Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pruning

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John 15:1-8 (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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
 
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
 
SNIP 
 
Pruning is necessary to produce fruit in my life and yet, it hurts.  I don't like the trimming away of dead wood and leaves.  I want to shout, "Leave me alone!"  But the Lord knows what is good for me.  He sees the branches that need trimming. 
 
SNIP
 
Another branch falls to the ground and another bad habit or attitude is trimmed away.  "Lord, I don't like this."  "Why must there always be something that has to be cut?"  And he reminds me that he wants me to bear fruit and not just some fruit but MUCH fruit.
 
SNIP
 
Which is why I must be pruned.  As much as it hurts, it is necessary for my good.  I feel stretched and pulled outside my comfort zone and I truly want to climb back in my box.  I want to go back to my safety zone where it's familiar.
 
SNIP
 
But He continues to trim and chop away at the dead foliage.  He carefully cuts back the branches so that I will grow and produce and be fruitful.  It's hard and it hurts.  It is not a pleasant process but the end result is so sweet.  If I just allow him to prune, I will ripen and mature.
 
SNIP
 
My ripening glorifies the Father.  When I show fruit in my life, it points to Him.  Bearing fruit is a responsibility of all believers but that will only happen through the careful pruning of the vineyard keeper.  I will only grow when I allow the Lord to work in my life and reveal and cut away those rotting branches and leaves.  It's hard but worth it in the end.
 
SNIP
 
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.