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, March 30, 2019

Bible Readings for March 30, 2019

Today our passages are Deuteronomy 13:1–15:23; Luke 8:40–9:6; Psalm 71:1-24; and Proverbs 12:5-7. The readings are the Contemporary English VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

Deuteronomy 13-15:23 (Contemporary English Version)

Deuteronomy 13

Don't Worship Other Gods
Moses said to Israel:
 1-2Someday a prophet a<="" value="[a]" >[] may come along who is able to perform miracles or tell what will happen in the future. Then the prophet may say, " Let's start worshiping some new gods--some gods that we know nothing about." 3If the prophet says this, don't listen! The LORD your God will be watching to find out whether or not you love him with all your heart and soul. 4You must be completely faithful to the LORD. Worship and obey only the LORD and do this with fear and trembling, 5because he rescued you from slavery in Egypt. If a prophet tells you to disobey the LORD your God and to stop worshiping him, then that prophet is evil and must be put to death.     6-10Someone else may say to you, " Let's worship other gods." That person may be your best friend, your brother or sister, your son or daughter, or your own dear wife or husband. But you must not listen to people who say such things. Instead, you must stone them to death. You must be the first to throw the stones, then others from the community will finish the job. Don't show any pity. 
   The gods worshiped by other nations have never done anything for you or your ancestors. People who ask you to worship other gods are trying to get you to stop worshiping the LORD, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt. So put to death anyone who asks you to worship another god. 11And when the rest of Israel hears about it, they will be afraid, and no one else will ever do such an evil thing again. 
    12After the LORD your God gives you towns to live in, you may hear a rumor about one of the towns. 13You may hear that some worthless people have talked everyone there into worshiping other gods, even though these gods had never done anything for them. 14You must carefully find out if the rumor is true. Then if the people of that town have actually done such a disgusting thing in your own country, 15you must take your swords and kill every one of them, and their livestock too. 16-17Gather all the possessions of the people who lived there, and pile them up in the marketplace, without keeping anything for yourself. Set the pile and the whole town on fire, and don't ever rebuild the town. The whole town will be a sacrifice to the LORD your God. Then he won't be angry anymore, and he will have mercy on you and make you successful, just as he promised your ancestors. 18That's why you must do what the LORD your God says is right. I am giving you his laws and teachings today, and you must obey them. 

Deuteronomy 14

Don't Mourn like Other Nations
Moses said:
 1People of Israel, you are the LORD's children, so when you mourn for the dead, you must not cut yourselves or shave your forehead. [b<="">] 2Out of all the nations on this earth, the LORD your God chose you to be his own. You belong to the LORD, so don't behave like those who worship other gods.
Animals That Can Be Eaten
(Leviticus 11.1-47)
 3Don't eat any disgusting animals.     4-5You may eat the meat of cattle, sheep, and goats; wild sheep and goats; and gazelles, antelopes, and all kinds of deer. 6It is all right to eat meat from any animals that have divided hoofs and also chew the cud. [c<="">] 7But don't eat camels, rabbits, and rock badgers. These animals chew the cud but do not have divided hoofs. You must treat them as unclean. 8And don't eat pork, since pigs have divided hoofs, but they do not chew their cud. Don't even touch a dead pig! 
    9You can eat any fish that has fins and scales. But there are other creatures that live in the water, 10and if they do not have fins and scales, you must not eat them. Treat them as unclean. 
    11You can eat any clean bird. 12-18But don't eat the meat of any of the following birds: eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, storks, herons, and hoopoes. [d<="">] You must not eat bats. 19Swarming insects are unclean, so don't eat them. 20However, you are allowed to eat certain kinds of winged insects. [e<="">] 21You belong to the LORD your God, so if you happen to find a dead animal, don't eat its meat. You may give it to foreigners who live in your town or sell it to foreigners who are visiting your town. 
   Don't boil a young goat in its mother's milk.     
Give the LORD Ten Percent of Your Harvest
Moses said:
 22People of Israel, every year you must set aside ten percent of your grain harvest. 23Also set aside ten percent of your wine and olive oil, and the first-born of every cow, sheep, and goat. Take these to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped, and eat them there. This will teach you to always respect the LORD your God.     24But suppose you can't carry that ten percent of your harvest to the place where the LORD chooses to be worshiped. If you live too far away, or if the LORD gives you a big harvest, 25then sell this part and take the money there instead. 26When you and your family arrive, spend the money on food for a big celebration. Buy cattle, sheep, goats, wine, beer, and if there are any other kinds of food that you want, buy those too. 27And since people of the Levi tribe won't own any land for growing crops, remember to ask the Levites to celebrate with you. 
    28Every third year, instead of using the ten percent of your harvest for a big celebration, bring it into town and put it in a community storehouse. 29The Levites have no land of their own, so you must give them food from the storehouse. You must also give food to the poor who live in your town, including orphans, widows, and foreigners. If they have enough to eat, then the LORD your God will be pleased and make you successful in everything you do. 
   Moses said: 

