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.

The Bible in a Year is a ministry of Cove Presbyterian Church. We need your support to keep posting. If you find it helpful, you can support this blog by your contributions. They may be sent to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, WV 26062. You can also use the PayPal link below:

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Bible Readings for September 25, 2017


Today our passages are Isaiah 45:11–48:11; Ephesians 4:1-16; Psalm 68:19-35; and Proverbs 24:3-4. 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.

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Isaiah 45:11-48:11 (Contemporary English Version)

11I am the LORD, the Creator,
   the holy God of Israel.
   Do you dare question me
   about my own nation
   or about what I have done?
    12I created the world
   and covered it with people;
   I stretched out the sky
   and filled it with stars.
    13I have done the right thing
   by placing Cyrus in power,
   and I will make the roads easy
   for him to follow.
   I am the LORD All-Powerful!
   Cyrus will rebuild my city
   and set my people free
   without being paid a thing.
   I, the LORD, have spoken.
   
The LORD Alone Can Save
 14My people, I, the LORD, promise    that the riches of Egypt
   and the treasures of Ethiopia [a] will belong to you.
   You will force into slavery
   those tall people of Seba. [b] They will bow down and say,
   "The only true God is with you;
   there are no other gods."
    15People of Israel,
   your God is a mystery,
   though he alone can save.
    16Anyone who makes idols
   will be confused
   and terribly disgraced.
    17But Israel, I, the LORD,
   will always keep you safe
   and free from shame.
   
Everyone Is Invited
 18The LORD alone is God!    He created the heavens
   and made a world
   where people can live,
   instead of creating
   an empty desert.
   The LORD alone is God;
   there are no others.
    19The LORD did not speak
   in a dark secret place
   or command Jacob's descendants
   to search for him in vain.
   The LORD speaks the truth,
   and this is what he says
    20to every survivor
   from every nation:
   "Gather around me!
   Learn how senseless it is
   to worship wooden idols
   or pray to helpless gods.
    21"Why don't you get together
   and meet me in court?
   Didn't I tell you long ago
   what would happen?
   I am the only God!
   There are no others.
   I bring about justice,
   and have the power to save.
    22"I invite the whole world
   to turn to me and be saved.
   I alone am God!
   No others are real.
    23I have made a solemn promise,
   one that won't be broken:
   Everyone will bow down
   and worship me.
    24They will admit that I alone
   can bring about justice.
   Everyone who is angry with me
   will be terribly ashamed
   and will turn to me.
    25I, the LORD, will give
   victory and great honor
   to the people of Israel."
   

Isaiah 46

Babylonia's Gods Are Helpless
The LORD said:
 1The gods Bel and Nebo [c] are down on their knees,    as wooden images of them
   are carried away
   on weary animals. [d] 2They are down on their knees
   to rescue the heavy load,
   but the images are still taken
   to a foreign country.
    3You survivors in Israel,
   listen to me, the LORD.
   Since the day you were born,
   I have carried you along.
    4I will still be the same
   when you are old and gray,
   and I will take care of you.
   I created you. I will carry you
   and always keep you safe.
    5Can anyone compare with me?
   Is anyone my equal?
    6Some people hire a goldsmith
   and give silver and gold
   to be formed into an idol
   for them to worship.
    7They carry the idol
   on their shoulders,
   then put it on a stand,
   but it cannot move.
   They call out to the idol
   when they are in trouble,
   but it doesn't answer,
   and it cannot help.
    8Now keep this in mind, [e] you sinful people.
   And don't ever forget it.
   
The LORD Alone Is God
 9I alone am God!    There are no other gods;
   no one is like me.
   Think about what happened
   many years ago.
    10From the very beginning,
   I told what would happen
   long before it took place.
   I kept my word 11and brought
   someone from a distant land
   to do what I wanted.
   He attacked from the east,
   like a hawk swooping down.
   Now I will keep my promise
   and do what I planned.
    12You people are stubborn
   and far from being safe,
   so listen to me.
    13I will soon come to save you.
   I am not far away
   and will waste no time;
   I take pride in Israel
   and will save Jerusalem.
   

