COMPLETELY FORGIVEN, a devotional companion to COMPLETELY HIS, the lead title in Shannon Ethridge’s Loving Jesus Without Limits series, focuses on God’s interactions with biblical figures to reveal His character and the pursuit of Him. It offers encouragement to those who wonder if they’re alone in their struggles and temptations, and if God will give up on them someday.
Ethridge proposes that there are two types of purity: positional purity and experiential purity. When we become Christians and accept the free gift of salvation, we are given positional purity. We are forgiven completely and wholly through God’s grace. Experiential purity is something we pursue through living according to God’s desires for His people. This type of lifestyle leads to transformation both inside and out. Ethridge writes that this kind of transformation doesn’t just please God, it also provides the pleasure, peace, satisfaction and happiness that God intended. Throughout this devotional, she invites readers to embrace positional purity.
Each of the 30-day reading portions features a daily reading and key passage. Selections include both Old Testament and New Testament scriptures, and then a short 2-3 page devotional. Following the reading is a series of introspective questions under the heading “Holding His Hand.” Each day concludes with a prayer.
Though designed for women, this book is easily accessible to all readers. Throughout the study, readers will gain insights into Ethridge’s life. In a devotional called “Lasting Impressions” she tells the story of a teen who wanted to share an original poem with her while she was a youth pastor. She immediately recognized the “original” poem as the song lyrics to a well-known artist. She points out that, just like the teen who wanted to impress her, we are all tempted to make ourselves look better than we really are. Ethridge ties this in to the story of Ananias and Sapphira who deceived their spiritual leaders about their gift. She points out that none of us need to worry about making a lasting impression on anyone except God.
In a daily reading called “From Rags to Riches,” Ethridge takes a brief look at the life of King Solomon. She notes that Solomon didn’t leap into idolatry --- he moved toward it slowly but steadily by making poor decisions. We can fall further away from God each day without even realizing it. Through studying the Bible, prayer and accountability, Ethridge points out that we don’t have to follow in the footsteps of Solomon.
If you enjoy COMPLETELY HIS, then you’ll definitely want to pick up this companion guide. It is a welcome reminder that God wants to use all of us to accomplish His will and bless others.
Reviewed by Margaret Oines on June 19, 2007