devotion, Spiritual Musings

He is All Mine

People and relationships are often the backbone of stories. No different in the Bible, this is illustrated in the recitation of the begats and everywhere else. Profound, life-altering stories are crafted when God and humans come together. The setting may be nations or prophecies, the past or the future, but the plot of any story worth retelling revolves around one God and one person. In the thick of a great story, there is God doing everything He can to connect with one specific individual. When there is a dramatic change in direction, Abrams become Abrahams. When hearts are repaired and new beginnings awarded, Israels come out of Jacobs.

Even though I’m just one among so many in this world, God makes me feel like there are no other stories being told–except mine. He gives me 100% of Himself! God is not distracted by the billions of others. He is not preoccupied with the needs of the universe or sidetracked by someone else’s problem that’s more urgent than mine. In this moment, for my particular need, God is mine and mine alone. When I ache, He comforts. When I break, He heals. I throw a fit, he tames. I get lost, He rescues. My God is all about me, all the time!

And yet, just like that, God is all about you too! Omnipresent and unrestricted, God loves everyone else just as much as He loves me. And just as He makes me feel like there’s no one else in the world but me, He is there to make you feel the same. God doesn’t expect us to take a number or stand in queue. Each and everyone of us gets first dibs on everything that is God. How He does this is beyond comprehension, but that is what He does. The God who watches over the entire universe is first and foremost God of every person–God of you, God of me. And more than anything else, He wants a major role in our life stories.

What role does God play in our stories? Is He in the thick of it all? Or is He on the sidelines, relegated to a minor role?

Feature image by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

devotion, Spiritual Musings

Head to Heart

Your God is beyond question the God of all gods. Daniel 2:47

On a scale of 1 to 10, Nebuchadnezzar’s stress level had to have been least 20. He had just conquered a nation. And with that conquest came the aggravation of dealing with a strange, stubborn people who were now his reluctant subjects.

By the time the new year rolled around, Nebuchadnezzar probably had his physician, shrink, and masseuse parked outside his bed chamber to attend to his stress-induced condition. Insomnia probably plagued him constantly. And when he did fall into short bursts of sleep, he had troubling dreams that left him paranoid during his waking hours.

No wonder Daniel spends an entire chapter describing Nebuchadnezzar’s obsession to discover the meaning of his dream. For the king, discovering the meaning of the dream meant finding the peace his soul so desired. Whatever would lead to the discovery would, therefore, be his salvation.

So when God, through Daniel, reveals the meaning of his dream, the king declares Daniel’s God the only true god. Having finally found the source of truth and peace, Nebuchadnezzar finally understands the power of God.

This should have been the turning point of Nebuchadnezzar’s life, the climax of the history of his new kingdom. But, it wasn’t. The very next chapter describes the next big event. Here Nebuchadnezzar proclaims that he should receive all respect and worship reserved for the gods and demands that every one bow before him.

What a change in attitude! And how quickly! He could not have forgotten what had happened just a little while earlier. Rather it seems like his discovery of the true God during his bad-dream phase was a just a needed solution to an immediate problem, another fact added to his bank of trivia and details. It was not an experience of conversion. The knowledge had not traveled from his head to his heart. Learning about and acknowledging God had had no long-term effect.

God has to be more than a Wikipedia entry, more than facts and details, more than proof texts and cross references. For God to have any positive effect in your life, your knowledge of Him must change your heart and make you a new creature.

Feature image by sergey mikheev on Unsplash

devotion, Previously Published

a study on stewardship

Key Text: Matthew 25:29


1. Know: That stewardship is a lifestyle.

2. Feel: Joy by living a life of stewardship.

3. Do: Maintain a balance in your life and manage the resources with which God has entrusted you.

Lesson Outline:

I. A Life of Stewardship (Luke 16:1-12)

A. This passage is one of the most cited parables when discussing stewardship and in which talents are equated with money. But stewardship is more than a prudent use of money; stewardship is about making God a priority over everything else in life. What are some aspects in your life of which you can be a better steward?

B. Jesus accomplished so much in his three years of ministry, balancing ministry with family, friends and personal spiritual growth. In what ways can you emulate Jesus’ stewardship in your life?

II. The Joys of Stewardship (Romans 12:1)

A. Paul urges us to become living sacrifices, dedicated to pleasing God. A life of stewardship is a continuous state of worship. What joys do you get from knowing that you are worshipping God through your actions?