Isaiah 47

Babylon Will Fall
The LORD said:
 1City of Babylon,    You are delicate
   and untouched,
   but that will change.
   Surrender your royal power
   and sit in the dirt.
    2Start grinding grain!
   Take off your veil.
   Strip off your fancy clothes
   and cross over rivers. [f] 3You will suffer the shame
   of going naked,
   because I will take revenge,
   and no one can escape. [g] 4I am the LORD All-Powerful,
   the holy God of Israel.
   I am their Savior.
    5Babylon, be silent!
   Sit in the dark.
   No longer will nations
   accept you as their queen.
    6I was angry with my people.
   So I let you take their land
   and bring disgrace on them.
   You showed them no mercy,
   but were especially cruel
   to those who were old.
    7You thought that you
   would be queen forever.
   You didn't care what you did;
   it never entered your mind
   that you might get caught.
    8You think that you alone
   are all-powerful,
   that you won't be a widow
   or lose your children.
   All you care about is pleasure,
   but listen to what I say.
    9Your magic powers and charms
   will suddenly fail,
   then you will be a widow
   and lose your children.
    10You hid behind evil
   like a shield and said,
   "No one can see me!"
   You were fooled by your wisdom
   and your knowledge;
   you felt sure that you alone
   were in full control.
    11But without warning,
   disaster will strike--
   and your magic charms
   won't help at all.
    12Keep using your magic powers
   and your charms
   as you have always done.
   Maybe--just maybe--
   you will frighten somebody!
    13You have worn yourself out,
   asking for advice
   from those who study the stars
   and tell the future
   month after month.
   Go ask them how to be saved
   from what will happen.
    14People who trust the stars
   are as helpless
   as straw
   in a flaming fire.
   No one can even keep warm, [h] sitting by a fire
   that feeds only on straw.
    15These are the fortunetellers
   you have done business with
   all of your life.
   But they don't know
   where they are going,
   and they can't save you.
   

Isaiah 48

The LORD Corrects His People
 1People of Israel,    you come from Jacob's family
   and the tribe [i] of Judah. You claim to worship me,
   the LORD God of Israel,
   but you are lying.
    2You call Jerusalem your home
   and say you depend on me,
   the LORD All-Powerful,
   the God of Israel.
    3Long ago I announced
   what was going to be,
   then without warning,
   I made it happen.
    4I knew you were stubborn
   and hardheaded.
    5And I told you these things,
   so that when they happened
   you would not say,
   "The idols we worship did this."
    6You heard what I said,
   and you have seen it happen.
   Now admit that it's true!
   I will show you secrets
   you have never known.
    7Today I am doing something new,
   something you cannot say
   you have heard before.
    8You have never been willing
   to listen to what I say;
   from the moment of your birth,
   I knew you would rebel.
   
The LORD Warns Israel
 9I, the LORD, am true to myself;    I will be praised
   for not punishing
   and destroying you.
    10I tested you in hard times
   just as silver is refined
   in a heated furnace. [j] 11I did this because of who I am.
   I refuse to be dishonored [k] or share my praise
   with any other god.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Isaiah 45:14 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
  2. Isaiah 45:14 Seba: See the note at 43.3.
  3. Isaiah 46:1 Bel and Nebo: Bel was another name for Marduk, the chief god of the Babylonians. Nebo was the son of Marduk and also an important god.
  4. Isaiah 46:1 as. . . animals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Isaiah 46:8 Now. . . mind: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. Isaiah 47:2 Strip. . . rivers: This may be a command to get ready for work that requires wading in the river, or it may be a warning that they are going to be taken away as slaves.
  7. Isaiah 47:3 escape: Or "oppose me."
  8. Isaiah 47:14 keep warm: Or "cook food."
  9. Isaiah 48:1 tribe: Hebrew "waters."
  10. Isaiah 48:10 furnace: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  11. Isaiah 48:11 I refuse to be dishonored: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Ephesians 4:1-16 (Contemporary English Version)

