Summary: Christ is our place of safety during the storms of life.
Remain In Me
(John 15:4, 9-10)
ILLUSTRATION: It was a dark and stormy night when a lady was on a boat crossing Lake Michigan. The lightning, thunder, and rain made her very nervous. She saw jagged rocks jutting above the surface of the lake. In fear, she asked the captain, “Do you know where all the rocks are out there in the lake?”
“No,” the captain replied, “I don’t, but I do know where it’s safe.”
As many of you know and can attest to as we travel or “sail” through this earthly life, we are going to see lots of “rocks” out there. “Rocks” of depression, illness, slander, deception, temptation, confusion, loneliness, fear and many more. Some of these ‘rocks’ you will know how to avoid others will come upon you as a surprise. The important thing to know is “where it’s safe.”
This morning I want to bring a message to you that I’ve entitled Remain In Me in which we are going to explore this place of safety. All of us have been battered by the storms of life and thrown against these at different times in our lives. Some of us are going through these storms right now. Suffering is nothing new. It is one of the results of original sin that has affected mankind from the very beginning. But even knowing that we are not alone in our times of trouble, doesn’t always make those times easier to bear.
As Christians, many of us have the head knowledge about Christ and His special love for us during these times of pain. We know that the Bible tells us that our times of hardship are only temporary. We know that we can trust God to deliver us safely through them. We know that there are better things to come. But sometimes even knowing all these promises doesn’t seem to quiet the fear or pain or doubts that sometimes plague us.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
How would you like to be inwardly renewed day by day? How would you like to know that Christ is your dwelling place, your home, your place of safety, peace, and hope? How would you like to always have a deep connection with Christ that stamps out all those doubts, fears, and confusion we feel when going through the trials of life? Would you like to always be right in the middle of God’s will every day of your life? These things are possible, and we find the secret to experiencing them is found in the very words of Christ in John 15:4.
John 15:4, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you…”
I. What Does It Mean to “Remain In Christ and He Will Remain In Me”?
While experiencing a time of fear and doubt recently, these words kept repeating themselves in my mind. And I believe that God was speaking them directly to my heart, spirit, and mind. “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” I instantly took comfort from the thought of Christ remaining in me. I could understand that promise. Having Christ remain in me was having Christ with me all the time, constantly guiding, upholding, comforting, and strengthening me.
But I also realized that this promise comes with a condition. And the condition for Christ remaining in me, is that first I must remain in Him. So, naturally I looked these words up in the Bible and then asked for His wisdom in understanding what exactly it means for me to “remain in Christ.”
The best way I can explain remaining in Christ is to think of a faucet. When a faucet is closed no water can come out. When the faucet is open water can then flow from the spout. The wider the valve is opened the more water comes out. If the valve is opened as wide as it can, the water can flow freely and continually without any impediment whatsoever.
Remaining in Christ is like having that water faucet turned on and the valve wide open. In order for Christ, who is the living water, to remain in us, we first have to turn on the water faucet. The wider we open the valve the more of Christ can flow into our lives. So in order for Christ to remain in us, we have to first turn on the faucet. So how do we do that? How do we remain in Christ? How do we open the valve?
A. To Have No Known Sin Unjudged and Unconfessed
The first way is to make sure that we have no known sin in our lives that has gone unjudged or unconfessed. The one thing our holy God cannot abide, in fact the only thing that can separate us from Him and all He has in store for us, is sin.