Deuteronomy 15

(Leviticus 25.1-7)
 1-2Every seven years you must announce, " The LORD says loans do not need to be paid back." Then if you have loaned money to another Israelite, you can no longer ask for payment. [f<="">] 3This law applies only to loans you have made to other Israelites. Foreigners will still have to pay back what you have loaned them. 4-6No one in Israel should ever be poor. The LORD your God is giving you this land, and he has promised to make you very successful, if you obey his laws and teachings that I'm giving you today. You will lend money to many nations, but you won't have to borrow. You will rule many nations, but they won't rule you.     7After the LORD your God gives land to each of you, there may be poor Israelites in the town where you live. If there are, then don't be mean and selfish with your money. 8Instead, be kind and lend them what they need. 9Be careful! Don't say to yourself, " Soon it will be the seventh year, and then I won't be able to get my money back." It would be horrible for you to think that way and to be so selfish that you refuse to help the poor. They are your relatives, and if you don't help them, they may ask the LORD to decide whether you have done wrong. And he will say that you are guilty. 10You should be happy to give the poor what they need, because then the LORD will make you successful in everything you do. 
    11There will always be some Israelites who are poor and needy. That's why I am commanding you to be generous with them. 
   Moses said to Israel:     
Setting Slaves Free
(Exodus 21.1-11)
 12If any of you buy Israelites as slaves, you must set them free after six years. 13And don't just tell them they are free to leave-- 14give them sheep and goats and a good supply of grain and wine. The more the LORD has given you, the more you should give them. 15I am commanding you to obey the LORD as a reminder that you were slaves in Egypt before he set you free. 16But one of your slaves may say, " I love you and your family, and I would be better off staying with you, so please don't make me leave." 17Take the slave to the door of your house and push a sharp metal rod through one earlobe and into the door. Such slaves will belong to you for life, whether they are men or women.     18Don't complain when you have to set a slave free. After all, you got six years of service at half the cost of hiring someone to do the work. [g<="">] Moses said to Israel:     
First-Born Animals
(Leviticus 27.26,27; Numbers 18.15-18)
 19If the first-born animal of a cow or sheep or goat is a male, it must be given to the LORD. Don't put first-born cattle to work or cut wool from first-born sheep. 20Instead, each year you must take the first-born of these animals to the place where the LORD your God chooses to be worshiped. You and your family will sacrifice them to the LORD and then eat them as part of a sacred meal.     21But if the animal is lame or blind or has something else wrong with it, you must not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22You can butcher it where you live, and eat it just like the meat of a deer or gazelle that you kill while hunting. Even those people who are unclean and unfit for worship can have some. 23But you must never eat the blood of an animal--let it drain out on the ground. 
   Moses said: 
  1. Deuteronomy 13:1 a prophet: Hebrew adds " or a dreamer of dreams," another name for a prophet.
  2. Deuteronomy 14:1 when you mourn. . . forehead: Or " you must not worship Baal, cutting yourselves and shaving your forehead."
  3. Deuteronomy 14:6 chew the cud: Some animals that eat grass and leaves have more than one stomach, and they chew their food a second time, after it has been partly digested in the first stomach. This partly digested food is called " cud."
  4. Deuteronomy 14:12 eagles. . . hoopoes: Some of the birds in this list are difficult to identify.
  5. Deuteronomy 14:20 certain kinds of winged insects: These were locusts, crickets, and grasshoppers; see Leviticus 11.21,22.
  6. Deuteronomy 15:1 The LORD says. . . no longer ask for payment: Or "The LORD says loans do not need to be paid back this year. Then if you have loaned money to another Israelite, you cannot ask for payment until the next year."
  7. Deuteronomy 15:18 six years. . . work: Or " six years of service, and it cost you no more than if you had hired someone to do the work" ; or " six years of service, for what you would have had to pay a worker for two years."

Luke 8:40-9:6 (Contemporary English Version)

A Dying Girl and a Sick Woman
(Matthew 9.18-26; Mark 5.21-43)
 40Everyone had been waiting for Jesus, and when he came back, a crowd was there to welcome him. 41Just then the man in charge of the Jewish meeting place came and knelt down in front of Jesus. His name was Jairus, and he begged Jesus to come to his home 42because his twelve-year-old child was dying. She was his only daughter.    While Jesus was on his way, people were crowding all around him. 43In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on doctors, a<="" value="[a]" >[] but none of them could make her well. 44As soon as she came up behind Jesus and barely touched his clothes, her bleeding stopped. 
    45"Who touched me?" Jesus asked. 
   While everyone was denying it, Peter said, "Master, people are crowding all around and pushing you from every side." [b<="">] 46But Jesus answered, "Someone touched me, because I felt power going out from me." 47The woman knew that she could not hide, so she came trembling and knelt down in front of Jesus. She told everyone why she had touched him and that she had been healed right away. 
    48Jesus said to the woman, "You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace!" 
    49While Jesus was speaking, someone came from Jairus' home and said, "Your daughter has died! Why bother the teacher anymore?" 
    50When Jesus heard this, he told Jairus, "Don't worry! Have faith, and your daughter will get well." 
    51Jesus went into the house, but he did not let anyone else go with him, except Peter, John, James, and the girl's father and mother. 52Everyone was crying and weeping for the girl. But Jesus said, "The child isn't dead. She is just asleep." 53The people laughed at him because they knew she was dead. 
    54Jesus took hold of the girl's hand and said, "Child, get up!" 55She came back to life and got right up. Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56Her parents were surprised, but Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. 

