‘O my God, it found out me!’

And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain-
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

This hymn by Charles Wesley has long been one of my favorites, and to understand its meaning you need to hear it a certain way. To hear it one way is to hear that last line without any real inflection. That Christ should die for me along with everyone else is a grand enough thought. But to make it even grander you need to add an embellishment on that last “me.” That Thou, my God, shouldst die “for ME?”… and the question mark is appropriate.

“ME?” meaning the least likely for anyone to love. “ME?” meaning the worst of sinners. “ME?” as in: “I can maybe see Him dying for somebody else, but not me.” Or as Paul says it in Romans: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:7-8).

While we were still messed-up, lost, unlovely, unlovable, selfish, conniving jerks, Christ died for us! It’s preposterous! The idea is not only that you are messed up, but that you see yourself as more messed up than anybody else.

When you think about it, it makes sense. We should all think of ourselves as the worst sinner we know because … well … we don’t know anybody else well enough to make any comparison. I’m the worst sinner because I know my sin intimately. I don’t know your sin that well. I can’t even judge it. That’s not up to me, but I do know myself and I am amazed that “Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”

I ran across a great statement yesterday on someone’s Twitter account and I apologize for stealing it, but I had to share it with you. “What makes the gospel offensive isn’t who it leaves out, but who it lets in.” And at the bottom of the list of who it lets in would be you (to you) and me (to me).

If there’s anybody you’d rather not have in heaven, then you need to check your Pharisee monitor, because that kind of thinking registers high on the Pharisee chart. If I think there is anybody out there worse than me, I’m engaging in wrong thinking.

Besides if there’s someone you don’t want in heaven because of something you don’t like about them, or something they’ve done to hurt you, just remember: whatever they’ve done, in heaven, will be gone.

We need to hold onto this perspective and never let it go. The person I should be most amazed about finding in heaven should always be me.

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace-
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

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11 Responses to ‘O my God, it found out me!’

  1. Xavier says:

    Thank you John. I needed this. Thank You Lord.

  2. Very very true! Thanks for that note. God is amazing!

  3. Peter Leenheer says:

    Thank you very much for that post. Having been a Christ follower for 48 years it often still astounds me at my selfishness. What you said today I needed badly. Even though I know better I got caught up in my circumstances and lost my perspective. Your perspective was wonderfully sobering in this devotional. Praise the Lord for having a contingency plan in conjunction with making the earth and the garden of Eden…..Jesus Christ!

  4. Amazed … relieved … still wondering if, despite my new life in Christ, I’m actually staying on-track … What I find glorious about that quote from Paul is that he says, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” “Were” is the past tense. Thanks to His blood, we are no longer sinners! That doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes — we do, but not with intent as before; nor do we sit back smugly and coast the rest of the way into Heaven. Rather, it means we can stop beating ourselves up for the things we’ve done in the past and get on with the job God has given us. When old temptations start to re-surface, we can remind ourselves, “that’s not me, anymore!” Mix in the knowledge of how that new person was not achieved by anything we’ve done ourselves, but was bought and paid for on the Cross — the “amazing love” — and you have the combination of humility and power that God intended for us from the beginning.

  5. Camille Pronovost says:

    Thank you, John. I am not familiar with Wesley’s hymn, but this song with the refrain “Amazing Love…How can It Be?” came to my mind.

    • Mark Seguin says:

      Also, thx Camille Pronovost 4 the very good video – throughly enjoy it! 🙂

    • Carole says:

      Camille, this version of Amazing Love was one of the first worship hymns I heard/sang after being baptized an Evangelical Christian in 2002. It still reduces me to tears as I ask myself “how can it be that You, my King, would die for me?” Thank you for sharing the video.

  6. Linda from Texas says:

    Thank you for this, John. I’ve been sick and grouchy, angry and judgmental lately. Yes, after all these years knowing Jesus I should know better. Thanks for helping me get back on track. Oh, and this is such a beautiful hymn – one of my favorites.

  7. Jerry and Lynne Nichols says:

    I continue to fail at not being able to get past the first chapter in Twelve steps for a recovering Pharisee I hope you will keep trying to keep me humble with your daily devotionals They are very uplifting to us Thanks John for your insight Sore Toes and all

    • Mark S. says:

      Dear Jerry and Lynne Nichols: I lov that book you mentioned by Pastor John: “Twelve steps for a recovering Pharisee…”
      PS also renforced by belief unless someone buys a book much not be gainned from it and often it might not be taken care of well – and lending books out isn’t a good idea 4 me to do – becauz even though i know who i lent that book to – now they tell me no, they do not have it and i luv to re-read my books, yet now need to buy it again… oh well it is what it is…. In I have throughly learned my lesson, in no longer lending books out!

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