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, December 30, 2017

Bible Readings for December 30, 2017

Today our passages are Malachi 1:1–2:17; Revelation 21:1-27; Psalm 149:1-9; and Proverbs 31:10-24.The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.  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.


Malachi 1-2Contemporary English Version (CEV)

I am Malachi. And this is the message that the Lord gave me for Israel.

The Lord’s Love for Israel

Israel, I, the Lord, have loved you. And yet you ask in what way have I loved you. Don’t forget that Esau was the brother of your ancestor Jacob, but I chose Jacob instead of Esau. And I turned Esau’s hill country into a barren desert where jackalsa] roam. Esau’s descendants may say, “Although our nation Edom is in ruins, we will rebuild.”
But I, the Lord All-Powerful, promise to tear down whatever they build. Then everyone will know that I will never stop being angry with them as long as they are so sinful.
Israel, when you see this, you will shout, “The Lord’s great reputation reaches beyond our borders.”

Judgment against Priests

I, the Lord All-Powerful, have something to say to you priests. Children respect their fathers, and servants respect their masters. I am your father and your master, so why don’t you respect me? You priests have insulted me, and now you ask, “How did we insult you?”
You embarrass me by offering worthless food on my altar. Then you ask, “How have we embarrassed you?” You have done it by saying, “What’s so great about the Lord’s altar?”
But isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are blind, crippled, or sick? Just try giving those animals to your governor. That certainly wouldn’t please him or make him want to help you. I am the Lord God All-Powerful, and you had better try to please me. You have sinned. Now see if I will have mercy on any of you.
10 I wish someone would lock the doors of my temple, so you would stop wasting time building fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you priests, and I refuse to accept any more of your offerings. 11 From dawn until dusk my name is praised by every nation on this earth, as they burn incense and offer the proper sacrifices to me. 12 But even you priests insult me by saying, “There’s nothing special about the Lord’s altar, and these sacrifices are worthless.”
13 You get so disgusted that you even make vulgar signs at me.b] And for an offering, you bring stolenc] animals or those that are crippled or sick. Should I accept these? 14 Instead of offering the acceptable animals you have promised, you bring me those that are unhealthy. I will punish you for this, because I am the great King, the Lord All-Powerful, and I am worshiped by nations everywhere.

True and False Priests

I, the Lord All-Powerful, have something else to say to you priests. You had better take seriously the need to honor my name. Otherwise, when you give a blessing, I will turn it into a curse. In fact, I have already done this, because you haven’t taken to heart your duties as priests. I will punish your descendants and rub your faces in the manure from your animal sacrifices, and then be done with you.d]
I am telling you this, so I can continue to keep my agreement with your ancestor Levi. I blessed him with a full life, as I had promised, and he kept his part of the agreement by honoring me and respecting my name. He taught the truth and never told lies, and he led a lot of people to turn from sin, because he obeyed me and lived right.
You priests should be eager to spread knowledge, and everyone should come to you for instruction, because you speak for me, the Lord All-Powerful.But you have turned your backs on me. Your teachings have led others to do sinful things, and you have broken the agreement I made with your ancestor Levi. So I caused everyone to hate and despise you, because you disobeyed me and failed to treat all people alike.

A Broken Agreement

10 Don’t you know that we all have God as our Father? Didn’t the one God create each of us? Then why do you cheat each other by breaking the agreement God made with your ancestors? 11 You people in Judah and Jerusalem have been unfaithful to the Lord. You have disgraced the temple that he loves, and you have committed the disgusting sin of worshiping other gods.e] 12 I pray that the Lord will no longer let those who are guilty belong to his people, even if they eagerly decide to offer the Lord a gift.f]
13 And what else are you doing? You cry noisily and flood the Lord’s altar with your tears, because he isn’t pleased with your offerings and refuses to accept them. 14 And why isn’t God pleased? It’s because he knows that each of you men has been unfaithful to the wife you married when you were young. You promised that she would be your partner, but now you have broken that promise. 15 Didn’t God create you to become like one person with your wife?g]And why did he do this? It was so you would have children, and then lead them to become God’s people. Don’t ever be unfaithful to your wife. 16 TheLord God All-Powerful of Israel hates anyone who is cruel enough to divorce his wife. So take care never to be unfaithful!
17 You have worn out the Lord with your words. And yet, you ask, “How did we do that?”
You did it by saying, “The Lord is pleased with evil and doesn’t care about justice.”


