Summary: My life is not futile. My failures are not fatal. And my death is not final.
ANCHORS FOR THE SOUL
I Cor. 15:1-8
INTRO.- Anchors and fishing.
ILL.- Two men were out fishing on Sunday morning and were feeling pretty guilty, especially since the fish weren’t biting. One said to the other, "I guess I should have stayed home and gone to church this morning."
The other man replied, "I COULDN’T HAVE GONE TO CHURCH ANYWAY, MY WIFE’S SICK IN BED."
Those two fisherman may have been anchored, but they weren’t anchored deeply.
ILL.- Hurricane warnings. Labor Day weekend, 1979 in Miami, Florida. While most of the nation played, the people of Miami watched. Hurricane David was coming their way, leaving a trail of flooded islands and homeless people in the Caribbean.
Floridians were preparing for David’s coming. Windows were taped up, canned goods were bought, flashlights tested.
On the Miami River some single guys were trying to figure out the best way to protect their houseboat. None of them had ever lived on a houseboat before, much less weathered a hurricane.
They were coming to the end of their rope when suddenly a man named Phil showed up. He knew boats. He spoke the lingo and knew the knots. He said to those young men, "Tie her to land and you’ll regret it. Those trees are gonna get eaten by the hurricane. Your only hope is to anchor deep. Place four anchors in four different directions, leave the rope slack, and pray for the best."
YOUR ONLY HOPE IS TO ANCHOR DEEP. Good advice for weathering hurricanes and good advice for weathering life’s hurricanes.
Every now and then we humans get caught in a storm...a human storm of emotion, dread, anxiety, and fear. It could be our marriage, our mate, our career, our children, etc.
We all try to anchor in some form or another. But often we don’t anchor in the right direction or deeply enough.
ILL.- One day a certain old, rich man of a miserable disposition visited a rabbi, who took the rich man by the hand and led him to a window. "Look out there," he said. The rich man looked into the street. "What do you see?" asked the rabbi. "I see men, women, and children," answered the rich man.
Again the rabbi took him by the hand and this time led him to a mirror. "Now what do you see?" "Now I see myself," the rich man replied.
Then the rabbi said, "Behold, in the window there is glass, and in the mirror there is glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a little silver, and no sooner is the silver added than you cease to see others, but you see only yourself."
Brothers and sisters, whenever silver or money is added to our lives we have a tendency to lose sight of things. We become more preoccupied with ourselves rather than others. We are self-centered rather than people-centered. AND WE ARE ANCHORED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
I thought of this last Sunday night when the Academy Awards were on TV. Most actors and actresses have anchored in the wrong direction. Their world is themselves.
Their world is the applause of the world. And I thought, "They have their reward here and now, but we will get our reward in another place, a lasting place, a beautiful place, an unselfish place."
We all cast our anchor in the wrong direction at times. We are sometimes plagued with futility, failure or finality in life.
- Things are going well, but something is missing. Futility.
- We blew it. Instead of standing tall, we fell short. Failure.
- The funeral. Tears. Casket. Dirt. Finality.
We need to anchor deep and in the right direction. It’s our only hope. We must anchor ourselves to Christ. He is our only hope. Through His death and resurrection we anchor deeply.
PROP.- There are three anchor points we need to think about:
1- My life is not futile
2- My failures are not fatal
3- My death is not final
I. MY LIFE IS NOT FUTILE
ILL.- One night a thief broke into the single-room apartment of French novelist Honore de Balzac. Trying to avoid waking Balzac, the intruder quietly picked the lock on the writer’s desk. Suddenly the silence was broken by a sarcastic laugh from the bed, where Balzac lay watching the thief. "Why do you laugh?" asked the thief. "I am laughing to think what risks you take to try to find money in a desk by night where (I) the legal owner can never find any by day."
To some, life may be about a futile as trying to find money in a desk where there is none. That’s kind of like looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. THERE IS NONE TO BE FOUND.