Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
By: Robert Robinson, 1735-90
I remember sitting at an undisclosed burger joint years ago when one of my boys was little. I can not recall the events that led up to the statement clearly, but it might have been something about, deserving a break that day, or the purported right of the burger-eater to have it their way, when my son made a very clear statement. “I deserve the wrath of God.” Truer words have never been spoken to describe the condition of the lost soul before God.
It has been quite some time since I casually used that word in a sentence. Ok, never. But it is a really great word, and perfectly describes what Jesus did for us. It means to “place or insert between one thing and another.” Jesus placed His precious blood between me and God. That spared me of the danger I faced in the prospect of having to answer to God for my sin. I deserved wrath. I receive mercy.
Although Jesus’ sacrifice has forever changed my standing before a Holy God, my experience continues to fall short of the position I have been graciously granted. Even still, Jesus continues to pursue me, and my feeble tongue simply lacks the capacity to declare how wonderful that is. If it could, my weak mind also lacks the ability to understand what an incredible substitution has actually taken place.
Better Than I Deserve
I read a wonderful book a few years ago, The Cross Centered Life by C. J. Mahaney. In it he makes the case for keeping the Gospel the main thing, and offers practical suggestions as to how to practice that. It is an easy read, and well worth your time.
One of the nuggets I pulled out of this book and have practiced for years is the idea of offering a thoughtful response to the common question, “How you doing?” I often answer, “Better than I deserve.” There have been quite a few times over the years when my statement, meant as much for me the one who asked, has elicited an interesting response.
Think About It
The truth is, I simply am always doing better than I deserve to be, because Jesus has rescued me from the danger that my sin had put me in, especially as I consider the prospect of having to answer to a Holy God. In order to rescue me, He had to pursue me. And pursue me He did.
And pursue you He did. And not because you deserved it. So the obvious answer to the question above for you and me alike is No. We are not getting what we deserve, and because of Christ’s pursuit, and finished work on the cross, we are going to get what we do not deserve.
Jesus, thank You for pursuing me and for putting your precious blood between me and the wrath of God. I was wandering from You and You came after me, and have carried me on Your shoulders back into relationship with the Father. By Your grace may I always be filled with wonder at Your indescribable love for me.
He who has been forgiven much loves much is the essence of Luke 7:47. How have you experienced this in your life. Please share as someone reading this may have never realized they needed a pursuing Savior.
Podcast, Come Thou Fount – Episode 1.3
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