On a family visit to the beach, our room had a balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. I sat on the balcony one morning and watched as a maintenance man for the resort approached a palm tree and pulled a brown, life-less branch from under the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch, I hadn’t even noticed it was there. After he pulled it, however, I noticed that the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant. Healthy. The pruning made such a difference!
Jesus spoke to His disciples and said, “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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:1-8, NIV
The maintenance man at the resort didn’t pull the branch off to hurt the palm tree. He pruned it to increase its beauty, health and vibrancy. God does the same for us. He prunes His children to increase our beauty, health and vibrancy for our good and for His glory – to make us more useful to Him and more fruitful.
Are there any dead branches hanging on the tree of you?
How fruitful is your life?
Read John 15:1-17 and spend some time reflecting on God’s plan for you to become more fruitful.
It seems kind of weird that we should want to go through the pain of pruning, doesn’t it? It reminds me a bit of the old workout saying, “No pain, no gain.” When you allow the Lord to expose dead branches in your life and to strip them away, a simple, radiant beauty remains. You become a more vibrant reflection of Him and become better equipped to bear fruit. Trust Him, friend…no matter what or whom He may call you to give up.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect love that longs for me to be fruitful and beautiful in You. Please remove any life-less branches in my life. As the psalmist prayed: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24, NIV). In Jesus Name, amen.
RESPONSE TIME: did this devotion speak to you? What lessons are you learning? I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below and let’s take the conversation deeper.
Thanks for doing life with me!