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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Monday, August 14, 2017

Bible Readings for August 14, 2017

Today our passages are Nehemiah 7:61–9:21; 1 Corinthians 9:1-18; Psalm 33:12-22; and Proverbs 21:11-12. 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 7:61-9:21 (Contemporary English Version)

61-62There were 642 who returned from the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, though they could not prove they were Israelites. They had lived in the Babylonian towns of Tel-Melah, Tel-Harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer.
    63-64The families of Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai could not prove they were priests. The ancestor of the family of Barzillai had married the daughter of Barzillai from Gilead and had taken his wife's family name. But the records of these three families could not be found, and none of them were allowed to serve as priests. 65In fact, the governor told them, " You cannot eat the food offered to God until he lets us know if you really are priests." a<="" value="[a]" >[] 66-69There were 42,360 who returned, in addition to 7,337 servants, and 245 musicians. Altogether, they brought with them 736 horses, 245 mules, [b<="">] 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. 70-72Many people gave gifts to help pay for the materials to rebuild the temple. The governor himself gave 17 pounds of gold, 50 bowls to be used in the temple, and 530 robes for the priests. Family leaders gave 337 pounds of gold and 3,215 pounds of silver. The rest of the people gave 337 pounds of gold, 2,923 pounds of silver, and 67 robes for the priests.
    73And so, by the seventh month, [c<="">] priests, Levites, temple guards, musicians, workers, and many of the ordinary people had settled in the towns of Judah.

Nehemiah 8

Ezra Reads God's Law to the People
 1-2On the first day of the seventh month, [d<="" style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">]the people came together in the open area in front of the Water Gate. Then they asked Ezra, who was a teacher of the Law of Moses, to read to them from this Law that the LORD had given his people. Ezra the priest came with the Law and stood before the crowd of men, women, and the children who were old enough to understand. 3From early morning till noon, he read the Law of Moses to them, and they listened carefully. 4Ezra stood on a high wooden platform that had been built for this occasion. Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah were standing to his right, while Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash Baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam were standing to his left.
    5Ezra was up on the high platform, where he could be seen by everyone, and when he opened the book, they all stood up. 6Ezra praised the great LORD God, and the people shouted, " Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed with their faces to the ground and worshiped the LORD.
    7-8After this, the Levites Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, and Pelaiah went among the people, explaining the meaning of what Ezra had read.
    9The people started crying when God's Law was read to them. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher, and the Levites who had been teaching the people all said, " This is a special day for the LORD your God. So don't be sad and don't cry!"
    10Nehemiah told the people, " Enjoy your good food and wine and share some with those who didn't have anything to bring. Don't be sad! This is a special day for the LORD, and he will make you happy and strong."
    11The Levites encouraged the people by saying, " This is a sacred day, so don't worry or mourn!" 12When the people returned to their homes, they celebrated by eating and drinking and by sharing their food with those in need, because they had understood what had been read to them.
Celebrating the Festival of Shelters
 13On the second day of the seventh month, [e<="" style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">] the leaders of all the family groups came together with the priests and the Levites, so Ezra could teach them the Law 14that the LORD had given to Moses. They learned from the Law that the people of Israel were to live in shelters when they celebrated the festival in the seventh month of the year. 15They also learned that they were to go into the woods and gather branches of leafy trees such as olives, myrtles, and palms for making these shelters. 16So the people gathered branches and made shelters on the flat roofs of their houses, in their yards, in the courtyard of the temple, and in the open areas around the Water Gate and Ephraim Gate. 17Everyone who had returned from Babylonia built shelters. They lived in them and joyfully celebrated the Festival of Shelters for the first time since the days of Joshua son of Nun. 18On each of the first seven days of the festival, Ezra read to the people from God's Law. Then on the eighth day, everyone gathered for worship, just as the Law had said they must.

