He Leaves the 99

One of my favorite songs, and arguably one of the best Christian songs ever written, is Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. This breakout hit has touched so many people and has changed me, in particular. I’ll leave the lyrics down below, but the main message in the song is how we don’t deserve Jesus’ amazing, overwhelming, reckless love.

Luke 15:4-7 says, ““Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

I have gone through a season of life where I have drifted too far away from God. I became a Christian more than 10 years ago and believe, without a doubt, that I am going to heaven and will never lose my salvation. During this recent season of my life, I still had a relationship with the Lord and was aware of His presence in my life, I just was not walking as closely as I should’ve been with Him and let other things get in the way. Now, this does not mean that now I am walking as closely as I should with the Lord, and I never want anyone to get the idea that I am a picturesque idea of a Christian, because I am not. But, in my heart, I desire close fellowship with Jesus, and I am working to achieve that as best I know how.

“A fading prayer life often accompanies neglected Bible reading. Prayer is the way believers communicate with the Navigator. If we stop talking with Him, the God who once seemed so close will soon feel far away. That chasm in our spirit is one more sign that we’re far from shore and safety.” – Charles Stanley via In Touch Ministries daily devotion “The Signs of Drifting” (sign up for daily devotionals here)

Struggling with getting out of my season of drifting, I read Beth Moore’s book, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things. I highly recommend this book if you have similar situations, or if you are trying to relate to someone’s circumstance. If you read this book as someone in this particular season, she refers to you as “Had”. I love this analogy because I was in a place where the Devil HAD such a strong foothold on me. At the end of the third part of her book, she paints a picture that brought me to tears reading it, and brings me to tears thinking about it. She is telling the reader to picture her and you side by side and as you sit there, you start to see Jesus, with open arms walking towards you both. She says this, “there He is just now. Coming across the field. He is running in your direction. He doesn’t even see me right now. He only has eyes for you. Forget your speeches. He wants to hug you. He wants to kiss you. Your healing will come in your very own Abba’s tight and passionate embrace. Let Him hold you so close that you can hear his heart pounding from having to run to you. Don’t be afraid. He wouldn’t run like that if He weren’t glad to see you! He’s yelling “Son (daughter)!” That was your name all along. Farewell, Had”.

I have a bookmark with a photo on the front of Jesus holding a lost sheep and I look at it in awe because it is the most tender, compassionate, and relatable image of the Father’s love. Jesus left the 99 to rescue me and He will ALWAYS leave the 99 to rescue someone who has drifted away from Him. I am so thankful that the Lord is with me during the good times and during the difficult. “I don’t deserve it and I couldn’t earn it”, but He graciously offers His reckless love to someone as undeserving as me and everyone willing to accept it.

 

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, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

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

And 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, yeah

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
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
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
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, I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah

 

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