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Pruning Apr 28 2008


"...every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit." - John 15:2

Are you a gardener? Do you enjoy seeing things grow? If so, you understand the principle that a plant must be pruned in order to produce at its peak. Dead wood and unhealthy parts must be cut away.

Pruning is a reality in the garden, but it's also a very real part of human life. Because God loves us, sometimes He chooses to prune our lives. This may come through the loss of a job or a loved one, or a move away from something that's comfortable for us. It may happen in many ways when we face adversity.

What is accomplished by pruning? For the plant, it's a healthier and more vigorous growth with more fruit. For us, it's the ability to rely more completely on God, our source of life, and the ability to live a more spiritually secure and disciplined life.

Pruning is painful; but it allows us to live a more fruitful life. With God, pruning always gives us hope.

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I think that I have had a great deal of pruning. This is difficult.

 
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Frits, I am like you, there has been many instances in my life where God has done a great deal of pruning to get me back in shape to serve him but being the human that I am I began to grow wild again and here comes the shears once again. Why won't I ever learn? I have also seen where God sometimes has to prune away at the local Church also. When there is some who hinders or prevents the growth of the church or the spritual moving of the church God will sometimes move people out of the church. In churches where families have the deciding rule of a church I have seen members leave and people will get upset because their power hold has been broken. God never entended for people to hold others imprisoned in a place of worship just to satisfy anothers desire to have power but this happens. I have even seen instances where death has come because of the hindering of the will of God. I believe if people will seek Gods will and purpose then problems like these will not be in existance, but then again we know humans will seek to have their will because Satan pushes this desire. I feel these are some cases where God has to do a little pruning to keep his garden the way he wants it. God hep me to do you will, not mine. God Bless you all and have a good day.

 
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Jerry,you always have a way of lifting me up. Thank the Lord for using you that way.i guess this is kinda for you,or anyone who has advice, I know my problem is , deep in my heart, not giving God complete control of my life. Not trusting Him enough, not wanting to give in to my "Self". You know how we dont want people telling us what to do? That is what I mean. I feel God working on me but, I still don't want Him to tell me what to do. I know this sounds really harsh, but this is maybe why things aren't changing in my life.I love the Lord, I love my Heavenly Father, i want to do what He wants me to. I have told GOd this in my prayers. How can he prune me if i can't submit to these feelings? How do I do it? I want the joy in my life that I see other people have, just filled with the Lord.I so desire that. ANy advice?????

 
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Julie, Earlier I was doing my devotional journal, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. The devotion for today was about being fully abandoned to God. He makes the point at the end of the devotion that people are not fully abandoned "either because of disobedience or a refusal to be simple enough." I prayed to God for myself that I would be simple enough because sometimes there are so many distractions and some are just unnecessary and I need to weed them out. I thought this could possibly apply to you also so I wanted to share it. I posted another comment for you on yesterday's comment section.

 
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Julie - Are you in a Bible study?
It's such a great way to learn about God's love and learning to trust what He wants for us. I have been praying and opening up my heart in the last few years to giving my life fully to Christ. It feels so good to let go and let Him take over more and more. Bible study and worship really keep my battery charged. You can also develop Christian friendships that will help to sustain you in your journey. Soon others will want the joy they see in you!
God Bless, Melanie

 
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Bruce Wilkinson's "Secrets of the Vine" is a great book about John 15, and how and why God prunes us. One concept I remember is about the first part of verse 2, where a lot of translations say "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." That first part is a concern for many, since we have a hope that if we are in Christ, our salvation is secure, and God will be faithful to complete that work. Once saved, can we really be "cut off" and lose our salvation?

Bruce tells about speaking with a vine grower once, and he found out that new vine branches left on their own tend to grow toward the ground where they get dirty and don't bear much if any fruit. The grower does not cut off those branches, though. They are too valuable. He seeks them out, lifts them up and ties them, where they can then bear fruit. The Greek word in verse 2 sometimes translated cut off is "airo", but the best definition of that is "to raise upwards, elevate, lift up". We are first lifted up, out of our sins (dirt), so we can bear fruit. We are then pruned so we can bear it more abundantly.

 
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Thanks, Rick Y, for sharing about the book, Secrets of the Vine. I have a question. I know God does the lifting but is there any particular means through which He works to lift more often than other ways? I know He can do anything He wants to but does He usually work through other believers or just an internal work within the Christian by themselves? Or is there some other method? I suppose this is not only referring to the initial acceptance of Christ as Savior but it can also be, if necessary, even a daily lifting or is it once lifted for all time and then only pruned as needed? I don't mean to get tangled up here but I just want deeper understanding. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

 
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Janice: In the book he talks about God lifting us at times other than when we are initially saved, such as lifting us away from our own sinful pursuits. He equates that to discipline, but out of love. God "takes necessary measures to correct us the way a vinedresser takes necessary measures to correct a wayward branch." That to me would seem to be by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, as well as by, as you say, others in the body that God might use. I would think also by the consequences from sin.

 
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Thanks for the advice Christian friends. I am in a Bible study right now, a Max Lucado study book called "It's not about Me". It is about giving all the glory to God. I am doing it with a good friend of mine, a church lady. I love the Lord with all my heart, i just want the joy that other people have. I see a friend at church so into the Lord that when he is singing he can hardly sit still, his hands are tapping or his foot is. This is the joy I want. I attend church , my children go to the CHristian Day school there and all our good friends are Christians so we have a good support group. I just wanted to share a little about my life to those who responded. Thanks all and GOd bless.

 
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Julie, We all have problems surrendering everything about us to God. It is like we have a secret place where we do not allow anyone to go, but the truth is God is already there and he knows everything there is to know about us. He created us yet it is still a hard thing to do even though we understand that. This might be a strange way to explain to you how I feel about your situation but here we go. I used to frame houses for a living,I was nineteen years old and when I first started this job I would stand and watch the other men walking on top of the three and a half inch walls. I thought this was the neatest thing I had ever seen (remember I was only 19), I knew that they made more money than I did so I wanted to learn how to do this. When they finally let me try, it was the hardest thing I had ever done, I even fell several times trying to learn. I didn't know how to balance myself untill one of the men showed how to trust the natural balance of the body, it was still hard at first but as I began to trust what God had placed inside of me it started to come easier each time. Before long I was walking the walls three and four stories in the air forwards and backwards. It all started with the first step forward. Your spiritual walk can only start when you take that first step forward towards God. The easy part about your situation is he want you to suceed so as long as you strive for that walk with him you will suceed. Remember Christ said "I will never leave you". You can achieve a closer walk with God by praying and asking him to be with you and by reading and studying his word. You also need to put what you learn into action, this may sound hard but once you take that first step it will get easier and you will get closer to him. As long as you strive to stay in his will you continue to be close to him and you will also began to help others to get that same closeness. As for me walking walls well my enjoyment for food has retired me from that job, it would take a steel reinforced wall to hold me up now haha. Hey people God is still on the throne and PRAISE HIS NAME. God Bless you all.

 
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Neat story Jerry. My husband is a carpenter, but I don't think he would venture to where you were, heights are a problem for him and he is already a bigger man to start. Thanks for your comment. The thing is , I know all that stuff, I just know that i have to put it into action. Sometimes I just get tired of thinking and trying to do everything. The Christian walk isn't easy and Iknow that you know that. Thanks again.

 

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