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Fruitful Branches Get Pruned

by Nancy Harry

Signs and Wonders“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.” (John 15:1-2 NIV) 

“Within the last several years we have endured many such prunings,” he wrote. His wife and his son had been through many serious health issues including numerous surgeries and life-changing diseases. “I become weary from the snips of the pruning shears in my life,” he added.

This writer thought their bouts of sickness were caused by God to “prune” them. He thought since God is all-knowing, then He knew what was good for them – a referral to bringing pain and sickness into their life, assuming it was for their good. I would beg to differ with this perception.

If you are a Christian Believer then you are a child of covenant, blessing and promise.

God said:

Every good and perfect gift is from above.
When we get into trouble He’ll come to our rescue.
If we are down He is the lifter of our head.
If we are sick He wants to see us healed.
He gives good gifts to those who ask Him.
He loves us.
He calls Himself our Father.
He calls us His children.
When we seek Him; He’ll provide all our needs.

He sent the Holy Spirit to convict our hearts as to what is right and wrong: to teach and guide us; to be our counselor.

It’s true that God corrects His children as any loving parent would, see Ephesians 6:4. But the Bible also warns parents not to exasperate or provoke their children. Colossians 3:21 says not to embitter your children or they will become discouraged. Our heavenly Father wouldn’t do this either.

We are encouraged to bring children up in the training and instruction of the Lord. How did Jesus train and instruct His disciples? He taught by example. He was the epitome of love for God and for others. But how does He correct us? Jesus corrected the disciples by example. He was correcting them when He’d say - here do it this way. I’ll show you how.

He showed them how:

to love one another.
to heal people.
to deliver people from evil spirits.
to be aware of people’s physical needs - feeding the multitudes and making them well.
to have faith and trust in God.
to pray and get answers.

As I am writing, I hear the Lord saying to His people, “How long must I put up with your foolish notions? When will you see me for who I am? When will you know me as the Great I Am, as the One who loves you?”

When we love someone, we don’t want to see them hurt and suffering and neither does God.

I looked the word “prune” up in the dictionary. It says to remove unnecessary parts, to remove anything considered superfluous or undesirable. Superfluous means excessive, unnecessary or needless. There isn’t anything in these descriptions that imply the causing of tragedy.

The word for prune in the original Greek text meant to: prune, clear unproductive wood, or cleanse. We are cleansed from sin and shame by Jesus’ own blood, which He willingly sacrificed for us. If we continue to have sin or feelings of shame and guilt in our lives, then this is what God is pruning off. Sin and shame are the unnecessary, unproductive areas of our lives.

In this analogy the branches that don’t bear fruit are cut off – these branches represent the ones who don’t accept Christ and follow His way of love towards God and towards others. Jesus gives life. In the same way a branch dies when it’s cut off from its life source, those who aren’t connected to Him - the vine - eventually die.

A branch that bears fruit is connected to the vine – the fruitful branch represents the one who accepts Jesus as his Savior. As a result he will bear the same fruit as Jesus. In the same way a branch connected to a pear tree will bear pears or an apple tree produces apples.

What is Christ’s fruit; love for God the Father and love for others, along with compassion, healing, teaching, giving, encouraging, sacrificing, plus all the fruits of the Holy Spirit found in Galatians 5:22. This is the fruit we are to bear, too.

Having accepted Christ as your Savior, you receive not only His nature, but also the Holy Spirit. As you begin to let Him lead you and respond to the teaching of God’s Word, you begin to bear fruit. The desire to do good and love as Jesus loved, begins to grow in your heart. As sinful ways and your own way of doing things are replaced with Jesus’ righteousness and His way of doing things -- the more fruit you will bear.

Every branch that does bear fruit he (the gardener – the Father) prunes so it will bear more fruit. Why are branches pruned? -- To cultivate them, to help them produce even more and better fruit. Branches aren’t pruned to hurt or punish the plant. Anything that isn’t motivated by love is going to be pruned or cleansed from your life?

To bear fruit a branch has to remain healthy by staying connected to the vine. Otherwise it won’t be able to bear fruit. It would just die and wither up. Pruning produces righteousness and peace so we can share in His holiness. We learn to turn away from sin and react God’s way, building godly character that is wholesome and beneficial.

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:8-17 NIV)


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