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. 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 15:1-4 (NLT)
Ouch what? Ouch, as in that doesn’t feel so good. Ouch, as in that is not a pain free experience. Ouch, as in I would rather not go through that again. What are you talking about? I am talking about being pruned. I am talking about you removing things from my life that hinder my ability to bear fruit for you. I am talking about you cutting away dead or less than vibrant stuff, so that I can bear even more fruit for you. None of this work of yours comes without some pain. It isn’t always pleasant. And that, I think, is a dramatic understatement on my part. You are not incorrect. My pruning will never be a pain free experience. Please don’t ever say it will involve some mild discomfort. I have had enough negative experiences with mild discomfort. That’s funny. You have kept your sense of humor, that’s good. Well, I do know that there is nothing mild about mild discomfort. The truth is that pruning may sometimes hurt more than mild discomfort. Sometimes pruning seem like major surgery. That comes as no surprise to me. I would guess not. But let me ask you some questions. I’m listening. Would you prefer to remain as you are, where you are? Would you rather not move forward with me? Would it be your desire to level off, and plateau, or even regress? Do you want me to use you in even greater ways? Would you like to bear even more fruit for my kingdom? Would you like to bring even more glory to my name? Those are some tough questions with huge implications. That’s correct. Since you put the choice before me in these terms I have only one answer for you. What’s is your answer? Prune away. Remove anything and everything from my life that will hinder my ability to bear fruit for you. I don’t want anything to get in the way of my bearing fruit for your kingdom and bringing glory to your name. That is my answer. That is my hope. That is my prayer. Good answer. You can be sure that I will prune your life. I will fulfill your hope and answer your pray. I will use you to bear an abundance of fruit for my kingdom. You will bring glory to my name. Thank you, Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, I know I have not been a fan of pruning. Being pruned has not been without some pain. Yet, I welcome your pruning in my life. Draw me close. Help me to remain in you. Make me able to bear an abundance of fruit for your kingdom and glory. Amen
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