  1. 1.3 jackals: Desert animals related to wolves, but smaller.
  2. 1.13 me: Or “the altar.”
  3. 1.13 stolen: Or “injured.”
  4. 2.3 and then be done with you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 2.11 worshiping other gods: Or “marrying the worshipers of other gods.”
  6. 2.12 even if. . . gift: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 2.15 Didn’t. . . wife: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.


Revelation 21Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.
I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:
God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
Then the one sitting on the throne said:
I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega,a]the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
But I will tell you what will happen to cowards and to everyone who is unfaithful or dirty-minded or who murders or is sexually immoral or uses witchcraft or worships idols or tells lies. They will be thrown into that lake of fire and burning sulfur. This is the second death.b]

The New Jerusalem

I saw one of the seven angels who had the bowls filled with the seven last terrible troubles. The angel came to me and said, “Come on! I will show you the one who will be the bride and wife of the Lamb.” 10 Then with the help of the Spirit, he took me to the top of a very high mountain. There he showed me the holy city of Jerusalem coming down from God in heaven.
11 The glory of God made the city bright. It was dazzling and crystal clear like a precious jasper stone. 12 The city had a high and thick wall with twelve gates, and each one of them was guarded by an angel. On each of the gates was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 Three of these gates were on the east, three were on the north, three more were on the south, and the other three were on the west. 14 The city was built on twelve foundation stones. On each of the stones was written the name of one of the Lamb’s twelve apostles.
15 The angel who spoke to me had a gold measuring stick to measure the city and its gates and its walls. 16 The city was shaped like a cube, because it was just as high as it was wide. When the angel measured the city, it was about fifteen hundred miles high and fifteen hundred miles wide. 17 Then the angel measured the wall, and by our measurements it was about two hundred sixteen feet high.
18 The wall was built of jasper, and the city was made of pure gold, clear as crystal. 19 Each of the twelve foundations was a precious stone. The first was jasper,c] the second was sapphire, the third was agate, the fourth was emerald, 20 the fifth was onyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was chrysolite, the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. 21 Each of the twelve gates was a solid pearl. The streets of the city were made of pure gold, clear as crystal.
22 I did not see a temple there. The Lord God All-Powerful and the Lamb were its temple. 23 And the city did not need the sun or the moon. The glory of God was shining on it, and the Lamb was its light.
24 Nations will walk by the light of that city, and kings will bring their riches there. 25 Its gates are always open during the day, and night never comes.26 The glorious treasures of nations will be brought into the city. 27 But nothing unworthy will be allowed to enter. No one who is dirty-minded or who tells lies will be there. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of lifed] will be in the city.


  1. 21.6 Alpha and Omega: See the note at 1.8.
  2. 21.8 second death: See the note at 2.11.
  3. 21.19 jasper: The precious and semi-precious stones mentioned in verses 19,20 are of different colors. Jasper is usually green or clear; sapphire is blue; agate has circles of brown and white; emerald is green; onyx has different bands of color; carnelian is deep-red or reddish-white; chrysolite is olive-green; beryl is green or bluish-green; topaz is yellow; chrysoprase is apple-green; jacinth is reddish-orange; and amethyst is deep purple.
  4. 21.27 book of life: See the note at 3.5.


Psalm 149Contemporary English Version (CEV)

A New Song of Praise

149 Shout praises to the Lord!
Sing him a new song of praise
    when his loyal people meet.
People of Israel, rejoice
    because of your Creator.
    People of Zion, celebrate
    because of your King.
Praise his name by dancing
    and playing music on harps
    and tambourines.
The Lord is pleased
    with his people,
    and he gives victory
    to those who are humble.
All of you faithful people,
praise our glorious Lord!
    Celebrate and worship.
Praise God with songs
on your lips
    and a sword in your hand.
Take revenge and punish
    the nations.
    Put chains of iron
    on their kings and rulers.
Punish them as they deserve;
    this is the privilege
of God’s faithful people.
    Shout praises to the Lord!

