Author Archive for Jonathan Schmitt

12
Nov
10

Being an Effective Modern Messenger

A Christian media consultant named Phil Cooke came and spoke at the undergrad’s Chapel this week and gave an excellent message about the importance of presenting the good news of Christ that we have received to others in a way that they can understand.   In essence, packaging the Truth in a well-conceived PR campaign and presentation.

But this got me thinking: what are we communicating as Christians?  What depths are we drawing from?  Are we sharing a life giving message to everyone around us-through our words, actions, and lives…or are we trying to give our friends, family, and neighbors water from a dry well-seeking only to appeal to them?

Psalm 1 is one of my favorite scriptures because it describes the type of men we should aspire to be-the kind of men God delights in, and the kind of men that have something meaningful to offer to the people around them:

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever he does prospers.” –Psalm 1:1-3

When we spend time with God in prayer and in His word, his Truth, his character, his heart, and his wisdom is poured into us so that our lives can yield fruit and bring what we’ve received from God to those who are around us.

Once we have our source right, then we can examine the delivery.  For that, we can look at what Jesus said when He sent out the 12: “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.  Be on your guard….  But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it.  At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:16-20).  It was God who gave Moses the words to say before Pharaoh and his nation, it was God who gave the judges and the prophets the words to say, and it is God who will give us the words to say that are poignant and relevant to those around us…we need only ask Him and spend time with Him.

Like every worthwhile pursuit in life, the fear of the LORD is the first step we need to take-we cannot pour into others’ lives without first receiving from God.

-Jonathan

Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solo Christo, Soli Deo gloria

21
Sep
10

Hope…Don’t Misplace it

We’ve heard a lot about “hope” recently…and been let down.  It reminded me of a Word of the day I shared with the men of eNgage a couple of years ago.  I pressed this to encourage you, reader, to put your hope in the right place-where you won’t be let down, but where you will be blown away as you realize your hopes were so much smaller than what your Creator planned, and did, for you.  This is but a piece of the “Good News” of Christianity-if you want a fuller picture, let me know.  For now, enjoy this encouragement to put your hope in Jesus.

I want to share with you a devo is out of Isaiah 42:1-4 (also referenced in Matt 12:21), you can feel free to turn there or read the TNIV below:

The Servant of the LORD

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight;

I will put my spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.

A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.

In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;

he will not falter or be discouraged until he establishes justice on the earth.

In his name the nations will put their hope.”

I don’t know how many of you are wanting to be involved in politics or public service, but Lord willing I will run for an elected office or two in the future.  A recent speaker who spoke at Chapel for the undergrad pointed out that both McCain and Obama in their respective election night speeches exalted America as the “hope of the world”…so far I think God is humbling our pride by making us eat those words and see just what a “hope” our nation is apart from Him.  We do not send the rain so that the California Central Valley can send food to the world or so ranchers in Texas can raise cattle for meat that will nourish others—God does.  That train of thought led me to the above verse.

The verse is of course a prophecy about Jesus and there are a few things that I wanted to point out (in addition to what the Holy Spirit points out to you):

“He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.”

-The message and truth of Christ is what it is; it does not require eloquence or complexity or a feature length film with special effects and graphics to affect mankind.  It is powerful.  It is always relevant.  We as men are imperfect and irreconcilable to our Creator and doomed to spend eternity apart from him, BUT God sent his son Jesus to “redeem” us-sacrificing his perfect life to be tortured and crucified so that our sin would be atoned for and we can not only now spend an eternity with our Creator, but we can live our lives on earth with victory and freedom from the sin that once held us in bondage.  Those who surround us are hungry for this message.  We need only share it with them-simply and consistently.

“A bruised reed he will not break and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out”

-No matter what has happened to us or the severity of the sin we have committed or if we have turned from God, Jesus is always freely offering to redeem us-we need only ask.  He will not give us any reason to turn from him-for he will always be treating us in love.  He will always graciously give us the choice to accept him or not

Hope streetsign on same pole as a one way sign

“In His name the nations will put their hope”

-The name of Jesus is powerful because of what it means to us and to humankind.  Jesus is our savior, our redeemer, our constant help in times of trouble, our lover, our protector, and he will never fail.  We may not be able to put our hope in our nation or in Wall Street, but we know that we can always put our hope in Jesus Christ.  No matter what you are concerned about, give it to Godand trust in him.  He can be trusted.  He is our hope.

God bless gentlemen

Jonathan

Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solo Christo, Soli Deo gloria

19
Sep
10

Where’s the Gold?

master blacksmith shaping metalWhere’s your gold?  Recently, we talked about being “metal men,” or men who are ready to be used for God’s nobler purposes according to 2 Timothy 2:20-21:

20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

We then read the story of Joseph and challenged each other to “find the gold” that has been put in each of us by God: the gifts, the talents, and the character that we display for the world when we are at our best.

I challenge you to do the same.  Take some time to think about the man you are-not the titles you have or the roles you fill (such as salesman, director, student, husband, father, etc…), but that which was woven into who you were created to be by God.  When you take the time to find the gifts, talents, and character of who you are and when you know who you long to be at your core, you can live out of that strength and use the gifts God has placed in you to make a difference in the world around you for the Kingdom of God.

Here’s an example of what I put down:

Jesus guiding his disciples through the storm“I am a restorer: I work to redeem that which is fallen, broken, or lost; working to transform it into that which is forgiven, healed, and rooted.  This applies to people and relationships, but also to areas of this world.

I seek to lead with a quiet strength: leading others with a consistent and sure example-knowing that I am a son of the Most High God, established in His Truth, and assured of His love.”

I am a protector: I fight to advance my Father’s kingdom and establish beachheads of peace, hope, and rest in a battleground of turmoil and despair.

I am a guide: I point those who would seek it to God’s perspective and Truth.

As a group, eNgage is now trying to live out of our statements of who God created us to be.  This is impossible if we rely on our own strength, but when we put our faith in God and look to Him to be our strength, we know that God will use us to transform this world.

Gentlemen, I challenge you to know who you are and who you were created to be and then to go out and make this world a better place.  Your words and actions can bring a blessing or a curse to the people around you.  Find the gold God knit within you, allow Him to refine you and let the former be true as you live out who you were created to be.

Want some accountability?  Post your statement below for your brothers to see.

Jonathan

Sola scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solo Christo, Soli Deo gloria




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Wednesday Jan 26th 2011
8:00 AM - George Page Commons

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