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Abiding In The Vine

This Easter season, I encourage you to set aside daily distractions and find time to "abide in Him" because only then will you discover the joy and peace that is waiting for you within that empty tomb.

April 2012

This month, Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. His willingness to suffer and die on our behalf—in order to restore mankind’s relationship with God—is the greatest mystery and gift any Christian could possibly experience.

That’s why Easter is such an important holiday. It reminds me of Christ’s sacrifice, renews my faith in a loving Savior, and recharges my spiritual batteries to move forward—with power and confidence—in what God has called me to do.

I love the fact that we celebrate Easter in the spring—when all of creation is renewed again. Trees grow, flowers bloom, and landscapes explode with color as if God is sounding the trumpet of life to begin once again.

Forgive me, but I just don't get that warm, fuzzy rejuvenation feeling during the long months of winter. All I "get," here in Minnesota, is a whole lot of cold and snow.

But as spring represents newness of life in a natural sense, Easter does the same thing in a spiritual sense. The celebration of Easter is an annual reminder that no matter what sort of dry or desolate season we may walk in or out of, there is always hope—and new life—in what Jesus did for you and me on the cross.

But in today’s fast-paced world, it is easy to get caught up in the daily demands of life, work, and ministry and thereby miss the beauty and significance of Christ’s sacrifice. If I want to maintain and protect my intimacy with God—especially during the Easter holiday—I must guard against the increasing number of distractions that compete for my time, attention, and energy.

Abiding In The Vine
God longs to have an intimate relationship with all of his children. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross in order to abolish the barrier of sin that kept us detached from our heavenly Father.

That is what Easter is all about. Through His death, life was brought to us who believe. But in order to fully experience God’s power and presence in your lives, you must put away earthly distractions which get in the way of staying connected to Him. The Bible describes this effort as “abiding in the vine.”

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
(John 15:5-8 NKJV)

To “abide” in the vine doesn’t mean to simply visit with the Lord once a week on Sundays or whenever I feel like it. In addition, to abide in the vine doesn’t mean I throw up a quick prayer in the morning while I hurry out the door.

I want to get to a place where I desire to spend time with the Lord. It doesn't matter how much time. What matters is that I am there, seeking Him, because I want to...not because I feel compelled out of pressure or guilt.

Too often we tend to look at others and make assumptions about their spiritual condition based on the amount of time they spend doing religious activities. All of us have different motivations for doing these things, but if we are not serving God or others from the heart, then we are not abiding in Him.

The word abide means: to remain, to tarry or sojourn, or to wait. I like the way one translation puts it: “maintain a living communion with Him.” This suggests a relationship with God that is ongoing throughout the day. It means that my heart is in constant communion with Him.

If you are anything like me, by now you are probably asking a few different questions:

  • “But how am I supposed to commune with the Lord throughout my busy day?”
  • “Can’t I just think about all of this on Easter Sunday?”
  • “How can I meditate on His sacrifice and resurrection when I barely have time to get dinner on the table?”
We can do these things by cultivating a conscious awareness of His abiding presence in our life—not just during our daily prayer time, but throughout the day. In other words, from the rising of the sun to the time that it goes down, I should be aware of the God’s presence in my life.

That should be the goal for all of us.

As Christians, our relationship with the Lord should not be “on” one minute and “off” the next (ask me how I know). Thanks to what Jesus did on the cross, you and I are no longer separated from God! But He will not force anyone to accept the free gift of salvation that Christ secured for us. God will not require that I spend time with Him in prayer. Consider you own children: are you blessed when they talk to you because they have to, or because they want to?

This Easter season, I am trying to develop a deeper understanding of Christ’s sacrifice and what it means to me as a Christian. I encourage you to do the same.

Resurrection Sunday represents a revelation of God’s love that is incredibly personal and powerful, and it should never be taken lightly or for granted. I hope you will join me as I strive to set aside daily distractions and find time to “abide in Him.” Why? Because only then will we discover the joy and peace that is waiting for each one of us within that empty tomb.

Easter Content Available At cfaith
As we prepare our hearts for the reflection and celebration of Easter this month, cfaith once again plans to highlight a considerable amount of holiday content on the front page of our website.

Our special collection of Easter content will bless you, renew your faith, and help you abide in the vine. I encourage you to read the variety of teaching articles or listen to any of the on-demand audio and video messages. If possible, I hope you will tell others about these powerful online resources. Encourage them to visit and be blessed as well!

Thank You
Our ongoing efforts to enhance and improve the ministry efforts of cfaith would not be possible without your continued assistance and encouragement. Together, we are helping each other maximize our collective ministry influence, and that is what being a member of the cfaith family is all about. Thanks to you, we are learning to abide in God and reach the lost in powerful new ways—each and every day.

This Easter season, it is my prayer that you will experience Christ and the joy of His resurrection in a powerful new way.

Celebrating His resurrection with you


Jeff Litfin
ministry operations leader

Author Biography

Jeff Litfin
Web site: Generations Legal Services
As a Certified Estate Planner, Jeff works side by side with our attorney partners to provide each client with professional and comprehensive solutions. As our face to the client, Jeff utilizes his 30 years of public speaking, corporate communications, and business management experience to make the estate project process seamless. Jeff conducts GLS estate planning workshops and takes the lead role in client engagement. Clients appreciate Jeff's ability to take complex legal topics and explain them in an easy-to-understand manner. No one helps families and individuals navigate the Bermuda Triangle of estate planning (legal, finance, and tax) better than Jeff. In addition to his CEP certification, Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from North Central University and a Minnesota Life, Accident, and Health Insurance license.

About Us

The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

At cfaith, you can strengthen your faith and deepen your understanding of the Word of God by digging into the vast collection of teaching articles, streaming audio and video messages, and daily devotionals. No other website offers such a unique and extensive collection of spiritual-growth resources aimed at helping you grow in your knowledge of the Word.




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