Proverbs 31:10-24Contemporary English Version (CEV)

In Praise of a Good Wife

10 A truly good wife
is the most precious treasure
    a man can find!
11 Her husband depends on her,
    and she never
    lets him down.
12 She is good to him
    every day of her life,
13     and with her own hands
    she gladly makes clothes.
14 She is like a sailing ship
    that brings food
    from across the sea.
15 She gets up before daylight
to prepare food
    for her family
    and for her servants.a]
16 She knows how to buy land
and how to plant a vineyard,
17     and she always works hard.
18 She knows when to buy or sell,
    and she stays busy
    until late at night.
19 She spins her own cloth,
20     and she helps the poor
    and the needy.
21 Her family has warm clothing,
    and so she doesn’t worry
    when it snows.
22 She does her own sewing,
    and everything she wears
    is beautiful.
23 Her husband is a well-known
and respected leader
    in the city.
24 She makes clothes to sell
    to the shop owners.


  1. 31.15 and. . . servants: Or “and to tell her servants what to do.”

Verse of the Day
I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.
John 16:33 CEV

Related imageThought for the Day

American photojournalist, W. Eugene Smith wrote, “Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors.” 

A Joke for Today

Image result for father axe Christmas tree jokeA boy begs his father to get him a Christmas tree this year.

Each year, the boy asks and the father tells him, "I don't want to pay for it."

But the son kept begging. Unable to bear his son's whining, he picks up his axe one day and heads out of the house. 

Thirty minutes later he returns with a great big Christmas tree. "How did you cut it down so fast?" his son asks.

"I didn't cut it down," the father replies. "I got it at a tree lot."

"Then why did you bring an axe?"

"Because I didn't want to pay."

Friday, December 29, 2017

Bible Readings for December 29, 2017

Today our passages are Zechariah 14:1-21; Revelation 20:1-15; Psalm 148:1-14; and Proverbs 31:8-9The readings are from the Contemporary English Version.  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.

Zechariah 14:1-21

War and Victory

14 The Lord will have his day. And when it comes, everything that was ever taken from Jerusalem will be returned and divided among its people. But first, he will bring many nations to attack Jerusalem—homes will be robbed, women raped, and half of the population dragged off, though the others will be allowed to remain.
The Lord will attack those nations like a warrior fighting in battle. He will take his stand on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem, and the mountain will split in half, forming a wide valley that runs from east to west. Then you people will escape from the Lord’s mountain, through this valley, which reaches to Azal.a] You will run in all directions, just as everyone did when the earthquake struckb] in the time of King Uzziah of Judah. Afterwards, theLord my God will appear with his holy angels.
It will be a bright day that won’t turn cloudy.c] And the Lord has decided when it will happen—this time of unending day.
In both summer and winter, life-giving streams will flow from Jerusalem, half of them to the Dead Sea in the east and half to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. Then there will be only one Lord who rules as King and whose name is worshiped everywhere on earth.
10-11 From Geba down to Rimmond] south of Jerusalem, the entire country will be turned into flatlands, with Jerusalem still towering above. Then the city will be full of people, from Benjamin Gate, Old Gate Place, and Hananel Tower in the northeast part of the city over to Corner Gate in the northwest and down to King’s Wine Press in the south. Jerusalem will always be secure and will never again be destroyed.
12 Here is what the Lord will do to those who attack Jerusalem: While they are standing there, he will make their flesh rot and their eyes fall from their sockets and their tongues drop out. 13 The Lord will make them go into a frenzy and start attacking each other, 14-15 until even the people of Judah turn against those in Jerusalem.e] This same terrible disaster will also strike every animal nearby, including horses, mules, camels, and donkeys. Finally, everything of value in the surrounding nations will be collected and brought to Jerusalem—gold, silver, and piles of clothing.
16 Afterwards, the survivors from those nations that attacked Jerusalem will go there each year to worship the King, the Lord All-Powerful, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17 No rain will fall on the land of anyone in any country who refuses to go to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord All-Powerful. 18-19 This horrible disaster will strike the Egyptians and everyone else who refuses to go there for the celebration.
20-21 At that time the words “Dedicated to the Lord” will be engraved on the bells worn by horses. In fact, every ordinary cooking pot in Jerusalem will be just as sacred to the Lord All-Powerful as the bowls used at the altar. Any one of them will be acceptable for boiling the meat of sacrificed animals, and there will no longer be a need to sell special pots and bowls.f]


  1. 14.5 to Azal: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The location of Azal is unknown.
  2. 14.5 earthquake struck: See Amos 1.1.
  3. 14.6 a bright. . . cloudy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 14.10 From Geba down to Rimmon: Approximately the northern and southern borders of Judah before the exile (see 2 Kings 23.8); Geba is about ten miles north of Jerusalem, and Rimmon is about ten miles north of Beersheba.
  5. 14.13-15 each other. . . Jerusalem: Or “each other. 14-15 But the people of Judah will fight on the side of Jerusalem.”
  6. 14.20,21 special pots and bowls: Since all pots and bowls will be considered acceptable for use in the temple, there will be no more need for merchants to sell special ones to those people who come to offer sacrifices.

