One of my favorite songs right now is “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury.

The chorus is as follows:
“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”

Someone who means a lot to me said, “I don’t get that song you like. That line about the ninety-nine.”

That line comes from Matthew 18:12-14, where Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep. He said, “‘What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.'”

As I typed this out, I wondered how to word it so that folks wouldn’t immediately get offended with a “What about me?” reaction. I can’t paraphrase it, though, to be more palatable. I mean, I’m not here to reword the Word, right?

As I thought about this, the parable of the Prodigal Son also was laid on my heart. The older son in that story had a similar reaction. He was with his father the whole time, kept his orders (commandments) and, yet, felt cheated because his father celebrated the return of the younger son with all his best he had to offer. The son confronted the father about it. What gives?

Luke 15:31 says, “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

We aren’t losing out by not wandering away and coming back. The brother who stayed had his reward coming for him in due time, as do those who stay the course. At the same time, those who do and return are a big deal to God. I, myself, was a lost sheep who came home. While I was saved when I was 6, there was a period where I simply lost sight of my identity in Christ. I regret the time I lost in companionship with God, but I am so grateful for what I’ve regained. I am thankful that Christ doesn’t see his sheep as expendable. Rather, we are worth searching for; worth dying for.

Alive again. Found. Redeemed.

It’s never too late to come home. He waits with open arms to celebrate with you, too, and has already laid out the best there was to offer.


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