COMPLETELY LOVED is a devotional companion to COMPLETELY HIS, the lead title in Shannon Ethridge’s Loving Jesus Without Limits series. It is divided into 30-day reading portions that delve into the nature and attributes of God. The scripture readings all come from the Old Testament.
The heartbeat of this devotional is the great lengths to which God has gone to pursue us. God reveals Himself as our creator, our witness, our wise counselor, our redeemer and so much more. Like a diamond, God has many beautiful facets --- each worth its own examination and moment of wonder.
Each day of the devotional begins with a daily reading and highlights a key passage. The short Bible reading is followed by a two-page devotion that explores an idea about God. This is followed by a handful of introspective questions titled “Holding His Hand” and closes with a prayer. The format is simple but effective for anyone wanting to delve into the material and reflect on their spiritual life.
For example, in the reading that examines God as “Our Refuge,” the author focuses on Genesis 6:5-8:22 --- the story of Noah. Ethridge makes the comparison between the challenges that Noah faced and those that we struggle with today. She writes, “Spiritually speaking, we all are walking in a wilderness. This world is full of sin, rebellion, and opportunities for us to feed our flesh. We need to find shelter in order to remain safe from harm. We need an ark in which to take refuge from the flood. And just as God provided one for Noah, He provides a place of refuge for us today. Where is this refuge? In Christ.”
She challenges her readers, “Is my refuge found in Christ alone, or do I turn to other things for shelter from the storms of life?”
Some of the more intriguing readings include God as “Our Slate Cleaner,” “Our Extravagant Lover” and “Our Fearless Leader.” Throughout the devotional, readers will be forced to answer some tough questions about themselves and what they really believe. But the purpose of these questions is to foster growth. At times, the writer tends to rely on some fairly overused catchphrases, such as saying that intimacy is like “In-to-me-see,” leaving the reader wanting fresher insights or more depth. But overall the devotional is well-written, and the simple approach makes it accessible to a variety of women’s study groups.
If you enjoy COMPLETELY HIS, the first book in this new series from Shannon Ethridge, then you’ll definitely want to pick up this companion guide. It will welcome you into a deeper understanding of the material and open your eyes to the relationship that God desires with you.
Reviewed by Margaret Oines on June 19, 2007