With the arrival of Spring, many of my neighbors are doing yard work. Some are mowing the grass, trimming small bushes, and planting flowers. Others are doing more extensive work by pruning trees and cutting away the dead branches. Dead tree limbs are discarded on the curbs all along the neighborhood. The dead branches reminded me of this scripture:
“I am the true grapevine, and my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.” John 15:1-2 (NLT)
To prune something is a verb meaning it requires action. It is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “Cut off dead or unwanted parts of a bush or tree; to cut out useless or unwanted parts.” Yet another definition of prune is to “cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth--prune the branches.”
Friend, we all have dead and unwanted places in our lives that require pruning. Take action by evaluating every area of your life and determine what the Word says in each area. Let’s go deeper in our relationship with God. Allow Him access to cut away envy, bitterness, anger, rage, pride, deceitfulness, rejection, negativity and all other useless areas. Doing so allows more fruitful growth in our lives. We can all use more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
“You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:3-4
A freshly pruned tree is not aesthetically pleasing. It takes time for it to regain its appeal. If not cut off, a dead tree limb can affect the overall health of the tree. So it is with our own lives. As God cuts back and prunes our wrong mindsets, unproductive relationships, and harmful habits, the process may not look or feel pretty to us. We may lose some branches to keep us spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy. In time, your branches will grow and produce fruit again. Remain in Him. He will remain in us. We cannot produce fruit apart from Him. Submit to the pruning.
Submitted to the Pruning,