More Fruit and Deeper Roots

Gwen SmithBeauty, Blog, Christian Living, Confession, God's Promises, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Prayer, Scripture, Trusting God, Worship 23 Comments

Fruit of the Spirit


Our room had a small balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. Early one lazy vacation morning, I grabbed my journal, Bible, and a fresh cup of coffee then headed to the balcony for some quiet time.

As I settled in, movement by the pool caught my eye. I watched as a maintenance man approached a palm tree and briskly pulled a brown, life-less branch from underneath the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch off, I hadn’t even noticed it was there.

After he pulled it off, however, the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant.


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)

Whom we spend time with really matters. (Ahem… Jesus!)

And what we say and do and how we say and do it also really matters.

Stay with me here!

Don’t let the familiarity of this Scripture fade the impact it has on you.

I understand to my core how horrible it feels when my walk and my talk do not line up.

Withered branches in my heart constantly need to pulled off and thrown away.

You too?

In order to experience the blessings and power of God’s Spirit in our lives we must root our faith deep in the soil of God’s Word and then allow His truth to produce fruits that are ripe with evidence of His love. These fruits are clearly seen (or not) at the intersection of our faith and our actions. I’ve found that when I have those I-just-want-to-scream-because-everyone-in-the-world-is-on-my-last-nerve days God meets me with His grace when I whisper His name.

God will deepen the roots and increase the fruits of your faith as you spend time talking to Him early in the morning over a hot mug of coffee. When you pray and worship on the way to work or on your powerwalk. When you feel a prick of conviction in your heart about that behavior – or about that response – that tone – that act of disobedience. When you call out to Him for patience and strength as your teenager slams his door in rebellion – or when your adult daughter “forgets the morals she was raised with” and moves in with her boyfriend – or when frustrations mount up at work.

Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self control.

Bouquet of plumeria flowers

If you want to live to bring glory to God the Father, as Jesus said (v8), then this fruit must be seen in your life.

Unfortunately, we have a keen ability to rationalize our less-than-fruitful behaviors.

But he… But she… But they… I just can’t…

Lucky for us, God doesn’t expect us to behave like this without Him. In fact, we simply can’t.Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Remember? (v5) But when we remain in Him – when we seek Him, obey Him, savor His presence, live for His glory, and prioritize Him above all else – we can and will make a big impact for God and experience the joy and peace we all long for.

John 155 Nothing

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.

Pause to ponder this question: Are there any dead branches hanging on the tree of you?

Dear Lord, thank You for Your perfect love that longs for me to be fruitful and beautiful in You. Please remove any lifeless 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.


FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE: 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.

QUESTION: What is one thing that you can do today to become more fruitful? Leave a comment by CLICKING HERE.

Thanks for doing life with me!


Are you ready to begin a new faith adventure? Get a copy of Trusting God, by Girlfriends in God co-founders: Sharon Jaynes, Gwen Smith, and Mary Southerland. This is the perfect book for individual study or for gathering a group of friends in what we call GiG Groups. With impactful devotions, study questions, journal pages, free on-line video intros, and an index of trust-building Scriptures…this book is a resource you’ll refer to time-and-time again.


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Comments 23

  1. I must deliberately learn to TRUST God to help because i have tried on my own severally and failed. I am enjoying your posts Gwen. God bless you!

  2. I ask God to prune me because I want to be all I can be for Him.I could show kindness to others by a smile or taking someone something to eat or just spending time with the lonely.There is so much that I can do for God,He has done all for me,Praise Him.God Bless you Gwen and many thanks for your posts.

  3. Thank you Gwen for your daily devotions. And I have dead branches that need to be pruned away the one of fear and the biggest of all is doubts. I want to follow Jesus with all my , mind , heart and soul. I need Jesus in my life and I want to follow Him everyday of my life. Thank you Gwen…

  4. I am not ashamed to have dead branches hanging from my tree of life. I must change my way of thinking and be patient in my present circumstance. I have become bitter, angry, uncontrolled mentally, distracted and so so much more. I LOVE HIM NEED HIM! Amen

  5. Thanks Gwen for highlighting the word so clearly. Recently I realized how selfish and bitter I am easily angry now with you pointed out the problem I realized I needed much pruning to let go of selfishness and pride that is holding me in bondage

  6. my dead branches recently: selfishness and envy. not proud of this at all. Thank you Gwen foor allowing God to speak to you and us through this devotional. I will care for a grieving friend and support/encourage the male relatives in my life

  7. I can choose to let go of fear of failure. His peace is available for each day. We don’t have to live without God’s strength, even if those around us are stressed, worried and hurried.

  8. I can love my neighbor as myself – that includes people that aren’t easy to love. I can purposely choose to love those around me as Christ commanded.

  9. From this day forward I will remain with the TRUE VINE; the ONE who will prune me into HIS OWN IMAGE and will follow HIS WAYS until HE takes me home with HIM

  10. It is so awesome to know God chose me. (John 15:16) That thought makes me more willing to allow Him to prune those areas in my life that are not nice.! Gwen, it was so nice to meet you in Ottawa. The whole weekend was such a blessing.

  11. I can be more patient and kind to others. I have trouble doing this when I get frustrated and take my frustration out on others. I seem to constantly pray for patience and the Lord gives it to. God is so patient with me.

  12. I seem to struggle with having many dead branches… stumbling knowing everything is in God’s control. Forgiveme Lord for doubting You. Thank you! Love this message.

  13. My biggest dead branch is definitely fear. Lord, please prune that branch and make me a bold woman who desires to follow you above all else!

  14. Thank you for how you explained it today! I keep asking myself why it’s so hard sometimes, but I CAN’T do anything in my own strength but GOD will give me the strength to be the person HE wants me to be! Thanks again for your devotional this morning!! : )

  15. Hey Gwen-
    It is pouring rain in Nashville this morning-yet your devotional wiped all the clouds away. Thanks for bringing sunshine this morning.
    Pruning has to be one of the best things our Savior can do for us! When I was little, my Mom would try and comb my very curly hair, with its knots and tangles. She would always say ” this is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you”. I wonder if that is how God feels when he comes towards us with the pruning shears.
    Loved the devotion today. Thank you for your honesty!

  16. I have a dead branch hanging over me and it is satan! When I want to do new things like join a bible study he makes me real nervous and I want to cancel! BUT I am not going to let him today! In Jesus Name AMEN!

    1. I know how hard that is! I have a lot of dead branches that need pruned! I will pray for you and you pray for me! Thank you!

  17. The dead branch that needs to be pruned is “control”. I am not the Holy Spirit in the lives of others…. but I try to be. Praying for that Agape love of Christ to grow in place of the control branch.

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