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 5, 2017

Bible Readings for August 5, 2017

Today our passages are Ezra 1:1–2:70; 1 Corinthians 1:18–2:5; Psalm 27:7-14; and Proverbs 20:22-23. 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.

Ezra 1-2:70 (Contemporary English Version)

Ezra 1

Cyrus Lets the Jews Return Home
 1Years ago the LORD sent Jeremiah with a message about a promise [a] for the people of Israel. Then in the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia, [b] the LORD kept his promise by having Cyrus send this official message to all parts of his kingdom: 2-3I am King Cyrus of Persia.    The LORD God of heaven, who is also the God of Israel, has made me the ruler of all nations on earth. And he has chosen me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. The LORD God will watch over and encourage any of his people who want to go back to Jerusalem and help build the temple.
    4Everyone else must provide what is needed. They must give money, supplies, and animals, as well as gifts for rebuilding God's temple.
    5Many people felt that the LORD God wanted them to help rebuild his temple, and they made plans to go to Jerusalem. Among them were priests, Levites, and leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. 6The others helped by giving silver articles, gold, personal possessions, cattle, and other valuable gifts, as well as offerings for the temple.
    7King Cyrus gave back the things that Nebuchadnezzar [c] had taken from the LORD's temple in Jerusalem and had put in the temple of his own gods. 8Cyrus placed Mithredath, his chief treasurer, in charge of these things. Mithredath counted them and gave a list to Sheshbazzar, the governor of Judah. 9-10Included among them were: 30 large gold dishes; 1,000 large silver dishes; 29 other dishes; [d] 30 gold bowls; 410 silver bowls; and 1,000 other articles. 11Altogether, there were 5,400 gold and silver dishes, bowls, and other articles. Sheshbazzar took them with him when he and the others returned to Jerusalem from Babylonia.

Ezra 2

A List of People Who Returned from Exile
(Nehemiah 7.4-73)
 1King Nebuchadnezzar [e] of Babylonia had captured many of the people of Judah and had taken them as prisoners to Babylonia. Now they were on their way back to Jerusalem and to their own towns everywhere in Judah. 2-20Zerubbabel, Joshua, [f] Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah were in charge of the ones who were coming back. And here is a list of how many returned from each family group: 2,172 from the family of Parosh; 372 from the family of Shephatiah; 775 from the family of Arah; 2,812 descendants of Jeshua and Joab [g] from the family of Pahath Moab; 1,254 from the family of Elam; 945 from the family of Zattu; 760 from the family of Zaccai; 642 from the family of Bani; 623 from the family of Bebai; 1,222 from the family of Azgad; 666 from the family of Adonikam; 2,056 from the family of Bigvai; 454 from the family of Adin; 98 from the family of Ater, also known as Hezekiah; 323 from the family of Bezai; 112 from the family of Jorah; 223 from the family of Hashum; and 95 from the family of Gibbar. 21-35Here is how many people returned whose ancestors had come from the following towns: 123 from Bethlehem; 56 from Netophah; 128 from Anathoth; 42 from Azmaveth; 743 from Kiriatharim, Chephirah, and Beeroth; 621 from Ramah and Geba; 122 from Michmas; 223 from Bethel and Ai; 52 from Nebo; 156 from Magbish; 1,254 from the other Elam; 320 from Harim; 725 from Lod, Hadid, and Ono; 345 from Jericho; and 3,630 from Senaah.     36-39Here is a list of how many returned from each family of priests: 973 descendants of Jeshua from the family of Jedaiah; 1,052 from the family of Immer; 1,247 from the family of Pashhur; and 1,017 from the family of Harim.
    40-42And here is a list of how many returned from the families of Levites: 74 descendants of Hodaviah from the families of Jeshua and Kadmiel; 128 descendants of Asaph from the temple musicians; and 139 descendants of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai from the temple guards.
    43-54Here is a list of the families of temple workers whose descendants returned: Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, Keros, Siaha, Padon, Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub, Hagab, Shamlai, Hanan, Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah, Besai, Asnah, Meunim, Nephisim, Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha, Barkos, Sisera, Temah, Neziah, and Hatipha.
    55-57Here is a list of Solomon's servants whose descendants returned: Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda, Jaalah, Darkon, Giddel, Shephatiah, Hattil, Pochereth Hazzebaim, and Ami.
    58A total of 392 descendants of temple workers and of Solomon's servants returned.
    59-60There were 652 who returned from the families of Delaiah, Tobiah, and Nekoda, though they could not prove that they were Israelites. They had lived in the Babylonian towns of Tel-Melah, Tel-Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer.
    61-62The families of Habaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai could not prove that 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. 63In fact, the governor [h] told them, "You cannot eat the food offered to God until we find out if you really are priests." 64-67There were 42,360 who returned, in addition to 7,337 servants and 200 musicians, both women and men. They brought with them 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys.
    68When the people came to where the LORD's temple had been in Jerusalem, some of the family leaders gave gifts so it could be rebuilt in the same place. 69They gave all they could, and it came to a total of 1,030 pounds of gold, 5,740 pounds of silver, and 100 robes for the priests.
    70Everyone returned to the towns from which their families had come, including the priests, the Levites, the musicians, the temple guards, and the workers. [i]
  1. Ezra 1:1 a promise: That the people of Israel would be set free from Babylonia after seventy years (see Jeremiah 25.11; 29.10).
  2. Ezra 1:1 the first year that Cyrus was king of Persia: Probably 539 B.C., when Cyrus captured Babylonia. He had actually ruled Persia since 549 B.C.
  3. Ezra 1:7 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.
  4. Ezra 1:9 other dishes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Ezra 2:1 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 1.7.
  6. Ezra 2:2 Joshua: Hebrew "Jeshua." In this translation the name "Joshua" is used of the descendant of Jozadak, the last chief priest before the exile; this same Joshua is often mentioned together with Zerubbabel (2.2-20; 3.2,8,9; 4.3; 5.2; 10.18,19). In other places the name "Jeshua" is used (2.2-20,36-39,40-42; 8.33).
  7. Ezra 2:2 Jeshua and Joab: Hebrew "Jeshua Joab."
  8. Ezra 2:63 governor: In Nehemiah 8.9; 10.1, this same title is used of Nehemiah, though it is doubtful if he is the one referred to here.
  9. Ezra 2:70 workers: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 70.