Luke 9

Instructions for the Twelve Apostles
(Matthew 10.5-15; Mark 6.7-13)
 1Jesus called together his twelve apostles and gave them complete power over all demons and diseases. 2Then he sent them to tell about God's kingdom and to heal the sick. 3He told them, "Don't take anything with you! Don't take a walking stick or a traveling bag or food or money or even a change of clothes. 4When you are welcomed into a home, stay there until you leave that town. 5If people won't welcome you, leave the town and shake the dust from your feet [c<="">] as a warning to them." 6The apostles left and went from village to village, telling the good news and healing people everywhere.   
  1. Luke 8:43 She had spent everything she had on doctors: Some manuscripts do not have these words.
  2. Luke 8:45 from every side: Some manuscripts add " and you ask, `Who touched me?' "
  3. Luke 9:5 shake the dust from your feet: This was a way of showing rejection.

Psalm 71:1-24 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 71

A Prayer for God's Protection
 1I run to you, LORD,    for protection. 
   Don't disappoint me. 
    2You do what is right, 
   so come to my rescue. 
   Listen to my prayer 
   and keep me safe. 
    3Be my mighty rock, a<="" value="[a]" >[] the place 
   where I can always run 
   for protection. 
   Save me by your command! 
   You are my mighty rock 
   and my fortress. 
    4Come and save me, LORD God, 
   from vicious and cruel 
   and brutal enemies! 
    5I depend on you, 
   and I have trusted you 
   since I was young. 
    6I have relied on you [b<="">] from the day I was born. 
   You brought me safely 
   through birth, 
   and I always praise you. 
    7Many people think of me 
   as something evil. 
   But you are my mighty protector, 
    8and I praise and honor you 
   all day long. 
    9Don't throw me aside 
   when I am old; 
   don't desert me 
   when my strength is gone. 
    10My enemies are plotting 
   because they want me dead. 
    11They say, "Now we'll catch you! 
   God has deserted you, 
   and no one can save you." 
    12Come closer, God! 
   Please hurry and help. 
    13Embarrass and destroy 
   all who want me dead; 
   disgrace and confuse 
   all who want to hurt me. 
    14I will never give up hope 
   or stop praising you. 
    15All day long I will tell 
   the wonderful things you do 
   to save your people. 
   But you have done much more 
   than I could possibly know. 
    16I will praise you, LORD God, 
   for your mighty deeds 
   and your power to save. 
    17You have taught me 
   since I was a child, 
   and I never stop telling about 
   your marvelous deeds. 
    18Don't leave me when I am old 
   and my hair turns gray. 
   Let me tell future generations 
   about your mighty power. 
    19Your deeds of kindness 
   are known in the heavens. 
   No one is like you! 
    20You made me suffer a lot, 
   but you will bring me 
   back from this deep pit 
   and give me new life. 
    21You will make me truly great 
   and take my sorrow away. 
    22I will praise you, God, 
   the Holy One of Israel. 
   You are faithful. 
   I will play the harp 
   and sing your praises. 
    23You have rescued me! 
   I will celebrate and shout, 
   singing praises to you 
   with all my heart. 
    24All day long I will announce 
   your power to save. 
   I will tell how you disgraced 
   and disappointed 
   those who wanted to hurt me. 
  1. Psalm 71:3 mighty rock: See the note at 18.2.
  2. Psalm 71:6 I. . . you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Proverbs 12:5-7 (Contemporary English Version)

5Good people have kind thoughts,
   but you should never trust
   the advice of someone evil.
    6Bad advice is a deadly trap,
   but good advice
   is like a shield.
    7Once the wicked are defeated,
   they are gone forever,
   but no one who obeys God
   will ever be thrown down. 

Verse of the Day

“He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, "He is a nobody!" He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God.” - Isaiah 53:3-4 
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version

A head and shoulders portrait of a thirty something man, with a red beard, facing to the leftThought for the Day

Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh wrote, “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.”

Image result for hillbilly jokes
A Joke for Today

An Arkansas State trooper pulls over a pickup truck on I-40 and says to the driver, "Got any ID?"
The driver says," ' Bout what?"

Friday, March 29, 2019

A Thought from the Word

A brief thought based on 1 Timothy 2:5-6 - There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us. God showed us this at the right time.

