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When you were a child, were you ever told to do something, and you didn’t fully understand why? Like buckling your seat belt, taking medicine, or going to bed on time? The truth is, your parents understood the reasons for each of these things you needed to do, and they told you to do them for YOUR benefit, and you can see that now. I believe it is the same with every command God has given us. Take the following scripture in 1 John:

Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth.But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:5-9 NET

It is clear in this passage that God is telling us to walk in the light. This includes confessing our sins and not burying them. This is honestly for our long term benefit and to those around us. Even if we don’t fully understand, we need to trust God in that it will be for our good! Because God is Light, we MUST walk in the light too. Confess your sins to God today, and open up to a mentor about it to (See James 5:16).

In God’s Hope and Love,

Colton Jansen

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The past few months I have been studying church history in my theology college. This past week we have been learning about the 18th and 19th centuries. Out of the amazing people that we learned about this week, I would have to say Robert Morrison was one of the men that stood out to me most. This week I couldn’t get the thought out of my head; “After seven years of labor, he baptized his first convert.”

Robert Morrison

Robert Morrison (1732-1834)  was the first Christian Protestant missionary in China. One of his most famous quotes was when he was en route to China; the owner of the boat on which the young missionary was traveling sarcastically said:”And so, Mr. Morrison, you really expect to make an impression on the idolatry of the great Chinese Empire?” “No, sir,” Morrison replied, “but I expect God will.” (Tucker 1983:167)

Morrison dedicated himself to an in-depth study of the Chinese culture and language. Since the interior of the country was closed to missionaries during his time, Morrison mainly worked in the production of Christian literature. After seven years of labor, he baptized his first convert. That’s right, SEVEN years.

The most monumental work of his twenty-seven years of service in China was the translation of the Bible into Wali, the ancient language of China.

Life is about the big picture…

In the small amount of information we learned about Morrison in our book, it was evident that Morrison expected to be used by God in the big picture. He was one of the few pioneers on learning the culture of a people as a means to witness to them. His understanding of the Chinese culture, and his translation of the Bible into Chinese were the building blocks of the now ever growing Church in China.

When I think about Morrison, he is greatly inspirational to me; life isn’t about numbers, figures, or being a “success”…it’s about doing what God made us to do…it’s about the big picture. Whether we are planting a seed, reaping the field, or even just removing the rocks; we need to make life about God and his plans. The picture of life is so much larger than we can ever see. Church, and the Gospel, are not about having an amazing service, or the most people in attendance…it’s about saving that one soul that God loved enough to send his only Son to die for in their place…

Let us learn from Morrison as an example that we can be pioneers for God. It isn’t about the “success” we may or may not see in our lifetime, but the big picture. Let us live to do what God has made us for.

In God’s love and grace,

Colton Jansen

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Here is one of my newest covers I posted. It is one of my absolute all time favorites; The Heart of Worship, by Matt Redman. Check it out! I hope you enjoy!

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For a limited time, we have been able to make available a Crosswalk T-Shirt! Be 1 of at least 100 people to reserve them and you will get these shirts made, and all profits will go into support for LivingForJesus.com and into making more T-Shirts like this one!

cross-walk-shirt

 

Don’t pass up on this shirt as it is only available until June 1st! Reserve it today at teespring.com/l4j-shirts

Spread the word on Facebook or Twitter!

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Happy Mother’s Day to all you mom’s out there! I spent quite some time looking at all the different cards this weekend. Now, is it just me, or do you always end up picking the first good card you read, even after looking another 10 minutes!?

Anyways, there are so many things we can learn from mom’s, and in the theme of mothers, let’s learn from one in the book of Luke. Let me share a short verse:

“I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled.” – Luke 1:38

Do you happen to know who had this response to God’s call on her? It was Mary! Earlier in Luke Chapter 1, Mary was just told by an angel of the Lord that she would be the mother of Jesus, the Messiah, even though she was a virgin. How intimidating would that be? I would be like, “Slow down. First of all, I’m a virgin, it isn’t physically possible! Secondly, even if God did make it happen, what will the world think since I am unmarried!? You have got the wrong person!!”. But no, “I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled” was her response.

Yes, she had questions. And yes, she was probably scared of what might happen. But she responded with faith in God and the heart of a servant. She didn’t know how it would happen, or what the world would think of her, but set her eye’s on the Lord and basically said “Lead and I will follow”. How will you respond to God when He calls you? Will you say “You’ve got the wrong person” or will you respond “I am Your servant, may your word to me be fulfilled?”. Let’s make it the latter.

In God’s Love,

Colton Jansen

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Easter

I can’t believe Easter is here already. Easter…growing up, when I heard that word, my mind would immediately think about wonderful baskets filled with sweet goodies; Peeps, Hershey Kisses, Reese’s and all the good stuff! I would think about the thrilling scavenger hunts we would do with my family, decorating eggs, and of course, the Easter Bunny.

But now a few other things come to my mind first, and these are some of them: An arrival of a long awaited king…His last meal…a rigged trial…a Cross…and finally, an empty tomb. What does it all mean? Why did it all happen? Well, to say it in the most simple, yet profound way; LOVE.

