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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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Bible Readings for August 2, 2017

Today our passages are 2 Chronicles 32:1–33:13; Romans 15:23–16:7; Psalm 25:16-22; and Proverbs 20:16-18. 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.

2 Chronicles 32-33:13 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Chronicles 32

King Sennacherib of Assyria Invades Judah
(2 Kings 18.13-37; Isaiah 36.1-22)
 1After King Hezekiah had faithfully obeyed the LORD's instructions by doing these things, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He attacked the fortified cities and thought he would capture every one of them.    2As soon as Hezekiah learned that Sennacherib was planning to attack Jerusalem,
   3-4he and his officials worked out a plan to cut off the supply of water outside the city, so that the Assyrians would have no water when they came to attack. The officials got together a large work force that stopped up the springs and streams near Jerusalem.
   5Hezekiah also had workers repair the broken sections of the city wall. Then they built defense towers and an outer wall to help protect the one already there. The landfill on the east side of David's City was also strengthened.
   He gave orders to make a large supply of weapons and shields,
   6and he appointed army commanders over the troops. Then he gathered the troops together in the open area in front of the city gate and said to them:
   7Be brave and confident! There's no reason to be afraid of King Sennacherib and his powerful army. We are much more powerful,
   8because the LORD our God fights on our side. The Assyrians must rely on human power alone.
   These words encouraged the army of Judah.
   9When Sennacherib and his troops were camped at the town of Lachish, he sent a message to Hezekiah and the people in Jerusalem. It said:
   10I am King Sennacherib of Assyria, and I have Jerusalem surrounded. Do you think you can survive my attack?
   11Hezekiah your king is telling you that the LORD your God will save you from me. But he is lying, and you'll die of hunger and thirst.
   12Didn't Hezekiah tear down all except one of the LORD's altars and places of worship? [a] And didn't he tell you people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship at that one place?
   13You've heard what my ancestors and I have done to other nations. Were the gods of those nations able to defend their land against us?
   14None of those gods kept their people safe from the kings of Assyria. Do you really think your God can do any better?
   15Don't be fooled by Hezekiah! No god of any nation has ever been able to stand up to Assyria. Believe me, your God cannot keep you safe!
   16The Assyrian officials said terrible things about the LORD God and his servant Hezekiah.
   17Sennacherib's letter even made fun of the LORD. It said, "The gods of other nations could not save their people from Assyria's army, and neither will the God that Hezekiah worships."
   18The officials said all these things in Hebrew, so that everyone listening from the city wall would understand and be terrified and surrender.
   19The officials talked about the LORD God as if he were nothing but an ordinary god or an idol that someone had made.
The Death of King Sennacherib
(2 Kings 19.14-19,35-37; Isaiah 37.14-20; 37.36-38)
 20Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz asked the LORD for help,    21and he sent an angel that killed every soldier and commander in the Assyrian camp.
   Sennacherib returned to Assyria, completely disgraced. Then one day he went into the temple of his god where some of his sons killed him.
   22The LORD rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from Sennacherib and also protected them from other enemies.
   23People brought offerings to Jerusalem for the LORD and expensive gifts for Hezekiah, and from that day on, every nation on earth respected Hezekiah.
Hezekiah Gets Sick and Almost Dies
(2 Kings 20.1-11; Isaiah 38.1-8)
 24About this same time, Hezekiah got sick and was almost dead. He prayed, and the LORD gave him a sign that he would recover.    25But Hezekiah was so proud that he refused to thank the LORD for everything he had done for him. This made the LORD angry, and he punished Hezekiah and the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
   26Hezekiah and the people later felt sorry and asked the LORD to forgive them. So the LORD did not punish them as long as Hezekiah was king.
Hezekiah's Wealth
(2 Kings 20.12-19; Isaiah 39.1-8)
 27Hezekiah was very rich, and everyone respected him. He built special rooms to store the silver, the gold, the precious stones and spices, the shields, and the other valuable possessions.    28Storehouses were also built for his supply of grain, wine, and olive oil; barns were built for his cattle, and pens were put up for his sheep.
   29God made Hezekiah extremely rich, so he bought even more sheep, goats, and cattle. And he built towns where he could keep all these animals.
   30It was Hezekiah who built a tunnel that carried the water from Gihon Spring into the city of Jerusalem. In fact, everything he did was successful!
   31Even when the leaders of Babylonia sent messengers to ask Hezekiah about the sign God had given him, God let Hezekiah give his own answer to test him and to see if he would remain faithful.
Hezekiah Dies
(2 Kings 20.20,21)
 32Everything else Hezekiah did while he was king, including how faithful he was to the LORD, is included in the records kept by Isaiah the prophet. These are written in The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.    33When Hezekiah died, he was buried in the section of the royal tombs that was reserved for the most respected kings, [b] and everyone in Judah and Jerusalem honored him. His son Manasseh then became king.

