Sunday, 26 May 2019

Jesus is our salvation and our anchor | Ledger Independent – Ledger Independent

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Wikipedia is not generally a source to used or quoted, but this is a nice definition : “An anchor is a device, normally made of metal, used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from drifting due to wind or current…Anchors can either be temporary or permanent.”

If there is one lesson we will learn in life, it is that nothing apart from God is constant. Habits change, interests shift, satisfactions fade, friends drift, people pass away, hopes dim, passions evaporate, careers pale, priorities rearrange, and life simply changes. That list is pretty grim. Although we know these things to be evidentially true, we can still experience unending joy and satisfaction in this life even in the midst of storms. The way we experience this joy is by using Jesus as our anchor to the spirit world.

The truth is, if we aren’t anchored to the unshakable source of salvation, Jesus Christ, we will be pushed, pounded, drenched and dragged along this life which we are supposed to live with grace. Once we have an understanding of salvation, we realize that this physical life is not the life that is supposed to fill us with meaning and satisfaction. Gratifications of the flesh are hollow and dangerous therefore foolish to pursue.

When new and different opportunities present themselves or when hardships come our way, how can we be sure which way to set our sails? It is only by intimate time spent with God that we can know His heart and receive the peace He wants to give us. Reading the Bible, praying, worshipping in our own special ways, and being submitted under God-honoring preachers and teachers will keep us connected to the true anchor. There is no way to have peace regarding our path or our current struggles unless we spend time in the presence of our holy God.

Our lives, every single one of them, are meant for more than just this temporary life. Every person who has ever lived and every person who is yet to be born has an eternal soul. The difference in the way we live our lives is based on the anchors that we choose to tether ourselves to. Too often we don’t realize that we have chosen an anchor, and then we wonder why things aren’t going well. Anchors are things we spend our valuable time pursuing in hopes of finding support. They can be temporary or permanent. Often times TV, radio, hobbies, exercise and more become temporary anchors. Then there are some that chase after wealth thinking if they get enough money it will get them through the “hard times”. Some go searching for status and power to eradicate the feelings of inadequacy or emptiness. Others attach themselves to people. Having community and a support system is vital, but nothing can help a person weather a storm like God can. When life’s waves have repeatedly and devastatingly knocked people down, often times the anchors they reach for are drugs, alcohol, lewd behaviors, and corrupt company. Choosing to engage in these behaviors will devastate a life, yet God loves still and desperately longs for that soul to come to Him because He knows that Jesus is the only permanent anchor that can fill us and sustain us. Belief in Jesus is the only salvation for the entire world!

Having an anchor onboard a ship does not mean that the ship will not encounter storms and dangerous conditions. However, what having an anchor onboard does mean is reassurance and insurance. Reassurance means removing doubts, and insurance means defense, shelter, security, precaution, and provision.

By accepting Jesus’ free gift of salvation we have the only anchor we need in this life. His blood atoned for our sins- provision. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within us-precaution. The Holy Spirit does Jesus’ work, connecting us to the spiritual world- shelter. The Holy Spirit is gently convicting us of our sins, shielding us from evil the advances, and leading us gently toward God’s great plans for us- security and defense. An anchor makes contact with the ocean’s floor, sitting below the ship to keep it on course. The Holy Spirit, who is inside of us, is connected to Jesus who sits at the right hand of God advocating on our behalf. The Jesus works through the Holy Spirit to comfort us and to keep us on course.

What a comfort we have to know that despite the storms and fierce waves we have a stronghold. We have Jesus, the only grounding source, and He is the reason why we can withstand the storms. Think of those who don’t have the comfort of Christ. What a hopeless life that must be. We can look around and become disgusted and disheartened by the world or we can see the hurting souls devoid of salvation and decide to share God’s truth. We all have a sphere of influence, and when we commit to use that influence to share God’s light He will multiply it and use us to reach farther. Because we have a solid anchor, He can send us out into deep waters, but we have to trust in His capabilities- His shelter, provision, security, and defense.

How often do we take inventory of our hearts and uncover what anchors we are holding onto? It is important for us stay tethered to the heavenly anchor because we are called to live as Christ. We were created to be bold leaders. We live to share the good news of Jesus. It is our responsibility to be a light when we see another tangled in the tethers of a sinful anchor. We cannot make choices for others, but we can purpose in our hearts to care deeply and do our best to win others to Christ.

I ask you to ponder this for a moment, who shared the news of salvation with you? How relentlessly did God use people to win you over? Would you even want to consider how your life would be without God? Does it hurt your spirit to think about how many people will spend eternity in hell? God says wide is the gate to destruction. If you could do something to change even one person’s eternity would you?

God doesn’t tell us to pass judgment, to think of ourselves as superior or to think that once we are saved our job is done. Our personal decision to follow God is only the beginning. God calls us to love, to go, and to tell. How much would it grieve our spirits and the heart of God, if at the end of our lives we realized that we chose to leave others in darkness, tethered to anchors that will not sustain them or comfort them? Pray that we reach people in this life, and each take a crowd into heaven’s gates. If we have truly experienced salvation we won’t be able to keep it a secret because God’s love is transformational. Pray that we see a revival where Christians are fearlessly acting in love, refusing to accept