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 7, 2017

Bible Readings for August 7, 2017

Today our passages are Ezra 5:1–6:22; 1 Corinthians 3:5-23; Psalm 29:1-11; and Proverbs 20:26-27. 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 5-6:22 (Contemporary English Version)

Ezra 5

 1Then the LORD God of Israel told the prophets Haggai and Zechariah [a] to speak in his name to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. And they did. 2So Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the priest urged the people to start working on the temple again, and God's prophets encouraged them. 3Governor Tattenai of Western Province and his assistant Shethar Bozenai got together with some of their officials. Then they went to Jerusalem and said to the people, "Who told you to rebuild this temple? 4Give us the names of the workers!"     5But God was looking after the Jewish leaders. So the governor and his group decided not to make the people stop working on the temple until they could report to Darius and get his advice.
    6Governor Tattenai, Shethar Bozenai, and their advisors sent a report to Darius, 7which said:
   King Darius, we wish you the best! 8We went to Judah, where the temple of the great God is being built with huge stones and wooden beams set in the walls. Everyone is working hard, and the building is going up fast.
    9We asked those in charge to tell us who gave them permission to rebuild the temple. 10We also asked for the names of their leaders, so that we could write them down for you.
    11They claimed to be servants of the God who rules heaven and earth. And they said they were rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago by one of Israel's greatest kings. [b] 12We were told that their people had made God angry, and he let them be captured by Nebuchadnezzar, [c] the Babylonian king [d] who took them away as captives to Babylonia. Nebuchadnezzar tore down their temple, 13-15took its gold and silver articles, and put them in the temple of his own god in Babylon. They also said that during the first year Cyrus was king of Babylonia, [e] he gave orders for God's temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem where it had stood before. So Cyrus appointed Sheshbazzar governor of Judah and sent these gold and silver articles for him to put in the temple. 16Sheshbazzar then went to Jerusalem and laid the foundation for the temple, and the work is still going on. 17Your Majesty, please have someone look up the old records in Babylonia and find out if King Cyrus really did give orders to rebuild God's temple in Jerusalem. We will do whatever you think we should.

Ezra 6

King Cyrus' Order Is Rediscovered
 1King Darius ordered someone to go through the old records kept in Babylonia. 2Finally, a scroll [f] was found in Ecbatana, the capital of Media Province, and it said: This official record will show 3that in the first year Cyrus was king, he gave orders to rebuild God's temple in Jerusalem, so that sacrifices and offerings could be presented there. [g] It is to be built ninety feet high and ninety feet wide, 4with one [h] row of wooden beams for each three rows of large stones. The royal treasury will pay for everything. 5Then return to their proper places the gold and silver things that Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple and brought to Babylonia.
King Darius Orders the Work To Continue
 6King Darius sent this message:    Governor Tattenai of Western Province and Shethar Bozenai, you and your advisors must stay away from the temple. 7Let the Jewish governor and leaders rebuild it where it stood before. And stop slowing them down!
    8Starting right now, I am ordering you to help the leaders by paying their expenses from the tax money collected in Western Province. 9And don't fail to let the priests in Jerusalem have whatever they need each day so they can offer sacrifices to the God of heaven. Give them young bulls, rams, sheep, as well as wheat, salt, wine, and olive oil. 10I want them to be able to offer pleasing sacrifices to God and to pray for me and my family.
    11If any of you don't obey this order, a wooden beam will be taken from your house and sharpened on one end. Then it will be driven through your body, [i] and your house will be torn down and turned into a garbage dump. 12I ask the God who is worshiped in Jerusalem to destroy any king or nation who tries either to change what I have said or to tear down his temple. I, Darius, give these orders, and I expect them to be followed carefully.
The Temple Is Dedicated
 13Governor Tattenai, Shethar Bozenai, and their advisors carefully obeyed King Darius. 14With great success the Jewish leaders continued working on the temple, while Haggai and Zechariah encouraged them by their preaching. And so, the temple was completed at the command of the God of Israel and by the orders of kings Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes of Persia. [j] 15On the third day of the month of Adar [k] in the sixth year of the rule of Darius, [l] the temple was finished. 16The people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and everyone else who had returned from exile were happy and celebrated as they dedicated God's temple. 17One hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs were offered as sacrifices at the dedication. Also twelve goats were sacrificed as sin offerings for the twelve tribes of Israel. 18Then the priests and Levites were assigned their duties in God's temple in Jerusalem, according to the instructions Moses had written.    
The Passover
 19Everyone who had returned from exile celebrated Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. [m] 20The priests and Levites had gone through a ceremony to make themselves acceptable to lead in worship. Then some of them killed Passover lambs for those who had returned, including the other priests and themselves. 21The sacrifices were eaten by the Israelites who had returned and by the neighboring people who had given up the sinful customs of other nations in order to worship the LORD God of Israel. 22For seven days they celebrated the Festival of Thin Bread. Everyone was happy because the LORD God of Israel had made sure that the king of Assyria [n] would be kind to them and help them build the temple.
  1. Ezra 5:1 Zechariah: Aramaic "Zechariah son of Iddo."
  2. Ezra 5:11 one of Israel's greatest kings: Solomon (ruled from about 970 to 931 B.C.).
  3. Ezra 5:12 Nebuchadnezzar: See the note at 1.7.
  4. Ezra 5:12 the Babylonian king: Aramaic "the Babylonian king from Chaldea," but Chaldea is another name for Babylonia.
  5. Ezra 5:13 Cyrus was king of Babylonia: King Cyrus of Persia became king of Babylonia when the Persians conquered the city of Babylon in 539 B.C.
  6. Ezra 6:2 scroll: A roll of paper or special leather used for writing on.
  7. Ezra 6:3 so that. . . there: One possible meaning for the difficult Aramaic text.
  8. Ezra 6:4 one: One possible meaning for the difficult Aramaic text.
  9. Ezra 6:11 driven through your body: A well-known punishment in the ancient Near East.
  10. Ezra 6:14 Artaxerxes of Persia: See the note at 4.7.
  11. Ezra 6:15 Adar: The twelfth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-February to about mid-March.
  12. Ezra 6:15 sixth year. . . Darius: 515 B.C.
  13. Ezra 6:19 the first month: Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-March to mid-April.
  14. Ezra 6:22 king of Assyria: Meaning the king of Persia, because Assyria was now part of the Persian Empire.

