He Leaves The Ninety-Nine (Luke 15:7)

I found this old video on my phone from the summer of 2018 that made me smile as I watched it and thought about God’s love in this particular season of my family’s life.

We couldn’t earn it and we don’t deserve it, yet “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The way God loves us is so radical that we lack the capacity to fully grasp it, comprehend it, or describe it in words.

If you’re familiar with the Parable of the Lost Sheep from the gospels of Matthew and Luke, you’ll recall that Jesus tells the story of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep in order to go after the 1 single, lost sheep.

Now to us, it seems completely backwards and foolish to leave the 99 for the 1. But at the culmination of the story in Luke 15:7 Jesus explains, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine [who believe they are] righteous and do not need to repent.”

Our human rationale may tell us that leaving the 99 for 1 is “reckless”. Likewise, the fact that God gave His one and only sinless, perfect Son in exchange for the sins of mankind, is also difficult to comprehend. But the beauty and mystery of it all is that a love that seems so irrational to us, is perfectly designed by a sovereign God who is always in control, and by His very nature is immutable and anything but reckless.

While our imperfect words often fail to describe a perfect God, may our hearts cry out in worship as we recognize the overwhelming, never-ending, “reckless” love of God.

Note: I’m personally a huge stickler for words and song lyrics, and the writers of this song used the word “reckless” as a metaphor to describe, in human terms, the way God’s love and resulting actions appear to the rest of creation. They’re on record saying that they know and absolutely believe that God Himself is in no way reckless. Just an FYI. 😉

Reckless Love (by Cory Asbury)

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

 

Pray… And Then Pray More! (Jonah 2)

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said, ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.'” (Jonah 2:1-2)

Even as a prophet of God, Jonah was as human as you and I, making many mistakes during his time of ministry. He ran away from God to the point where he was cast overboard from a boat, and the Lord sent a great fish to swallow him whole, where Jonah stayed three days and three nights. (more…)