In ancient times, and even today, there are two primary ways that TRUTHwas and continues to get passed down: STORIESand SONGS.
Any “This Is Us” fans? This show is incredibly popular. One newspaper wrote this about it, “[The show] should not be a hit… In a [television] landscape cluttered with…series that feature flying dragons, killer zombies, graphic nudity…and glitzy gimmicks… the series captures viewers with simple stories of three siblings….” And people love it, because the stories in “This Is Us” remind us of our own stories!
People have been captivated by music for centuries, even millennia. We love music! By the way, God loves it, too!
Do you realize that there are at least 185 songs in the Bible?
The first song in the Bible is a love song! When Adam saw Eve for the first time he burst into poetry. “This is bone of my bones… Flesh of my flesh…” Scholars are quick to say at the very least, that’s poetry. But some even say, Adam was actually breaking out in a song!
The first worship song in the Bible is a song called the Song of Moses and it’s found in Exodus 15. It’s a song that Moses and maybe his sister, Miriam, wrote after God brought Israel out of Egypt and then blasted a hole in the Red Sea.
Interestingly enough, the last song in the Bible is actually a remix of the first song — the song of Moses (Revelation 15). The lyrics are slightly different, but it’s the same song!
The Bible is filled with music. The book of Psalms contains 150 songs, most of which were written by a guy named David.
David was like the Justin Timberlake of his generation. The dude was an athlete, a war hero, a poet, a musician, a singer and good-looking. How does one guy get all that?
David marked almost every significant moment in his life with a song! The Bible marks moments with SONG!
Historically, people have always marked moments by sharing stories and writing and singing songs.
We do it. Ever heard someone say, “That’s our song…?”
A few months ago, I heard a song that marked a moment for me and I’m hoping will mark a moment for us. It’s a song called Reckless Love. Anybody heard it? We’ve been singing it at church for a few months.
It’s one of the best written modern worship songs I’ve heard. One of the reasons I say that, is because the song actually combines the two ways truth gets passed down — STORYand SONG— and tells the STORY OF US. It shares the story of REDEMPTION.
It’s MY story.
It’s YOUR story.
It’s OUR story.
Our story could be broken down into three simple chapters. The song breaks it down the same way…
CHAPTER 1: LOVED from the start.
CHAPTER 2: BROKEN by sin.
CHAPTER 3: LOVE that FIGHTS to make us WHOLE.
That’s the story of us!
Reckless Love (Verse 1)
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.
—Cory Asbury, Caleb Culver, Ran Jackson, Reckless Love
That’s where the story begins. The story of us begins with the story of GOD— a God who has loved us from before we were even born and before we ever did anything to deserve it!
Some of you might think that’s just poetic license. “God [was] singing over us? Yeah, right?” But that’s not artistic license. It’s actually in the Bible.
According to the Bible, before we ever did anything to gain the approval or favor of God, God was singing over us!
One of my favorite passages in all the Bible is Zephaniah 3:17. It reads like this:
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
Some of us have never thought of God like that! We’ve thought of God as ticked off, angry, frustrated or upset. But Zephaniah says, “When God thinks of you, He delights in you with gladness.” You actually make God smile!
When God thinks of you, He “will rejoice over you with joyful songs / singing (NLT / NIV)! He will sing and be joyful about you (NCV)! He will celebrate you with shouts of joy (AMP / GWT)! ‘Hey! That one’s mine!’ His love will calm your fears!” That’s your God!
You may have never heard another person sing to you or over you! But if you could somehow tune in to the frequency of heaven, you would not only hear thousands of angels and the redeemed singing praises to our God, you would hear the love song of a Father who has been singing over you every moment of your life.
That’s CHAPTER 1 in “The Story of Us.” It begins with God and it begins with LOVE. CHAPTER 1 is “LOVED from the START.”
That brings us to CHAPTER 2. Chapter 2 and Verse 2 of Reckless Love quickly bring us back to reality. It reminds us of our INCREDIBLE BROKENNESS. Pay attention to these lyrics…
Reckless Love (Verse 2)
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.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that before we were followers of Jesus, we were actually foes or enemies of Jesus. We were enemies of God.
I love CHAPTER 1. It’s a great chapter. It’s beautiful. I wish the whole book were Chapter 1.
But the truth is, all of us have lived and some of us are still living in CHAPTER 2. It’s hard to admit this reality. It’s tough. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s real.
Most people I know, including and especially me, hate talking about sin. But you can’t talk about the story of us without talking about this part of the story.
Romans 3:23 is a roundhouse kick to the skull. Just in case we think we have it all together, Paul smacks us in the teeth with this truth!
Sin is serious business! Deadly serious. It has affected and still affects every aspect of who we are.
It’s the reason we struggle with junk like paralyzing self-consciousness, overwhelming shame and guilt, blame, insecurity, inferiority, inadequacy, debilitating fear, emotional baggage, physical sickness, suffering, pain, aging and ultimately, death. All of it is somehow tied to the brokenness produced by SIN.
The second verse of Reckless Love confronts us with the reality of our brokenness and sin, but also reminds us that despite it, God REFUSESto give up on us!
I love Romans 5:8:
But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly! —TPT
That’s love! That’s RECKLESS LOVE!
It’s what the chorus and bridge are all about! They remind us of just how much God loves us. Once again, pay attention to these words. This is a description of God’s love for you!
Reckless Love (Chorus/Bridge)
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!
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!
Is that awesome or what?
The bridge of that song makes me think of Liam Neeson in Taken and the lengths he goes to in order to rescue his daughter from the bad guys! Liam is relentless. But his love for his daughter doesn’t hold a candle to God’s relentless love for you!
Dallas Willard once said it like this: “If you want to know what God’s address is, it’s at the end of your rope.”
God refuses to give up on you! He will never stop believing in you! His LOVE will fight for your FREEDOM and fight to make you WHOLE!
Cory Asbury, and a couple of his friends, wrote Reckless Love.
Someone asked Cory, “Do you ever get any pushback on the word, ‘reckless’?”
I love Cory’s response:
“When I use the phrase, ‘the reckless love of God’, I’m not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is 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, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous.
“His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn’t consider Himself first. His love isn’t selfish or self-serving. He doesn’t wonder what He’ll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return.
“There is no Plan-B with the love of God. He gives His heart so completely, so preposterously, that if refused, most would consider it irreparably broken. Yet He gives Himself away again.
“The recklessness of His love is seen most clearly in this: it gets Him hurt over and over and over. Make no mistake our sin pains His heart. And seventy times seven is a lot of times to have your heart broken. Yet He opens up and allows us in every time.
“His love saw you when you hated Him. When all logic said, they’ll reject you, He said, ‘I don’t care if it kills me. I’m laying my heart on the line.’”— Cory Asbury, Interview with Steve Carter
Wow! Wow! Wow! That’s the reckless love of God!
It’s all about God’s reckless and relentless love! It’s about the fact that God demonstrated His love for us through what Jesus did!
Jesus came and taught like nobody has ever taught.
He lived like nobody ever lived.
He loved like nobody has ever loved.
His heart was captured for people like you and me.
You’ve heard this expression in a popular series of movies, “life finds a way.”
According to God’s Word, not only does “life find a way,”
LOVE WILL FIND A WAY!