12.19 1 Peter

Franco Vosloo


1 Peter

Summarize what you read in one paragraph: 

This is my favorite book of the Bible! I have no idea how to summarize it…how about I describe it? As a vague sense of what the book has meant to me throughout the years: 1 Peter is a richly deep, intense passage of scripture that, in its scope, encompasses the entire history of creation and unfurls its mystery while choosing to focus very personally on the human heart, motivations, mind and desires – revealing what the people of God should be striving for and how we should be using the time we’ve been granted in the span of our lives, up until God’s glory is revealed. 

No two readings will yield the same result. It is always refreshing, challenging and a timely focused message that cuts straight through to the heart. Try it. Read 1 Peter repeatedly for a few years, I bet you’ll be shocked at what you discover!

Here are some verses I would like to highlight this time:

“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”

“Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ”

“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God”

“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you”

“Though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ”

“since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God”

“And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”

There are ten-thousand different messages to be found in 1 Peter, if narrowing the focus down to just a single facet of the text. In the sections of scripture that I highlighted, the gospel is presented with a theme of the perishable vs imperishable. In just a few words, God would have us completely up-end our world-view and perspective by introducing a concept of certain things in our lives being of a perishable nature. 

In fact, everything in our lives could be of a perishable nature. 

Or, we could live in such a way that all things in our lives would be of the imperishable. 

(In simple terms: perishable things are of the world. Imperishable of God)

My ordinary Thursday will by default be perishable. If left to its own devices. I wake up, go to work for my boss because I want to make money. Struggle against the pride of people in my sphere butting heads with my own pride. A mad rush to end the day in a tired blur thinking it was much the same as the previous day, and the one before that, and the one before that…. I mean, is that not the epitome of a day given over to the perishable? 

Whereas my day could be given over to God in what I will call a glorious sacrifice, maybe with a simple flip of the thought “I’m not going to work for my boss today, and I’m not doing it for money. I’m going to work at my job for God today, and I’m doing it to please Him.” That set as the motivation and inner longing of my heart — there is no longer anything perishable about what comes next. The time before work is spent preparing my mind for action: quiet time, in prayer or listening to a nourishing sermon and then choosing to be open to being used by God in whatever opportunity might arise, knowing that all opportunities come from Him. An attack on my pride is correctly perceived as just one thing among a host of many trials, to test the genuineness of my faith and God wants to see me come through the fiery trial better and with more purity than gold would go through fire. 

And maybe a day lived like this, on the surface, looks no different from my “ordinary Thursday.” From an outside perspective you wouldn’t necessarily perceive a difference, maybe nothing different even happened. And yet, everything about such a day would be different. It would have been living to the imperishable: that all the moments that make up our day matter and all were seized for God. 

We aren’t perfect. No one but Jesus could go through life and be able to say that every moment of every day was lived for God. No one but Jesus could claim to have had no perishable moments. But our lives were purchased, for a price so high it transcends monetary values. And it is God’s urging that we give up futile, perishable ways of living that are ultimately meaningless and strive for lives of purpose, that we reclaim every moment for God in a way that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading and ultimately means something. Because in life, it’s the imperishable moments that mean everything. 

12.18 James

Jeff Streng



Summarize the day’s reading in one paragraph. 

The book of James is an action-oriented book of pragmatic instruction that challenges us to obey Jesus’ teachings.  It contains several short, practical teachings ranging from ‘faith and deeds’ to ‘taming the tongue’ to ‘patience in suffering’, and challenges us to act out our faith.

What is one key verse?

James 1: 22-25:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.


These four verses relay a very simple, yet profound promise that obeying God’s word leads to blessings. 

How does what you read change your vision of God?

James reminds me that God can use suffering for our good and that we need to have the proper attitude toward suffering.  It’s also a great reminder of the importance of acting out our faith.  We need to be ‘salt and light’ to the world!

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? / How will you Go With God because of this reading?

It reminds me that we’re all on unique journeys toward sanctification and that we need each other’s practical, pragmatic advice to help us along on these journeys.  We need each other’s help to obey God’s word.  

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters?

James was Jesus’ half brother, so the entire book builds on Jesus’ teachings, primarily the Sermon on the Mount.

12.17 Hebrews 11-13

Crista Reaves


Hebrews 11-13

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

Hebrews chapter 11 begins the wonderful hall of faith. This chapter goes through various people in the Bible describing how they were faithful during trying times and reminds us that they “were made strong out of their weakness” (Hebrews 11: 34b). Chapter 12 is another encouraging chapter inspiring us to not give up, to be grateful, to flee from sin, and to know that God disciplines us because he loves us and desires for us to “share in his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10b). Finally chapter 13 is a great list of how disciples should live because we are compelled by Jesus’s love. We can show this by being hospitable, by being content with what we have, by staying pure, by holding strong to the Word of God, by submitting and obeying our leaders, and by doing good and sharing what we have.  

What is one key verse?

Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

How does what you read change your vision of God?

Reading chapters 11-13 reminds me that God is the one who diagnoses our sinful hearts and disciplines us in hopes of bringing us to repentance. It’s also a great reminder of how gracious God is, and how he provides and equips us with everything we need to go through this life faithfully. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

No discipline, trial, or hardship seems pleasant at the time but what it produces is what we should desire the most… to be closer to God and to share in his holiness. These chapters stressed to me that as a body of believers we have each other to go through life with. We get to encourage one another along the way by sharing our struggles and victories, by praying for one another, and by pushing one another to grow closer to God. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

When trials and struggles come my way I will seek to have a different focus than on the actual trial itself. Instead of dwelling on the trail and being anxious, stressed, and depressed I can be humble, take the time to pray and fast about my struggles, and ultimately deepen and grow in my faith.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

Jesus is mentioned throughout these last few chapters of Hebrews and it says that he suffered to sanctify us and to equip us with everything we need to do his will. So we truly have EVERYTHING we need to survive in this world while glorifying God!  

12.16 Hebrews 8-10

Doug Reaves


Hebrews 8-10

Summary: Hebrews 8-10 tells us of the new high priest and the new covenant. It explains some of the details and deficiencies of the old covenant and the old priesthood and how Jesus has now come to end the old system and to start the new covenant. It explains the amazing benefits of this new priesthood of Jesus and what our response to it should be. It ends with a call to perseverance and a warning to those who turn away from this priesthood.

Key Verse: 9:9 “This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the conscience of the people who bring them”

9:14 also refers to the conscience and 10:22 talks about guilt. When we are baptized we pledge a good conscience to God. I often forget about the conscience and what God did effects that as well. Let’s face it we will and do sin (deliberately deciding to live in sin is a different story (10:26). But God wants us to live confidently and boldly, trusting in him. He does not want sin to even hinder our minds and conscience. We have the liberty to access him and have his grace at all times in every situation.

I want to live with more confidence as a child of God with the greatest benefit package possible. Access to the king of the world. Even if I sin I want to remember that my access to God has not changed and Jesus’s sacrifice even cleanses my conscience.

This chapter does talk about and imply hope. Hope in what access to God will get us after death. We will still have hard times in this world that is why it ends with a call to perseverance. The benefits of the new priesthood are nothing to a person who is not Godly. To a person who lives for this world the priesthood offers no benefit. To a person who hopes of heaven and salvation the new priesthood offers help in this life and unimaginable reward in the next life.

Let’s have hope for heaven more often:)

12.15 Hebrews 5-7

Stephanie Hinsch


Hebrews 5-7

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

The author is talking about how the Israelites have a high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins, however, the high priest has to offer gifts and sacrifices for himself as well. No one takes on the honor of being appointed high priest by themselves, but God calls them. Christ was called by God to become a high priest and learned obedience from God. Parts of Chapter 6 talk about how to need to continually deepen our understanding of Biblical principles as we continue in our faith. Chapter 7 explains that Melchizedek was king of Salem and was a priest of God Most High, even before High Priests were established in the Levitical line. Jesus became a priest, not through his ancestry, but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. The old system of priests was limited by human weakness because death prevented the priests from remaining in office, however, since Jesus offered himself as a sacrifice and lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 

What is one key verse?

“Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”  Hebrews 7:27

How does what you read change your vision of God?

These chapters help to clarify how the old order of the levitical priesthood compares to Jesus as being the ultimate high priest. 

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

These chapters help me to clearly see how Jesus is able to intercede with God on our behalf, as the high priest.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I will be able to distinguish how Jesus is the high priest forever. These chapters also help to remind us that we need to continue in deepening our understanding and knowledge of Jesus’ teachings. 

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

I can clearly see how Jesus was set apart as the high priest.

12.14 Hebrews 3-4

Peter Hinsch


Hebrews 3-4

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

In Hebrews 3 the writer talks about how Jesus is greater than Moses which would have been a big claim to the Jewish audience of the letter.  The writer encourages the readers to stay faithful and guard their hearts against rebellion.  In chapter 4 the writer talks about how faith is required for us to receive God’s promised rest for his people.  He points out the nature of the Word of God and then begins a conversation about how Jesus is the High Priest.

What is one key verse?

For the word of God is alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.  Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT)

How does what you read change your vision of God?

It is such a great reminder that God knows my innermost thoughts and everything going on in my heart.  It’s a sobering reminder that I need to guard not only my outward behavior but also my attitude and meditations of my mind.  God knows every thought I have, and he still sent Jesus to take my place on the cross.  That’s amazing!

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

In chapter 3:12-13 the writer of Hebrews reminds us to warn each other every day to be careful not to be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  This is especially important this day and age when we have to work so much harder to stay connected.  If I am not intentional with staying connected to the body and checking on my brothers and sisters then I am not obeying this command from God’s word.

