We love to feature a devotional, book review or testimony ~ a “Devotional Spotlight”, written by a woman in our ministry! We hope you are blessed in reading Leslie Anne’s devotional! Winter Bible Studies start next week! If you would like more information about the studies being offered, click HERE.
“Redefined by His Redemptive Grace”
There’s something about turning the calendar over into a new year that seems to create a feeling of great anticipation. A new start and a slower pace following the hectic holiday season feels like a breath of fresh air. The very idea of starting a new year creates space for new beginnings.
Several years ago, instead of creating a New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus my year on a single word. Little did I know how God would meet me in this seemingly simple task. What began as a mission of focusing my heart on His Truth throughout the year turned into a life-changing journey – one that I will forever be grateful.
I loved the concept of choosing a single word as a yearly focus so much that I have continued praying for and choosing a word each year, because God has revealed great and mighty things through this exercise for me.
The first year, I chose the word redemption – meaning to buy back, to ransom in full, to deliver. At the time, I had no idea why God had laid this particular word on my heart or what He had in store; however, the word redemption began to appear EVERYWHERE – music lyrics, books, scriptures, sermons, and even everyday conversations.
It was in this year that I began to see the characters of the Bible in a new light. I had heard or read the great stories of the Old and New Testaments for the large majority of my life, but I had failed to recognize a crucial element. Characters from Adam to the disciples were ordinary people living out broken stories; stories that were riddled with pain, personal loss, and poor choices. Stories that seemed to get derailed from their intended destinations and often times appeared hopeless. Can’t we all relate to that brokenness?
The crucial element that I somehow overlooked is not only did GOD use the brokenness of each character for His good, but God also saw each individual not labeled by their brokenness but instead named by His redemptive grace. In the midst of a sinful world, God called Noah favored and used his story to save mankind from complete destruction in the flood. God called Abraham friend and counted him as righteousness using his story to sow greatness for many generations. Even with the Apostle Paul’s rough start, God renamed him and redefined his life to spread His great Light throughout the world. From the beginning, God has been using broken people with broken stories to tell of His great redemptive grace, and if that’s not amazing enough, God is still using broken people with broken stories today!
Little did I know that focusing my heart on redemption would open my eyes to the peaks and valleys in my personal story allowing me to see where God has redeemed my pain, personal loss, and poor choices. For many years, I’ve heard about my identity in Christ. Studying redemption turned my head knowledge into a greater heart knowledge that I am a beloved child of the Creator, fearfully and wonderfully made in His own image, redeemed by Jesus Christ, called by name, fully known and fully loved, forgiven, blessed, set free, no longer condemned, washed clean, and unconditionally welcomed. My life has been redefined by His great redemptive grace!
One of the great blessings that came out of that year of focusing on redemption was not only a redefining of my true identity in Christ but also the creation of a Bible study with my dear friend Martha Richie titled Redefined: Choosing God’s Voice Above All Others. Since then, Martha and I have had the joy of walking with women as they explore Scripture to discover their true identity in Christ allowing His Truth to redefine who we are and how we love others well. We would be delighted if you joined us this semester! Visit HERE for more information about our study and to register.
I encourage you to pick a word for this year if you’ve never done so; you won’t regret it! Praying the Lord appears to you this year in great and mighty ways!