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Thursday, October 27, 2022

Entrance to Fort Adams, Newport RI
These huge anchors are displayed at the entrance to Fort Adams in Newport RI.

"Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor"
(Part 4)

Note: All this week we are using both the same verse and theme song as we consider twelve types of hope we have in Christ, highlighting three each day. Today we consider three more ways in which Jesus Christ is our sure and steady anchor of hope. Points 1-3 were shared in Tuesday's message and 4-6 in Wednesday's message.

Message summary: Place your hope in Christ the sure and steady Anchor, a hope that brings comfort, joy and stability!
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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 6:19).

Christ the sure and steady anchor
Through the floods of unbelief
Hopeless somehow, o my soul
Now, lift your eyes to Calvary

This my ballast of assurance
See His love forever proved
I will hold fast to the anchor
It will never be removed

7) "Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor" is a comforting hope.

We've all experienced disappointments and many have experienced significant losses, including the loss of a loved one or perhaps a spouse due to a break-up or a wayward son or daughter. Such losses 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". (Disconsolate describes one who is inconsolable, without consolation or solace.)

8) "Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor" is a joyful hope.

“Be joyful in hope” (Romans 12:12). Christ came to bring us “a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3)

When people outside our area ask where we live, we usually tell them Lancaster County, Pennsylvania since many in America are somewhat familiar with our area and can mentally picture our region. Less familiar is the name of our small town, Mount Joy, which we really like to identify with (though we do live outside the borough limits). Mount Joy sounds as if its name might have originated from Scripture such as Mount Sinai or Mount Zion. Mount Joy prompts a consideration of many verses conveying joy.*¹

There are multiple sources of joy in one’s life; a newborn baby, a wedding, a milestone or accomplishment such as a graduation or job promotion. People also find joy in activities such as sports or being a spectator at sporting events such as the current World Series, especially here near Philadelphia.

Paul expresses, in the four words of our text, a blessed outlook for those belonging to Christ to "be joyful in hope". Essentially it seems when we are joyful we are hopeful and when were hopeful we are joyful!

An old chorus comes to mind that some of you will remember:

Joy is the flag flown high
From the castle of my heart (3X)
Joy is the flag flown high
From the castle of my heart
When the King is in residence there!

 9) "Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor" is a fixed hope.

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure" (1 John 3:2,3).

Our vital outlook is to keep our hope fixed on Christ. A similar truth is expressed in Hebrews 12:2,
"fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith".

In reference to "fixing our eyes on Jesus" other versions/commentators expound:
  • looking with undivided attention (Analyzed Literal)
  • Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus (Amplified)
  • looking steadfastly on Jesus (Darby)
  • simply fixing our gaze upon Jesus (Weymouth)
  • looking off and away to Jesus (Wuest)
The song we are featuring all week has a line "This my ballast of assurance". Tony de la Riva writes,

"Calvary, is my ‘ballast of assurance'. So what exactly is a ballast? Well, in keeping with the nautical theme, a ballast is essentially the weight at the bottom of a ship that keeps it upright and prevents it from capsizing. And the song says that Calvary is the ballast of my assurance.

Think about what this is saying: The ballast that guarantees the non-capsizability of my salvation is not my own performance, not my moods, not my consistency, not my faithfulness, not my sincerity, not the fact that I prayed a prayer, walked the aisle, or signed a card, but that Jesus has died instead of me. It is the death of Christ that ensures my salvation cannot be capsized. His death is the ballast of my assurance.”*²

Place your hope in Christ the sure and steady Anchor, a hope that brings comfort, joy and stability!

Christ the sure of our salvation,
Ever faithful, ever true!
We will hold fast to the anchor,
It shall never be removed.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for Calvary, for Jesus' supreme sacrifice that He made for our sins. This event in history is essential to our salvation and assuring to our faith. But the unpredictability of daily life along with the disappointments it often brings can so easily capture our thoughts and get in the way of our following hard after You. When Satan's recurring deterrents seek to capsize our faith, reinforce in our minds and instill in our hearts that we are never without hope in You. It is firm, secure and fixed because You are a God who does not change no matter what changes around us. You are our steady hope, our comforting hope and our joyful hope that gives us courage to never give up but always remain faithful. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor"  Video  T4G Live IV  Another presentation of the song we have featured all week. This is the type of vocally dominant congregational singing I am especially blessed by.

"His Mercy Is More" playlist  Video  Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Shane & Shane

*¹ Mount Joy is actually named after an Irish ship rather than a mountain (since we are not on or near any mountain)! Another interesting village name here in Lancaster County is Mount Hope. It would be interesting to explore the derivation of this name. Since many devout religious immigrants settled this area in the 18th century it possibly represents an expression of faith.

Lyrical Expositions: “Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor” by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell. We normally think of exposition in regard to a careful study of the Scripture text. This blog has lyrical expositions of several thoughtful songs.

Crossroads class teachers/leaders
Yesterday I had a lunch meeting with leaders and teachers from our "Crossroads" Sunday School Class, known as an Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) in our church. The inevitable has happened as we have aged, we are now in a senior class with most members being 60+! Presently we use a variety of bullpen teachers, giving us older teachers, who still have some gas in the tank, to keep active without teaching every week. Our oldest teacher is in his 80's. In our group we have two businessmen, two missionaries, a college administrator. Best I can tell I am the only former pastor/chaplain. Each one brings an interesting and varied approach.
Click on photo to enlarge

Autumn foliage in our backyard.
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Lancaster County farm scene (Lamar Dourte)
Manheim, PA farm next door to our friend, Lamar Dourte, who took this photo. We talked with Lamar via telephone this morning. He was diagnosed with ALS several months ago so we lift him up in our daily prayers as he deals with the progression of this disease. Lamar's wife grew up on this farm and her family later sold it to an Amish family who resides there now.
Click on photo to enlarge

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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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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