I’ve been pruning hickory trees in our yard–cutting and cleansing for better growth and health. It reminded me of the uncomfortable and sometimes painful pruning we go through during sanctification.
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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
God prunes us, to weed out ungodliness, refine us and shape us. We, like fruit trees, need pruning for the best exposure to sunlight (Sonlight) and to produce high quality fruit.
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. (1 Pet 5:10)
Did you know there is a direct relationship between the amount of pruning to the fruitfulness of the tree?
God cuts off the sinful deadwood in our lives to make us healthier. It is not always pleasant, but essential for spiritual growth. After pruning we are stronger, wiser, and more equipped to handle the cares of life. Don’t be concerned about your cut off branches; you will burst forth with new shoots that will grow to bear the weight of the new fruit (Job 14:7-9).
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.” Heb 12:11
Jesus never said it would be easy to follow him. On the contrary, he was constantly telling his followers how hard it would be. Without Him, we can do nothing. We are cut from our life source. The branch will wither. But if we remain in Him steadfast through prayer, Bible study, and worship, we will bear fruit. Don’t be weary–we are promised to reap a harvest if we remain in Him!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Ga 6:9).
Teach Your Children
Try this object lesson with your children. Bring a branch in from a tree in your yard and place it on your table when you read John 15: 1-6, Luke 6:44, James 1:2-4; 5:7 and Hebrews 12:7-11. As the branch dies ask your children “Where is the fruit from this tree? Why isn’t it producing?”