Ephesians 4

Unity with Christ
 1As a prisoner of the Lord, I beg you to live in a way that is worthy of the people God has chosen to be his own. 2Always be humble and gentle. Patiently put up with each other and love each other. 3Try your best to let God's Spirit keep your hearts united. Do this by living at peace. 4All of you are part of the same body. There is only one Spirit of God, just as you were given one hope when you were chosen to be God's people. 5We have only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. 6There is one God who is the Father of all people. Not only is God above all others, but he works by using all of us, and he lives in all of us.     7Christ has generously divided out his gifts to us. 8As the Scriptures say,
   "When he went up
   to the highest place,
   he led away many prisoners
   and gave gifts to people."
    9When it says, "he went up," it means that Christ had been deep in the earth. 10This also means that the one who went deep into the earth is the same one who went into the highest heaven, so that he would fill the whole universe.
    11Christ chose some of us to be apostles, prophets, missionaries, pastors, and teachers, 12so that his people would learn to serve and his body would grow strong. 13This will continue until we are united by our faith and by our understanding of the Son of God. Then we will be mature, just as Christ is, and we will be completely like him. [a] 14We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. 15Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Ephesians 4:13 and we will be completely like him: Or and he is completely perfect.

Psalm 68:19-35 (Contemporary English Version)

19We praise you, Lord God!
   You treat us with kindness
   day after day,
   and you rescue us.
    20You always protect us
   and save us from death.
    21Our Lord and our God,
   your terrible enemies
   are ready for war, [a] but you will crush
   their skulls.
    22You promised to bring them
   from Bashan
   and from the deepest sea.
    23Then we could stomp
   on their blood,
   and our dogs could chew
   on their bones.
    24We have seen crowds marching
   to your place of worship,
   our God and King.
    25The singers come first,
   and then the musicians,
   surrounded by young women
   playing tambourines.
    26They come shouting,
   "People of Israel,
   praise the LORD God!"
    27The small tribe of Benjamin
   leads the way,
   followed by the leaders
   from Judah.
   Then come the leaders
   from Zebulun and Naphtali.
    28Our God, show your strength!
   Show us once again.
    29Then kings will bring gifts
   to your temple
   in Jerusalem. [b] 30Punish that animal
   that lives in the swamp! [c] Punish that nation
   whose leaders and people
   are like wild bulls.
   Make them come crawling
   with gifts of silver.
   Scatter those nations
   that enjoy making war. [d] 31Force the Egyptians to bring
   gifts of bronze;
   make the Ethiopians [e] hurry to offer presents. [f] 32Now sing praises to God!
   Every kingdom on earth,
   sing to the Lord!
    33Praise the one who rides
   across the ancient skies;
   listen as he speaks
   with a mighty voice.
    34Tell about God's power!
   He is honored in Israel,
   and he rules the skies.
    35The God of Israel is fearsome
   in his temple,
   and he makes us strong.
   Let's praise our God!
   
Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 68:21 are ready for war: The Hebrew text has " have long hair," which probably refers to the ancient custom of wearing long hair on special occasions, such as a " holy war."
  2. Psalm 68:29 Our God. . . Jerusalem: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 28,29.
  3. Psalm 68:30 animal. . . swamp: Probably Egypt.
  4. Psalm 68:30 war: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 30.
  5. Psalm 68:31 the Ethiopians: The Hebrew text has " the people of Cush," which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
  6. Psalm 68:31 presents: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 31.

Proverbs 24:3-4 (Contemporary English Version)

-20-
 3 Use wisdom and understanding    to establish your home;
    4let good sense fill the rooms
   with priceless treasures.


Verse of the day

“[Christ Helps Us]My children, I am writing this so that you won't sin. But if you do sin, Jesus Christ always does the right thing, and he will speak to the Father for us.” - 1 John 2:1
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Image result for William FaulknerThought for the Day

American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi, William Faulkner wrote, “Time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing as was — only is. If was existed, there would be no grief or sorrow. I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.”


A Joke for Today

Image result for rude parrotDavid received a parrot for his birthday. The parrot was fully grown with a bad attitude and worse vocabulary. Every other word was an obscenity. Those that weren't expletives, were to say the least, rude. David tried hard to change the bird's attitude and was constantly saying polite words, playing soft music, anything he could think of. Nothing worked. He yelled at the bird and the bird yelled back. He shocked the bird and the bird just got more angry and more rude. Finally, in a moment of desperation, David put the bird in the freezer, just for a few moments. He heard the bird squawk and kick and scream-then suddenly, there was quiet. 

David was frightened that he might have hurt the bird and quickly opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I'll endeavor at once to correct my behavior. I really am truly sorry and beg your forgiveness." David was astonished at the bird's change in attitude and was about to ask what had made such a dramatic change when the parrot continued, "May I ask what did the chicken do?"

