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Pruning Time

Daily Reading: John 15

Scripture Focus: Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15.2)

Devotional Thought: I've got a couple 5 year old apple trees that are 8-10 feet tall. Since I didn't get one apple last year, does that mean I should cut all the branches back to the trunk? Probably not, but I know I need to prune them in order to get some fruit this year. I've never had much luck with the fruit trees I've planted. I have learned something recently - it's time to prune the trees - now.

Jesus wants us to produce fruit, too: fruit of the Spirit, of righteousness, of soul-harvest. But, if we have too much growth, growth in the wrong direction, or diseased growth, we will struggle to produce any of these types of fruit. How do we prune our lives to produce more fruit?

Pruning follows the 3-D's:

  • Prune the dead branches. Is there an area of your life that is controlled by sinful thoughts, desires, or attitudes? Sin brings death. Prune away anything that is sinful in your life. As the Bible says, we are to "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely" (Hebrews 12.1).

  • Prune the diseased branches. Disease spreads and leads to death. There may be some branches of our lives that are not yet 'dead' but they are certainly diseased. Spiritual diseases are things such as slacking in our church attendance, in prayer, and in Bible reading. It is allowing things to creep in between us and Jesus.

  • Prune the damaged branches. Untended damage leads to decay and death as well. Have you been hurt? Have you hurt a sister or brother in the church? Those damaged relationships should be reconciled, pruning away hard feelings and unforgiveness.

Get your pruning shears out. It's time to prune - now.

Prayer: Lord, I know you want me to produce fruit. I also know that a healthy tree will produce fruit. So, help me to recognize those areas in my life that are in need of pruning and to be brave enough to do it! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 16 Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. 18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will remain forever; 19 they are not put to shame in evil times; in the days of famine they have abundance. 20 But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish--like smoke they vanish away. 21 The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives; 22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land, but those cursed by him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; 24 though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand. (Psalms 37:16-24)

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