Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

The role of trees in the Bible – Day 17

The vine — pruned by the Word of God

Bible text(s)

Jesus the Real Vine

1“I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. 3You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. 4Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.

John 15:1-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

If you enjoy gardening, you’ll know about the importance of pruning. When it comes to grape vines, pruning is an absolute necessity. A viticulturist will tell you that only new growth on the vine will produce grapes; and that pruning is essential to production of high-quality grapes.

Just as the viticulturist must prune the vine, our heavenly Father must cleanse us so we will bear quality fruit. He finds a branch that is producing fruit and he begins to cut it back so it will bear more of the likeness of Christ. God cuts away the dead wood, the diseased and rotten portions of our lives.

The Word of God is the knife he uses to prune us. We read more about it in Hebrews 4:12: “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper, than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Pruning isn’t a once-off thing either — it’s ongoing, year after year.

Have you been going through the painful pruning process lately? He works at cutting out everything in our lives that is opposed to Christlikeness. With precision he cuts out the resentments, bitterness, anger, selfishness, self-centeredness and arrogance, leaving room for love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness and self-control to grow and flourish.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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