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bible Readings for September 24, 2017


Today our passages are Isaiah 43:14–45:10; Ephesians 3:1-21; Psalm 68:1-18; and Proverbs 24:1-2. 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.

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Isaiah 43:14-45:10 (Contemporary English Version)

The LORD Will Prepare the Way
 14I, the LORD, will rescue you!
   I am Israel's holy God,
   and this is my promise:
   For your sake, I will send
   an army against Babylon
   to drag its people away,
   crying as they go. [a] 15I am the LORD, your holy God,
   Israel's Creator and King.
    16I am the one who cut a path
   through the mighty ocean.
    17I sent an army to chase you
   with chariots and horses;
   now they lie dead,
   unable to move.
   They are like an oil lamp
   with the flame snuffed out.
   
   
Forget the Past
The LORD said:
 18Forget what happened long ago!
   Don't think about the past.
    19I am creating something new.
   There it is! Do you see it?
   I have put roads in deserts,
   streams [b] in thirsty lands. 20Every wild animal honors me,
   even jackals [c] and owls. I provide water in deserts--
   streams in thirsty lands
   for my chosen people.
    21I made them my own nation,
   so they would praise me.
    22I, the LORD, said to Israel:
   You have become weary,
   but not from worshiping me.
    23You have not honored me
   by sacrificing sheep
   or other animals.
   And I have not burdened you
   with demands for sacrifices
   or sweet-smelling incense.
    24You have not brought
   delicious spices for me
   or given me the best part
   of your sacrificed animals.
   Instead, you burden me down
   with your terrible sins.
    25But I wipe away your sins
   because of who I am.
   And so, I will forget
   the wrongs you have done.
    26Meet me in court!
   State your case
   and prove
   that you are right.
    27Your earliest ancestor [d] and all of your leaders [e] rebelled against me.
    28That's why I don't allow
   your priests to serve me;
   I let Israel be destroyed
   and your people disgraced.
   

Isaiah 44

The LORD's Promise to Israel
 1People of Israel,
   I have chosen you
   as my servant.
    2I am your Creator.
   You were in my care
   even before you were born.
   Israel, don't be terrified!
   You are my chosen servant,
   my very favorite. [f] 3I will bless the thirsty land
   by sending streams of water;
   I will bless your descendants
   by giving them my Spirit.
    4They will spring up like grass [g] or like willow trees
   near flowing streams.
    5They will worship me
   and become my people.
   They will write my name
   on the back of their hands. [h] 6I am the LORD All-Powerful,
   the first and the last,
   the one and only God.
   Israel, I have rescued you!
   I am your King.
    7Can anyone compare with me?
   If so, let them speak up
   and tell me now.
   Let them say what has happened
   since I made my nation
   long ago,
   and let them tell
   what is going to happen. [i] 8Don't tremble with fear!
   Didn't I tell you long ago?
   Didn't you hear me?
   I alone am God--
   no one else is a mighty rock. [j]
   
Idols Can't Do a Thing
The LORD said:
 9Those people who make idols
   are nothing themselves,
   and the idols they treasure
   are just as worthless.
   Worshipers of idols are blind,
   stupid, and foolish.
    10Why make an idol or an image
   that can't do a thing?
    11Everyone who makes idols
   and all who worship them
   are mere humans,
   who will end up
   sadly disappointed.
   Let them face me in court
   and be terrified.
   
Idols and Firewood
 12A metalworker shapes an idol
   by using a hammer [k] and heat from the fire.
   In his powerful hand
   he holds a hammer,
   as he pounds the metal
   into the proper shape.
   But he gets hungry and thirsty
   and loses his strength.
    13Some woodcarver measures
   a piece of wood,
   then draws an outline.
   The idol is carefully carved
   with each detail exact.
   At last it looks like a person
   and is placed in a temple.
    14Either cedar, cypress, oak,
   or any tree from the forest
   may be chosen.
   Or even a pine tree planted
   by the woodcarver
   and watered by the rain.
    15Some of the wood is used
   to make a fire for heating
   or for cooking.
   One piece is made into an idol,
   then the woodcarver bows down
   and worships it.
    16He enjoys the warm fire
   and the meat that was roasted
   over the burning coals.
    17Afterwards, he bows down
   to worship the wooden idol.
   "Protect me!" he says.
   "You are my god."
    18Those who worship idols are stupid and blind! 19They don't have enough sense to say to themselves, "I made a fire with half of the wood and cooked my bread and meat on it. Then I made something worthless with the other half. Why worship a block of wood?"
    20How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes? [l] No one can save themselves like that. Don't they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?
The LORD Won't Forget His People
 21People of Israel,
   you are my servant,
   so remember all of this.
   Israel, I created you,
   and you are my servant.
   I won't forget you. [m] 22Turn back to me!
   I have rescued you
   and swept away your sins
   as though they were clouds.
   
