Tonk Talk by Mark T. Tonkery
The French physicist, Arago ascribes his success to words found on the cover of a book when greatly discouraged. They were, “Go on, sir; go on! The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn and shine with increased clearness on your path,” written by D’Alembert. “That maxim,” says Arago, “was my greatest master in mathematics.” Following out these simple words, “Go on, sir; go on!” made him the first astronomical mathematician of his age.
What Christians it would make of us! What heroes of faith, what sages in holy wisdom, should we become, by acting out that maxim, “Go on sir; go on!” (Author Unknown).
We may be very discouraged today by all the things that are happening in our world, but we must never give up! We must continue on, especially when it comes to our precious faith.
Notice these words of encouragement from scripture to remind us to “Go on; Go on!”
· Php. 3:14, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
· Rom. 8:37, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
· 1 Jn. 5:4, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
· Jos. 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Arago was encouraged by the words of a mere man and accomplished great things in the field of mathematics. We have the words of God, God-breathed words, words inspired by the Holy Spirit, how much more should we be encouraged and willing to do great things in the Lord’s name!
Christian now is the time to keep going and growing in our faith. It is always too early to quit, so don’t give up! “Go on, Christian; Go on!”
Check out the daily Minute Message:
How did God create the things that we now observe? This is one of those challenging biblical questions we will never be able to fully answer. We will not, simply because we are not God. Neither were we there when all things came into existence. Believing in the origin of all things is a matter of faith. No man was there. Therefore, we depend on existing evidence to make our conclusions concerning the beginning of all things. Since Christians have concluded that it is more reasonable to believe in God, they conclude that in order for God to exist, He must have the power to create. They reason, what good would God be if He could not create. Though We may not understand the nature of creation, we simply conclude that God could do the job because of the overwhelming evidence and testimony of those who experience the creative hand of God through Jesus. There are many clear statements made in the Bible concerning the creation of all things. In order not to be confused by some who do not believe in the creative power of God, there are some special statements in the Bible about creation. Anyone who would believe in the Bible, therefore, must conclude that God created all things.
A. The Bible says that what God did was create out of nothing. Psalm 33:6,9 declares that heaven and earth were created at the command of God. “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (See Nehemiah 9:6). The Hebrew writer stated that God created the heavens and earth from nothing. “By faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Creation took place at the command of the word of God. That which is seen was created out of that which we do not see. The Bible’s statements concerning the creation of the worlds clearly picture the power and authority of the Creator (Isaiah 44:24; 40:28; Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16,17; Revelation 4:11).
B. The Bible defines that through an act of creation God brought the worlds into existence. As mentioned earlier, the Bible clearly states that the present observable things were created out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3). There is sometimes confusion concerning the meaning of the Hebrew words bara (create), asah (made) and yatsar (form) in their reference to the work of God in creation. We must first understand that it is difficult to make a distinction in definition between these three ancient Hebrew words. It is often difficult because in different contexts all three words are used to define the creation of the things that presently exist. In Genesis 1:27 the Bible says that “God created (bara) man.” But in Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let us make (asah) man in our image.” And in Genesis 2:7 God formed (yatsar) man from the dust of the ground. In Genesis 1:21 God created (bara) sea-creatures and in verse 25 it says that He made (asah) the beast of the earth. Genesis 1:1 says that God bara heaven and earth, and yet Psalm 33:6 and Exodus 20:11 state that He asah the heavens. Regardless of our lack of full understanding concerning the use of Hebrew words in reference to creation, the fact remains that the Bible in clearly understood texts affirms that God is the creator of all things. The inspired writers of the New Testament also used different Greek works to refer to the creative work of God. In the Greek New Testament, Hebrews 11:3 says that things were made (gegonenai). However, Colossians 1:16 says that things were created (ektistha) (See Revelation 10:6). Here again two different words are used to describe the creation of things from that which did not exist. There is no clear definition in Hebrew dictionaries for any distinction between the words bara, asah and yatsar. What we can understand from the use of man’s words to explain the creation work of God is that the inspired writers wanted us to know that creation took place, regardless of the inadequacies of our words to explain it. We know that God did create out of nothing the things that now exist. The statement in Hebrews 11:3 clearly states this fact, and thus, settles the matter from a biblical perspective. The Hebrew writer stated, “... so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible .... (Author Unknown)
Tonk Talk by Mark T. Tonkery
It was a dark day in the history of Israel. Upon their first entrance into the promised land as a nation, God told Israel to conquer Jericho by marching around the city. On the seventh day of marching around the city as God instructed, the walls of Jericho came down (Josh. 6:15-21). God also commanded that Israel not take anything from the city, only Rahab and her family were to be rescued, everything else, the silver, gold, bronze, and iron was considered sacred to the Lord and must go into the Lord’s treasury (Josh. 6:19). Later in Joshua chapter seven, we find out that Achan disobeyed the Lord and stole several of the items from Jericho. Joshua found out about the stolen items when his army was defeated by the city of Ai, and it was later determined that Achan had stolen from the remains of Jericho. Joshua and all of Israel took Achan, the items he stole, his family, and all his possessions to the Valley of Achor (Josh. 7:24). There all of Israel stoned Achan, and his family and then burned them and heaped up a large pile of rocks where their remains lay (Josh. 7:25-26).
The place where Achan and his family were stoned and burned was called “the Valley of Achor” which means the “valley of trouble or disaster.” This area would be known for generations of Israelites as a place of disgrace, dishonor, and punishment. The pile of rocks would have been a perpetual reminder to all future generations that one must obey the Lord or there would be consequences for disobedience.
One can only imagine what it must have been like to pass by the Valley of Achor. Maybe it was like the time I went along with the church group from South Point, Ohio and we visited the old prison in Moundsville, West Virginia. As we went on the tour and saw the prison cells and then passed by the electric chair, there was a sickening feeling that came over me, even a type of fear. I was horror-struck at what I saw and heard as the tour guide shared stories about the people who were imprisoned and even died there. If you have ever visited that place, you know what I am talking about. The Valley of Achor was such a place.
Scripture does not say much about the Valley of Achor until we come to Hosea 2:15. In Hosea chapter two God declares that he is going to bring punishment upon Israel for her wickedness and unfaithfulness but after His punishment, He is going to restore Israel. Notice, Hos. 2:15, “And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt” (ESV).
This place of disaster is now going to be a “door of hope.” It is a reminder that we each have our own “Valley of Achor.” We each have had those times in our life where we have had terrible and disastrous things happen because of our poor choices and sin. The good news is that we do not have to live there, through Jesus Christ we can have a new beginning and a new start. Jesus is our “door of hope.”
Jesus states in John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” Only Jesus Christ can offer the troubled in our world the “door of hope.”
Through Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection our troubled past can be forgiven, and we can have a new beginning through Him. When we confess Christ as the Son of God (Mt. 10:32), repent of our sins, and put Christ on in baptism (Acts 2:38), we enter the door of hope in Christ. Christ waits for the lost to enter the “door of hope.” Are you willing to enter through it? Think about it!