We often hear the phrase, “keeping it real”, but in most cases it has to do with something of no great importance. However, the same could be said about matters that are of the greatest importance. We need to get it right and keep it real. Most of the time we don’t. For example, we live in a day where man has a created a god in his own image, rather than thinking about the fact that God created man in His own image. When we talk about the God/ man relationship we tend to make it more about man than God. We talk much about what we want God to do for us, but little about what we should do for Him. Then we go to the other extreme where we put more emphasis on what we do rather than what God does for us. If we are going to get it right and keep it real we must always keep our focus on the person and work of Christ. It’s fine to speak about your love for Christ, but we should do so in the context that “We love Him, because He first loved us”(1 John 4:19). It is not about you, nor me–it is always all about Him. This short article by Michael Horton helps us get it right:
The gospel transforms us in heart, mind, will, and actions precisely because it is not itself a message about our transformation. Nothing that I am or that I feel, choose, or do qualifies as Good News. On my best days, my experience of transformation is weak, but the gospel is an announcement of a certain state of affairs that exists because of something in God, not something in me; something that God has done, not something that I have done; the love in God’s heart which he has shown in his Son, not the love in my heart that I exhibit in my relationships. Precisely as the Good News of a completed, sufficient, and perfect work of God in Christ accomplished for me and outside of me in history, the gospel is ‘the power of God unto salvation’ not only at the beginning but throughout the Christian life. In fact, our sanctification is simply a lifelong process of letting that Good News sink in and responding appropriately; becoming the people whom God says that we already are in Christ.
It is for this reason that I prefer to sing “Jesus Loves Me” to “O How I Love Jesus”. Both are true, but the emphasis should always be more on His love for me than my love for Him. Without the former the latter would be impossible. So, let’s get it right and keep it real. –HDS