Revelation 20:1-15

The Thousand Years

20 I saw an angel come down from heaven, carrying the key to the deep pit and a big chain. He chained the dragon for a thousand years. It is that old snake, who is also known as the devil and Satan. Then the angel threw the dragon into the pit. He locked and sealed it, so that a thousand years would go by before the dragon could fool the nations again. But after that, it would have to be set free for a little while.
I saw thrones, and sitting on those thrones were the ones who had been given the right to judge. I also saw the souls of the people who had their heads cut off because they had told about Jesus and preached God’s message. They were the same ones who had not worshiped the beast or the idol, and they had refused to let its mark be put on their hands or foreheads. They will come to life and rule with Christ for a thousand years.
5-6 These people are the first to be raised to life, and they are especially blessed and holy. The second deatha] has no power over them. They will be priests for God and Christ and will rule with them for a thousand years.
No other dead people were raised to life until a thousand years later.

Satan Is Defeated

At the end of the thousand years, Satan will be set free. He will fool the countries of Gog and Magog, which are at the far ends of the earth, and their people will follow him into battle. They will have as many followers as there are grains of sand along the beach, and they will march all the way across the earth. They will surround the camp of God’s people and the city that his people love. But fire will come down from heaven and destroy the whole army. 10 Then the devil who fooled them will be thrown into the lake of fire and burning sulfur. He will be there with the beast and the false prophet, and they will be in pain day and night forever and ever.

The Judgment at the Great White Throne

11 I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. Earth and heaven tried to run away, but there was no place for them to go. 12 I also saw all the dead people standing in front of that throne. Every one of them was there, no matter who they had once been. Several books were opened, and then the book of lifeb] was opened. The dead were judged by what those books said they had done.
13 The sea gave up the dead people who were in it, and death and its kingdom also gave up their dead. Then everyone was judged by what they had done. 14 Afterwards, death and its kingdom were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.c] 15 Anyone whose name wasn’t written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.


  1. 20.5,6 second death: See the note at 2.11.
  2. 20.12 book of life: See the note at 3.5.
  3. 20.14 second death: See the note at 2.11.

Psalm 148:1-14

Come Praise the Lord

148 Shout praises to the Lord!
    Shout the Lord’s praises
    in the highest heavens.
All of you angels,
and all who serve him above,
    come and offer praise.
Sun and moon,
and all of you bright stars,
    come and offer praise.
Highest heavens,
and the water
above the highest heavens,a]
    come and offer praise.
Let all things praise
    the name of the Lord,
    because they were created
    at his command.
He made them to last forever,
    and nothing can change
    what he has done.b]
All creatures on earth,
you obey his commands,
    so come praise the Lord!
Sea monsters and the deep sea,
fire and hail,
snow and frost,
    and every stormy wind,
    come praise the Lord!
All mountains and hills,
    fruit trees and cedars,
10 every wild and tame animal,
all reptiles and birds,
    come praise the Lord!
11 Every king and every ruler,
    all nations on earth,
12 every man and every woman,
young people and old,
    come praise the Lord!
13 All creation, come praise
the name of the Lord.
    Praise his name alone.
The glory of God is greater
    than heaven and earth.
14 Like a bull with mighty horns,
the Lord protects
    his faithful nation Israel,
    because they belong to him.
    Shout praises to the Lord!


  1. 148.4 the water. . . heavens: It was believed that the earth and the heavens were surrounded by water.
  2. 148.6 nothing. . . done: Or “his laws will never change.”

Proverbs 31:8-9
But you must defend
those who are helpless
    and have no hope.
Be fair and give justice
    to the poor and homeless.

Verse for the Day
[ Jesus Is the Way to the Father ] Jesus said to his disciples, “Don’t be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together.
John 14:1-3 CEV

Thought for the Day

Cellist, composer, and conductor from Catalonia, Spain, Pablo Casals wrote, “The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”

A Joke for Today 

Image result for "wise men" fireman hatsIn a small Southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed  great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature  bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets.  Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.

At a "Quick Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You damn Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it in my face she said 

"See, it says right here,  'The three wise man came from afar.'"