At church on Sunday we sang a song entitled “Reckless Love” written by Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, and Ran Jackson that was released in October of 2017. It’s a beautiful song that serves as a reminder of God’s amazing love for us. It’s part of the church’s worship rotation so it’s one we’ve sung several times before and I’ve heard it elsewhere as well.
Here’s the chorus if you’re not familiar: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, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
I’m good with the lyrics until I get to the word – “reckless.”
“Reckless” is an adjective that describes a person not thinking or caring about the consequences of their actions. It’s rarely considered a positive attribute.
In an interview, Asbury who performs the song, said, “When I use the phrase ‘the reckless love of God,’ we’re not saying that God himself is reckless. He’s not crazy. We are however saying that the way He loves is in many regards quite so.”
“What I mean is this. He’s utterly unconcerned with the consequences of his actions with regards to His own safety, comfort and well-being. His love isn’t crafty or slick, it’s not cunning or shrewd.In fact all things considered it’s quite childlike, might I even suggest sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you, for me. His love doesn’t consider Himself first, it isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself on the line. He simply puts Himself out there on the off chance that you and I will look back and give Him that love in return,” he said.
I get what he’s saying, and I can definitely see what he is saying from a human perspective. You and I loving the way God loves us would indeed seem reckless, especially to a watching world.
But God’s love for us is thoughtful. His actions on behalf of sinful humanity was fully considered – consequences and all.
The Apostle Paul writes, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons,” (Galatians 4:4-5, ESV).
We also see this in Romans. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly,” (Romans 5:6, ESV).
God’s love for us that is culminated in His sending His one and only son was thoughtfully planned. He planned for the redemption of sinful humanity.
At exactly the right time God the Father sent Jesus into the world to fulfill the promises of the Old Testament.
God the Father fully considered the consequences of sacrificing His Son.
“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross,” (Colossians 1:19-20, ESV).
He knew that our salvation required the shed blood of His Son on the cross.
Jesus knew what it would entail as well, and he certainly considered the consequences. Jesus struggled.
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death,” Jesus said to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, (Matthew 26:38).
He then prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will,” (Matthew 26:39, ESV).
He agonized so much about what was to take place he sweat blood, (Luke 22:44).
Yet, Jesus was obedient.
So, God’s love is selfless, sacrificial, undeserved, marvelous, merciful, life-giving, incomprehensible, eternal, limitless, but it is not reckless.
His love calls for a response. His love provides for our redemption. His love leads us to worship. His love allows us to love.