Bible Readings for March 29, 2019

Today our passages are Deuteronomy 11:1–12:32; Luke 8:22-39; Psalm 70:1-5; and Proverbs 12:4. The readings are the Contemporary English VersionIf you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

Deuteronomy 11-12:32 (Contemporary English Version)

Deuteronomy 11

If You Are Loyal to the LORD, He Will Bless You
Moses said to Israel:
 1The LORD is your God, so you must always love him and obey his laws and teachings. 2Remember, he corrected you and not your children. You are the ones who saw the LORD use his great power 3when he worked miracles in Egypt, making terrible things happen to the king and all his people. 4And when the Egyptian army chased you in their chariots, you saw the LORD drown them and their horses in the Red Sea. [a] Egypt still suffers from that defeat! 5You saw what the LORD did for you while you were in the desert, right up to the time you arrived here. 6And you saw how the LORD made the ground open up in the middle of our camp underneath the tents of Dathan and Abiram, [b] who were swallowed up along with their families, their animals, and their tents. 7With your own eyes, you saw the LORD's mighty power do all these things.     8Soon you will cross the Jordan River, and if you obey the laws and teachings I'm giving you today, you will be strong enough to conquer the land 9that the LORD promised your ancestors and their descendants. It's rich with milk and honey, and you will live there and enjoy it for a long time. 10It's better land than you had in Egypt, where you had to struggle just to water your crops. [c] 11But the hills and valleys in the promised land are watered by rain from heaven, [d] 12because the LORD your God keeps his eye on this land and takes care of it all year long. 13The LORD your God commands you to love him and to serve him with all your heart and soul. If you obey him, 14-15he will send rain at the right seasons, [e] so you will have more than enough food, wine, and olive oil, and there will be plenty of grass for your cattle. 16But watch out! You will be tempted to turn your backs on the LORD. And if you worship other gods, 17the LORD will become angry and keep the rain from falling. Nothing will grow in your fields, and you will die and disappear from the good land that the LORD is giving you.
    18Memorize these laws and think about them. Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and your foreheads to help you obey them. 19Teach them to your children. Talk about them all the time--whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 20Write them on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates. 21Then you and your descendants will live a long time in the land that the LORD promised your ancestors. Your families will live there as long as the sky is above the earth.
    22Love the LORD your God and obey all the laws and teachings that I'm giving you today. If you live the way the LORD wants, 23he will help you take the land. And even though the nations there are more powerful than you, the LORD will force them to leave when you attack. 24You will capture the land everywhere you go, from the Southern Desert to the Lebanon Mountains, and from the Euphrates River west to the Mediterranean Sea. 25No one will be able to stand up to you. The LORD will make everyone terrified of you, just as he promised.
    26You have a choice--do you want the LORD to bless you, or do you want him to put a curse on you? 27Today I am giving you his laws, and if you obey him, he will bless you. 28But if you disobey him and worship those gods that have never done anything for you, the LORD will put a curse on you.
    29After the LORD your God helps you take the land, you must have a ceremony where you announce his blessings from Mount Gerizim and his curses from Mount Ebal. 30You know that these two mountains are west of the Jordan River in land now controlled by the Canaanites living in the Jordan River valley. The mountains are west of the road near the sacred trees of Moreh on the other side of Gilgal.
    31Soon you will cross the Jordan River to conquer the land that the LORD your God is giving you. And when you have settled there, 32be careful to obey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today.

