A constant storm is raging in the treacherous waters of the sea, and you are a poor, broken, rusted boat. In the darkness, as you fight the waves, you spot a piercing beam of light, coming from a lighthouse standing against the night. You come to the lighthouse, and discover that there is a harbor safe from the ever-raging storm. Against the sheets of rain and wind, you see a sign that reads, “All who seek safe harbor may enter.” You make your way into the calm waters of the bay and find rest.
...come to me to have life. (John 5:40b)
Like the lighthouse that guides ships to safe harbor, Jesus calls us to come to Him for safety, shelter, and life. Many ships are lost at sea, tossed by the waves, and in danger of sinking. But the lighthouse shines bright, offering a path to salvation. All who respond to its call, no matter how battered or lost, find safe harbor in Christ. There's no toll or requirement to enter, just a willingness to enter by the way the lighthouse indicates. Simply believe in Jesus for the free gift of irrecoverable, everlasting life and you have it.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Once inside the harbor, hopefully, you’re not satisfied to simply drift. Of course, a ship in the bay is safe from the storm, but there is so much in store for a vessel that is willing to abide there. It can be moored securely and attached firmly to the dock. It can get the care and attention it needs from the greatest shipwrights in the land. It can be cleaned and readied for greater service among the many docks of the harbor. Most importantly, any ship that enters into the safety of this harbor is invited to make the place their home port, to abide, and to do meaningful work within.
Similarly, after coming to Christ for salvation, you are eternally secure, having found your way into the safety of an eternal harbor. However, hopefully, you do not wish to simply float listlessly in the calmer waters of the bay. Just as a ship is maintained, refueled, and prepared for its meaningful work within the harbor, we grow, are nurtured, and bear fruit by abiding in Christ, by making him our home port, by growing with Him as our source of life. We do this by prayer, scripture study, and fellowship with other faithful believers. You get salvation for free by faith alone, however, if you want to live the most successful Christian life, you must abide in Christ daily.
How does the analogy of the lighthouse and harbor help you understand the concepts of coming to Christ for salvation and abiding in Him for discipleship?
Can you recall the moment when you responded to Christ's beckoning light, leading you to safe harbor?
How do you actively “abide” in Christ? What practices or disciplines help you stay connected?
Have you witnessed others drifting away from Christ after initially coming to Him? What encouragement or guidance can you offer them to abide in Him daily?