[Jesus said] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . 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.”
Some people have a “green thumb.” I do not. My wife once gave me some cacti from Arizona. They could survive in the desert’s arid atmosphere but not under my artless attention.
That’s why I’m amazed by anyone who can not only keep plants alive but make them bigger or more beautiful. Have you ever seen those prize pumpkins at a county fair that weigh over 300 pounds? How do they do that? They direct all the nutrition to one or two blossoms rather than the whole plant.
God is such a skillful gardener. He wants us to produce the fruit of love in us. So, he connects us to Jesus, the true vine who gives us life. And he prunes away things that hurt our connection to Jesus, the vine.
The pruning process is often painful, but God isn’t punishing us. Jesus has already made you pure in the sight of God through faith in his holy, precious blood. Through his Word, the Bible, God is directing the flow of his grace so that the fruits of love we produce are more than mediocre—they are magnificent.
Heavenly Father, thank you for planting me in the vine by your gospel of grace. Help me accept whatever pruning I need so that my life better displays your splendor. Amen.
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