Pruning

 

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away,
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:1-2

 
There is something incredibly comforting in the fact that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus is the constant rock in a chaotic world whose justice, mercy and grace is immovable.

God doesn’t change but I do. I’m inconsistent, sometimes my faith journey becomes stagnant, or I grow complacent with God, life, and my comfort. Usually the change in me is barely perceptible, until God purposefully brandishes his blade in order to produce new growth.

Just like a vinedresser, God cuts away areas of my life in order to bring new life. His pruning can be obstacles that are physical, financial, or emotional. Pruning can take the form of frustration, adversity, loss, or stinging rebuke. Pruning is uncomfortable in whatever shape it takes, and at times is unbelievably painful. But God does it anyway.

God prunes people, churches, and ministries in order to make them fruitful. We can fight the pruning, try to ignore it, evade it, or even try to pray it away. But it won’t go away, because the vinedresser has our good and his glory in mind. His blade is relentless and cannot be stopped.

But I can also choose to embrace the process, to submit to the blade and watch the miracle of new life taking shape in me again. This is part of what abiding in Christ, which was Jesus’ command to his disciples, looks like. If we stay connected to Jesus and dependent on him, when the cutting is done… a harvest will follow.

 

Challenge:

What are the uncomfortable, even painful, places in your life?

Talk to Jesus about how these challenges, wrestlings, losses, etc. can be viewed as ways to lean in, grow, and flourish with Him.

 

John Vermilya

When it’s tempting to sit as a spectator in the stands, John Vermilya challenges audiences to resist spiritual apathy, stagnancy, and religiosity—and instead, to get in the game by following Jesus Christ with full abandon. John approaches his role as a…

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