Monday, February 19, 2018

Pruning to Grow - John 15

There are hundreds of DIY projects on Pinterest, YouTube and numerous other places on the internet.

Have you ever done a DIY project that looked nothing like what you wanted?

I remember once I cut my bangs and they were cut on an angle so I had to have my part on the side. I think that might have been the last time I cut my own hair. That was a failed DIY project.

The vinedresser is not a DIY project. We are in the hands of a profession. He knows vines, he knows what branches to take away, he knows what to do to the branches all with the goal that they will bear more fruit.

Last month we began in John 15 and just got as far as the first five words.

Jesus says, "my Father is the vinedresser." John 15:1 (ESV) I love the choice of this word, vinedresser.  It has a depth of understanding of vines. It is more than just a hobby.

What does the vinedresser do? He takes away the branches that do not bear fruit. Those branches are drawing nutrients away from the branches that are bearing fruit.

"every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2 (ESV) Pruning is done to encourage growth and more fruit.

As I picture this, I see a loving Father looking carefully at the branches, analysing the branches, and then trimming away the dead bits, the parts that are draining the nutrients. I see love and gentleness displayed all the with the goal that we the branches will bear more fruit. That is God with us, gentle and loving. The purpose of the pruning is that we will bear more fruit.

This year as we go through A Fruitful Year, John 15 is a foundational passage. This passage sets the understanding of how we bear more fruit. It is through abiding, staying with the vine, and pruning.

What are some of the things that God is pruning out of your life? As I have been writing and working on A Fruitful Year, I have looked at my own heart. This month the focus has been love. I have looked at my own heart and seen selfishness, wrong motives, and a few other things. Those are the things that need to be pruned so I can bear more fruit.

So as you look in your own heart, what do you see that needs to be pruned?


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