"No problem," I assured her, as I visualized a splendid crop of big, pink roses blooming the next year. "I'll take care of it."
I did take care of it. I pruned the bush so it was much shorter than it had been and, lo and behold, the next year there were flowers on it--very small, unattractive, pale ones that didn't resemble our beautiful pink blooms at all.
As it turned out, I had pruned the rose bush below the spot where it was originally grafted into a wild rose root. All I had left was an unsightly wild rose plant and an unhappy wife.
This all goes to show that correctly pruning a vine, bush or tree requires some expertise which I apparently lacked.
God, however, is an expert in pruning--both physical and spiritual.
Jesus says in John 15:1-2 (ESV): "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit."
ReflectWhat are some of the fruits that God wants to see in your life? See the following Bible verses; jot down the fruit that is mentioned and answer the questions.
Consider the different spiritual fruits you listed in the "Reflect" section above. Do you see any areas where your life isn't producing those fruits? Can you identify specific twigs He needs to prune away?
Here is a helpful verse to commit to memory: "By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples" (John 15: 8, ESV).
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My comments: I can look back at my life and know the pruning occurred even before I became His by asking Him into me as my personal Savior. Before I knew the whole Gospel and understood what it meant. Yet those pruning were for bringing me to Him. Now they are to strengthen me in Him and burn away the dross and taint of the world from my soul.
John 15:4-6 (ESV) Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If any one does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
His pruning is for His glory yet for my good and so I can bear much fruit and the world will know I am His disciple.
Abba Father, Thank You so much that You pursued me and persisted until You had won me. Thank You for pruning me and refining me and bearing fruit through me. May all who read this commit themselves to You through Your Son Jesus Christ and come to know Your gentle love. As a plant of rare beauty is trained to show forth not only the beauty the grower can bring forth so you train us and prune us so we can produce the most fragrant of fruit and bring glory to You who trains and prunes us. We pray you take everything out of us that hinders us from becoming all You envision us to be. Only You could have seen the potential in our sinful selves and only You can prune away our corruption. We praise You Father for all You are doing in our lives and through us. We praise You for the fruit You have allowed to grow on our branches. We bask in the light of Your son and are refreshed by the waters that flow freely from Him and we thank You for planting us in the soil of Your Word and growing our roots deep within Your word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen