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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Anchor in Plimouth Harbor
Anchor in Plimouth Harbor*
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Hebrews 6:19"

Message summary: "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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"We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:18b,19a).

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll
Fastened to the Rock that cannot move
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love!

Yesterday I witnessed a most pitiable sight, a glimpse of the hopelessness that pervades when one's hope is placed in that which is temporal at best. When I dropped Ester off for work at the grocery store a man about my age was feeding the self-serve lottery machine (a vending type machine that dispenses lottery tickets). That is sadly not an unusual sight since state-sponsored gambling is big business, as you well know. However I walked by half an hour later and he was still standing in front of the machine feeding it with such an anguished look on his face. I felt the need to speak to him but he was pretty focused on finding hope from a lottery machine, while muttering under his breath, "It's like kissing your sister". I'm not exactly sure what he was experiencing but I certainly felt he was placing his hope in the wrong place, and the situation grieved my spirit.

The anchor in our lead photo was taken at Plymouth Harbor. It's among my all-time favorite nautical pictures with one of my all-time favorite verses, thus the title of today's message. The anchor holds a lot more 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." Faith is put to the test and the worth of our faith is fully demonstrated during our darkest trials.

Hebrews 6:19 plaque
Are you among the "we" in the daily text who "have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us"? If so may you be greatly encouraged! How thankful we should be for the blessed anchor of hope we have in Jesus, an anchor that 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.) The Greek word is "ankura" (our English is merely a transliteration of this word).  Ankara, the capital of Turkey is based on this word. The anchor was used in the ancient Greek world as a picture for hope.

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.  I am so gripped by the early part of the daily verse, "We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged." This hope is what the believer has "fled to take hold of."  We flee from all the worldly sources of temporal hope such as the fleeting "joy" of winning a lottery to the only true and lasting source of hope. Once we firmly take hold of this hope we are indeed "greatly encouraged."

Hope, as used in the Bible, is not a wishful thought but a confident expectation of absolute certainty. The Holman Bible Dictionary offers this insight: "Hope is the confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future." 

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.*

How thankful we should be for the anchor of hope we have in Jesus,  this anchor which is firm and secure.

Today we encourage you to take hold of the anchor that is immovable. In doing so, it will lift your spirit, improve your perspective and help you weather the storms of life. Truly, this anchor of hope we have in Jesus Christ is firm and secure so you can 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. God and His Word provide the firm anchor and steady 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).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily 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 battered ship is proven to be seaworthy over its lifetime, may our faith be proven trustworthy as we hold onto You, the Anchor for our soul. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Have An Anchor"  Video   Robin Mark

Rend Collective concert 4/3/17 (Photo by Ester)
Monday evening Ester volunteered at a Rend Collective concert for WJTL here in Lancaster County and took this photo. Here's a song with another nautical theme! "My Lighthouse" Video  (This is a different video than the one we posted yesterday and includes outstanding scenery.)

"More Than Conquerors"  Video  Rend Collective  This is Ester's favorite based upon a spiritual concept I taught her many years ago concerning being a "hupernikomen"

For further study on Hebrews 6:19 see here.

* Plimouth Harbor, "Plimouth" is the older spelling. "Plymouth" is how most outsiders spell it! See here.

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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, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. 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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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