2 Chronicles 33

King Manasseh of Judah
(2 Kings 21.1-9,17,18)
 1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled fifty-five years from Jerusalem.    2Manasseh disobeyed the LORD by following the disgusting customs of the nations that the LORD had forced out of Israel.
   3He rebuilt the local shrines [c] that his father Hezekiah had torn down. He built altars for the god Baal and set up sacred poles [d] for worshiping the goddess Asherah. And he faithfully worshiped the stars in the sky.
   4In the temple, where only the LORD was supposed to be worshiped, Manasseh built altars for pagan gods
   5and for the stars. He placed these altars in both courtyards of the temple
   6-7and even set up a stone image of a foreign god. Manasseh practiced magic and witchcraft; he asked fortunetellers for advice and sacrificed his own sons in Hinnom Valley. He did many other sinful things and made the LORD very angry.
   Years ago, God had told David and Solomon:
   Jerusalem is the place I prefer above all others in Israel. It belongs to me, and there in the temple I will be worshiped forever.
   8If my people will faithfully obey all the laws and teaching I gave to my servant Moses, I will never again force them to leave the land I gave to their ancestors.
   9But the people of Judah and Jerusalem listened to Manasseh and did even more sinful things than the nations the LORD had wiped out.
   10The LORD tried to warn Manasseh and the people about their sins, but they ignored the warning.
   11So he let Assyrian army commanders invade Judah and capture Manasseh. They put a hook in his nose and tied him up in chains, and they took him to Babylon.
   12While Manasseh was held captive there, he asked the LORD God to forgive him and to help him.
   13The LORD listened to Manasseh's prayer and saw how sorry he was, and so he let him go back to Jerusalem and rule as king. Manasseh knew from then on that the LORD was God.
  1. 2 Chronicles 32:12 worship: Hezekiah actually had torn down the places where idols were worshiped, and he had told the people to worship the LORD at the one place of worship in Jerusalem. But the Assyrian leader was confused and thought these were also places where the LORD was supposed to be worshiped.
  2. 2 Chronicles 32:33 in the section. . . reserved for the most respected kings: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 2 Chronicles 33:3 local shrines: See the note at 11.15.
  4. 2 Chronicles 33:3 sacred poles: See the note at 14.3.

Romans 15:23-16:7 (Contemporary English Version)

23Now there is nothing left for me to do in this part of the world, and for years I have wanted to visit you. 24So I plan to stop off on my way to Spain. Then after a short, but refreshing, visit with you, I hope you will quickly send me on.
    25-26I am now on my way to Jerusalem to deliver the money that the Lord's followers in Macedonia and Achaia collected for God's needy people. 27This is something they really wanted to do. But sharing their money with the Jews was also like paying back a debt, because the Jews had already shared their spiritual blessings with the Gentiles. 28After I have safely delivered this money, I will visit you and then go on to Spain. 29And when I do arrive in Rome, I know it will be with the full blessings of Christ.
    30My friends, by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that comes from the Holy Spirit, I beg you to pray sincerely with me and for me. 31Pray that God will protect me from the unbelievers in Judea, and that his people in Jerusalem will be pleased with what I am doing. 32Ask God to let me come to you and have a pleasant and refreshing visit. 33I pray that God, who gives peace, will be with all of you. Amen.

Romans 16

Personal Greetings
 1I have good things to say about Phoebe, who is a leader in the church at Cenchreae. 2Welcome her in a way that is proper for someone who has faith in the Lord and is one of God's own people. Help her in any way you can. After all, she has proved to be a respected leader for many others, including me.     3Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila. They have not only served Christ Jesus together with me, 4but they have even risked their lives for me. I am grateful for them and so are all the Gentile churches. 5Greet the church that meets in their home.
   Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first person in Asia to have faith in Christ.
    6Greet Mary, who has worked so hard for you.
    7Greet my relatives [a] Andronicus and Junias, [b] who were in jail with me. They are highly respected by the apostles and were followers of Christ before I was.
  1. Romans 16:7 relatives: Or "Jewish friends."
  2. Romans 16:7 Junias: Or "Junia." Some manuscripts have "Julia."

Psalm 25:16-22 (Contemporary English Version)

16I am lonely and troubled.
   Show that you care
   and have pity on me.
    17My awful worries keep growing.
   Rescue me from sadness.
    18See my troubles and misery
   and forgive my sins.
    19Look at all my enemies!
   See how much they hate me.
    20I come to you for shelter.
   Protect me, keep me safe,
   and don't disappoint me.
    21I obey you with all my heart,
   and I trust you, knowing
   that you will save me.
    22Our God, please save Israel
   from all of its troubles.

Proverbs 20:16-18 (Contemporary English Version)

16You deserve to lose your coat
   if you loan it to someone
   to guarantee payment
   for the debt of a stranger.
    17The food you get by cheating
   may taste delicious,
   but it turns to gravel.
    18Be sure you have sound advice
   before making plans
   or starting a war.

Verse of the Day

“Obey God's message! Don't fool yourselves by just listening to it.” - James 1:22
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

 James Baldwin 37 Allan Warren.jpgThought for the Day

American writer and social critic, James Baldwin wrote, “Perhaps I did not succumb to ideology … because I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness. In the church in which I was raised you were supposed to bear witness to the truth. Now, later on, you wonder what in the world the truth is, but you do know what a lie is.”

Image result for wife smarter than husbandA Joke for Today

My wife and I were comparing notes the other day. 'I have a higher IQ, did better on my SAT's, and make more money than you,' she pointed out.

'Yeah, but when you step back and look at the big picture, I’m still ahead,' I said.

She looked mystified. 'How do you figure?'

'I married better,' I replied.

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