Deuteronomy 12

Only One Place To Worship the LORD
Moses said to Israel:
 1Now I'll tell you the laws and teachings that you have to obey as long as you live. Your ancestors worshiped the LORD, and he is giving you this land. 2But the nations that live there worship other gods. So after you capture the land, you must completely destroy their places of worship--on mountains and hills or in the shade of large trees. 3Wherever these nations worship their gods, you must tear down their altars, break their sacred stones, burn the sacred poles [f]used in worshiping the goddess Asherah, and smash their idols to pieces. Destroy these places of worship so completely that no one will remember they were ever there. 4Don't worship the LORD your God in the way those nations worship their gods. 5-19Soon you will cross the Jordan, and the LORD will help you conquer your enemies and let you live in peace, there in the land he has given you. But after you are settled, life will be different. You must not offer sacrifices just anywhere you want to. Instead, the LORD will choose a place somewhere in Israel where you must go to worship him. All of your sacrifices and offerings must be taken there, including sacrifices to please the LORD [g] and any gift you promise or voluntarily give him. That's where you must also take one tenth of your grain, wine, and olive oil, [h]as well as the first-born of your cattle, sheep, and goats. [i] You and your family and servants will eat your gifts and sacrifices [j] and celebrate there at the place of worship, because the LORD your God has made you successful in everything you have done. And since Levites will not have any land of their own, you must ask some of them to come along and celebrate with you. Sometimes you may want to kill an animal for food and not as a sacrifice. If the LORD has blessed you and given you enough cows or sheep or goats, then you can butcher one of them where you live. You can eat it just like the meat from a deer or gazelle that you kill when you go hunting. And even those people who are unclean and unfit for worship can have some of the meat. But you must not eat the blood of any animal--let the blood drain out on the ground.     20-21The LORD has promised that later on he will give Israel more land, and some of you may not be able to travel all the way from your homes to the place of worship each time you are hungry for meat. [k] But the LORD will give you cattle, sheep, and goats, and you can butcher any of those animals at home and eat as much as you want. 22It is the same as eating the meat from a deer or a gazelle that you kill when you go hunting. And in this way, anyone who is unclean and unfit for worship can have some of the meat. [l] 23-24But don't eat the blood. It is the life of the animal, so let it drain out on the ground before you eat the meat. 25Do you want the LORD to make you successful? Do you want your children to be successful even after you are gone? Then do what pleases the LORD and don't eat blood.
    26-27All sacrifices and offerings to the LORD must be taken to the place where he chooses to be worshiped. If you offer a sacrifice to please the LORD, all of its meat must be burned on the altar. You can eat the meat from certain kinds of sacrifices, but you must always pour out the animal's blood on the altar.
    28If you obey these laws, you will be doing what the LORD your God says is right and good. Then he will help you and your descendants be successful.     
Worship the LORD in the Right Way
Moses said:
 29Israel, as you go into the land and attack the nations that are there, the LORD will get rid of them, and you can have their land.     30But that's when you must be especially careful not to ask, " How did those nations worship their gods? Shouldn't we worship the LORD in the same way?" 31No, you should not! The LORD hates the disgusting way those nations worship their gods, because they even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices.
    32Obey all the laws and teachings I am giving you. Don't add any, and don't take any away.
  1. Deuteronomy 11:4 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph " Sea of Reeds," one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.7--14.9, which lists towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 B.C., the " Sea of Reeds," was named " Red Sea."
  2. Deuteronomy 11:6 Dathan and Abiram: Hebrew " Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab from the Reuben tribe."
  3. Deuteronomy 11:10 where. . . crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Deuteronomy 11:11 to water your crops. . . rain from heaven: Egypt was flat and had very little rain. All water for crops had to come from the Nile River.
  5. Deuteronomy 11:14 rain. . . seasons: In Palestine, almost all the rain for the year comes during the months from October through April.
  6. Deuteronomy 12:3 sacred poles: Or " trees," used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility.
  7. Deuteronomy 12:5 sacrifices to please the LORD: These sacrifices have traditionally been called " whole burnt offerings" because the whole animal was burned on the altar. A main purpose of such sacrifices was to please the LORD with the smell of the sacrifice, and so in the CEV they are often called " sacrifices to please the LORD."
  8. Deuteronomy 12:5 one tenth of your grain, wine, and olive oil: The Israelites had to give one tenth of their harvest of these products to the LORD each year (see 14.22-29; 26.12,13; Leviticus 27.30-33).
  9. Deuteronomy 12:5 the first-born of your cattle, sheep, and goats: The Israelites had to sacrifice these to the LORD (see 15.19-22).
  10. Deuteronomy 12:5 sacrifices: Some sacrifices were completely burned on the altar; in other sacrifices, part of the animal was burned and part was given to the priests, but most of the meat was eaten by the worshipers as a sacred meal.
  11. Deuteronomy 12:20 meat: Usually eaten only on special occasions, such as during a sacred meal when sacrifices were offered to the LORD.
  12. Deuteronomy 12:22 anyone. . . the meat: Only those who were properly prepared for worship, or " clean," could eat a sacred meal, but anyone could eat this kind of meat.

Luke 8:22-39 (Contemporary English Version)

A Storm
(Matthew 8.23-27; Mark 4.35-41)
 22One day, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat, and he said, "Let's cross the lake." [a] They started out, 23and while they were sailing across, he went to sleep. Suddenly a windstorm struck the lake, and the boat started sinking. They were in danger. 24So they went to Jesus and woke him up, "Master, Master! We are about to drown!"    Jesus got up and ordered the wind and waves to stop. They obeyed, and everything was calm. 25Then Jesus asked the disciples, "Don't you have any faith?"
   But they were frightened and amazed. They said to each other, "Who is this? He can give orders to the wind and the waves, and they obey him!"     
A Man with Demons in Him
(Matthew 8.28-34; Mark 5.1-20)
 26Jesus and his disciples sailed across Lake Galilee and came to shore near the town of Gerasa. [b] 27As Jesus was getting out of the boat, he was met by a man from that town. The man had demons in him. He had gone naked for a long time and no longer lived in a house, but in the graveyard. [c] 28The man saw Jesus and screamed. He knelt down in front of him and shouted, "Jesus, Son of God in heaven, what do you want with me? I beg you not to torture me!" 29He said this because Jesus had already told the evil spirit to go out of him.    The man had often been attacked by the demon. And even though he had been bound with chains and leg irons and kept under guard, he smashed whatever bound him. Then the demon would force him out into lonely places.
    30Jesus asked the man, "What is your name?"
   He answered, "My name is Lots." He said this because there were `lots' of demons in him. 31They begged Jesus not to send them to the deep pit, [d] where they would be punished. 32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. So the demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and Jesus let them go. 33Then the demons left the man and went into the pigs. The whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
    34When the men taking care of the pigs saw this, they ran to spread the news in the town and on the farms. 35The people went out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they also found the man. The demons had gone out of him, and he was sitting there at the feet of Jesus. He had clothes on and was in his right mind. But the people were terrified.
    36Then all who had seen the man healed told about it. 37Everyone from around Gerasa [e] begged Jesus to leave, because they were so frightened. When Jesus got into the boat to start back, 38the man who had been healed begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him off and said, 39"Go back home and tell everyone how much God has done for you." The man then went all over town, telling everything that Jesus had done for him.
  1. Luke 8:22 cross the lake: To the eastern shore of Lake Galilee, where most of the people were not Jewish.
  2. Luke 8:26 Gerasa: Some manuscripts have " Gergesa."
  3. Luke 8:27 graveyard: It was thought that demons and evil spirits lived in graveyards.
  4. Luke 8:31 deep pit: The place where evil spirits are kept and punished.
  5. Luke 8:37 Gerasa: See the note at 8.26.

