There’s a song by Tauren Wells I’m sure you’ve heard on Kinship Radio. It’s simply called “Known” and the lyrics start like this:
It’s so unusual, it’s frighteningYou see right through the mess inside meAnd you call me out to pull me inYou tell me I can start againAnd I don’t need to keep on hiding
I’m fully known and loved by YouYou won’t let go no matter what I doAnd it’s not one or the otherIt’s hard truth and ridiculous grace.
Cory Asbury’s song “Reckless Love” was controversial because some people said, “God’s not reckless.” And they got very offended back then –but all of Christendom has not risen up in a hew and cry with pitchforks and torches in hand to stop Wells and this “heretical” concept of ridiculous grace.
Because it’s not heresy.
Paul wrote in Romans 2:4:
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT)
But, isn’t God’s wrath and punishment what turn us from our sin? The same Paul, writing to the same people, in the same book, in chapter 11:22:
“Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.” (NLT)
Back to the song lyrics:
“And it’s not one or the otherIt’s hard truth and ridiculous grace.”
I don’t deserve God’s grace. He knows me deeper and more truly than I know myself. He knows not only the depths of my depravity, but the depths of my potential depravity.
And still, He loves me enough to die for me to save me –and a whole world filled with people just as depraved as I am.
The events taking place in Israel this week are tearing my heart out. There are reports of horrible atrocities –abduction, destruction, rape, murder, and more. And all over the world, Christians are asking themselves, “How should I pray for Israel?”
Our inclination is to pray for swift justice and punishment for the enemies of Israel. But that’s not what Jesus said in Matthew 5:44:
“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (NLT)
The miracle prayer is that the enemies of Israel would see the error of their ways, drop their weapons, fall to their knees, repent, and come to Jesus for salvation.
And, in His infinite grace, He would forgive them.
The war would end and the whole world would see the power of the love of Jesus and maybe even some of the people of Israel would accept Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah.
Ahh, but you say, that’s never going to happen. That’s crazy talk.
But didn’t Jesus say if we abide in Him, whatever we asked in His name, He would do for us? (John 15:7) He said we can move mountains with those prayers –and much more! (Mark 11:23)
But do we really believe that? Do we live like that? Or, is there a part of us that doesn’t really want the bad guys to be saved? Isn’t it much more satisfying when the good guy kills the bad guy at the end of the movie?
That depends on whether we want to live in a Hollywood movie or we want to live in the Kingdom of God.
That depends on whether their sins carry a different eternal outcome than ours.
On the website Redeeming God, Jeremy Myers writes: “Grace is the key to everything. And I am not referring to the weak-kneed, limp, powerless, feeble grace that you find in most Christian theology today, but the shocking, outrageous, scandalous, indiscriminate, senseless, irrational, unfair, irreligious, ridiculous, absurd, offensive, infinite grace which Jesus exhibited during His life.”
The hard truth is, in the shadow and scandal of the cross, there is nothing but that ridiculous grace standing between any of us and what we actually deserve.
“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.”