written in August 2004 by Hubby

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me tht bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he [cleans]* so it will be even more fruitful.”  John 15:1-2

Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods.  When I planted tomato seeds in March, very few germinated (came out of the ground).  Then in April I planted seeds in a heated greenhouse at Rutgers.  All of them germinated so I transplanted them outside on the farm in May.  In June I watered and fertilized.  Then in July they had an explosion of growth.

All this new growth caused the plants to topple over.  Leaves and branches lay on the ground getting dirty, wet, and moldy. Little green tomatoes started to form beneath the thick vegetation.  It was time for me to get out the pruning blade.

First, I secured the plants upright by tying them to strong wooden stakes.  Then I pruned all the fruitless branches from the ground up to a foot high (the plants came up to my chest).  I also pruned branches that were dirty or moldy.  As a result, the fruits in the middle of the plant now had exposure to air and sunlight, enabling them to develop properly.

God does the same thing with us.  He cuts off all those parts of our lives filled with spiritual dirt and disease.  He also casts away the things in our lives that are green and leafy, but are producing no fruit of good works.  When God prune sus, the first thing we feel is pain of losing a part of us.  What part of your life hurts the most right now?  That is may be where God is pruning you.

Meanwhile, God the Gardener is uprighting you, lifting up off the ground those branches that are fruitful, in order that they may produce more fruit.  He cleans you with his word (see verse 3).  He creates space for those fruitful branches and ripens them with the sunlight of the Holy Spirit.  Remain in Jesus and he will remain in you.

 

*the Greek word for prunes also means cleans

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