1 Corinthians 3:5-23 (Contemporary English Version)

5Apollos and I are merely servants who helped you to have faith. It was the Lord who made it all happen. 6I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow. 7What matters isn't those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow. 8The one who plants is just as important as the one who waters. And each one will be paid for what they do. 9Apollos and I work together for God, and you are God's garden and God's building.
Only One Foundation
 10God was kind and let me become an expert builder. I laid a foundation on which others have built. But we must each be careful how we build, 11because Christ is the only foundation. 12-13Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire on the day of judgment. Then everyone will find out if we have used gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw. 14We will be rewarded if our building is left standing. 15But if it is destroyed by the fire, we will lose everything. Yet we ourselves will be saved, like someone escaping from flames.     16All of you surely know that you are God's temple and that his Spirit lives in you. 17Together you are God's holy temple, and God will destroy anyone who destroys his temple.
    18Don't fool yourselves! If any of you think you are wise in the things of this world, you will have to become foolish before you can be truly wise. 19This is because God considers the wisdom of this world to be foolish. It is just as the Scriptures say, "God catches the wise when they try to outsmart him." 20The Scriptures also say, "The Lord knows that the plans made by wise people are useless." 21-22So stop bragging about what anyone has done. Paul and Apollos and Peter [a] all belong to you. In fact, everything is yours, including the world, life, death, the present, and the future. Everything belongs to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.
  1. 1 Corinthians 3:21 Peter: See the note at 1.12.

Psalm 29:1-11 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 29

(A psalm by David.)
The Voice of the LORD in a Storm
 1All of you angels [a] in heaven, honor the glory and power    of the LORD!
    2Honor the wonderful name
   of the LORD,
   and worship the LORD
   most holy and glorious. [b] 3The voice of the LORD
   echoes over the oceans.
   The glorious LORD God
   above the roar
   of the raging sea,
    4and his voice is mighty
   and marvelous.
    5The voice of the LORD
   destroys the cedar trees;
   the LORD shatters cedars
   on Mount Lebanon.
    6God makes Mount Lebanon
   skip like a calf
   and Mount Hermon
   jump like a wild ox.
    7The voice of the LORD
   makes lightning flash
    8and the desert tremble.
   And because of the LORD,
   the desert near Kadesh
   shivers and shakes.
    9The voice of the LORD
   makes deer give birth
   before their time. [c] Forests are stripped of leaves,
   and the temple is filled
   with shouts of praise.
    10The LORD rules on his throne,
   king of the flood [d] forever. 11Pray that our LORD
   will make us strong
   and give us peace.
  1. Psalm 29:1 angels: Or " supernatural beings" or " gods."
  2. Psalm 29:2 most. . . glorious: Or " in his holy place" or " and wear your glorious clothes."
  3. Psalm 29:9 makes. . . time: Or " twists the oak trees around."
  4. Psalm 29:10 king of the flood: In ancient times the people of Israel believed that a mighty ocean surrounded all of creation, and that God could release the water to flood the earth.

Proverbs 20:26-27 (Contemporary English Version)

26A wise ruler severely punishes
   every criminal.
    27Our inner thoughts are a lamp
   from the LORD,
   and they search our hearts.

Verse of the Day

“[The LORD Is Our Judge]The LORD is our judge and our ruler; the LORD is our king and will keep us safe.” - Isaiah 33:22
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

GKpress.jpgThought for the Day

American author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, and radio personality, Garrison Keillor wrote, “When the country goes temporarily to the dogs, cats must learn to be circumspect, walk on fences, sleep in trees, and have faith that all this woofing is not the last word. What is the last word, then? Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things: through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music and books, raising kids — all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through. Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.”

Image result for patient talking to doctor cartoon images
A Joke for Today

During his physical, the doctor asked the patient about his daily activity level

He described a typical day this way: 'Well, yesterday afternoon, I waded along the edge of a lake, drank eight beers, escaped from wild dogs in the heavy brush, jumped away from an aggressive rattlesnake, marched up and down several rocky hills, stood in a patch of poison ivy, crawled out of quicksand and took four leaks behind big trees.' Inspired by the story, the doctor said, 'You must be one heck of an outdoors man!' 'NAH,' he replied, 'I'm just a horrible golfer.'

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