A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, February 26, 2021
Two days of brilliant sunshine got me (Brooksyne) back into my routine of walking a two mile circle with our dogs in the neighborhood. This is one of my favorite spots near Carmany road, since the bright red barn always stands out in the distance.
"A Secure Anchor Point"
Message summary: Is your life firmly secured in the anchor point of Christ? "Be very sure your anchor holds and grips the solid rock!"
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things" (James 3:2 Amplified). "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).
Yesterday we sat in on a safety meeting at Smucker Home Improvement where we have served as chaplains for nearly 10 years.
Brandon, a project manager for the roofing division and the safety director, shared a safety video about fall protection and the various safety methods available. One was a fall arrest system with a harness, that is intended to protect the worker from serious injury if he would fall. (Brandon is wearing the harness to the left).
Essentially the fall arrest system involves attaching a lanyard to a secure anchor point mounted to the structure and then attaching this lanyard to the harness.
Last night, Mike Gardner, a friend who is an instructor at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, was visiting us and pointed out that these anchor points are designed to support 5,000 pounds. That's a pretty significant safety factor! Both the design and installation of these anchor points are critical to the system working properly.
But I was spiritually blessed when the safety video highlighted how critically important the anchor point is stating, "your life depends on the anchor point".
When I heard this I grabbed a piece of paper to write that down, realizing this will preach (or in my case serve as an illustration in a Daily Encouragement!)
The critical necessity of a secure anchor point is a vitally important lesson, not only for construction safety, but for life. Our life indeed depends on the anchor point.
James teaches us that in various ways we are all going to stumble and fall. "For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things". Who among us has not stumbled and even fallen at various times in life? Thank God for anchor points!
Today's second text is one of my all-time favorite Scripture verses, probably going all the way back to my Bible school days in the 70's. I have often used it with an illustration from the nautical anchor which was likely the original intent of the writer of Hebrews. But yesterday's safety meeting prompts another sense of anchor in the "anchor point" being firmly attached to a solid structure.
"Anchor" translates the Greek word ankur (ἄγκυρ). So this is a case when the word sounds the same in English as it would have in the Greek. It is used several times to denote a literal anchor during Paul's shipwreck experience in Acts 27 but Hebrews 6:19 is the only place in Scripture that "anchor" is used figuratively. Yet the anchor theme is popular among devotional writers and songwriters probably because it's such an easily understood illustration and visual as well.
In the Greek secular world during the New Testament age anchors symbolized hope. In the text it is used as a vivid picture of that which supports and keeps one steadfast in the midst of waves of doubt or stormy trials. If you fear, if you doubt, place all your trust in Christ: the Anchor who holds the past, present and future. (Joseph Thayer)
Let us consider four blessings (though there are many more) concerning our hope with Christ as our anchor point:
1) Our hope in Christ is a secure anchor point. Many things on earth claim to be secure. Politicians promise us security, financial gurus claim to provide financial security, we strive for job security, companies advertise products for home security, and here in the US we have a government program called Social Security and the list of promises of security goes on and on. But you know what? None of them are really secure (as many testify of their experiences that proved otherwise)! Only in Christ do we have an anchor point for the hope of real, lasting security. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).
2) Our hope in Christ is a sufficient anchor point. When we write these messages it's heartening to share truths that are not limited to a specific region, race, language, economic status, education or the scores of other things that differentiate us. If you are reading this our hope in Christ is sufficient for all that concerns us. He is "The hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas" (Psalm 65:5).
3) Our hope in Christ is a fulfilling anchor point. Consider disappointments you've experienced. We've all had them. But be blessed by these two verses! "I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed" (Isaiah 49:23). "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us" (Romans 5:5). (Note: It's a challenge to find a satisfying antonym for "disappoint" but we chose "fulfill"!)
4) Our hope in Christ is a comforting anchor point. We've all experienced disappointments and many have experienced significant losses, including that of a loved one or perhaps the companionship of a spouse due to a break-up. Such a loss can often lead to deep grief and distress. Receive great comfort from this verse, "O Hope of Israel, its Savior in times of distress" (Jeremiah 14:8). God's delight is to administer comfort to wounded souls. The Irish poet Thomas Moore wrote it this way in his hymn, "Come Ye Disconsolate", "Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal".
Is your life firmly secured in the anchor point of Christ? "Be very sure your anchor holds and grips the solid rock!"
He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
For my Saviour loves me so, He will hold me fast.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, there are experiences in our life's journey that crush our spirit and wound our souls. There are times when it seems there's no hope for a situation we're called to endure, but we believe You are the Healer and the Comforter who gives us all-sufficient hope to believe even when matters seem impossible. The Psalmist reassures us with the consoling words, "He heals the broken-hearted and they cry no more." You are a secure anchor point that brings blessed hope and great encouragement for the days ahead because this anchor point is timeless, secure, sufficient, fulfilling and comforting for anything we endure in life's experience. Keep us steady as we hold to the Anchor of our soul, who is Jesus, the solid Rock. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Christ Our Hope in Life and Death" Video Shane and Shane
"He Will Hold Me Fast" Video Selah
"Do It Again" Video Michael W. Smith
"Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus" Video Shane & Shane
"In Times Like These" Video Blue Rock Mennonite Youth
"Be very sure your anchor holds and grips the solid rock!"
Yesterday we drove through some back roads and crossed this old iron bridge over the Conestoga River. The Conestoga Wagon was named for this river since it was first made near the headwaters.
In passing the Turkey Hill dairy processing plant we easily spotted their traveling cows. The company uses these at various events to promote their product. It's an interesting sight when you see them on the road!
Yesterday we stopped by to visit our longtime friends Jesse and Anna Ruth on the Old Windmill Farm. I never get tired of seeing or taking windmill photos!
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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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