Psalm 70:1-5 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 70

(By David for the music leader. To be used when an offering is made.)
God Is Wonderful
 1Save me, LORD God!    Hurry and help.
    2Disappoint and confuse
   all who want to kill me.
   Turn away and disgrace
   all who want to hurt me.
    3Embarrass and shame those
   who say, "We told you so!"
    4Let your worshipers celebrate
   and be glad because of you.
   They love your saving power,
   so let them always say,
   "God is wonderful!"
    5I am poor and needy,
   but you, the LORD God,
   care about me.
   You are the one who saves me.
   Please hurry and help! 

Proverbs 12:4 (Contemporary English Version)

4A helpful wife is a jewel
   for her husband,
   but a shameless wife
   will make his bones rot.

Verse of the Day

“Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.” - 2 Corinthians 5:21 
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Related imageThought for the Day

British novelist and teacher, Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr wrote, “Human relations are built on feeling, not on reason or knowledge. And feeling is not an exact science; like all spiritual qualities, it has the vagueness of greatness about it.”
Image result for bad coffee jokesA Joke for Today

A sweet little boy surprised his grandmother one morning and brought her a cup of coffee. He made it himself and he was so proud. Anxiously, he waited to hear the verdict. The grandmother in all her life had never had such a bad cup of coffee. As she forced down the last sip, his grandmother noticed three of those little green army guys were in the bottom of the cup.

She asked, "Honey, why would three of your little army men be in the bottom of my cup?"

Her grandson replied, "You know grandma, it's like on TV. 'The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup'."

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Bible Readings for March 28, 2019

Today our passages are Deuteronomy 9:1–10:22; Luke 8:4-21; Psalm 69:19-36; and Proverbs 12:2-3. The readings are the Contemporary English Version. If you missed a day, you can find all the readings at our blog, The Bible in a Year. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.

Deuteronomy 9-10:22 (Contemporary English Version)

Deuteronomy 9

Why the LORD Will Help Israel
Moses said:
 1Israel, listen to me! You will soon cross the Jordan River and go into the land to force out the nations that live there. They are more powerful than you are, and the walls around their cities reach to the sky. 2Some of these nations are descendants of the Anakim. a<="" value="[a]" >[] You know how tall and strong they are, and you've heard that no one can defeat them in battle. 3But the LORD your God has promised to go ahead of you, like a raging fire burning everything in its path. So when you attack your enemies, it will be easy for you to destroy them and take their land. 4-6After the LORD helps you wipe out these nations and conquer their land, don't think he did it because you are such good people. You aren't good--you are stubborn! No, the LORD is going to help you, because the nations that live there are evil, and because he wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.    Moses said to Israel:     
When Israel Made an Idol
(Exodus 32)
 7Don't ever forget how you kept rebelling and making the LORD angry the whole time you were in the desert. You rebelled from the day you left Egypt until the day you arrived here.     8At Mount Sinai [b<="">] you made the LORD so angry that he was going to destroy you. 9-11It happened during those forty days and nights that I was on the mountain, without anything to eat or drink. He had told me to come up there so he could give me the agreement he made with us. And this agreement was actually the same Ten Commandments [c<="">] he had announced to you when he spoke from the fire on the mountain. The LORD had written them on two flat stones with his own hand. But after giving me the two stones, 12he said: Moses, hurry down the mountain to those people you led out of Egypt. They have already disobeyed me and committed the terrible sin of making an idol.
    13I've been watching the Israelites, and I've seen how stubborn and rebellious they are. 14So don't try to stop me! I am going to wipe them out, and no one on earth will remember they ever lived. Then I will let your descendants become an even bigger and more powerful nation than Israel.     

