 descendants of Asaph from the temple musicians; and 138 descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai from the temple guards.
    46-56Here are the names of the families of temple workers whose descendants returned: Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, Keros, Sia, Padon, Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai, Hanan, Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah, Besai, Meunim, Nephushesim, Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, Bazlith, Mehida, Harsha, Barkos, Sisera, Temah, Neziah, and Hatipha.
    57-59Here are the names of Solomon's servants whose descendants returned: Sotai, Sophereth, Perida, Jaala, Darkon, Giddel, Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Amon.
    60A total of 392 descendants of temple workers and of Solomon's servants returned.
  1. Nehemiah 5:14 Artaxerxes: See the note at 1.1.
  2. Nehemiah 6:6 Geshem: Hebrew " Gashmu" (see verse 1 and 2.19).
  3. Nehemiah 6:10 Shemaiah: Hebrew " Shemaiah son of Delaiah son of Mehetabel."
  4. Nehemiah 6:10 was. . . worried, and: Or " wasn't supposed to leave his house, but."
  5. Nehemiah 6:10 holy place. . . hide there: Only priests were allowed to enter the holy place; anyone else could be put to death.
  6. Nehemiah 6:15 Elul: The sixth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-August to mid-September.
  7. Nehemiah 6:18 Shecaniah. . . Berechiah: Jews who had helped rebuild the Jerusalem wall (see 3.4,29,30).
  8. Nehemiah 7:5 Nebuchadnezzar: Known as Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled Babylonia from 605 to 562 B.C. In 586 B.C. he destroyed Jerusalem and took many of its people to Babylonia.
  9. Nehemiah 7:5 first to return. . . Province: Probably 539 B.C., when Cyrus, the ruler of Persia, captured the city of Babylon.
  10. Nehemiah 7:26 Nebo: Hebrew " the other Nebo."
  11. Nehemiah 7:26 Elam: Hebrew " the other Elam."

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Corinthians 8

Food Offered to Idols
 1In your letter you asked me about food offered to idols. All of us know something about this subject. But knowledge makes us proud of ourselves, while love makes us helpful to others. 2In fact, people who think they know so much don't know anything at all. 3But God has no doubts about who loves him.     4Even though food is offered to idols, we know that none of the idols in this world are alive. After all, there is only one God. 5Many things in heaven and on earth are called gods and lords, but none of them really are gods or lords. 6We have only one God, and he is the Father. He created everything, and we live for him. Jesus Christ is our only Lord. Everything was made by him, and by him life was given to us.
    7Not everyone knows these things. In fact, many people have grown up with the belief that idols have life in them. So when they eat meat offered to idols, they are bothered by a weak conscience. 8But food doesn't bring us any closer to God. We are no worse off if we don't eat, and we are no better off if we do.
    9Don't cause problems for someone with a weak conscience, just because you have the right to eat anything. 10You know all this, and so it doesn't bother you to eat in the temple of an idol. But suppose a person with a weak conscience sees you and decides to eat food that has been offered to idols. 11Then what you know has destroyed someone Christ died for. 12When you sin by hurting a follower with a weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13So if I hurt one of the Lord's followers by what I eat, I will never eat meat as long as I live.

Psalm 33:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 33

Sing Praises to the LORD
 1You are the LORD's people.    Obey him and celebrate!
   He deserves your praise.
    2Praise the LORD with harps!
   Use harps with ten strings
   to make music for him.
    3Sing a new song. Shout!
   Play beautiful music.
    4The LORD is truthful;
   he can be trusted.
    5He loves justice and fairness,
   and he is kind to everyone
   everywhere on earth.
    6The LORD made the heavens
   and everything in them
   by his word.
    7He scooped up the ocean
   and stored the water.
    8Everyone in this world
   should worship
   and honor
   the LORD!
    9As soon as he spoke
   the world was created;
   at his command,
   the earth was formed.
    10The LORD destroys the plans
   and spoils the schemes
   of the nations.
    11But what the LORD has planned
   will stand forever.
   His thoughts never change.

Proverbs 21:8-10 (Contemporary English Version)

8All crooks are liars,
   but anyone who is innocent
   will do right.
    9It's better to stay outside
   on the roof of your house
   than to live inside
   with a nagging wife.
    10Evil people want to do wrong,
   even to their friends.

Verse of the Day

“God planned for us to do good things and to live as he has always wanted us to live. That's why he sent Christ to make us what we are.” - Ephesians 2:10
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Felix-Adler-Hine.jpegThought for the Day

German American professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, influential lecturer on euthanasia, religious leader and social reformer who founded the Ethical Culture movement, Felix Adler wrote, “We must try to advance the cause of humanity by developing in ourselves, as well as in others, a higher type of manhood and womanhood than the past has known. To aid in the evolution of a new conscience, to inject living streams of moral force into the dry veins of materialistic communities is our aim. We seek to come into touch with the ultimate power in things, the ultimate peace in things, which yet, in any literal sense, we know well that we cannot know. We seek to become morally certain — that is, certain for moral purposes — of what is beyond the reach of demonstration. But our moral optimism must include the darkest facts that pessimism can point to, include them and transcend them.”

A Joke for Today

Image result for circle fliesA farmer got pulled over by a state trooper for speeding, and the trooper started to lecture the farmer about his speed, and in general began to throw his weight around to try to make the farmer uncomfortable.

Finally, the trooper got around to writing out the ticket, and as he was doing that he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The farmer said, "Having some problems with circle flies there, are ya?" 

The trooper stopped writing the ticket and said, "Well yeah, if that's what they are called -- I never heard of circle flies."

So the farmer says, "Well, circle flies are common on farms. See, they're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

The trooper says, "Oh," and goes back to writing the ticket. Then after a minute he stops and says, "Hey...wait a minute, are you trying to call me a horse's rear end?" 

The farmer says, "Oh no, officer. I have too much respect for law enforcement to even think about calling you such a name."

The trooper says, "Well, that's a good thing," and goes back to writing the ticket. 

After a long pause, the farmer says, "Hard to fool them flies though."

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