God’s Pruning is Difficult to Go Through but Profitable
Spring officially started yesterday! Woo hoo! It means warmer temperatures, beautiful flowers and new growth appearing on plants, shrubs and trees. It’s also the time for pruning many plants. Pruning is done to remove the parts of a plant that are no longer useful to improve a plant’s overall health. For fruit trees pruning is important to increase the quantity and improve the quality of the fruit.
In John 15:1-5 Jesus teaches that the Father prunes His children for the same reason as a gardener does fruit trees. To produce more fruit. It may be that you are in a pruning season of life. Let’s see what this is all about. First, Jesus says there are four types of fruit-producing Christians.
- Those who produce no fruit.
- Those who produce fruit.
- Those who produce more fruit.
- Those who produce much fruit.
The Father’s expectation is that all Christians produce fruit Ephesians 2:10. If you’re not producing fruit, something’s wrong. In John 15:2 Jesus says the Father “takes away” those who don’t produce fruit. Since Jesus says “every branch in me” He isn’t talking about a Christian losing his or her salvation. It’s likely that God’s discipline is in view here. Bottom line, you don’t want to be this kind of person.
Then Jesus addresses Christians who are producing fruit. They’re doing good things with eternal consequences for God. If you’re producing fruit, God wants you to produce more fruit. Makes sense. This is where pruning comes in.
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Pruning people is compared with pruning grape vines. There are parts of every vine that don’t produce fruit and take energy away from the fruit producing part of the vine. Some things we do produce fruit for God. There are also things we do that keep us busy but don’t contribute to our spiritual fruitfulness.
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When God prunes us, He takes things out of our lives to focus on fruit-producing tasks. This can be things like a job, where we live or even people in our lives. The reason God prunes us is to stimulate us to be more productive for Him. When this happens we’re free to focus on three things.
- Why God made us as He did. It helps us rediscover our passion.
- What our future potential is. We will develop fully as God intended us to do.
- What our legacy is. We have an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy of fruit for the Lord.
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Pruning only happens when you are producing fruit. If you are walking with God and going through a difficult time such as a loss of job, friends or some other loss, don’t take it as God’s discipline. Ask God to help you through and make you more fruitful. The goal of more fruit then much fruit is worth it!
In my next post I’m going to share a personal example of when I went through a time of pruning.
Have you experienced pruning from God? Please leave a comment or question.