Nehemiah 9

The People Confess Their Sins
 1On the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month, [f<="" style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">] the people of Israel went without eating, and they dressed in sackcloth and threw dirt on their heads to show their sorrow. 2They refused to let foreigners join them, as they met to confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors. 3For three hours they stood and listened to the Law of the LORD their God, and then for the next three hours they confessed their sins and worshiped the LORD.
    4Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the special platform for the Levites and prayed aloud to the LORD their God. 5Then the Levites Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah said:
   " Stand and shout praises
   to your LORD,
   the eternal God!
   Praise his wonderful name,
   though he is greater
   than words can express."
The People Pray
 6You alone are the LORD,
   Creator of the heavens
   and all the stars,
   Creator of the earth
   and those who live on it,
   Creator of the ocean
   and all its creatures.
   You are the source of life,
   praised by the stars
   that fill the heavens.
    7You are the LORD our God,
   the one who chose Abram--
   you brought him from Ur
   in Babylonia
   and named him Abraham.
    8Because he was faithful,
   you made an agreement
   to give his descendants
   the land of the Canaanites
   and Hittites,
   of the Amorites and Perizzites,
   and of the Jebusites
   and Girgashites.
   Now you have kept your promise,
   just as you always do.
    9When our ancestors
   were in Egypt,
   you saw their suffering;
   when they were at the Red Sea, [g<="">] you heard their cry for help.
    10You knew that the King of Egypt
   and his officials and his nation
   had mistreated your people.
   So you worked fearsome miracles
   against the Egyptians
   and earned a reputation
   that still remains.
    11You divided the deep sea,
   and your people walked through
   on dry land.
   But you tossed their enemies in,
   and they sank down
   like a heavy stone.
    12Each day you led your people
   with a thick cloud,
   and at night you showed the way
   with a flaming fire.
    13At Sinai you came down
   from heaven,
   and you gave your people
   good laws and teachings
   that are fair and honest.
    14You commanded them to respect
   your holy Sabbath,
   and you instructed
   your servant Moses
   to teach them your laws.
    15When they were hungry,
   you sent bread from heaven,
   and when they were thirsty,
   you let water flow
   from a rock.
   Then you commanded them
   to capture the land
   that you had solemnly promised.
    16Our stubborn ancestors
   refused to obey--
   they forgot about the miracles
   you had worked for them,
   and they were determined
   to return to Egypt
   and become slaves again.
    17But, our God, you are merciful
   and quick to forgive;
   you are loving, kind,
   and very patient.
   So you never turned away
   from them--
    18not even when they made
   an idol shaped like a calf
   and insulted you by claiming,
   " This is the god who rescued us
   from Egypt."
    19Because of your great mercy,
   you never abandoned them
   in the desert.
   And you always guided them
   with a cloud by day
   and a fire at night.
    20Your gentle Spirit
   instructed them, [h<="">] and you gave them manna [i<="">] to eat and water to drink.
    21You took good care of them,
   and for forty years
   they never lacked a thing.
   Their shoes didn't wear out,
   and their feet were never swollen.
  1. Nehemiah 7:65 until. . . priests: The Hebrew text has " until a priest comes with the urim and thummim," sacred objects which were used in some way to receive answers from God.
  2. Nehemiah 7:66 736 horses, 245 mules: A few Hebrew manuscripts; this is not found in most Hebrew manuscripts of verse 68.
  3. Nehemiah 7:73 seventh month: Tishri(also called Ethanim,) the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-September to mid-October.
  4. Nehemiah 8:1 e
  5. Nehemiah 8:13 seventh month: Hebrew " same month."
  6. Nehemiah 9:1 shout. . . God: Or " shout eternal praises to the LORD your God."
  7. Nehemiah 9:9 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph " Sea of Reeds," one of the marshes of fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17--14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 B.C., the " Sea of Reeds" was named " Red Sea."
  8. Nehemiah 9:20 Your gentle Spirit instructed them: Or " You gently instructed them."
  9. Nehemiah 9:20 manna: This was something like a thin wafer (see Exodus 16.1-36).

1 Corinthians 9:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Corinthians 9

The Rights of an Apostle
 1I am free. I am an apostle. I have seen the Lord Jesus and have led you to have faith in him. 2Others may think that I am not an apostle, but you are proof that I am an apostle to you.
    3When people question me, I tell them 4that Barnabas and I have the right to our food and drink. 5We each have the right to marry one of the Lord's followers and to take her along with us, just as the other apostles and the Lord's brothers and Peter a<="" value="[a]" >[] do. 6Are we the only ones who have to support ourselves by working at another job? 7Do soldiers pay their own salaries? Don't people who raise grapes eat some of what they grow? Don't shepherds get milk from their own goats? 8-9I am not saying this on my own authority. The Law of Moses tells us not to muzzle an ox when it is grinding grain. But was God concerned only about an ox? 10No, he wasn't! He was talking about us. This was written in the Scriptures so that all who plow and all who grind the grain will look forward to sharing in the harvest.
    11When we told the message to you, it was like planting spiritual seed. So we have the right to accept material things as our harvest from you. 12If others have the right to do this, we have an even greater right. But we haven't used this right of ours. We are willing to put up with anything to keep from causing trouble for the message about Christ.
    13Don't you know that people who work in the temple make their living from what is brought to the temple? Don't you know that a person who serves at the altar is given part of what is offered? 14In the same way, the Lord wants everyone who preaches the good news to make a living from preaching this message.
    15But I have never used these privileges of mine, and I am not writing this because I want to start now. I would rather die than have someone rob me of the right to take pride in this. 16I don't have any reason to brag about preaching the good news. Preaching is something God told me to do, and if I don't do it, I am doomed. 17If I preach because I want to, I will be paid. But even if I don't want to, it is still something God has sent me to do. 18What pay am I given? It is the chance to preach the good news free of charge and not to use the privileges that are mine because I am a preacher.
  1. 1 Corinthians 9:5 Peter: See the note at 1.12.

Psalm 33:12-22 (Contemporary English Version)

12The LORD blesses each nation
   that worships only him.
   He blesses his chosen ones.
    13The LORD looks at the world
    14from his throne in heaven,
   and he watches us all.
    15The LORD gave us each a mind,
   and nothing we do
   can be hidden from him.
    16Mighty armies alone
   cannot win wars for a king;
   great strength by itself
   cannot keep a soldier safe.
    17In war the strength of a horse
   cannot be trusted
   to take you to safety.
    18But the LORD watches over
   who honor him
   and trust his kindness.
    19He protects them from death
   and starvation.
    20We depend on you, LORD,
   to help and protect us.
    21You make our hearts glad
   because we trust you,
   the only God.
    22Be kind and bless us!
   We depend on you.

Proverbs 21:11-12 (Contemporary English Version)

11An ignorant fool learns
   by seeing others punished;
   a sensible person learns
   by being instructed.
    12God is always fair!
   He knows what the wicked do
   and will punish them.  

Verse of the Day
“[ The Letter to Laodicea ] This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: I am the one called Amen! I am the faithful and true witness and the source of God’s creation. Listen to what I say. Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.” - Revelation 3:14,20
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for Steve MartinThought for the Day

American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician, Steve Martin wrote, “A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”
Related image

A Joke for Today

“Do you believe in life after death?” the boss asked one of his employees.

“Yes, sir,” the clerk replied.

“That’s good,” the boss said. “After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped in to see you.”

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