True Colors

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV

My children have watched the new “Trolls” movie somewhere around fifty times. They enjoy it so much we purchased the soundtrack so that we could listen to the songs as we travel. One song in particular sticks out to me, the Justin Timberlake remake of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”. One part of the song says, “I see your true colors and that’s why I love you”. I think of my wife when I hear this song. She sees my true colors. She sees me for who I really am, good and the bad. My wife knows me when I’m at my best and has seen me at my worst. Despite knowing the worst about me, she loves me. Her love for me is not a matter of what I am or am not doing, but our relationship is.  I can do things that put strain on our relationship and even though my wife loves me, she’s upset with me. On the flip side of that, I can do things to build our relationship. Her love for me isn’t necessarily growing, but our relationship is. In a way, this describes our relationship to God. While his love for us eternal, we can do things that build or destroy our relationship with him.

The bible says that even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Before we proclaim him as our Lord or trust in him as our savior, he loves us. While we are lost to our own sinfulness and busy making idols out of ourselves, God loves us. He loves us so much he sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place so that we could be reconciled to him and have eternal life. God sees our true colors and loves us anyway.

While God’s love for us is unconditional, our salvation is not. Our salvation requires us to have faith and trust in Christ (John 14:6). We have sinned against God and even though he loves us, without faith in Jesus we are lost and destined for hell. Heaven and hell is not a matter of being a “good person” or what your true colors are, it’s a matter of faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Hell is not for sinners, it is for those who reject Jesus.

This week is holy week, a time when we reflect on Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the last supper, his crucifixion, death, and finally his resurrection on Easter. It’s a time of celebration for believers, a time when we can rejoice in the gift of salvation and the eternal life to come. This is also a time that we should be reaching out to those who do not have the hope of Jesus in their life. A time of invitation. A time that despite what people’s true colors are, we would reach out and show them the love of Christ. If you don’t know Jesus, I pray that you would seek him with an open heart. God is not hiding like some decorated Easter egg, he’s waiting for you with open arms. God loves you, no matter what your true colors are.

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Music Man

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12 ESV).

I love music. I usually have some kind of music playing in the background of our home while we go about our daily routine. The type of music depends on time of day, what we’re doing, and the general “mood” of everyone around. It’s interesting to see the different styles of music that my two small children enjoy. My daughter likes to sing and dance to folk and bluegrass while my son enjoys pop and hip-hop (he has recently discovered Lecrae).

King David was also a music man being proficient in playing several different instruments. I’ve found myself spending more and more time in the Psalms, usually starting my quiet time with Psalms and prayer. King David poured his heart out in the Psalms, he held nothing back. He showed us times of praise and worship such as Psalm 9 that starts, “I give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds,” (Psalm 9:1 ESV). Then in the very next chapter sings, “Why, O LORD, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1 ESV). King David showed us his highs and lows. Times of rejoicing, and times of trouble. Singing, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him,” in Psalm 28:7, to crying out, “O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me,” in Psalm 38:1-2.

God called King David, “a man after my heart, who will do all my will” (Acts 13:22 ESV) yet David still had the ups and downs that come with life. He experienced joy and sadness. Great rejoicing and times of equally great grieving. Times of blessing and times of burden. Yet, through it all, his faith never waivered. His trust in the Lord never ceased.

When I look at the life of King David, the songs he wrote, the life he lived, his blessing and his heartache, it encourages me in my own walk with the Lord. David shows us that as Christians we are not always promised an easy life. We are not always promised that things are going to go our way. But he also shows us how to trust the Lord in those dark times. He shows us that it’s okay to cry out to God in times of need. That just because we experience the hardships of living in a fallen world, our Heavenly Father still loves us.

I pray that you would spend time in the Psalms. Spend time worshiping the Lord through the songs of David. Experience his sadness and his joy. The Psalms are showing me how to walk through difficult times trusting in the Lord. They are showing me how to worship God, how to come to Him with the hard questions in hard times. I promise you, God can handle the tough questions. But most importantly, the Psalms teach to trust the Lord. To truly have faith in Him.

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning,” (Psalm 30:5 ESV).