I’ve been listening to this song over and over this week. But full disclosure: when I first heard it, I wasn’t sure I was a fan. Yes, the melody is catchy and it’s pretty easy to sing, and a lot of people seem to like it.
However, I couldn’t help wondering if it was too me-centered. Now don’t get me wrong…I love ME-centered. Just ask those closest to me – I don’t find it hard to be me-centered! But this is supposed to be a song of worship. It needs to put the focus on God and not on me, right?
I kept listening, and what I began to hear in this song was this: the ridiculous, or “reckless” nature of the gospel is ALL about the character of GOD…not me. EVERYTHING God did for me, He did because He is God and because He is good and because He alone has the power to save. This is the beauty of the chorus: I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve it, still you give yourself away.
If you’re like me, when you’re in church and supposed to be singing something, you want to know what you’re singing! This song uses poetic, descriptive words to describe God’s pursuit of us – a prodigal people. But each of these phrases come from the rich truths we find in God’s Word.
So take a look at this song from the Scriptures, and I hope you will see just how radical, even reckless (at least by our own terms), God’s love is for you!
[Verse 1]Before I spoke a word, You were singing over meEven before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. Psalm 139:4For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17You have been so, so good to meOh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. Psalm 145:9The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in meThen the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. Genesis 2:7You have been so, so kind to meOr do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:4[Chorus]Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of GodOh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! Romans 11:33The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; Lamentations 3:22For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8How can I give you up, O Ephraim?How can I surrender you, O Israel?How can I make you like Admah?How can I treat you like Zeboiim?My heart is turned over within Me,All My compassions are kindled.I will not execute My fierce anger;I will not destroy Ephraim again.For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst,And I will not come in wrath.Hosea 11:8-9 (read vv1-9 for full context)Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nineActs 9:1-9 – God chasing down Saul, then rescuing him and giving him new life and purposeWe Love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays on his shoulders, rejoicing. Luke 15:4-5 (read vv 1-7)I couldn’t earn it, I don’t deserve itFor by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9…not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith… Philippians 3:9Still You give yourself awayHave this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,c being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
[Verse 2]When I was your foe, still Your love fought for meFor if while we were enemies we were reconciles to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.Romans 5:10Ephesians 2:1-5 (more evidence that we were dead to God because of sin; objects of wrath)You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for meLuke 7:36-50 – See the story of a woman, who was cast out as worthless but received by JesusSurely our griefs He Himself bore,And our sorrows He carried;Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,Smitten of God, and afflicted.But He was pierced through for our transgressions,He was crushed for our iniquities;The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30You have been so, so kind to me[Chorus][Bridge]There’s no shadow You won’t light upIn him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12Mountain You won’t climb upLuke 15:1-7 – again, see the lengths the Shepherd will go to find the lost sheep!coming after me
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10There’s no wall You won’t kick downEphesians 2:11-19 – Jesus removes the barriers between us and God, and also between us and each other!No lie You won’t tear downSo Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32Coming after meFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
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