Anchored in Christ

Anchored in Christ
Ephesians 3: 14-21
A sermon by Deacon Mark Jennings

Grace, mercy and peace be to you from our Heavenly Father so that through Christ, you are strengthened and empowered knowing that perfect love given to you.
To him be all the glory!
Alleluia, amen.

As I was preparing for the sermon today, I was reading the Epistle from Ephesians and one of the verses reminded me of an incident while on vacation last week in the Sierras.
We rented a pontoon boat to fish from on June Lake thinking this would be the perfect platform to fish from and knowing that also we would have multiple people on and off through out the day.
As the dedicated fishermen got on the boat for the morning fishing run we left the marina with the water smooth as glass.
Needless to say, that didn’t last long. Sure, we caught a couple of fish but then the wind showed up and it changed the dynamic of everything. It blew and blew all day long. There were white caps on the water by eight A.M. and then it even rained on us that day. In fact the wind blew all week long until the day we left to come home but that’s another story
We were not able to pleasantly anchor any longer and stay on target for catching fish and no matter where we tried to anchor up we would get blown around like a bug on a leaf. We had two anchors; one on the bow and one on the stern but they were not heavy enough to stop this pontoon boat from being pushed around like a little toy boat.
No matter how hard we tried and no matter what we did to set those anchors they couldn’t hold that boat in place due to the power of that wind blowing across that lake.
The other problem was that the anchors that were assigned for this large pontoon boat were in adequate for a boat of this size. They were too small and too light to do their jobs properly and to be effective in keeping us in one place. Sure, they worked fine if there was no wind blowing but in any adversity they failed. But really they were the wrong anchors for this boat.
We finally after fighting it all day, just let go and drifted around the rest of the day left to the mercy and strength and power of that wind.
The Epistle made me think about the power of that wind in pushing the boat around and that Epistle kept pointing to verse16.
Paul writes,
“ That according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length  and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
These verses not only make me think of that power of the wind on our boat but they also make me think about the anchors that were so futile and that were unable to hold us in posisition as those winds blew.
Those wimds and their power to push that boat wherever they wanted to and those puny anchors trying to hold against that power reminds us of our lives.
If you live on planet Earth then you have experienced these winds. These winds are our sin and all the stuff and horrible things that are thrown against us on a regular and daily basis. we live in a sinful world where the winds of sin, death and blow upon us everyday. We can’t escape it or get away from it and sometimes we even join it and flow right along with it enjoying the ride….
Remember the old saying, ‘if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?’
We go along for the ride and we go with the flow until our boat is crashed into the rocks or grounded and we faced certain destruction.
Or maybe in the face of such power, we try to throw our anchors out to keep us in place thinking that we can handle it. We have it under control and our anchors are set! Until that huge gust of sin comes and breaks your little baby girlie man anchor free!
These anchors will only fail! They won’t work!
There is only one anchor that holds us in place and we heard that in the verses that I just read to you and that you heard in the Epistle.
You all have the power! You are all strengthened with power. I don’t mean from a radioactive spider or super strength from a yellow sun.
Paul writes that you have the Father’s power through His Spirit in your inner being!
So I guess you are all Power Rangers!
You have been given this power so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
You have been rooted and grounded in love, in His perfect love that has no strings attached or any special rules or things you must do to acquire it. It is the uncompromising love of the Trinity that is poured out upon us and that loves us unconditionally.
You are anchored in Him.
You are anchored in Him who is Jesus the Christ. Jesus, the true Son of Man and Son of God who gathers up all of our sin and takes that sin willingly and obediently to the cross and dies for all.
He doesn’t pick and choose who to die for, His love is given to and for all people all the time. he calms the storms.
Because of that, in our Baptism’s we die with Christ only to be born again into life with our Savior.
It’s His power and His fullness. It’s His love that grounds us and roots us and anchors us so that we can stand firm in that wind knowing our anchor is more than secure.
It’s like being in a rowboat and having the Queen Mary’s anchor as your own. You aint going anywhere except to Heaven!
Those storms of this foul and sinful world rage on and they are powerful. They will do whatever they can to blow and push us around and we do give up and we go with the flow because it’s easy.
But my daughter has a saying that I now can put into practice. She is fond of saying, “ Only dead fish go with the flow!”
That statement is true. Only dead fish go with the flow. Dead fish will only go wherever the current and wind sends them.
So let me ask you.
Are you a dead fish plodding along and going with the flow and whatever way the wind blows or are we alive in Christ through the power that we have been given by God?
Dead or alive?
I’ll answer for you. We confess Christ amd His perfect love who is most surely alive and because of that we most surely live now and eternaly also. We don’t go with the flow of this evil world but instead stand anchored and rooted in the power of our Mighty and Righteous God who strengthens us the fullness of His Spirit.
That fullness and power is more than we could ever ask for. It’s so big and so powerful and so loving that our feeble minds can’t fully grasp it but it’s true. Our Father doesn’t do things half way!
That’s the only way we can endure these storms and tempasts of life becuase as Christ lives in our hearts, through the Holy Spirit we can and do have faith and trust in Him, our anchor of faith, hope and love who calms and clears the storms and howling winds.
Through the Holy Spirit revealing Christ and His love to us in God’s most precious and Holy Word we  know Him who saved us and we bear His name.
Verse 15,
“From whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.”
We share in and call upon the name of Christ! We have all the power and resources of our Heavenly Father working in us to strengthen and sanctify us and because of that we can proclaim His infinite grace, mercy and love for all people.
Christ lives in us surrounding us and grounding us in that ultimate love which flows and pours over us guiding and leading, protecting and soothing us and making us able to stand.
Romans 8:39 says,
” Not height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing can take that grace, mercy and love away from us, EVER!
As you move through this life, attacked by those winds and storms know that we can stand strong against the rage and flow not because our anchor is strong but because our anchor is the power fulfilled and given to you by the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and through His love you are rooted and grounded.
Because He lives and loves you, you now live and can love others!
Only dead fish go with the flow!
We stand with Christ forever!
To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generation, forever and ever.
Alleluia, amen!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on July 29, 2012, in Deacon's Ministry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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