Sing Praises to the LORD
 23Tell the heavens and the earth
   to start singing!
   Tell the mountains
   and every tree in the forest
   to join in the song!
   The LORD has rescued his people;
   now they will worship him.
   
The LORD Created Everything
 24Israel, I am your LORD.
   I am your source of life,
   and I have rescued you.
   I created everything
   from the sky above
   to the earth below.
    25I make liars of false prophets
   and fools of fortunetellers.
   I take human wisdom
   and turn it into nonsense.
    26I will make the message
   of my prophets come true.
   They are saying, "Jerusalem
   will be filled with people,
   and the LORD will rebuild
   the towns of Judah."
    27I am the one who commands
   the sea and its streams
   to run dry.
    28I am also the one who says,
   "Cyrus will lead my people
   and obey my orders.
   Jerusalem and the temple
   will be rebuilt."
   

Isaiah 45

Cyrus Obeys the LORD's Commands
 1The LORD said to Cyrus, his chosen one:
   I have taken hold
   of your right hand
   to help you capture nations
   and remove kings from power.
   City gates will open for you;
   not one will stay closed.
    2As I lead you,
   I will level mountains [n] and break the iron bars
   on bronze gates of cities.
    3I will give you treasures
   hidden in dark
   and secret places.
   Then you will know that I,
   the LORD God of Israel,
   have called you by name.
    4Cyrus, you don't even know me!
   But I have called you by name
   and highly honored you [o] because of Israel,
   my chosen servant.
    5Only I am the LORD!
   There are no other gods.
   I have made you strong,
   though you don't know me.
    6Now everyone from east to west
   will learn that I am the LORD.
   No other gods are real.
    7I create light and darkness,
   happiness and sorrow.
   I, the LORD, do all of this.
    8Tell the heavens
   to send down justice
   like showers of rain.
   Prepare the earth
   for my saving power
   to sprout
   and produce justice
   that I, the LORD, create. [p]
   
The LORD's Mighty Power
The LORD said:
 9Israel, you have no right
   to argue with your Creator.
   You are merely a clay pot
   shaped by a potter.
   The clay doesn't ask,
   "Why did you make me this way?
   Where are the handles?"
    10Children don't have the right
   to demand of their parents,
   "What have you done
   to make us what we are?"
   
Footnotes:
  1. Isaiah 43:14 crying as they go: Or "in their glorious ships."
  2. Isaiah 43:19 streams: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls "paths."
  3. Isaiah 43:20 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
  4. Isaiah 43:27 earliest ancestor: Jacob, also known as Israel.
  5. Isaiah 43:27 leaders: Probably prophets, but perhaps also priests and kings.
  6. Isaiah 44:2 my very favorite: Or "Jeshurun."
  7. Isaiah 44:4 like grass: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  8. Isaiah 44:5 write. . . hands: To show that they belong to the LORD and to Israel.
  9. Isaiah 44:7 Let them say. . . happen: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  10. Isaiah 44:8 mighty rock: See the note at 17.10.
  11. Isaiah 44:12 by using a hammer: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  12. Isaiah 44:20 How. . . ashes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  13. Isaiah 44:21 I won't forget you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. Isaiah 45:2 mountains: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text "rising waves."
  15. Isaiah 45:4 But. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  16. Isaiah 45:8 Prepare. . . create: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Ephesians 3:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Ephesians 3

