ROOTED (ANCHORED)

rootedROCK SOLID SERIES: STUDY 5 OF 8 / 2016          PASTOR BARRY @ THE GATHERING CHURCH

DRIFTING Hebrews 2:1                                                          We have talked about BUILDING our lives on the firm foundation of Christ, STANDING on the promises of God, SHINING the light of the gospel for this dark world, and REACHING upward and outward in forgiveness.  Today we will look at what we must do to keep from DRIFTING away from all these good things that we have been talking about.  How many of you realize that drifting off the course of God’s blessing is the easiest thing to do in life and the greatest trick of the Devil? 

 The Apostle, Paul said it straight up in Hebrews 2:1…”Don’t drift!”  Drifting happens when you are carried away slowly by wind or water.  It is so important to remember that no matter how calm the waters may look there is always a gradual pull of the tide.  We must remember that we are God’s ship in a hostel sea.  There are many pleasure cruises in this world but we must remember that we are created by God for the purpose of knowing Him and making Him known.  We are a gospel ship and our destination is the purpose and plan of God.  Satan wants to thwart your mission and move you as far away from the destination that God has prepared for you as he can.  Make no mistake about it, as I shared in the last study, your salvation is sure; however, achieving God’s perfect will for your life is up to you Captain!  You must constantly pay attention to God (navigate) as you travel through life or you will drift off course, and when you are at rest or in a storm don’t forget to anchor.

 OUR ANCHOR 1 John 2:15-17, Colossians 2:6-8, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17            There are many types of anchors.  They range in size, weight and function.  Some are used to produce drag on a ship or boat in rough seas, others dig in deep to hold a ship or boat from drifting in the tide.  Christ is referred to as our hope and “anchor for the soul, firm and     secure” (Hebrews 6:19).  It is Jesus who keeps us from both being blown off course by the big storms of life and from drifting off course in the daily tides.  The tides of worldliness are what I am referring to. That is the tides of this world that the Apostle John spoke of in 1 John 2:15-17 (The Lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life).

Sometimes the tides are obvious and can be clearly seen.  High tide is a good example of the obvious but how about the under currents that sweep you along?  I remember many times body surfing or board surfing when I was so caught up in play that I didn’t realize how far I had drifted in a short time.  How easy it is to drift into danger when we are not paying attention to God’s direction.  I remember sitting on shore once at the Wedge in Newport Beach, where the tide is especially dangerous, when I suddenly spied a man in a raft paddling out.  The waters looked still between the ferocious sets, but the experienced surfers in the deep water and my friend and me on the shore knew better.  This rafter was either an experienced thrill seeker or an absolute idiot.  I could tell by his paddling that he was the idiot…and then the nine to eleven foot set came in! The man was pulverized in the first wave and spewed out face first into the sand.  His raft was beaten again and again in the churning foam until it washed out like a plastic bag in a flood.  Case and point… Pay attention to the tides, even when they are hidden.  The world view is very deceiving so don’t get caught up in it.

 The Apostle Paul advises us to “continue to live our lives in Christ, rooted and built up in Him”.  Being rooted to a tree is like being anchored at sea. The deeper we dig into Jesus and His word the more secure we will be.  The superficial and untruthful world view of man can be clearly seen by a Christian who is rooted in God’s word.  The problem is that only 28% of Christians in America believe that the Bible is the literal word of God and should determine all aspects of living. (Gallup Poll , May 2014)  It seems that many Americans are drifting.

The Bible on the Bible says “It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart “and that unto God we must give an account. (Hebrews 4:12) It also says that it is “God breathed”.

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)  If one does not use the Bible to navigate the seas of life then what shall he use?  The captain of that ship will certainly destroy himself and everyone on board and then…he will give an account of his actions to God.  Well, at least says the Bible, but what other document comes anywhere near its status?  Now, pay attention captain!

STAND FIRM 1 Corinthians 10: 1-5, 11-13                                                                                        We conclude our lesson today with a warning from the Apostle Paul.  He reminds us that many who followed God went before us.  He refers to those Jews who followed the cloud by day and passed through the Red Sea in route to the Promised Land.  They were in essence baptized by that mighty sea as they crossed with Moses, they drank water from a rock that symbolized Christ on the other side, but God was not pleased with most of them and only Joshua and Caleb and a new generation would enter the Promised Land.  Their fathers and mothers were shipwrecked in their faith and drifted from their mission.  What happened to them is recorded in the Bible as examples to warn us.  We must be careful that we don’t fall!

We are a gospel ship and our destination is the purpose and plan of God.  Satan wants to thwart your mission.  Make no mistake about it, your salvation is sure; however, achieving God’s perfect will for your life is up to you Captain!  You must constantly pay attention to God (navigate)  as you travel through life or you will drift off course, and when you are at rest or in a storm don’t forget your anchor.  He is Christ and His word is true, and God is faithful.

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