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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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bible Readings for August 15, 2017

Today our passages are Nehemiah 9:22–10:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19–10:13; Psalm 34:1-10; and Proverbs 21:13. 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 9:22-10:39 (Contemporary English Version)

22You let them conquer kings
   and take their land,
   including King Sihon of Heshbon
   and King Og of Bashan. a<="" value="[a]" >[] 23You brought them into the land
   that you had promised
   their ancestors,
   and you blessed their nation
   with people
   that outnumbered
   the stars in the sky.
    24Then their descendants
   conquered the land.
   You helped them defeat
   the kings and nations
   and treat their enemies
   however they wished.
    25They captured strong cities
   and rich farmland;
   they took furnished houses,
   as well as cisterns, [b<="">] vineyards, olive orchards,
   and numerous fruit trees.
   They ate till they were satisfied,
   and they celebrated
   your abundant blessings.
    26In spite of this, they rebelled
   and disobeyed your laws.
   They killed your prophets,
   who warned them
   to turn back to you,
   and they cursed your name.
    27So you handed them over
   to their enemies,
   who treated them terribly.
   But in their sufferings,
   they begged you to help.
   From heaven you listened
   to their prayers
   and because of your great mercy,
   you sent leaders to rescue them.
    28But when they were at peace,
   they would turn against you,
   and you would hand them over
   to their enemies.
   Then they would beg for help,
   and because you are merciful,
   you rescued them
   over and over again.
    29You warned them to turn back
   and discover true life
   by obeying your laws.
   But they stubbornly refused
   and continued to sin.
    30For years, you were patient,
   and your Spirit [c<="">] warned them with messages spoken
   by your prophets.
   Still they refused to listen,
   and you handed them over
   to their enemies.
    31But you are merciful and kind,
   and so you never forgot them
   or let them be destroyed.
    32Our God, you are powerful,
   fearsome, and faithful,
   always true to your word.
   So please keep in mind
   the terrible sufferings
   of our people, kings, leaders,
   priests, and prophets,
   from the time Assyria ruled
   until this very day.
    33You have always been fair
   when you punished us
   for our sins.
    34Our kings, leaders, and priests
   have never obeyed your commands
   or heeded your warnings.
    35You blessed them with a kingdom
   and with an abundance
   of rich, fertile land,
   but they refused to worship you
   or turn from their evil.
    36Now we are slaves
   in this fruitful land
   you gave to our ancestors.
    37Its plentiful harvest is taken
   by kings you placed over us
   because of our sins.
   Our suffering is unbearable,
   because they do as they wish
   to us and our livestock.
The People Make an Agreement
 38And so, a firm agreement was made that had the official approval of the leaders, the Levites, and priests.    

Nehemiah 10

 1As governor, I [d<="">] signed the agreement together with Zedekiah and the following priests: 2-8Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah, Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah, Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch, Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah, Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch, Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin, Maaziah, Bilgai, and Shemaiah. 9The Levites who signed were: Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui from the clan of Henadad, Kadmiel, 10Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan, 11Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah, 12Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah, 13Hodiah, Bani, and Beninu.     14The leaders who signed were: Parosh, Pahath Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani, 15Bunni, Azgad, Bebai, 16Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin, 17Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur, 18Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai, 19Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai, 20Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir, 21Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua, 22Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah, 23Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub, 24Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek, 25Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah, 26Ahiah, Hanan, Anan, 27Malluch, Harim, and Baanah.
The Agreement
 28-29All of us, including priests, Levites, temple guards, singers, temple workers and leaders, together with our wives and children, have separated ourselves from the foreigners in this land and now enter into an agreement with a complete understanding of what we are doing. And so, we now place ourselves under the curse of the LORD our God, if we fail to obey his laws and teachings that were given to us by his servant Moses.     30We won't let our sons and daughters marry foreigners.
    31We won't buy goods or grain on the Sabbath or on any other sacred day, not even from foreigners.
   Every seven years we will let our fields rest, and we will cancel all debts.
    32Once a year we will each donate a small amount of silver to the temple of our God. 33This is to pay for the sacred bread, as well as for the daily sacrifices and special sacrifices such as those offered on the Sabbath and during the New Moon Festival and the other festivals. It will also pay for the sacrifices to forgive our sins and for all expenses connected with the worship of God in the temple.
    34We have decided that the families [e<="">] of priests, Levites, and ordinary people will supply firewood for the temple each year, so that sacrifices can be offered on the altar, just as the LORD our God has commanded. 35Each year we will bring to the temple the first part of our harvest of grain and fruit.
    36We will bring our first-born sons and the first-born males of our herds and flocks and offer them to the priests who serve in the temple, because this is what is written in God's Law. [f<="">] 37To the priests in the temple of our God, we will bring the bread dough from the first harvest, together with our best fruit, and an offering of new wine and olive oil.
   We will bring ten percent of our grain harvest to those Levites who are responsible for collecting it in our towns. 38A priest from the family of Aaron must be there when we give this to the Levites. Then the Levites will put one tenth of this part in the temple storeroom, 39which is also the place for the sacred objects used by the priests, the temple guards, and the singers.
   Levites and everyone else must bring their gifts of grain, wine, and olive oil to this room.
   We will not neglect the temple of our God.
  1. Nehemiah 9:22 Bashan: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 22.
  2. Nehemiah 9:25 cisterns: Pits dug into the ground to hold water.
  3. Nehemiah 9:30 your Spirit: Or " you."
  4. Nehemiah 10:1 I: Hebrew " Nehemiah son of Hacaliah."
  5. Nehemiah 10:34 that the families: Or " which families."
  6. Nehemiah 10:36 first-born sons. . . God's Law: See Exodus 13.2, 12-15; 34.19,20.

