Previously Published, Spiritual Musings

a study on christ’s priesthood

(This is a Bible Study written for small group leaders and previously published by Adult Bible Study Guide)

STEP 1—MOTIVATE. Help your class members answer this question: “Why is this lesson important to me?”

Franck Kabele, a 35-year-old preacher shared a revelation he received with his congregation. He told them that he believed he could walk on water just like Jesus if he had enough faith. To demonstrate this, he invited them to join him on a beach in Gabon, West Africa so they could be eyewitnesses to this divine fete. With the intention to walk across the Komo estuary (which takes 20 minutes to travel across by boat), he stepped into the water. Within seconds, the water passed over his head and he was never seen again. (, August 30, 2006)

Ask the class: What is it about human nature that urges us to attempt to be God? What is the difference between being God and being Christ-like? How does this human trait get in the way of letting God be God in our life?

STEP 2—EXPLORE! Help your class members answer this question: “What do I need to know from God’s Word?”

Commentary (Read Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:13; Psalm 110)

Helpless and Hopeless. Every time David tried to control his life without the help of God, he failed. And every time he failed, he fell to his knees in recognition of his unworthiness and God’s power and grace.

Beloved of God, King David represents each of us. Because we can’t escape our sinful nature, we have a need for a priestly mediator.

Consider This: Randomly read passages from the Psalms. Meditate on the bi-polar behavior of the sinful heart, the vacillation of emotions and needs. Then give praise to God for Jesus the Mediator.

Revelation and Reconciliation. Christians—born in sin, living in the constant awareness of this sinful world—have two basic, spiritual needs: to know God and to be with God. Constrained by this sinful world, we learn quickly that life is more manageable when we know who God is and what His purpose is for us. Unaware of our inadequacies, we yearn for ways to be with God.

So God, in his love and mercy gave us His Son—someone who understands both parties 100%, someone who can mediate and straighten out the problems and misunderstandings that exist between God and us.

Consider This: God’s plan for Jesus to be Mediator is the most efficient solution to the sin problems that take place between the Fall of Man and the Second Coming. Could there have been any other way for Jesus to be Mediator and Priest without His death? Explain.

Jesus, Customized Savior. The role Jesus plays on our earthly journey is so multi-faceted. Writers of the Scripture, inspired by divinity, have used metaphors to describe the function of Jesus to enable us to appreciate and apply Jesus’ presence in our daily living—Jesus is described as the shepherd, the door, the light, the vine, the cornerstone, etc.

The Bible uses more than 100 names/titles to describe Jesus. The meaning His life hold for us is beyond our fathoming; His role as priest and mediator will be appreciated in its fullness only when we see and understand God’s divine government in heaven.

Consider This: Have the class think of other metaphors that symbolize the intimate, concerning, priestly role that Jesus plays in our lives. (The metaphors don’t necessarily have to be biblical; they may have modern implications) Ask how the many titles and functions of Christ help them keep the faith?

STEP 3—PRACTICE! Help your class members find the answer to the following question: “How can I practice the information I just learned?”

Thought Questions:

What would your prayer life be like if you didn’t have Jesus as your priest and mediator? What would your prayer be lacking? Do you think that works would play a bigger role in salvation without a mediator? Explain.

To be someone’s advocate is relatively risk-free; but to be someone’s savior is a commitment beyond death! How does Jesus’ death as Savior make Him the most competent priest and mediator you could have? How does Jesus’ title “Priest” affect your relationship with Him.

Application Questions:

  • Talk to a lawyer about the pros and cons of his job. Compare your findings with what Jesus does as a mediator. Share this with someone in your family.
  • How can volunteering in a social service activity (such as tutoring a child) help convey the attitude of Christ as a mediator to someone? What other kinds of interactions could help us be mediators like Jesus?

Witnessing: Help your class connect their community projects with Christ-like attitudes and behaviors. Help them see how they can be “mediators” for the church.