III. The Balance of Stewardship (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

A. The Bible teaches that there is a time for everything. This suggests a life of balance. We must strive to achieve a balance in all we do. How did Jesus live a balanced life? How can you achieve the same balance?


Stewardship is vital to discipleship. Prioritize life and live in accordance with God’s plan.


a study on discipleship

Key Text: John 15:8

1. Know: Discipleship is a lifelong reflection of Jesus.
2. Feel: The Holy Spirit guide you through your journey of discipleship.
3. Do: Persevere through the sufferings that come with a life devoted to Christ.

Lesson Outline:

I. The Work of a Disciple (Matthew 28:19)
A. Matthew 28:19 is often referred to as the great commission. Here Jesus gives his disciples their most important task, to make more disciples in His name. What do you see as your role in the great commission?

B. Spreading the gospel is an important part of discipleship. But the apostles did much more than that. Their ministry spread to many other areas. How is discipleship more than just conversion, baptism and adding to the church?

II. The Guide of a Disciple (Acts 1:8)
A. Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus promised that he would send The Holy Spirit. The Spirit guides us as disciples. How have you been affected by The Spirit in your life?

III. The Motivation of a Disciple (Romans 8:17,18)
A. Paul, a great example of discipleship, acknowledges the suffering associated with following Christ. However, he also says the suffering we endure now cannot compare to the glory that we will have later. What convicts you to be a disciple of Christ?

A disciple’s life is filled with the presence of God. It is a life-long devotion. Make this commitment and honor it regardless of trials.


a study on rest

Key Text: Mark 2:27,28

1. Know: The Sabbath allows us separate ourselves from the world to rest and commune with God.
2. Feel: The joy provided for us through the Sabbath.
3. Do: Experience the Sabbath as God intended.

Lesson Outline:

I. Remembering the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3)
A. We live in a hectic world. It is a blessing to have a day to rest! How do you spend your Sabbaths? What elements of the day contribute to rest and refreshment? What is your idea of the ideal Sabbath?
B. The Ten Commandments tell us to keep the Sabbath holy. Define “holy.”

II. Enjoying the Sabbath (Mark 2:27)
A. The Sabbath is a day dedicated to rejoice in our Creator and take a break from a world of sin. Why it is then easier to make a day of rules rather than communion with Jesus?
B. It is very easy for Sabbath observance to become legalistic with constant questioning of the appropriateness of a particular activity. How can we distinguish that which is Sabbath-appropriate?

III. Sharing the Sabbath (Luke 4:16)
A. To experience the Sabbath as God intended, we must look to His Son as an example. What did Jesus do on the Sabbath? How can we apply His observance of the Sabbath to our lives?

The Sabbath is a holy day set apart from the rest of the week. It is our time to rest, celebrate life and commune with God.

devotion, Previously Published

a study on heaven

Key Text: John 14:2,3

1. Know: That the Kingdom of God is within you.
2. Feel: Encouraged knowing that life on earth is but a transient phase.
3. Do: Be focused on the face-to-face communion with your Creator God that awaits you when this life is over.

Lesson Outline:
I. Not of This World (John 15:9) A. We are God’s children and we are “not of this world.” Yet we are called to live in this world until Jesus returns. How can you best represent the Kingdom of Heaven while here on earth?
II. The Kingdom Within Us (Luke 17:21) A. When the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, He responded that the Kingdom was within us. What do you think He meant by that?
III. Focused on the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 13:12) A. Because of our inability to comprehend the reality of heaven, we tend to place importance on tangible earthly, material things. Satan uses our lack of comprehension to skew our view of life and our value system. Identify specific elements in your life that monopolize your time and attention. What can you do to stay focused on heaven despite the fact there is so little we know about it?

Summary: Jesus assured his disciples that He was “going to prepare a place” for them. When discouragement and pessimism creeps in your life, remember that your Creator is getting heaven custom-ready just for you.


a study on community

Key Text: 1 Corinthians 12:27


1. Know: That being part of a church community comes with responsibility.

2. Feel: A sense of belonging and privilege within the church body.

3. Do: All you can to maintain unity in Christ within your church.

Lesson Outline:

I. Community of Responsibility (1 Peter 2:9-10)

A. Throughout the Bible God has had a chosen people. In the Old Testament, it was the Israelites. In the New Testament, it was the early church. Today, we are God’s chosen people. And we have the responsibility of being good stewards of God’s church. How are we living up to that responsibility?

