Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
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.
(John 15:1-2 (NIV))
Think about this passage. There are two things that caught my attention. Both of which, we, as the Body of Christ, must recognize.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit
If you have fruit bearing trees, and an old limb just does not produce fruit, what do you do with it?
Think about that in relation to your life and your faith. Are you bearing fruit? I know that this makes me take a good, hard look at my life and how I appear to God. Am I that old limb that is in need of removing? Am I simply there without any benefit to those who look to me for how I can bring Jesus into their lives?
I pray that I bear fruit!
The second point directly relates to our ability to bear fruit.
while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
Every single one of us has things in our lives that detract from our ability to bear fruit. Just as a healthy tree may develop some problems and have to be trimmed back, our problems may also have to be trimmed back. Once we accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we will not be perfect. Once we start to bear fruit, we will still have problems that must be corrected so that our fruit will multiply. The Body of Christ must be willing to accept this pruning for it is a much needed step in the maturation of our faith.
Think about these two very distinct aspects of how a gardener cares for the vine. One is a total removal because it does not bring life. The other is a loving correction so that our lives and our fruit may be more abundant.
I know that correction can be painful and unpleasant, but given the two options, it is obvious that it is better to undergo the correction than to undergo the removal. Would you want to be cast away from Jesus? Would you be willing to allow for the removal of unfruitful elements from you life?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV))
Would you be willing to allow God to prune away areas of your life so that your fruit may blossom and grow?