Consider This: Jesus came to show us how we can access divine power for meaningful life on earth. Our interactions with people give us opportunities to be a Christ-like mediator. Encourage your class to match their spiritual gifts with opportunities of mediation (e.g. spiritual gift of listening enables one to be a problem-solver)

STEP 4—APPLY! Help your class answer this question, “With God’s help, what can I do with what I have learned from this lesson?”

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2: 5,6, NASB)

During the second century Irenaeus of Lyons taught that Jesus was offered as a ransom to the Devil to free people’s souls. The Devil, however, was defeated because he did not know that Jesus was God himself!

For hundreds of years, this theory was adopted by the Christian world until Anselm of Canterbury pointed out that Irenaeus’ theory assumed that the Devil had far too much power. Instead, Anselm said that Jesus’ life was paid to God and not to the Devil!

What a more poignant picture that makes—Jesus’s life given as ransom to God in exchange for MY eternal life!

  • A ransom is required to free the hostages. Sometimes, a hostage exchange is demanded to guarantee the transaction. How is Jesus’ death more than a “hostage exchange?”
  • What are the benefits of having a Savior who is superior to anything or anyone else? How can His superiority motivate you in your life? What is your potential if you maximize the use of His superiority?
  • Compile verses about the power of Jesus as Savior and Priest as a gift to a neighbor or friend. Or email your friends a verse a week about the power of Jesus.
  • How can you actively bring Christ as a mediator into the workplace and thereby be a witness of your Christian lifestyle? What role can prayer play in this endeavor?
    Feature image by Yekaterina Golatkina 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.

Personal Ramblings, Spiritual Musings

God in a Fortune Cookie

Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you Genesis 12:1

Photo by Charles Deluvio

When our family received a call to go to Nepal as missionaries, I said no. It was the worst possible time–My career that was perched for great possibilities would die; my son’s intensive piano lessons that were preparing him for a career in composition would be jeopardized; my daughter’s academic goals would be crushed; and my husband would be unmarketable when we returned. It simply did not make sense. And I said no.

But God knew better. His persistence grew stronger with my every objection. The signs I got would have put Gideon, Moses and Joseph to shame. Yet I refused. And then one Sabbath morning, away from home in the pre-google days, my husband and I opened the Yellow Pages to find a church to attend. There were over 20 of them. So we randomly picked a church and began our drive. Less than 3 minutes on the road, I spotted a church and suggested we attend that one instead of the one we had picked. Roy refused (his Germanic genes do not allow changes in plans). Five minutes later, I saw another church; Roy refused. Another ten minutes went by and there was another church. Roy refused. We were now late for service.

By the time we got to the church, the sermon had already begun. And I was furious with Roy. Just as we sat down, the minister said, “Faith is about setting out on a journey without all the answers to your questions.” Roy nudged me in ribs. My response was silence, but I could not help but scribble the quote in my Bible. The trip back to the hotel was long and silent. I chose to nap that afternoon to blot out the strangeness of us attending that particular church and hearing that particular message. I woke up late in the evening, hungry and miserable, feeling trapped in our hotel room. We ordered in Chinese and ate in silence. The meal ended and I broke open my fortune cookie. It said: “You will go to a strange and far away land.”

In that moment I imagined God smile and say “Checkmate.” I knew I had lost. Six years later, after our mission term, life was just as I had predicted–my career took a dive. My son’s music career never happened. My daughter didn’t end up in an Ivy League school. My husband did not find a job comparable to his strengths and experience. Yet we gained more than we lost.

Our journey of faith that began with that fortune cookie took us into an experience of complete trust in God and nothing else. We survived political strife, physical hardships, poor health, emotional trials and dangerous conditions. Every day was an adrenaline rush of miracles, a continual supply of blessings. When I was able to give up my vision for myself and obey God’s call instead, God’s plans became my plans, His desires my desires. And in Him, I have found joy abundant even in the worst of times.


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.