II. Community of Christ (Ephesians 4:16)

A. This verse, as well as our memory text, calls the church the body of Christ. Each part of the body has its purpose. Where do you fit in the body of Christ? How can you do your part in spreading the word?

III. Community of Unity (Ephesians 4:3-6,11-13)

A. The primary unifying element in the church is Jesus Christ. However, unity thrives on support and encouragement of one another; a church with a relationship schism is doomed. What can you do to promote unity within your local church?


As members of the body of Christ we have the privilege of serving Him as a church family. We must strive remember our purpose and maintain true unity in Christ.


a study on grace

Key Text: Romans 5:8


1. Know: That Christ’s sacrifice ensures us eternal life if we accept Him.

2. Feel: Secure of your future with Him as your personal Savior.

3. Do: Respond to God’s grace by following Him.

Lesson Outline:

I. Understanding Grace (Isaiah 53)

A. Jesus is a central point of the entire Old Testament. What does this say about the importance of grace and salvation in God’s message to us?

B. “He bore the sins of many and made intercession for the transgressors” (v 12). It is through His suffering, on our behalf, that we can claim eternal life. Does this seem just to you? Why or Why not?

II. Accepting Grace (Ephesians 2:8)

A. The greatest thing about grace is that it is free. This is a hard concept for many to comprehend. God recognized this and used many different illustrations to help us better understand grace. How do you best relate to grace?

B. How does the idea of grace make you feel? Do you feel guilty accepting such an undeserved gift? Do you feel a security in the promise of eternal life? Are you thankful for God’s love? Explain.

III. Changed by Grace (1 Corinthians 15:10)

A. As grace changed Paul, it can change you. We are not required to do anything but believe and accept His gift. How has grace changed you?


Christ died so we can have eternal life. Without Him, we are lost.


a study on mission

Key Text: 1 Peter 3:15


1. Know: That missions is a focal point of the church.

2. Feel: The urgency to spread the Gospel.

3. Do: Make a concerted effort to actively be a missionary.

Lesson Outline:

I. Importance of Missions (Mark 16:15-16)

A. The great commission is a priority for the Christian. The salvation of many depends on our ability to spread the news of God’s grace (v.16). Each of is called to be a missionary. As a church, how can we improve our missions?

II. The Need for Missions (John 3:16)

A. Although the Adventist church is very cognizant of the 10/40 window where the majority have not heard about Jesus, it is imperative that Jesus is known to all in our own communities. In what ways do we sometimes allow our zeal to get the gospel to the ends of the earth adversely affect witnessing in our community?

III. Your Role in Missions (1 Corinthians 12:28)

  1. A. A trend in recent years has been to take inventory of the spiritual gifts within a church family and to use those gifts in specific ways to implement a mission strategy. Jesus did the same by giving his disciples tasks that complemented their abilities and furthered the gospel commission. Identify specific ways you can use the gifts you have to further missions in your church.


It is our responsibility to participate in the gospel commission. Commit yourself to the challenge.


a study on hope

Key Text: 1 Peter 3:15


1. Know: Though we live in a sin-wrought world, we have hope of eternal life in Jesus

2. Feel: Assurance through fulfilled prophecy that God has a plan for us.

3. Do: Live a life of hope, focusing on the promise of eternity.

Lesson Outline:

I. Origin of Hope (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

A. The basis of hope is in the resurrection of Jesus. What does Paul mean when he says “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (v.19) ?

B. The promise of eternal life gives us reason to hope. What other elements of Christianity give us hope in an otherwise hopeless world?

II. Affirming Hope (Luke 21:25-28)

A. The gift of prophecy shows us that God has a plan in the seeming madness of the world. From this we have hope. How has God shown you His wisdom and understanding? B. Our hope in eternal life is based in the future. How can we feel a real hope for our present lives now on earth?

III. Embodying Hope (Psalms 31:24)

A. Live your hope focused on the promise of eternity. Let your hope be seen in your attitude. How can you make your hope shine in the way you live?


The hope we have in Christ is an integral element of the Christian faith. Without it we are miserable. Let your hope truly affect your outlook on life.