Sermons

Summary: God will always prune you to be the best you could be

Pruning Season?

God loves me. God delivers me. God sustains me. God listens to me. God prunes me?

The pruner has four tools:

• He uses his fingers to pinch off dead blooms.

• He uses clippers for selective pruning and removing a spike or rogue shoot.

• He uses shears to shape plants for a well-rounded appearance.

• He uses a saw to cut heavy wood to restructure the plant.

A weeping, flowering cherry tree is one of the most beautiful of all of the ornamental trees. One year it bloomed, and even better the next year. However, after about four or five years, the tree barely bloomed at all.

Effective pruning is different than just "shearing" the tree to look like a lollipop. There are two basic types of branches that need to be removed. The first is a branch that is growing the wrong direction. These branches rub the other branches and can cause disease. They also block out the sunlight that is needed for flower buds to form.

The other type of branch to prune is a "sucker" branch that shoots out beneath the graft. These branches are incredibly dangerous to the life of the tree. They will draw all of the strength and energy from the tree into themselves, and the tree will often die.

John 15:1-8

I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bring forth more fruit. Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered. And they gather and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you. In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you shall be My disciples.

Just as a tree needs pruning, God can prune you.

He prunes the "branches" of our lives that are growing the wrong way. He prunes the branches that are sprouting out of our flesh. This pruning is not done to hurt us or punish us. Try to understand that this is a sure sign that your Father loves you.

Perhaps some of your branches have begun to grow in the wrong direction. Or maybe your flesh has "sprouted" a branch that, if left un-pruned, would drain the strength out of your spirit and your spiritual life. It's an unholy branch that would eventually destroy your effectiveness, causing you to have no beautiful blooms and no fruit. Blooms display a healthy, vibrant, intimate walk.

You don't have to be doing something wrong to be pruned. It's actually when you are doing things right that pruning takes place. So look, you are pruned if you do and pruned if you don't. You might as well deal with it and let God produce His fruit in you. But there is one sure thing: It's better to be cut back than to be cut off.

So how does God prune us? Well, He does it in two ways. First we know that His Word prunes us.

Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is "alive, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Through His Word, God shows us where we have missed it so that we can begin to live in a way that truly pleases Him. His Word gives us the power to live a life that produces fruit. In conversion, He removes from us our guilt and condemnation (Romans 8:1). In time, He cuts away the habits that bind us (1 Peter 2:11). God prunes away the old to invigorate, freshen, revive, and renew our lives (Psalm 51:10; Isaiah 40:31). God also cuts away from us some things that hurt at times.

By beholding His Word, we are pruned, groomed, corrected and encouraged to be like Him.

Our relationships with others are also used to prune us. God puts all those "fruit testers" around us to make sure we are producing the right fruit. God creates all these different types of people and throws them all together. It's one big fruit salad! But it's really as these people interact with each other that true fruit is produced or the lack of it is exposed.

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