Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more." John 15:1-2
When I read this scripture it reminded me of the book I had read, "The Secret of the Vine" by Wilkinson. He took this same verse and explained how we are the vine and God is the gardener. God needs to prune us sometimes and it is not out of punishment, but we get pruned because He wants us to produce more. Look at the picture carefully, and see that the saw is sharp and the process can be painful. Pruning in a person's life can be difficult but it is important to focus on the end result, more fruit for the Lord.
This is so true in my life, the times when I was overwhelmed with business and too many things on my plate. I was tired and had overcommitted to too many activities. I remember sitting on my lanai and I saw my vine that was in a nearby pot. There it stood, it was long and leggy and the leaves were sickly looking. I heard so clearly on that day, "You are like that vine, in order for optimum health there needs to be cutting back (pruning)". I got up and started pruning back to where there were only a few of the primary stalks left. It was quite pitiful but I knew it needed to be done. Then it was so very clear to me, I needed to prune in my own life, to cut away all those activities that were not a priority. It was the beginning of saying "No" to people and to start realizing that I needed to focus on those things that were important in my life. What happened to the vine? A few months later, I got the most beautiful green and healthy leaves. It was magnificent. This was one of those lessons that God needed to take me through. Pruning is not easy and at times it can be painful. Keep focused because God is taking you to where you need to be - producing more fruit for the Kingdom.
Question: Is God taking you through a pruning process in your life right now? What do you think is the end result?
Think of a time when you needed pruning and God did it for you?

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