Moses said:
 15Fire was raging on the mountaintop as I went back down, carrying the two stones with the commandments on them. 16I saw how quickly you had sinned and disobeyed the LORD your God. There you were, worshiping the metal idol you had made in the shape of a calf. 17So I threw down the two stones and smashed them before your very eyes.     18-20I bowed down at the place of worship and prayed to the LORD, without eating or drinking for forty days and nights. You had committed a terrible sin by making that idol, and the LORD hated what you had done. He was angry enough to destroy all of you and Aaron as well. So I prayed for you and Aaron as I had done before, and this time the LORD answered my prayers. [d<="">] 21It was a sin for you to make that idol, so I threw it into the fire to melt it down. Then I took the lump of gold, ground it into powder, and threw the powder into the stream flowing down the mountain.
    22You also made the LORD angry when you were staying at Taberah, [e<="">] at Massah, [f<="">] and at Kibroth-Hattaavah. [g<="">] 23Then at Kadesh-Barnea the LORD said, " I am giving you the land, so go ahead and take it!" But since you didn't trust the LORD, you rebelled and disobeyed his command. [h<="">] 24In fact, you've rebelled against the LORD for as long as he has [i<="">] known you. 25After you had made the idol in the shape of a calf, the LORD said he was going to destroy you. So I bowed down in front of the sacred tent for forty days and nights, 26and I prayed:
   Our LORD, please don't wipe out your people. You used your great power to rescue them from Egypt and to make them your very own. 27Israel's ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob obeyed you faithfully. Think about them, and not about Israel's stubbornness, evil, and sin. 28If you destroy your people, the Egyptians will say, " The LORD promised to give Israel land, but he wasn't powerful enough to keep his promise. In fact, he hated them so much that he took them into the desert and killed them." 29But you, our LORD, chose the people of Israel to be your own, and with your mighty power you rescued them from Egypt.
   Moses said to the people: 

Deuteronomy 10

The Second Set of Commandments
(Exodus 34.1-10)
 1The LORD told me to chisel out two flat stones, just like the ones he had given me earlier. He also commanded me to make a wooden chest, then come up the mountain and meet with him. 2He told me that he would write the same words on the new stones that he had written on the ones I broke, and that I could put these stones in this sacred chest.     3So I made a chest out of acacia wood, and I chiseled two flat stones like the ones I broke. Then I carried the stones up the mountain, 4where the LORD wrote the Ten Commandments on them, just as he had done the first time. The commandments were exactly what he had announced from the fire, when you were gathered at the mountain.
   After the LORD returned the stones to me, 5I took them down the mountainside and put them in the chest, just as he had commanded. And they are still there.
   Moses said to Israel:     

Aaron Died
(Numbers 20.22-29)
 6Later we set up camp at the wells belonging to the descendants of Jaakan. [j<="">] Then we moved on and camped at Moserah, where Aaron died and was buried, and his son Eleazar became the priest. 7Next, we camped at Gudgodah and then at Jotbathah, where there are flowing streams.
The Levites Were Appointed To Carry the Chest
Moses said to Israel:
 8After I put the two stones in the sacred chest, [k<="">] the LORD chose the tribe of Levi, not only to carry the chest, but also to serve as his priests at the place of worship and to bless the other tribes in his name. And they still do these things. 9The LORD promised that he would always provide for the tribe of Levi, and that's why he won't give them any land, when he divides it among the other tribes. Moses said to Israel:     
The LORD Answered the Prayers of Moses
(Exodus 34.9,10,27-29)
 10When I had taken the second set of stones up the mountain, I spent forty days and nights there, just as I had done before. Once again, the LORD answered my prayer and did not destroy you. 11Instead, he told me, " Moses, get ready to lead the people into the land that I promised their ancestors." [l<="">]
What the LORD Wants
Moses said:
 12People of Israel, what does the LORD your God want from you? The LORD wants you to respect and follow him, to love and serve him with all your heart and soul, 13and to obey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today. Do this, and all will go well for you.     14Everything belongs to the LORD your God, not only the earth and everything on it, but also the sky and the highest heavens. 15Yet the LORD loved your ancestors and wanted them to belong to him. So he chose them and their descendants rather than any other nation, and today you are still his people.
    16Remember your agreement with the LORD and stop being so stubborn. 17The LORD your God is more powerful than all other gods and lords, and his tremendous power is to be feared. His decisions are always fair, and you cannot bribe him to change his mind. 18The LORD defends the rights of orphans and widows. He cares for foreigners and gives them food and clothing. 19And you should also care for them, because you were foreigners in Egypt.
    20Respect the LORD your God, serve only him, and make promises in his name alone. 21Offer your praises to him, because you have seen him work such terrifying miracles for you.
    22When your ancestors went to live in Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But the LORD has blessed you, and now there are more of you than there are stars in the sky.

  1. Deuteronomy 9:2 Anakim: See the note at 2.10,11.
  2. Deuteronomy 9:8 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
  3. Deuteronomy 9:9 Ten Commandments: Hebrew " commandments."
  4. Deuteronomy 9:18 as I had done before. . . prayers: This may refer to Moses' praying for Israel before he came down from the mountain (see Exodus 32.11-14).
  5. Deuteronomy 9:22 Taberah: See Numbers 11.1-3.
  6. Deuteronomy 9:22 Massah: See the note at 6.16.
  7. Deuteronomy 9:22 Kibroth-Hattaavah: See Numbers 11.31-34.
  8. Deuteronomy 9:23 Kadesh-Barnea. . . you rebelled and disobeyed his command: See Numbers 13,14.
  9. Deuteronomy 9:24 he has: The Samaritan Hebrew Text and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text " I have."
  10. Deuteronomy 10:6 the wells. . . Jaakan: Or " Beeroth Bene-Jaakan."
  11. Deuteronomy 10:8 After. . . chest: Or " After Israel reached Jotbathah."
  12. Deuteronomy 10:11 lead. . . ancestors: The LORD would later tell Moses that he would not be allowed to enter the land (see 1.37; 3.23-28; Numbers 20.10-12).

