Ministers Blogs

Ministers Blogs

Displaying 111 - 115 of 165

Page 1 2 3 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33


"Peace on Earth"

Friday, December 22, 2017

Ironic! Several years ago, at Christmastime it was reported that two dozen gunmen had seized Town Hall in Bethlehem, holding the local governor at bay. Of course news of violence, radical religious extremism and unrest are daily news from this part of the world, And yet, two thousand years ago, an angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in this same land and announced. "We bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people, for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord...and there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill to men" (Luke 2:9-14).

I have been asked "Whatever happened to this promise of peace? If the coming of Jesus into the world was meant to bring peace - it certainly never happened! War, crime, civil unrest and rebellion continue to prevail in the world."

My answer is: "Jesus did bring peace!" How do I know? "He brought peace to me!" Jesus promised peace, not to the world on a wholesale basis, but to each individual who loves Him and will keep His word. (John 14:23) He said "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

The reason that man is troubled and afraid is because he has been alienated by sin from the God who loves and has created us. "Your iniquities have separated you from your God and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) Thomas Aquinas correctly stated that man "cannot rest until he rests in Thee." The purpose of Jesus’ coming into the world was to die on the cross - so the just penalty for our sins could be paid. Once our sin had been atoned for by the blood of Jesus - God was free to offer us forgiveness and reconciliation. By the sacrifice of Jesus, God "reconciled all things to Himself...having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled." (Colossians 1:21-22)

Because of the cross of Jesus, I am at peace with God. No longer do I have to be worried about the sins of my past - they have been forgiven! No longer do I have to fear the Judgment - I am justified by the blood of Jesus. Because of Jesus, I have a relationship with God that is based upon love and characterized by hope and the assurance of salvation.

Because Jesus came, not only do we have peace with God, we are also at peace with ourselves. Sin is such a destructive force in the lives of every man. Whether we realize it or not, the sinner is tormented by the guilt of how his actions have hurt both God and his fellowman. Jesus not only offers us peace with God, but He also teaches us to live in peace. In Isaiah 48:18 God lamented, "Oh that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river."

Living by God’s commands not only will bring peace in our own life, it will also allow is to live in peace with one another. I have seen countless examples of dissention between neighbors, families and friends that have been resolved peacefully because the spirit of God prevailed. Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said it all: Know Jesus - Know peace. No Jesus - No peace! The only way for man to have true peace with God, himself and his fellowman is by obedience to the gospel. That is why the scripture says "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things." (Romans 10:15)

Hell is real

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

 

            This past week we had a daily reminder of smoke and fire from the old Ames plant fire.  The billowing smoke could be seen and smelled for miles.  The fire, I am told was very hot and difficult to put out due to chemicals stored there.  The Ames fire comes on the heels of the fires in California where many people lost their houses and loved ones.  Fire is very devastating.

            Although these fires have been tragic and caused a lot of destruction the Bible tells us about another fire that will be even more destructive.  The fire of Hell.

God describes Hell in the Bible, so we can understand it and avoid it.  God uses our five senses to help us to understand Hell as a real place of punishment.  We may not understand every aspect of Hell, but we can understand the following:

  • Sight- I can understand darkness, can’t you?  Hell is described as:  blackness of darkness, 2 Peter 2:17; chains of darkness, Jude 6; and outer darkness, Matthew 8:12.
  • Hearing- We can understand and know what pain sounds like, correct?  Hell is described as something we hear:  weeping and gnashing of teeth, Mt. 8:11, Mt. 13:42, and Mt. 25:30.
  • Feeling-  One of the worst injuries one can receive is having our body burned.  We have all touched a hot pan, or hot part on a car.  I know what pain feels like, don’t you?  Imagine your whole-body day in and day out full of the feeling of burning.  This is also how Hell is described:  Unquenchable fire, Mt. 3:12; Eternal fire, Mt. 25:41, 46; and agony, Lk. 16:23.
  • Smell- I know what foul air smells like, don’t you? (How many of us smelled the Ames plant fire?).  Hell has a smell of burning sulfur:  Rev 21:8, “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
  • Thirst-  I know what is to be thirsty, especially after working in the sun on a hot day.  Hell is waterless: Zec. 9:11, and Lk. 16:24 the rich man wanted to quench his tongue.

Then add to the fact that the Bible states that this torment will last forever and ever as we see in Revelation 20:10. Hell awaits all who live a Christless life. 

Hell is no joke.  Hell is real.  Hell is hot.  Hell is horrible.  Hell is for eternity.  But we do not have to go there.  Christ has provided the way of escape and has provided the forgiveness of our sins.  If you are uncertain where you will spend eternity, will you search the scriptures and listen to what they have to say.  Will you believe in Christ, confess his name, repent of all your sin, and be baptized for the remission of sins into Jesus Christ and live for Him?  (see: Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Rev. 2:10, and Acts 22:16).  Think about it! Mark T. Tonkery

Minute of Meditation: God designed our tongues to be “healers”

Monday, October 16, 2017

 

Scientists have learned that that the human tongue has a special trait that can heal itself quicker than some other body parts. Apparently, there is a natural anti-biotic in our tongues that helps with the healing process. We are constantly taking in all sorts of potentially harmful micro-organisms, viruses, and other things into our mouths. However, God has made us so that our bodies can ward off these harmful organisms before they ever take root in our bodies.

Our tongues can be anti-biotic in another way as well. We can use our words to bring healing to others.  Notice what the Bible teaches,  “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear (Eph. 4:29).  How would our world be different if we used our words to heal and not hurt?

God designed our tongues to be “healers” not destroyers.  How are you using your words to bring healing to others?

I am Mark T. Tonkery with a minute of meditation from the Camden Ave. church of Christ where you are always welcome.

Minute of Meditation: I DONE IT FOR LOVE

Monday, October 16, 2017

One Saturday night, a Christian widow and mother, very busy with house-hold chores, asked her seven-year-old son to polish her shoes. He worked hard on them. Later in the evening, he brought the clean, newly polished shoes to her. She was so pleased she rewarded him with a new, shiny dime.

The next morning, as she prepared for church services, the mother started to put the shoes on. As she slipped her foot in one of them, she noticed a lump in it. Taking the shoe off, she found the dime wrapped in paper. Written on the paper, in her son’s childish scrawl were these simple words, “I done it for love.” - Bulletin Digest

This prompts a question for us all. What have we done for love recently?

  • Have you helped your spouse with the children?
  • Have you given clothes to a person in need?
  • Have you visited those in the hospital?
  • Have you done some work without expecting pay?

Remember what Jesus stated, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:35).

I am Mark T. Tonkery with a minute of meditation from the Camden Ave. church of Christ where you are always welcome.

Minute of Meditation: Not the first time that a baby was a Savior

Monday, October 16, 2017

 

            Anissa Ayaca of Los Angeles needed a bone marrow transplant to save her from leukemia.  Her parents, age 44 and 42, had another baby to save her life.

            It is not the first time that a baby was a savior.

The Bible tells us in Gal. 4:4-5 “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” 

Hearing these verses, our minds may go back to the words the angel spoke to Joseph about Mary, by saying She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mat 1:21).

The Bible points out, Christ’s birth was an essential part of God’s plan of Salvation.

Jesus grew and later offered Himself to die upon the cross and then He was raised from the dead on the third day, for the sins of all people. 

Jesus is the Savior of the world.

I am Mark T. Tonkery with a minute of meditation from the Camden Ave. church of Christ where you are always welcome.

Displaying 111 - 115 of 165

Page 1 2 3 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33