For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Friday, April 26, 2013

Get Out the Pruning Shears

John 15:1-2
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.

Branchy green suckers sprouted off the roots of the crabapple tree in our backyard. The miniature forest, which popped up around the trunk, stole nutrition and water that the tree’s blooms needed in order to blossom. Other trees in the neighborhood bore pink and white flowers, while my tree struggled to stay green. Because I wanted my tree to flower, too, I took the clippers and pruned away the extra growth. I think I heard the tree sigh with relief. Within a few days, white buds burst into bloom.

In John 15, Jesus reminds me that He is the true vine and God even cut the fruitless branches from him. As a believer in Christ, I’m one of the Father’s vines, too. Sometimes, out of fear of change, laziness, or habit I spin my wheels and stay in a rut that keeps me from following God’s will.  It’s not easy to change behavior, step away from a situation or move in a new direction. But there are times that God redirects my path and asks me to change what I’m doing in order to serve him better and produce more fruit. Jesus knew that God expected him to die on the cross, but he also embraced the promise to bring him to life and take him to heaven. Along with God’s pruning comes the promise of life with Him in heaven.

What change has God asked you to make for him?

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