That four letter word: LOVE

Jesus came to this earth, lived a spotless life, endured the pain of our guilt and shame on the cross, died and rose again because he loves us…because he loves YOU.

There is one other thing that has been sticking in my mind this Easter season, and it is found in John 21. This is when Jesus asked Peter one of the most piercing and vulnerable questions of all: Do you love ME?

Easter weekend is when the full extent of God’s love was shown to us, and now will you accept it and love Him back? Whether you are reading this around Easter, or any other day from now on, it is never too late to accept God’s love for you.

In God’s love and grace,

Colton Jansen

 

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When you grow up in the church, like I did, you become familiar with the wonderful stories of the bible. But there was one huge thing that I overlooked for years…and when it finally stuck, it changed my life forever: God thinks about me…not only that; God deeply loves and wants a relationship with ME.

In Psalms 139:13-18a, we see King David praising God about this same revelation:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, -O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!

You see, God has had innumerable thoughts about me, even before I was born. And I know that is the same for each of you. Jesus went to the cross to create the path to have a relationship with you. God has been watching and waiting patiently for each one of us to finally come to him. So…Go.

In God’s Love and Grace,

Colton Jansen

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A few years ago, I was having a difficult time letting go of some of my sins. While I was praying, God showed me a vision:

I was out in my church parking lot, but I wasn’t alone. What stood before me was a large magnet. But not just any magnet, this one was in the shape of a cross.

The sins I struggled with were in my hands, and they were being pulled to the cross, but I kept holding on to them. It took so much effort for me to keep these sins from flying to the cross, but these were my sins to bear…then I heard a small, yet powerful, whisper. It said:

 “I paid for those sins already. Let go.”

I loosened the grip in my hands, and no later did I watch these sins fly immediately to the cross, and stay there. Afterwards, I felt the warmth God’s grace surge across my body as I was weightless.

What sins are you holding onto? What fears and doubts will you just not let go of? The blood of Jesus has made the cross a magnet for your sins, and Jesus is just waiting for you to let go.

Take some time to search your hearts and see what you are holding onto. Confess these to God, trust him, and then, simply, let go.

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At times, I can go days without really dwelling on how great Jesus loves us. The following song is a simple, yet so powerful reminder. If you ever wonder how deep the father’s love for you is. Read or listen to the song below:

HOW DEEP THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US
STUART TOWNEND
     D                 Em   D  G        D               Asus-A
How deep the Father's love for us, how vast beyond all measure
     D                  Em-D  G       D                A    D
That he should give his only son, to make a wretch his treasure
                       Em-D     G        D                 Bm    A
How great the pain of searing loss, the Father turned his face away
    D                    Em-D   G          D           A   D
As wounds which mar the chosen one, bring many sons to glory

     D         Em   D  G        D               Asus-A
Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon his shoulders
 D                  Em-D     G         D             A    D
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers
                    Em   D     G    D             Bm    A
It was my sin that held him there until it was accomplished
    D                    Em  D   G       D               A   D
His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished

 D                  Em D  G        D                 Asus-A
I will not boast in anything: no gifts, no power, no wisdom
  D                  Em-D   G          D             A    D
But I will boast in Jesus Christ; his death and resurrection
                        Em  D  G      D             Bm A
Why should I gain from his reward? I cannot give an answer
    D                 Em  D   G          D                 A   D
But this I know with all my heart: his wounds have paid my ransom

© 1995 Kingsway's Thankyou Music

I hope this song was a good reminder of God’s love for you.

Go out, be blessed, and bless others in the love of Christ.

-Colton

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Amazing new song by Chris Tomlin. Try not to sing along!

Song: Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)
Artist: Chris Tomlin
Album: Burning Lights

Intro: C - F2

VERSE 1:
C
You hear me when I call
                   C/E
You are my morning song
F2
Though darkness fills the night
                       Am7
It cannot hide the light
            F2
Whom shall I fear

VERSE 2:
C
You crush the enemy
               C/E
Underneath my feet
F2                          
You are my sword and shield
                             Am7
Though troubles linger still
            F2
Whom shall I fear

Chorus:
Am         G       C      Am7
I know Who goes before me
              G        C  Am7
I know Who stands behind
           F     F2
The God of Angel Armies
          G       C  Am7
Is always by my side
               G      C    Am7
The One who reigns forever
          G         C
He is a friend of mine
Am          F2
The God of Angel Armies
          G      C
Is always by my side

VERSE 3:
C
My strength is in Your name

For You alone can save
F2
You will deliver me
                     Am7
Yours is the victory
            F2    Am7
Whom shall I fear
F2          G
Whom shall I fear

Bridge:
    F                  C           G
And nothing formed against me shall stand
C                               F
You hold the whole world in Your hands
              C        Am7      G
I'm holding on to Your promises
        F2
You are faithful
        G
You are faithful   (2x)
        Am7      G/B
You are faithful

CHANGE
C
I know who goes before me
G/B
I know who stands behind
Am7
The God of angel armies
F
Is always by my side
C
The One who reigns forever
G/B
He is a friend of mine
Am7
The God of angel armies
F
Is always by my side

End:
Am7          F2
The God of Angel Armies
                     C
Is always by my side

I hope this song is a blessing you all of you! I know it certainly is for me!

In God’s love and grace,

-Colton

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