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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

13 Oct '12

The redeemer and maximizer of our biographies

Our biographies are a muddle of complicated issues: Family memories; success and failure; joy and sorrow; regrets and wishes for what could have been; illness that changed us; economies that bit us; relationships good and bad; choices we cannot retract and others that we are thankful for and the list could go on. Each of us has those parts of our biography that we are deeply thankful for and each that we wish were different. We, however, cannot change what has been!

Enter God! He does not change what has been but He is the only One who can and does use every aspect of our biography for His purposes. He redeems not only our heart but He can redeem our past and actually use for His purposes what we wish had never happened - or had been different.

I think of Chuck Colson, for instance, who I am sure wished that his biography had read differently prior to encountering Jesus in a life changing way. God not only took what had been bad and redeemed it but he maximized that biography through Prison Fellowship - doing through Colson what never would have been possible without his past. How many lives were touched because Jesus redeemed Colson's biography?

When I suffered deep depression after a particularly hard season in my early life, I could never have imagined that God would not only redeem the depression - as I was able to minister to others in a similar situation - but would use the circumstances of my pain to influence my ministry from that time forward and open doors I never thought imaginable. He graciously redeemed my pain and used all of my biography for His purposes. 

This is the amazing thing about God! He can take what was bad and use it for what is good. He can take years that we thought were lost and redeem them for good. He can take a sinful past and use it in a redeemed future. There is nothing in our biographies that He cannot redeem and use in some way for His purposes even if it is simply to demonstrate the power of God to utterly and completely change lives. He is the only one who will not waste any of our biographies and use them for His divine purposes. That ought to make us deeply grateful people.