Understanding the reckless love of God

Understanding the Reckless Love of God

I recently listened to a young woman tell her story of growing up with an abusive dad and subsequently concluding she was worthless.

One day as she was contemplating suicide, she was scrolling through Facebook when she came across the song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury.

As she listened, God’s Spirit spoke to her in a way that she came to understand how much He loved her and how much He valued her:

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
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

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

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

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

Songwriters: Caleb Culver / Cory Asbury / Ran Jackson; Reckless Love lyrics © Bethel Music Dba Bethel Music Publishing

Through this song, this young woman came to know with an awareness and assurance she’d never known before that she was deeply loved by God. This truth not only saved her life, it transformed her.

Reckless Love?

In the 90s, Rich Mullins also sang about “the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God” in his song, The Love of God. Later, his mentor Brennan Manning referenced these words in his book, The Furious Longing of God:

When the night is bad and my nerves are shattered and the waves break over the sides, Infinity speaks. God Almighty shares through His Son the depth of His feelings for me, His love flashes into my soul, and I am overtaken by mystery…. It is then I face a momentous decision…. I have two choices. I can escape below into skepticism and intellectualism, hanging on for dear life. Or, with radical amazement, I can stay on deck and boldly stand in surrendered faith to the truth of my belovedness, caught up in the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God.

Brennan Manning

Looking deeper into the life stories of both Mullins and Manning, we learn they were also rescued from self-destruction by the “reckless love of God.” Along with the young woman mentioned above, they chose to “boldly stand in surrendered faith to the truth of [their] belovedness” and their lives, too, were transformed.

From Jesus’ story of the prodigal son to His parable of the shepherd who left ninety-nine of his sheep to pursue the one that was lost, we come to understand how relentless and powerful His love is for each and every individual person — that means YOU. And it means me.

Some protest using “reckless” to describe God at all. Let’s be clear that God’s love is not reckless in a way that is not perfectly honorable and holy. When used to describe His love for us, “reckless” connotes a love so focused, so intense, so powerful, that it will go to any self-sacrificial lengths to be with the one(s) loved.

God loves you in such a way that He’d rather die than be without you.

Brennan Manning

And He did. He died so that we could be forever with Him. If that isn’t reckless, I don’t know what is!

While Paul did not use the term “reckless” to describe God’s love, he did make it clear that God will not allow anything to come between Him and His love for us:

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39 CSB

Reckless Love — Not Forced Love

While God relentlessly pursues us, He never forces a relationship with Him on anyone who doesn’t want it. God is a perfect gentleman.

The very fact that He created us with the freedom to make our own choices is evidence that His love is real. True love never forces another person against their will. True love always respects others by allowing them to make their own choices. God, who is love, never violates the laws of true love.

At the same time, God’s love compels Him to keep on pursuing and wooing us, even when we reject Him. He knows that nothing else will ever satisfy the huge gaping hole in our hearts. He alone can be our Everything. He longs to fulfill every need we have if we’ll let Him.

Prayer To Know God’s Reckless Love

Paul so longed that the believers in Ephesus would know God’s love that he prayed this for them:

I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17b-19 CSB

This is also my prayer for you, my dear readers. May you surrender to the truth of your belovedness and be caught up in the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God!


Resources mentioned:

Reckless Love
by Cory Asbury

The Furious Longing of God
by Brennan Manning

The Love of God
by Rich Mullins

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1 Comment

  1. Otho Horst

    Very good Fern. Keep up your good writing. God loves every person in the world. He hear every voice, and He even know our thoughts.

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