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I need to be better about calling my brothers and sisters and encouraging them to stay faithful during these times.  I also need to ensure I am letting the Word penetrate deep into my heart and move me towards righteousness.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

In Chapter 3 we get a bold proclamation that Jesus is greater than Moses.  I need to remember that as much as I respect my earthly leaders and the great men & women who have come before me, ultimately Jesus is the one I am following.  He is the savior king!  While it is true we should submit to the earthly leaders God has placed in our lives, we need to remember Jesus is the Messiah and the one to whom we will give an account.

12.12 Hebrews 1-2

Tj Wooden


Hebrews 1-2

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

Hebrews chapter 1 and 2 talk about how Jesus is an inspiration to us all by lowering himself to understand us so he can teach and guide us! Even in the beginning of Chapter 2 it said that Jesus was made little lower than the angels but he was still superior! Which that says in verse 3-4. He wanted to made like his brothers so he can too faithful to GOD!!

What is one key verse?

Hebrews 1:3

“He is the exact radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature…”

How does what you read change your vision of God or others?

God can shine no matter the form or size in my life! He can be the “radiance” in my life towards my walk in my faith! Which other people have too been an radiance in my journey with God of getting helpful advice and friendships to build my faith stronger!

Action step/how will you go with God because of this?

I am going to trust and rely on God in our darkest hours and persevere through the struggles to come not rely on my selfish thinking. I should be praying to God and even calling people to help with my struggles and not solve it for myself especially when I am unknown of how to approach it. 

How do you see Jesus through this?

As in the key verse says, I see Jesus as a light, spark, brightness, and a radiance which he is the goal to follow in our life. He is the exact representation of God! Which as disciples of God, we need to reflect and be a radiance to the world like Jesus has for us!

12.10 2 Timothy

Josh and Jennie Baumann 


2 Timothy 1-4 

2 Timothy is written by Paul to his partner-in-gospel, Timothy. From the knowledge we have, this is the last letter Paul would write. It focuses on getting Timothy ready for the spiritual warfare ahead. Timothy’s job as one of God’s workers was to guard and fight for the gospel, pursue godliness, continue in the teachings he knew to be true, and preach with confidence. 

The verse we chose to focus on was 2 Timothy 2:11-13. It really struck us this week because of God’s enduring faithfulness and power. God is the ultimate–He rewards those who really invest in him, and even when we fall, He is still faithful. 

This reinforces how we see God because even though things are hard right now–life, COVID, travel restrictions, political issues, holiday hustle and bustle–God is a safe place to land. How fortunate we are that we have God when everything else around us isn’t going the way we planned. We have His work to do, and when we focus on that, everything gets a little clearer. 

This teaching helps us see others in a new way by reminding us that we aren’t alone. Isolation can make us feel alone and purposeless, but God gives us a purpose. We need to be ready in season and out of season. We need to work together to lift each other up and speak the truth. 

Timothy received direct instructions from Paul to continue in what he knew was true and to pursue godliness. We do that best when we work with others and hold each other accountable. 

Because of this, we will continue to work on our relationships with others. Relationships with God and with our brothers and sisters are the only way we will make it to the end. They can help us keep our focus on what is true and what the best things are to think about instead of the chaos that swirls around us. Our brothers and sisters can provide that reality check or that loving socially-distanced hug to help keep us grounded in Christ. 

We see Jesus sprinkled throughout this, too! Jesus instructed Paul in what to do, and Jesus is the one we should model ourselves after. When we follow Jesus, we can do all the things Paul asks us to do for Christ. We can’t do it alone–we need His help to do it.

12.9 1 Timothy 4-6

Micah Norwood


1 Timothy 4-6

Summarize what you read in one paragraph:

These chapters from Paul’s first letter to Timothy talk about how people should act towards others as Christians. These include actions such as helping other Christians stop their sinning and keep their faith and providing for and helping take care of relatives and others who do not have someone to help take care of them. 1 Timothy 6 then describes how, as Christians, we are able to find true contentment by relying on God to provide for us and being happy with what we have in life.

What is one key verse?

1 Timothy 4:6 “If you lay all these instructions before the brethren, you will be a worthy steward and a good minister of Christ Jesus, ever nourishing your own self on the truths of the faith and of the good [Christian] instruction which you have closely followed.”

How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?

Reading these chapters helped me to start thinking more of how to look outwards on paying more attention to what others are going through and how God is calling upon me to help, while at the same time, not worrying about what I have and don’t have. 

How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)

I will start paying more attention to what others may be going through in their lives and if possible, how I am able to help them potentially get through a difficult time, through prayer and anything else that they may need.

Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)

1 Timothy 6:8 talks about how we can be content with just food and clothing, which made me think of how throughout the Gospels, Jesus refers to His body as the Bread of Life and that those who drink from the living water will have the Holy Spirit with them in life, and I see this as the best way to live with contentment in your life, since by following Jesus and His teachings, we are able to have a relationship with God, and be more at peace.