Reading: John 15-16
Summary: Jesus continues His time in the upper room with the apostles giving them instruction and great promises in light of His impending departure.
Included in all of this are several statements regarding the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Your Favorite Picture of God
What is your favorite picture of God? Maybe as father? The loving shepherd? King? Sovereign Lord? Maybe it’s something else. The truth is, there are many wonderful ways to think about and know God.
It would probably take a long time of asking before anyone would say their favorite picture of God is as vinedresser. Yes, vinedresser.
In Jesus’ famous vine and the branches parable, He begins with “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). What does the vinedresser do? “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (v. 2).
God deals with all the branches (Christians). The unfruitful ones He gets rid of and the fruitful ones He prunes. What exactly is that pruning process? We may not know a lot of specifics about that but we do know pruning has to do with cutting away and removing, sometimes substantial amounts. And the pruning isn’t arbitrary. It helps the branch to be even more fruitful. For that to happen, some things just have to go.
So what is it that needs pruned from my life to allow me to become even more fruitful? It may be attitudes, habits, time wastes, people of negative influence, or who knows what else. Another question is, how will the vinedresser go about the pruning process? That one might make us nervous. Pruning may not be a pleasant experience. But no matter how difficult it may be it certainly better than the outcome for unfruitful branches—to be cut off, gathered up and thrown into the fire.
Are you ready to say, “Lord, prune me!”