“. . . every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
No one likes to be cut back or reduced.
I know I certainly don’t, but it’s an elementary principle of the Christian life that pruning is vital to growing in Christ and bearing fruit for His kingdom. And it’s a painful process that we’ll experience many times.
There’s just no way around it.
But recently I came upon another shade of the meaning of the word, “prune,” that has provided me with a fresh view: The Greek word used in this passage also means “cleans.”
“. . . every branch that does bear fruit he [cleans] so that it will be even more fruitful.”
God doesn’t just cut away dead wood and nip wild shoots and suckers off our “branch,” He “cleans” it.
And He possesses an arsenal of customized cleaners, formulated for the needs of each branch. Some of His cleaning agents bear the label: “Illness” and “Inactivity.” Others, “Sorrow” and “Struggle.” But every type of cleanser God applies works to break down ambition, to wipe away pride and self confidence, to scrub our hearts clean from disease harboring spores, and to seal it against future infection.
For God is as thorough in the cleaning process as He is precise in the pruning cut.
And God prunes each branch specifically to keep it growing close to the life-giving Vine. As a result, the bud borne in the hallow of the Vine speaks promise into our heart of a harvest to come:
Oh, how this passage speaks, and speaks, and speaks to me!
And it resonates with me today, as God . . .
. . . prunes the fruitful branch that was
. . . cleans the feeble branch that is
. . . and prepares the branch that will be . . .
. . . that we may rejoice in the hope of a future harvest of fruit for His kingdom!
What about you? What “cleansing” process has God used to make you more fruitful?
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