THE FOUR ANCHORS OF LIFE.
1. As we study the activities of the apostle Paul, as they are found in the Book of Acts, we find that on one occasion when he was about to be sent back to Jerusalem to stand trial before the Jews; he decided rather to appeal to Caesar.
2. In doing this, those that were holding him prisoner had to make provisions to send him to Rome.
3. In the 27th chapter of Acts, we find him on his way, along with many other prisoners, to Rome.
4. These prisoners are being carried by ship.
5. During the course of their journey, they were swept up by a great storm.
6. This was but another of the harrowing experiences of the apostle Paul in his suffering for the cause of Christ. 2 Cor. 11:22-33.
7. Of course, the sailors on the ship did all that they could to save the ship and its cargo, but without avail.
8. When the final doom of the ship seemed inevitable, they "let go four anchors from the stern, and wished for day", Acts 27:29.
9. Apparently this ship was well prepared for trouble.
A. Four trusty anchors were weighed at the stern.
B. These anchors were just needless and useless weight when the weather was fair and the going was good.
C. Anchors on most ships must weigh one tenth of the overall weight of the ship intself.
1) The ship that I served on during WWII was 510 ft. long and 54 ft. wide. It weighed 10,000 tons. The anchors, we had aboard weighed 1,000 tons.
D. What a blessing these anchors prove to be during times of storms, etc.
10.Human souls, like ships, are riding upon the "sea of life."
11. Our course is set and we are making our way toward the distant shore.
12. For most of us the weather is fair, the sea is calm, and the sailing is smooth.
A. But let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that it will always be thus.
B. Somewhere upon the sea of life there is always a storm raging and a tempest blowing.
C. In every tempest and in every storm, ships are rolling and tossing.
D. Some will ride-out the storm and finally drop anchor in "the haven of rest", while others will break up upon the waves and the rocks and will go down in despair.
13. Surely, for us the question is not, shall we sail the sea of life?
A. Because, sail it we must!
14. Neither is it a question of whether or not we will encounter storms?
A. they are inescapable!
15. The urgent question is this: Do we, like the ship upon which Paul sailed, have trusty anchors waiting and ready to do their work when the need arises?
16. There are four anchors with which every human vessel needs to be equipped?
I. UNFALTERING FAITH IN GOD AND IN THE BIBLE AS HIS WORD.
A. Without faith in God and His word, "It is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him", Heb. 11:1-6.
1. The remainder of this 11th chapter of Hebrews gives example after example of men who lived and triumphed by unfaltering faith in God.
B. And where there is real faith in God, there is trust and confidence in His word.
1. Such will believe and obey everything that the Bible records or enjoins upon him.
2. They will abide in its teaching and refuse to go forward upon the wisdom of men, regardless of how celebrated such men may be.
C. Even though our minds may want to stumble and stagger at the profundity of His teaching, or even at its simplicity, let us believe it and be governed by it.
D. Where faith is as it should be, there will be complete obedience to God.
1. Remember, that James said, "Faith without works is dead", Jas. 2:26.
2. Jesus said: "Why call me Lord, Lord and do not what I say", Lk. 6:46.
II. THE ANCHOR OF PRAYER.
A. Prayer is yet another anchor which may well stay us in the hour of trial.
1. It has been said that, "Prayer is the power that moves the hand that moves the universe."
B. In prayer, the Christian speaks to God.
1. No day should begin or close without it.
2. His we are and Him we serve.
3. Nothing short of presumption would allow us to live without prayer.
4. Jesus, our example, taught that we "ought always pray, and not to faint." Let us read, Lk. 18:1-14.
C. Of a truth it has been said, "more things are wrought by prayer than this world ever dreams of.
III. THE ANCHOR OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE.
A. Paul exhorted young Timothy to hold "a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith", 1 Tim. 1:19; Acts. 23:1.
B. Certainly, to discard or overlook this anchor is disastrous.
1. We must not sear our conscience. 1 Tim. 4:2.
2. Honesty of heart and sincerity of purpose are indispensable.
C. One who knows the truth, but holds it not with a good conscience is condemned in the sight of God.
1, Neither, of course can sincerity and conscientiousness approve one before God if it is not related and devoted to the truth of God.
2. We need to continually rely upon God's word to teach us the truth, and having learned it, let us hold to it with a good conscience.
IV. THE ANCHOR OF HOPE.
A. This hope must be one that is confident that God will keep His promises.
1. We have strong encouragement in that God's counsel is unchangeable and that it is impossible for Him to lie.
2. His promises of the future, can be accepted with the same certainty with which we have seen and thereby believe the past.
3. Yes, this blessed hope is "an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast", Heb. 6:19.
B. The winds and the waves may roar; our frail ships may toss and turn in the tempest, but if "we have our hope set on the living God", then we will be able to ride out the storm and finally reach that blessed harbor.
1. My fellow-voyager, how are your anchors?
2. You had best check them and be sure that they are in place and ready for a time of trouble.
3. It is certain that you will need them before the voyage of life is over.
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,
Will your anchor drift, or firm remain?
It is safely moored, 'twill the storm withstand,
For 'tis well secured by the Savior's hand,
And the cables, passed from His heart to mine,
Can defy the blast, thru strength divine.
It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
When the breakers have told the reef is near;
Tho' the tempest rage and the wild winds blow,
Not an angry wave shall our bark o'er flow.
When our eyes behold thru the gath'ring night
The city of gold, our harbor bright,
We shall anchor fast by the heav'nly shor,
With the storms all past for ever more.
We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll.
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior's love.
----Priscilla J Owens; Wm. J. Kirkpatrick
Sermon by Jim Sasser
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