1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13 (Contemporary English Version)

19I am not anyone's slave. But I have become a slave to everyone, so that I can win as many people as possible. 20When I am with the Jews, I live like a Jew to win Jews. They are ruled by the Law of Moses, and I am not. But I live by the Law to win them. 21And when I am with people who are not ruled by the Law, I forget about the Law to win them. Of course, I never really forget about the law of God. In fact, I am ruled by the law of Christ. 22When I am with people whose faith is weak, I live as they do to win them. I do everything I can to win everyone I possibly can. 23I do all this for the good news, because I want to share in its blessings.
A Race and a Fight
 24You know that many runners enter a race, and only one of them wins the prize. So run to win! 25Athletes work hard to win a crown that cannot last, but we do it for a crown that will last forever. 26I don't run without a goal. And I don't box by beating my fists in the air. 27I keep my body under control and make it my slave, so I won't lose out after telling the good news to others.    

1 Corinthians 10

Don't Worship Idols
 1Friends, I want to remind you that all of our ancestors walked under the cloud and went through the sea. 2This was like being baptized and becoming followers of Moses. 3All of them also ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink, which flowed from the spiritual rock that followed them. That rock was Christ. 5But most of them did not please God. So they died, and their bodies were scattered all over the desert.     6What happened to them is a warning to keep us from wanting to do the same evil things. 7They worshiped idols, just as the Scriptures say, "The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to dance around." So don't worship idols. 8Some of those people did shameful things, and in a single day about twenty-three thousand of them died. Don't do shameful things as they did. 9And don't try to test Christ, a<="" value="[a]" >[] as some of them did and were later bitten by poisonous snakes. 10Don't even grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. 11These things happened to them as a warning to us. All this was written in the Scriptures to teach us who live in these last days. 12Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall. 13You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.
  1. 1 Corinthians 10:9 Christ: Some manuscripts have "the Lord."

Psalm 34:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 34

(Written by David when he pretended to be crazy in front of Abimelech, so that Abimelech would send him away, and David could leave.)
Honor the LORD
 1I will always praise the LORD.     2With all my heart,
   I will praise the LORD.
   Let all who are helpless,
   listen and be glad.
    3Honor the LORD with me!
   Celebrate his great name.
    4I asked the LORD for help,
   and he saved me
   from all my fears.
    5Keep your eyes on the LORD!
   You will shine like the sun
   and never blush with shame.
    6I was a nobody, but I prayed,
   and the LORD saved me
   from all my troubles.
    7If you honor the LORD,
   his angel will protect you.
    8Discover for yourself
   that the LORD is kind.
   Come to him for protection,
   and you will be glad.
    9Honor the LORD!
   You are his special people.
   No one who honors the LORD
   will ever be in need.
    10Young lions a<="" value="[a]" >[] may go hungry or even starve,
   but if you trust the LORD,
   you will never miss out
   on anything good.
  1. Psalm 34:10 Young lions: In the Psalms wild animals often stand for God's enemies.

Proverbs 21:13 (Contemporary English Version)

13If you won't help the poor,
   don't expect to be heard
   when you cry out for help.

Verse of the Day

Whether we live or die, it must be for the Lord. Alive or dead, we still belong to the Lord. - 
Romans 14:8
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Sri aurobindo.jpgThought for the Day

Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru and poet, Sri Aurobindo wrote, “Whatever plans we may make, we shall find quite useless when the time for action comes. Revolutions are always full of surprises, and whoever thinks he can play chess with a revolution will soon find how terrible is the grasp of God and how insignificant the human reason before the whirlwind of His breath. That man only is likely to dominate the chances of a Revolution, who makes no plans but preserves his heart pure for the will of God to declare itself. The great rule of life is to have no schemes but one unalterable purpose. If the will is fixed on the purpose it sets itself to accomplish, then circumstances will suggest the right course; but the schemer finds himself always tripped up by the unexpected.”

A Joke for Today

Related imageA guy walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had. He said, "shingles." So she took down his name, address, and medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.

Fifteen minutes later a nurse's aide came out and asked him what he had. He said, "shingles." So she took down his height, weight, a complete medical history and told him to wait in the examining room.

A half-hour later, a nurse came in and asked him what he had. He said, "shingles." She gave him a blood test, a blood pressure test, an electrocardiogram, told him to take off all his clothes and wait for the doctor.

An hour later the doctor came in and asked him what he had. He said, "shingles." The doctor said, "Where?" He said, "Outside in the truck. Where do you want them?"

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