Luke 8:4-21 (Contemporary English Version)

A Story about a Farmer
(Matthew 13.1-9; Mark 4.1-9)
 4When a large crowd from several towns had gathered around Jesus, he told them this story:     5A farmer went out to scatter seed in a field. While the farmer was doing it, some of the seeds fell along the road and were stepped on or eaten by birds. 6Other seeds fell on rocky ground and started growing. But the plants did not have enough water and soon dried up. 7Some other seeds fell where thornbushes grew up and choked the plants. 8The rest of the seeds fell on good ground where they grew and produced a hundred times as many seeds.
   When Jesus had finished speaking, he said, "If you have ears, pay attention!"     

Why Jesus Used Stories
(Matthew 13.10-17; Mark 4.10-12)
 9Jesus' disciples asked him what the story meant. 10So he answered:    I have explained the secrets about God's kingdom to you, but for others I can only use stories. These people look, but they don't see, and they hear, but they don't understand.     
Jesus Explains the Story about a Farmer
(Matthew 13.18-23; Mark 4.13-20)
 11This is what the story means: The seed is God's message, 12and the seeds that fell along the road are the people who hear the message. But the devil comes and snatches the message out of their hearts, so that they will not believe and be saved. 13The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don't have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up.     14The seeds that fell among the thornbushes are also people who hear the message. But they are so eager for riches and pleasures that they never produce anything. 15Those seeds that fell on good ground are the people who listen to the message and keep it in good and honest hearts. They last and produce a harvest.     
(Mark 4.21-25)
 16No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl or under a bed. A lamp is always put on a lampstand, so that people who come into a house will see the light. 17There is nothing hidden that will not be found. There is no secret that will not be well known. 18Pay attention to how you listen! Everyone who has something will be given more, but people who have nothing will lose what little they think they have.     
Jesus' Mother and Brothers
(Matthew 12.46-50; Mark 3.31-35)
 19Jesus' mother and brothers went to see him, but because of the crowd they could not get near him. 20Someone told Jesus, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you."     21Jesus answered, "My mother and my brothers are those people who hear and obey God's message." 

Psalm 69:19-36 (Contemporary English Version)

19You know how I am insulted,
   mocked, and disgraced;
   you know every one
   of my enemies.
    20I am crushed by insults,
   and I feel sick.
   I had hoped for mercy and pity,
   but there was none.
    21Enemies poisoned my food,
   and when I was thirsty,
   they gave me vinegar.
    22Make their table a trap
   for them and their friends.
    23Blind them with darkness
   and make them tremble.
    24Show them how angry you are!
   Be furious and catch them.
    25Destroy their camp
   and don't let anyone live
   in their tents.
    26They cause trouble for people
   you have already punished;
   their gossip hurts those
   you have wounded.
    27Make them guiltier than ever
   and don't forgive them.
    28Wipe their names from the book
   of the living;
   remove them from the list
   of the innocent.
    29I am mistreated and in pain.
   Protect me, God,
   and keep me safe!
    30I will praise the LORD God
   with a song
   and a thankful heart.
    31This will please the LORD
   better than offering an ox
   or a full-grown bull.
    32When those in need see this,
   they will be happy,
   and the LORD's worshipers
   will be encouraged.
    33The LORD will listen
   when the homeless cry out,
   and he will never forget
   his people in prison.
    34Heaven and earth
   will praise our God,
   and so will the oceans
   and everything in them.
    35God will rescue Jerusalem,
   and he will rebuild
   the towns of Judah.
   His people will live there
   on their own land,
    36and when the time comes,
   their children will inherit
   the land.
   Then everyone who loves God
   will also settle there. 

Proverbs 12:2-3 (Contemporary English Version)

2The LORD likes everyone
   who lives right,
   but he punishes everyone
   who makes evil plans.
    3Sin cannot offer security!
   But if you live right,
   you will be as secure
   as a tree with deep roots.

Verse of the Day

“There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us. God showed us this at the right time.” - 1 Timothy 2:5-6 

Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American politician, Frank A. Clark wrote, “We find comfort among those who agree with us –  growth among those who don't.”

Image result for revival jokes
A Joke for Today

After the revival had concluded, the three pastors were discussing the results with one another.

The Methodist minister said, "The revival worked out great for us! We gained 4 new families."

The Baptist preacher said, "We did better than that! We gained 6 new families."

The Presbyterian pastor said, "Well, we did even better than that! We got rid of our 10 biggest trouble makers!"