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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Anchor for the soul
Plymouth Harbor in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
One of our favorite photos of Plymouth where we frequently visited and walked along the harbor when we lived in New England.

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"The Anchor Of Hope"

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19a).

It's a cold, blustery day with howling winds and it's sure great to be inside!  We pray a special prayer for construction workers and others who have to battle the weather elements no matter how severe the temperatures.

As I look upon the effects of the ravaging wind outside, the trees are bowing and leftover leaves from fall are turning somersaults as they fly across my view.  Not only can I see the effects of the wind but I can also hear it as the wind chimes have been striking repeatedly since last night.  The scene reminds me of a photo card we share with others of an anchor that sits in Plymouth Harbor.  Though the anchor serves a ship much like the parking brake serves a car, it also holds an even deeper meaning for the believer.  Contemplate this thought-provoking quote, "In order to realize the worth of the anchor, one needs to feel the stress of the storm."

How thankful we should be for the blessed anchor of hope we have in Jesus!  This anchor is firm and secure.  The daily verse is the only place in the Bible where the word "anchor" is used figuratively.  (It is used literally in Acts 27 during Paul's shipwreck.)  It may not surprise you that the Greek word is Ἄγκυρα (ankura) but in my study for this message I found it interesting that it was used in the Greek world as a picture for hope.

Many songs and hymns have been written that refer to the spiritual anchor. My favorite is a song by Ray Boltz titled, "The Anchor Holds."  Steve Higgins, a friend of mine from New England who is also a D.E. reader, sings this song with conviction and confidence and it has blessed me each time I've heard him sing it.

Believers all throughout the ages have received assurance in their hearts as they consider the security an anchor provides in the midst of battering storms.  There are two qualities to this anchor of hope that may seem similar in the English, but indeed express two complimentary truths.  It's a firm and secure hope. It's as if the Holy Spirit wants to make it absolutely clear to us just how dependable this anchor is!  The two words, firm and secure, have a different focus. The first is outward, the second inward.* 

God and His Word provide the steady anchor and sure foundation.  Today let us focus on the immutable God, whose Word has promised: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal" (Isaiah 26:3,4).

Today let me encourage you to take hold of the anchor that is immovable. It will weather the worst storm. Truly, this anchor of hope we have in Jesus Christ is firm and secure! Rest in this blessed assurance today. Perhaps you're in that wind-tossed storm right now or there may be a storm on the horizon.  Let the chorus of this song minister to you today and serve as a reminder of God's faithfulness.

The anchor holds, though the ship is battered.
The anchor holds, though the sails are torn.
I have fallen on my knees as I face the raging seas.
The anchor holds in spite of the storm.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, help us not to resent the storms of life or be fearful of their effects.  Much like we prepare for a ravaging storm by anchoring valuables to a firm foundation, help us to anchor our hearts in the firm foundation of Your Word that will help us to withstand the testings and trials of life that are certain to come our way.  Even as a ship is proven to be seaworthy over its lifetime, may our faith be proven trustworthy as we hold onto You, the Anchor of our soul.  Amen.

Ministry Cards:  We would like to share with readers a ministry card with the picture of the anchor as featured in our daily encouragement today.   Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to our address (see below) and we'll send you ten laminated business card copies of "The Anchor." Use it as a witness tool or as an encouragement to those who are undergoing trial.

* Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament

The capital of Turkey, Ankara, also has it's origins in this word.

We had a great time of ministry this last weekend in the northern part of Pennsylvania. We'll share several photos and reflections of our experience the next several days.

Duct tape BibleYesterday we shared a duct tape story in the Daily Encouragement. During the service Sunday morning Brooksyne looked across the aisle  and noticed a woman was reading from a duct-tape bound Bible. It was a perfect illustration of a repaired Bible cover that we mentioned yesterday! Take note of her pasted-on label, "Homeland Security," a good spiritual perspective of where we find real security!

Duct tape BibleIn the Sunday evening service Ester joined three others who went forward as the church sang "Happy Birthday." (Her birthday is coming up this Friday.) She's standing with Bruce Jack, a long-time friend of ours.

JIM Band
It's hard to see any detail in this photo but it means a lot to me. Clayton is a friend from northern Pennsylvania who has a band he calls the JIM Band. (He stressed that JIM stands for "Jesus In Me".)  His band is comprised of himself and his four grown children, who all enthusiatically sing for the Lord. It's great to see a family seving the Lord together, with Clayton's wife prayerfully supporting them.

Here's an online version of the song we refer to in today's message, "The Anchor Holds" (mp3)

"Faith is the Christian's foundation, hope is his anchor, death is his harbor, Christ is his pilot, and heaven is his country."  JEREMY TAYLOR (1613–1667)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"