Everyone has experienced an imprisoned heart, held captive as a result of unbelief and unconfessed sin. Worse, our prison comes with cellmates: guilt, shame, and regret, etc. The Keeper of the keys, Jesus Christ, has already unlocked the door to the believer’s heart using the key of forgiveness by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9). But sometimes we live as if we’re still imprisoned, struggling with fear, bitterness, anger—even hate. And those sins can slam shut the door of our hearts and strain our relationship with our heavenly Father and with others.
In her new Bible study/memoir, Unlocked Hearts, Unleased Joy: Forgiveness Is the Key, Melanie Shull teaches that God never stops pursuing us, longing to unlock the areas of our hearts we’ve bolted shut. As believers, we have access to the key to freedom and joy, but we must use that key if we are to experience abundant life through Jesus Christ.
Shull uses her gift of storytelling to reveal Jesus as the healer of our deep wounds. She also brings to life several Bible characters who needed and received healing and joy as God pursued their hearts. Her own story of healing from the wounds of sexual abuse begins with Jesus stirring forgiveness in her heart and releasing her from her self-made prison.
“This is the Bible study you’ve been looking for. The theme of forgiveness is intricately woven into each chapter through Melanie Shull’s own story and through needy, desperate, or imperfect Bible characters who came face to face with truth. You’ll find an emphasis on getting answers from God’s Word, and you’ll discover how to make choices based on biblical wisdom. I highly recommend it.” –Carol Kent, director of the Speak Up Conference; speaker; author of He Holds My Hand: Experiencing God’s Presence and Protection