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Being Pruned

John 15:2, 4-5 (AMP) Every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

Jesus said He is the Vine and we are the branches. If we are the branches on the vine of Christ then we should be producing great fruit. In order to produce fruit we must remain in Him (stay faithful and true to His words) and as we do, we will be pruned. This process is not easy. Pruning means we have to shed our bad attitudes and pride. We have to get rid of the things that are weighing us down so we can come up higher in Him. The weight of bad relationships, poor time management and spending every evening watching movies is not something you can carry to the next level of your relationship with Christ. You will have to trade in Netflix marathons for some worship and prayer time.

Being pruned can be a painful process. There may be people you are close to that aren't really on the same page as you and they are toxic for your spiritual growth. If they aren't building you up, it's likely they are tearing you down. We need to be around other believers that will encourage us and lift us up and pray with us as we go through life's struggles. Letting go of these relationships can be very painful but God has a plan and a purpose through it all and the time away from them will help you focus on what's really important.

I used to have a beautiful pink rose bush outside of my first home and each spring as the roses would bloom, I couldn't wait to have enough ready to fill my vase centerpiece. Sometimes I would fill 3 vases for the house and they would be so vibrant and pretty. Then the actual rose bush became less vibrant and pretty. The branches were still there but I had to prune them so they would bear more fruit. I loved getting the clippers out and trimming the branches back and trying my best to keep the shape looking just right. I'm sure if those branches could talk, they would not be happy to see me coming with my clippers. They even had thorns on them in an attempt to steer me away. However, I was prepared with my garden gloves and took my time looking at each rose. I even had some that were dying so I have to cut them off in order for a new rose to bloom. The pain of pruning is only temporary but the results of bearing new and fresh fruit are for eternity. So let me ask you, are you bearing good fruit today? Is it time to be pruned for more?

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