King David writes that God’s Word is sweeter than honey. When we avail ourselves of it daily, we become healthy and well-nourished. Let’s do it!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Pruning apple trees (and other fruit-bearers) is over for the season, just in time for their buds and blossoms to appear. Orchard owners know the value of pruning their trees. Yet cutting the branches seems counter-productive. After all, cutting of any kind results in pain.
Jesus speaks of Himself as the true vine who prunes us followers so we can bear abundant fruit for His kingdom. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) His method of pruning includes cleaning us from sin, just as lifting a tree’s branches from the ground rids them of bugs and disease. God’s Word is His cleansing agent which needs to be used every day as surely as we wash our faces daily.
How do we abide in Christ? We must attach ourselves to Him so we can flourish just as a branch grows out from a vine. Through Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with other believers, we grow like a branch and flower and bear fruit for God.
When we choose to abide in Christ, we give Him the opportunity to prune us so we can be fruitful. God uses His Word as His pruning shears to cast off sin from our lives. That’s why we need to study it every day. As we grow in our knowledge of God, we begin to develop the fruit of God’s Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control).
Living a fruitful life for God isn’t always pleasant. It means we may have to face situations that make us uncomfortable for His sake. It may mean losing someone’s friendship or a job. It may mean loss of popularity and perhaps ridicule for the sake of our faith. For many Christians throughout the world, it may mean loss of family relationships and even loss of life.
The disciples of Jesus didn’t fully understand His teaching about being pruned until after His death and resurrection. When the Holy Spirit filled them with power, they began to produce fruit for His kingdom. They never looked back. In fact, each was martyred for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.
Lord, thank You for pruning us of the sins that prevent us from showing Your love and salvation. Through Your Holy Spirit, cause us to be fruitful for Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.