Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Pruning Process

John 15:1-2 (NIV) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
In John 15:1 Jesus tells us that He is the true vine and His Father is the gardener. He continues in verse 2 to say that His Father cuts off every branch that does not produce fruit and trims the branches that do produce fruit so they will produce even more. One October weekend, I was out and about with my son and I noticed several people out cleaning their yards. Why do you suppose they were doing that? Why do we all take the time to cut our grass and rake our leaves? The answer is simple. To remove the “clutter” and bring some sort of order to the tall grass… in my case it’s so I can see Mika, my dachshund, in the back yard.  Ha… back to the point.
The same can be said of our lives in Christ. We are all connected to Him, the true vine. God, because of His great love for us, prunes away the “clutter” of our lives so we can produce fruit that will last. The question becomes… what is cluttering your life?  Is it the anger, bitterness or jealously that is holding you back from being at peace in your circumstances? Is it self-reliance that is keeping you focused on a path YOU want to be on instead of the plan God has mapped out for you? 
Whatever it is, hang in there even though the pruning process can be painful. The other side will produce lasting fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and self control (Gal. 5:22 – 23). Zechariah 4:6 tells us that by our own strength and power we will not succeed. We must surrender to the hands of the gardener and let Him do his job.

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