Paul's Mission to the Gentiles
 1Christ Jesus made me his prisoner, so that I could help you Gentiles. 2You have surely heard about God's kindness in choosing me to help you. 3In fact, this letter tells you a little about how God has shown me his mysterious ways. 4As you read the letter, you will also find out how well I really do understand the mystery about Christ. 5No one knew about this mystery until God's Spirit told it to his holy apostles and prophets. 6And the mystery is this: Because of Christ Jesus, the good news has given the Gentiles a share in the promises that God gave to the Jews. God has also let the Gentiles be part of the same body.
    7God treated me with kindness. His power worked in me, and it became my job to spread the good news. 8I am the least important of all God's people. But God was kind and chose me to tell the Gentiles that because of Christ there are blessings that cannot be measured. 9God, who created everything, wanted me to help everyone understand the mysterious plan that had always been hidden in his mind. 10Then God would use the church to show the powers and authorities in the spiritual world that he has many different kinds of wisdom.
    11God did this according to his eternal plan. And he was able to do what he had planned because of all that Christ Jesus our Lord had done. 12Christ now gives us courage and confidence, so that we can come to God by faith. 13That's why you should not be discouraged when I suffer for you. After all, it will bring honor to you.
   
Christ's Love for Us
 14I kneel in prayer to the Father. 15All beings in heaven and on earth receive their life from him. [a] 16God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers 17and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love. 18I pray that you and all of God's people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep. [b] 19I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. 20-21I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Ephesians 3:15 receive their life from him: Or know who they really are because of him.
  2. Ephesians 3:18 what is called wide or long or high or deep: This may refer to the heavenly Jerusalem or to God's love or wisdom or to the meaning of the cross.

Psalm 68:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 68

(A psalm and a song by David for the music leader.)
God Will Win the Battle
 1Do something, God!
   Scatter your hateful enemies.
   Make them turn and run.
    2Scatter them like smoke!
   When you come near,
   make them melt
   like wax in a fire.
    3But let your people be happy
   and celebrate because of you.
    4Our God, you are the one
   who rides on the clouds,
   and we praise you.
   Your name is the LORD,
   and we celebrate
   as we worship you.
    5Our God, from your sacred home
   you take care of orphans
   and protect widows.
    6You find families
   for those who are lonely.
   You set prisoners free
   and let them prosper, [a] but all who rebel will live
   in a scorching desert.
    7You set your people free,
   and you led them
   through the desert.
    8God of Israel,
   the earth trembled,
   and rain poured down.
   You alone are the God
   who rules from Mount Sinai.
    9When your land was thirsty,
   you sent showers
   to refresh it.
    10Your people settled there,
   and you were generous
   to everyone in need.
    11You gave the command,
   and a chorus of women told
   what had happened:
    12"Kings and their armies
   retreated and ran,
   and everything they left
   is now being divided.
    13And for those who stayed back
   to guard the sheep,
   there are metal doves
   with silver-coated wings
   and shiny gold feathers."
    14God All-Powerful, you scattered
   the kings
   like snow falling
   on Mount Zalmon. [b] 15Our LORD and our God,
   Bashan is a mighty mountain
   covered with peaks.
    16Why is it jealous of Zion,
   the mountain you chose
   as your home forever?
    17When you, LORD God, appeared
   to your people [c] at Sinai, you came with thousands
   of mighty chariots.
    18When you climbed
   the high mountain,
   you took prisoners with you
   and were given gifts.
   Your enemies didn't want you
   to live there,
   but they gave you gifts.
   
Footnotes:
  1. Psalm 68:6 and let them prosper: Or " and give them a song."
  2. Psalm 68:14 Mount Zalmon: The location of this mountain is not known.
  3. Psalm 68:17 to your people: Or " in all your holiness" or " in your holy place."

Proverbs 24:1-2 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 24

-19-
 1 Don't be jealous of crooks
   or want to be their friends.
    2All they think about
   and talk about
   is violence and cruelty.

Verse of the Day

“Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised.” - Hebrews 10:35-36
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of OrfordThought for the Day

English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician, Horace Walpole wrote, “The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel.”


Image result for baby in cribA Joke for Today

One night, a wife found her husband standing over their baby’s crib. Silently she watched him.

As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, even skepticism.

Touched by this unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, with eyes glistening she slipped her arm around her husband. “A penny for your thoughts,” she said.

“It’s amazing!” he replied. “I just can’t see how anybody can make a crib like that for only $67.50.”