January 19, 2014
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
“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.” John 15:1-3
Notice that God prunes BOTH the branches that do and do not bear fruit. God will prune us even if we are believing, fruit-producing Christians by giving us periods of hardships, perhaps even chaos, so that we can be even MORE effective, fruitful. This gives us HOPE when we are being pruned.
God’s part in our fruitfulness:
The Father is the gardener, the vinedresser, and the pruner. Of course, He also protects and provides for us.
Thoughts about Pruning:
1. Pruning is painful, to various degrees.
Pruning involves cutting into something. God sometimes removes both the good and bad in our lives to make us more fruitful. He can remove such things as: relationships, jobs, possessions, even our illusions of control. One of the least painful ways of pruning is reading His Word and being convicted of difficult issues in our lives.
2. Pruning is beneficial.
Pruning actually increases our fruit. It channels our energy to fruit bearing. Pruning is good for the fruit and also for us, producing JOY. Often, those who are pruned the most experience the most joy. Not only does pruning produce more fruit, but it also CHANGES US: e.g., when we explore the depth of our sin, we also see the depth of God’s grace.
3. Pruning is only for a season.
We are cleaned (pruned) to continue living a Godly life when the season (beginning, middle, and end) is done. Do we know what unique fruit have been produced in our lives by pruning so that we can live them out?