1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 (Contemporary English Version)

Christ Is God's Power and Wisdom
 18The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work. 19As God says in the Scriptures,    "I will destroy the wisdom
   of all who claim
   to be wise.
   I will confuse those
   who think they know
   so much."
    20What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish? 21God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.
   Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach. 22Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. 23But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish. 24Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. 25Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.
    26My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families. 27But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.
    28What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. 29God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him. 30You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy. 31So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord.

1 Corinthians 2

Telling about Christ and the Cross
 1Friends, when I came and told you the mystery [a] that God had shared with us, I didn't use big words or try to sound wise. 2In fact, while I was with you, I made up my mind to speak only about Jesus Christ, who had been nailed to a cross. 3At first, I was weak and trembling with fear. 4When I talked with you or preached, I didn't try to prove anything by sounding wise. I simply let God's Spirit show his power. 5That way you would have faith because of God's power and not because of human wisdom.    
  1. 1 Corinthians 2:1 mystery: Some manuscripts have "testimony."

Psalm 27:7-14 (Contemporary English Version)

7Please listen when I pray!
   Have pity. Answer my prayer.
    8My heart tells me to pray.
   I am eager to see your face,
    9so don't hide from me.
   I am your servant,
   and you have helped me.
   Don't turn from me in anger.
   You alone keep me safe.
   Don't reject or desert me.
    10Even if my father and mother
   should desert me,
   you will take care of me.
    11Teach me to follow, LORD,
   and lead me on the right path
   because of my enemies.
    12Don't let them do to me
   what they want.
   People tell lies about me
   and make terrible threats,
    13but I know I will live
   to see how kind you are.
    14Trust the LORD!
   Be brave and strong
   and trust the LORD.

Proverbs 20:22-23 (Contemporary English Version)

22Don't try to get even.
   Trust the LORD,
   and he will help you.
    23The LORD hates dishonest scales
   and dishonest weights.
   So don't cheat!

Verse of the Day

“Understanding your word brings light to the minds of ordinary people.” - Psalm 119:130
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Photo of Neil Armstrong, July 1969, in space suit with the helmet offThought for the Day

American astronaut, engineer, and the first person to walk on the Moon, Neil Armstrong wrote, “I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine.”

Image result for potato sackA Joke for Today 

 Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 5-lb potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, and then relax. Each day you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-lb potato sacks. Then try 50-lb potato sacks and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-lb potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute. (I'm at this level.)

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

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