GOD WANTS TO PRUNE US FOR MORE FRUIT-BEARING
The thought of being cut back like a tree makes me cringe. But it will result in the freedom of carrying less and useless weight when we allow God to prune us. Submitting to His loving care will always help us bear more fruit for His kingdom.
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
I enjoy autumn when apples turn red, crispy, sweet and nutritious. However, not all apples are good. In fact, apple trees must be pruned regularly in order to produce the healthiest, most abundant fruit. Once orchard owners finish harvesting their apples, they’re faced with the tedious task of pruning the trees. Such cutting of dead or overgrown branches is necessary to assure a fruitful crop next year. A diseased branch will harm the tree. And branches that have grown too large can block sunlight from the more fruitful ones. Others grow so close to the ground that their apples rot.
Those of us who believe in Christ as Lord and Savior can be compared to apple trees. Our words and actions show what kind of fruit we produce, such as kindness and patience. In order to become the “sweetest,” most inwardly attractive and most effective in our faith actions, we too need pruning.
Perhaps our branches have been diseased by a bad habit, or by negative emotions that cause others to avoid us—like a bad apple. Or we may have turned away from God’s presence by allowing the world’s influences to cause poor spiritual health. Spiritual sickness can come quickly when we neglect God’s Word. Or perhaps our branches hang too low, causing us to use our energy in harmful or useless pursuits. Such can affect not only ourselves but those around us.
Anything that keeps us from embracing and trusting God and His Word is like a branch that hinders us from spiritual health and growth. Surely we don’t want to become like the lifeless, wasteful, and hindering branches of an apple tree. To avoid such waste and weakness, we should vow to submit to God’s constant pruning and the diligent assessment of our spiritual health. In so doing, we will dwell in His presence.
“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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit … I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered…” (John 15:1-5)
Lord, thank You for reminding us daily to be aware of what needs pruning in our lives so we can become more fruitful as Your servant and more joyful and satisfied in the process. In Jesus’ name, amen.