Pruning

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

March 13, 2024

sharethis-inline-share-buttons
Pruning

Read

John 15:1-5 “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, as I also 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 you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Think

I have a confession to make – I’m a procrastinator. I’ve always had a knack for putting things off, even going so far as to procrastinate while I’m already procrastinating. It’s not out of spite or laziness, mind you. I’ve just never quite found the motivation to start anything early. But here’s the kicker: Jesus throws a wrench in my procrastination game. You see, following him means immediate obedience, not the kind of “I’ll get to it when I feel like it” obedience I’m used to. And let’s face it, obedience to God isn’t optional.

As we grow in our understanding of God’s greatness, our response to his commands should become more immediate. Obedience should become second nature to us over time, like an involuntary reflex. It’s not just something we do; it’s who we are.

Now, I used to think that obeying Jesus was all about checking off a to-do list of do’s and don’ts. But Jesus himself said that obedience flows naturally from our love for him. In John 14:15, he puts it plainly: “If you love me, you will obey me.” But here’s the thing – as hard as we try, we can’t muster up obedience on our own. But Jesus does it for us. When we stay close to him, we bear fruit – just like a branch attached to a vine receives nourishment and produces fruit. Obedience, then, becomes the supernatural evidence of abiding in Jesus. It’s the good deeds and true successes that show we belong to him.

And guess what? God helps us abide in him by showing us his love through discipline. In John 15:1, Jesus calls his Father “the gardener,” and let me tell you, a good gardener knows how to make things grow. Sometimes that means removing rocks and pulling weeds, but it also means pruning – cutting away the dead stuff so we can be even more fruitful.

I remember watching my grandmother “destroy” her rose bushes when I was a teenager. I thought she was killing them, but she assured me she was pruning them. And sure enough, come springtime, those bushes were bursting with beautiful roses.

We’re a lot like those rose bushes. We might squirm and yell when God wants to cut away something we hold dear, but pruning is just one of the ways the Holy Spirit works in our lives. Ultimately, God’s goal is for us to be even more fruitful – and sometimes that means letting go of the things we thought we needed the most.

Apply

Reflect on areas in your life where obedience to God’s commands may be lacking. Consider partnering with a trusted friend or mentor who can hold you accountable in your journey toward immediate obedience.

Pray

Lord, forgive me for the times I have procrastinated in my obedience to your commands. Help me to surrender my tendencies to delay and hesitate, and instead instill within me a spirit of immediate obedience. I surrender my plans, desires, and struggles to you, trusting that your ways are higher and your purposes are perfect. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Share this post

sharethis-inline-share-buttons